Monday, March 29, 2010

Greyson. Day 19.

To put it simply, I have never had a newborn who has been this awake!
Addy, John Michael & Nicholas all shared a love for sleep. When they were newborns I had to wake them up to eat. I would literally have to take all their clothes off, rub them down with cool wash cloths, blow on their damp bodies and still... they would snooze on.
Greyson is totally different.
The kid doesn't sleep.
Okay, that's probably an exaggeration but he doesn't sleep nearly as much as my first three babies did! He's a happy little guy - as long as he's being held or paid attention to - but he doesn't want to miss a thing! And wake him up to eat? Psh! He wouldn't miss a meal if his life depended on it. Or a snack. Or a midnight snack. Or a second middle of the night snack. :) I joke around that I was determined to enjoy every minute of every day with this little guy because this is our last baby... and he's just as determined to make me do so. "You want to enjoy every minute of every day with me? Then no sleep for you!"
And I'll concede. Because, tired as I am (and I am seriously tired), I haven't yet tired from looking at this adorable little man who has book ended our family.

Greyson. Day 19.
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And I'd like to say thanks to my mom and dad for staying the weekend with us. I got to sleep in, take a break from domestic responsibilities and even go to church with just Greyson for a little while on Sunday - and then have lunch with friends afterwards. Thanks Mom & Dad. You've helped make this transition so much easier.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My First Baby

Two weeks ago I had a baby.

Five years ago I had my first.

First of all, may I just say: Coupling post-partum hormones with your first baby's fifth birthday is *not* a good combination.  As if I'm not emotional enough! Then, to top it all off, one of the first things she says to me this morning is, "Mommy, since I'm five now do I still have to call you Mommy?" As my tears welled up in my eyes at the mere thought of her calling me "Mom" vs. "Mommy," I tried to play it off... "Well, what do you think you'd call me instead? Michelle?"   "No." she replied... and left it at that.  Whew.

My precious, beautiful, precocious little girl turned five years old today.  Her life is passing before my eyes. 

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Thanks to our friends in the church I have not had to make many meals since Greyson joined our crew.... which meant that Addy and I had time today to make her a birthday cake. It was a simple recipe from the infamous Pioneer Woman and I think just making the cake made her birthday wonderful. She loves to help cook - much more than she loves to help clean. :)  But, to top it off she also got to pick out her breakfast and go to Tyler's Tender for lunch.  She rode the train, played video games, ate her favorite lunch (grilled cheese and apple sauce) and had an ice cream sunday brought out to her on a train while the staff sang Happy Birthday to her.  She commented throughout the day, "Isn't this the most wonderful day ever?" 

Well, I ruined that for her pretty quickly by forcing her to take a few pictures for me to commemorate the day. :) But, she jumped right back into "great day mode" by jumping on the trampoline with Johnny & John Michael and inviting guests over to share her cake.  

She loves guests.  I pray that this love for guests turns into a love for hospitality.  :)

Adeline loves to read.

Adeline loves to read the Bible.

Her best friends are John Michael and Faith.

She's bossy.

She's smart.

She has a memory that impresses me.

She loves to argue.

She loves to eat.

She loves to eat sugar.

She has a quirky little accent thats a mix between British and Region.

She loves to sleep in our bed... and gets to do so regularly.

Her favorite color is pink.

She still loves her Lucy.

She's our only girl.... and the joy of our home. 

We thank God for her every chance we get.

Our girl.

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So, I hope the gazillion pictures I'm posting don't bore you. I simply couldn't narrow it down. And why should I? 

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I like this picture because even though she looks girly in most of these pictures she LOVES to get dirty. :)

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This picture makes me smile. She's really so silly.

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And this is SO her.

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She has her Daddy's lashes.

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And of course, eating her cake. :)

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Baby Grey Grey

Everyone keeps saying things like, "I can't wait to see Greyson's newborn session!" Well... this little guy doesn't stop eating long enough to allow me to take his picture! He's seriously a non-stop grazer. 

So, I am hoping to do a newborn session in the next couple of days but until then I thought I'd at least take a few pictures. I have been terrible about taking pictures since I got home so here's an attempt at changing. :)

I have such a hard time deciding between color and black and white!!  Johnny chose color for these... I chose black & white... so I'm just going to mix it up and do a little of both. :)

Baby Grey Grey - day 9

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Monday, March 15, 2010

From Grass to Greyson

Okay, okay... I haven't officially stopped eating grass yet but its on its way out, I promise! And I can't think of a better replacement for my addiction than my adorable, gift from God.. Greyson David. 

Who doesn't like to be right every once in a while?  I recently predicted that Greyson would be born on March 9 and I'd like to take a moment to boast that.... I was right.  I don't get many opportunities to say it so I'm just going to take this moment to say it again... hehe... I was right! :)

Greyson was born on Tuesday, March 9, 2010.

Since March 1st I was having regular, consistent, uncomfortable contractions.... but alas, they always went away. I even ended up at the hospital one night because I thought I was in early labor.... and ended up taking the walk of shame out of the labor & delivery department back to home sweet home. :) 

Every night for the next week we'd clean the whole house & get the kids clothes out for the next day in hopes that *this* would be the night I went into labor.  But, he made us wait for it.  

So, when Monday night came around and I was having regular, consistent, uncomfortable contractions I figured it was more of the same - but I still cleaned the whole house, caught up on the laundry and set out the kids clothes.  I crawled into bed around 1:00 am and fell fast asleep thinking about whether or night tonight would be the night.

When I woke up at 4:00 in the morning to a really hard, painful contraction I knew.  Normally, when contractions wake me up I time them and end up going back to sleep.  This time I immediately woke Johnny up. This one contraction was more than enough to let me know this was the real thing!  We did the standard - run a hot bath, start timing the contractions steps but after about 10 minutes there was no doubt in my mind that it was time to go. We called our Moms and started loading up.

I chose to use a midwife for this pregnancy and the closest midwife my insurance covers is in Oak Park, IL. The hospital they deliver at is about an hour away so we knew we were going to have a long, uncomfortable drive ahead of us. Luckily, because of the early morning time, we were able to take a more direct route (94) instead of the more indirect route we normally take to avoid traffic (294).  The shorter route combined with Johnny's crazy speeding we made the 60 minute trip in 35 minutes!  

My midwife and I agreed that she wouldn't come in to meet me there unless I called her to say things were getting "intense." Her plan was to have the Triage nurses check me in and call her and that she would head over to the hospital at that point.  

warning.  the story gets a little graphic at this point. :)

We arrived at the hospital at about 5:30 in the morning and they wheeled me up to the labor & delivery unit.  They checked me and let me know that I was a "6 and very very stretchy."  They called my midwife and told her to go ahead and come in and then set me up on a monitor to check my contractions and check the baby's heart rate. After about 5 minutes of being on the monitor my contractions were so bad I couldn't help but *go* to the bathroom. 

I went into the bathroom a "6 and very stretchy" and came out in transition. I remember looking at Johnny, with panic in my heart, saying "Hey babe? You know that part I get to when I say "I can't do this anymore?' Well, this is it. This is that point. This is the point that its really, really hard. Like, really hard." He just kind of smiled - like 'Yah, we've done this before.... guess it'll be a couple of hours and the baby will be here.' kind of smile... 

The nurse came in at this point and said she'd like to put in my heplock for my meds (I had Group B strep so they wanted me to get 2 rounds of antibiotics before the baby was born). I refused. I told her I didn't think there was time for "all that." She must've sensed that I was close because she said, "Okay, we'll wait until your midwife gets here to decide. How about we get you into a regular room to finish monitoring the baby." I agreed getting into a room was a good idea. She asked if I'd like a wheelchair but I refused. I was WAAAYY too uncomfortable to sit down in a wheelchair! I'd rather waddle to the room and have contractions on the way than sit down!  So, off Johnny went to transfer all of our stuff to the new room and off went the nurse and I to walk their slowly...

However, I took less than 5 steps out of the room and had to lean over a chair because the pain was so intense. The contractions were literally one on top of another and I was barely getting a break enough to take a few steps.  I tried to start walking again and had to lean against the wall because I literally felt Greyson coming out.  I alerted the nurse that "he was coming!!" and she got on the intercom and alerted the nurses to help "stat." 

Meanwhile, Johnny is in the room noticing all the nurses coming in, prepping, setting up, getting everything ready for delivery and he thought... "Wow, they're really getting ready early!" He dropped our stuff off in the corner and came back out into the hallway to help me walk the rest of the way.

Simultaneously, a nurse came up behind me with a wheel chair and said, "Michelle, please sit down in this wheelchair or you are going to have your baby in the hallway!"  Sitting down was SO not an option so I kind of fell back in the wheel chair with my lower back on the edge of the seat. 

It gets a bit more graphic at this point...

Because of the position of the baby my legs came up with me when I layed in the wheelchair... which meant I was in the public hallway, laying in a wheelchair with my legs open for everyone to see.... THANKFULLY, it was early in the morning on a night when nobody was having babies because anybody walking through the hallway would've gotten quite the show!

As Johnny walks out of the room this is what he sees: two nurses sprinting me down the hallway with my legs up in the wheelchair and all he can see is the baby's head crowning and about ready to come out.  He calls out, "The head is coming out!!" They run me into the room and almost up to the bed where a nurse was frantically putting on some gloves and reaches down to catch Greyson plummeting out of my body in the nick of time.  

It was mahem.  

Sheer chaos. 

I have seriously never experienced anything as wild and fast paced in all my life. 

The nurse who caught Greyson attempted to put him on the bed but was immediately stopped by the warning of another nurse: "Wait! He's still attached!" Luckily, at this point a doctor walked in and took control until my midwife arrived.  Under her direction they placed Greyson on my chest and took the steps to clamp and cut the umbilical cord. After a few moments they took Greyson to get weighed and measured and helped me move from the wheelchair to the bed. My midwife arrived at this point and everything seemed to slow down and go smoothly and as planned.

But, all I kept thinking was... "Wow. Its over! I just had a baby! Wow. That was crazy. Oh my gosh. I just had a baby in a wheelchair. Oh wow. I almost had him in the hallway."

Greyson was given back to me and nursed right away... and literally hasn't stopped since. :)  I have simply loved and enjoyed him so much. After Nicholas' first few days of life it makes me remember that staying up at night with my baby is a privilege, not a burden. Its a gift, not a chore. And I'm trying to savor it.

Special thanks to Johnny's mom who watched the 3 kids for most of the 2 days I was in the hospital. And thanks to my mom for staying with me the first few days after I came home from the hospital. Today was our first day on our own and while there have been a few crazy moments we're definitely both excited to have our family of four under the same roof and begin this next stage of our lives together.  

The proud parents.

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The proud siblings.
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The unproud sibling. :)

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The six of us. Wow.

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And the star of the show.

My little Grey.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Greyson David - sneak peek

Greyson David

Johnny & I are so proud and excited to announce that Greyson David was born yesterday morning at 5:39 am. He was 7 pounds 13 ounces and 19 inches long.  It was a short and crazy labor and we're all doing great. I'll be sure to share pictures and our story with everyone soon!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Things that make you go... yes.

There are times that I think... what in the world was I thinking having my kids so close together? This is nuts!
Then there are times... 
when I overhear Addy teaching John Michael how to add.
when I see John Michael giving Nicholas his "B" to comfort him.
when I listen to the kids on the monitor laughing and being silly with each other when they're supposed to be sleeping.
when I see Addy pushing John Michael in a laundry basket... laughing.
when I walk into the room and see them cuddled up together on the couch looking through photo albums.
And I think... yes. I'm so glad we "clustered" our children. I'm so glad they are each other's best friends. I'm so glad they keep me busy and exhausted and confused and exhilarated and proud and amused.
I hope these are the moments I remember forever.
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Addy-Daddy time

Addy was never a snuggler When she was a baby she always wanted to be put down so she could crawl around or run around. She would give hugs and kisses with abandon and shower affection, smiles and joy on everyone and anyone... but she did NOT like staying still to snuggle.

She changed.

She'll be five this month and one of her absolute favorite things to do is snuggle with her Daddy. She loves to curl up next to him or climb on his lap and say "Hey Daddy, how about some Addy Daddy time?" Johnny will often try to use this time to talk to her about her day - what she did, etc. but Addy is adamant.. "No, Daddy. This is Addy Daddy time. No talking please."

I guess snuggling is serious business. :)

Addy & Daddy blog

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

7 Years

Johnny & I celebrated 7 years of marriage together yesterday. I feel like I should say the same old addage everyone says about marriage and kids... "Its gone by so fast!" But, really? It hasn't. Its been a journey. Some years were hard, some weren't.... but when I look back it doesn't seem like just yesterday that we got married - quite the opposite really. Life before Johnny is blurry. I remember being single. I remember college life. I remember high school... but my life with Johnny, though only a little less than a quarter of my 29 years alive seems like my only reality. And its a good reality.

There are many reasons I love Johnny. I could take this opportunity to do what a lot of bloggers do (and I have done in the past) and list them here.... but I think I can sum it up by saying that Johnny keeps me loving God. My own instincts are selfish and self centered. My heart wanders away from what is most important in this world. Johnny, however, is a steamliner for Jesus and His glory. There are times my choices or my priorities or my attitudes clearly do not line up with His will for my life but I can't say that for Johnny. God has given him the ability to stay strong, no matter the circumstances, no matter his preferences. Its one of the main reasons I married him and I can safely say, 7 years and (almost) 4 kids later - I made a good choice. There could be a top 20 or a top 50 list of reasons I love him more today than I did when we got married but what trumps the most important reason at all? Because of my union with Johnny I am more in communion with my God.

Johnny & I Anniversary

This picture was taken yesterday. I am 40 weeks pregnant with our last baby.

PS Does anyone read this blog anymore?