Monday, November 29, 2010

Cora was blessed yesterday which made for a fun and grandparent-filled weekend. My parents and sister are here and Brad's parents came for the weekend. Having 3 kids seems managable when the adult to child ratio is 7:3!  Brad's parents left yesterday and my family leaves tomorrow. Yikes! I'm terrified, to say the least. But on a happier note, here are some photos from the last few days:

Whenever we try to take pictures of this little lady she furrows her brow when she sees the light on the camera. So here are some of the few and far between non-furrowed ones...

 Poor girl has clogged tear ducts, which luckily have cleared up over the last 2 days
 Nick's pre-school class did a little Thanksgiving program, and Nick actually particiapted! Sang every note and said every word! Definite milestone for this little turkey (3rd from the left):
 This has been a typical scene over the last 10 days since my dad's been here:
 Nick is still loving his baby sister
 My boys opened their Christmas presents from Granny and Grandpa. They love their new jammies, sweater, indoor mini-trampoline, camera, and cool car thingy...

 Cora meeting Grandpa Jeff

 A note that Nick wrote to Brad: "Brad, I love you. I like it when you read books to me. I like it when you play with me. Nick"
 Grandma Debbie and Cora
 Granny Shanny with Chase
Here's Cora in her blessing outfit. I found this dress in clearance at baby Gap for $8 right after I found out I was pregnant and bought it "just in case." It's much more my style than a long white lacy dress, and Cora looked adorable if I do say so myself.:)

The blessing was great, although the fact that my brother's weren't here to stand in the circle made me sad. It's been a wonderful 3 weeks, and to be honest, I can't even talk about my family leaving without tearing up. Not only do I rely on their help, but it makes me sad that they miss so much of my kids growing up. Good thing we have blogs and skype. Real world (the one where I take care of all three kids by myself), here I come!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cora's first 9 days of life...

 My brain isn't functioning well enough to put these pictures in order or think of anything clever to say, but I've been feeling guilty that I haven't posted any pictures from our first week home when we have so many family members who haven't met Cora yet. So forgive me for all the photos and my random comments. Oh, I also documented the birth story, so keep reading past this post if you're interested...

I think Nick is having the easiest time with this adjustment, as he is always wanting to hold Cora and always comments on "how beautiful" she is. It's so cute to me when he holds her that I take lots of pictures of it, as you'll see. He often asks "When you're done milking her can I hold her?" which always makes me laugh, and is very concerned whenever she cries and told me today when she was fussy that we had a "milk emergency!!" meaning that he thought she needed to be fed. The day after we came home he was holding her and said "I'm going to marry Cora when I grow up." He's so sweet with her and I love it!

 He insisted on giving the family night lesson this past Monday as it was Cora's first FHE. He planned and wrote the lesson himself and just needed Brad to help translate what he had told him to write down. It was darling.
 Here's Cora! As Brad commented the other day "she's looking a lot less 'birthed' lately," which is true. I can see both of the boys in her, especially Nick.
 I love this picture. Brad's been pulling double parent duty on top of seminary and school and I'm so grateful for all he does.

 Cora's first bath. She's pretty happy until you mess with her, i.e change her diaper, clothes, or bathe her. She has her days and nights completely reversed, which has been hard, but I feel like I've been able to keep it in perspective this time around, knowing that she'll grow out of it, and one day I will sleep again. :)

 She looks so tiny in her crib. I can't get over it.

 Dressing and accessorizing this girl is way too fun!

 My dearest Chasey is having the hardest time with all of this. It breaks my heart to see him struggling so. He's been naughty beyond belief, especially when I'm feeding Cora. We've been trying to give him extra love and attention and I try to remind myself that adults don't usually need therapy from the trauma they experienced when they got a new brother or sister as a child. :)
 He's going through a HUGE puzzle phase. Brad spent one morning doing all of his puzzles with him...
 More of Nick and Cora

 Chase occasionally asks to hold her as well

 Here's my cute dad meeting his first granddaughter today.

 He only got to hold her for a moment before the boys attacked him...

 His boots have also been a big hit -- this is the face I got when I told Nick to give me a cowboy face --

And lastly, here's my mama, "Granny Shanny" who has helped out so much in the last 9 days. I don't know what I would do if she weren't here to let me sleep, clean my house, pick the boys up from school, spoil my boys, hold and care for Cora, take shifts in the middle of the night, and take care of us. I've been thinking a lot this week how she never got this kind of help or support when she had her babies, and I'm so thankful she's been here for me. It's so wonderful to have a mother who doubles as a best friend.
I love having a newborn, despite the exhaustion and trying to find our new "normal". I don't want this phase to go by too quickly and I feel like I can't snuggle and love this baby girl enough!

The story

Feel free to skip this post if you hate birth stories. I happen to love them and need to record this for journaling purposes anyway. :)

Because I have big babies with big heads, and because I had family that needed to schedule flights, my doctor took pity on me and scheduled me to be induced at 39 weeks, and I must say it was sooooo nice to know the day this baby would come! That morning we checked into the hospital and got settled. Here's the before picture of my puffy self:
  After blowing two of my veins (I have some very large battlewounds from that lovely experience), my very nice nurse got my IV in (I really hate IV's) and they got the pitocin pumping at about 9:30am. I was dilated to a 3 when we checked in, and by 2:30 I was at a whopping 4. I thought I had a long long day and evening ahead of me...
 I got the epidural and the doctor broke my water, and then things really started to pick up. I know this for a fact because MY EPIDUAL DIDN'T WORK properly. Seriously people, I'm a wimp. I cried my way through an hour of hard contractions and went from a 4 to a 10 in about 45 minutes. Then I pushed for just over 10 minutes (which felt like 2 hours), and out she came, sunny-side up. The fact that she was posterior added a lot to the pain I was having, the doctor explained, but I was just so relieved she was OUT and that she was, in fact, a SHE that I got over the pain pretty quickly. Here we are at our first face-to-face meeting. I love this moment:
 And here's my hubby, who was a champ during labor and who continues to be super-daddy/husband since we've been home. I don't know what I would do without the guy.
 And here's the finished product, born on 11/11/10 at 3:37pm: