Monday, December 19, 2011

I hate packing.

I hate packing.  Hate it.  I have to do it. But I hate it. That being said,  I actually think I'm pretty good at it.  Jim might disagree - but you tell me how many people can pack winter clothes for 4 females (granted 3 are on the smaller side) for 2 weeks into just 2 bags?  Someone with skills - that's who.  He hems and haws, so I don't have the heart to tell him it's going to be 10 times worse once they start packing themselves. 

As of right now I'm procrastinating.  I have most of the clothes picked out and some toiletries packed but it's looking again like I will be scrambling at the last minute.  Ugh.  And I have the ability at this very moment to change the future and not be scrambling around tomorrow.  But what am I doing?  Watching the "Santa Clause 3" and not just because it's the only thing on.  Because I actually like it.  I like all the Santa Clause movies.  1, 2, & 3.  And I don't care if you laugh at me. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Abby's Birthday

To our baby girl,
You bring so much joy and goodness into our lives.  Your sisters adore you.  Daddy and I cherish everything about you.  The happiness that you exude is infectious.  Every morning my heart bursts when I go into your room and there you are bouncing up and down like crazy - your little head bopping up and down over the crib rail, a huge smile on your face, and little bits of laughter bouncing around.  You are smiling approximately 99% of the time.  The other 1% you are livid, but never for long.  You are very clear about your needs.  You freak if we try and put you down to sleep and you aren't ready.  You throw your food, actually kind of sweep your food off your highchair when you're finished eating.  You eat only food you can feed yourself because you hate being fed.  You're very picky about accepting food from people.  You actually kind of lick your food before you will commit to eating it.  I admire that - you don't eat anything that you don't like.  That doesn't mean I won't keep trying the veggies though - I'm hopeful that one day you will accept veggies beyond peas, corn, carrots, and  green beans.  You've started to use sippy cups.  We've just started adding milk.  You love to clap and talk/yell right along with your sisters.

But beyond these things, you are such a loving, cuddly, sweet, funny, happy little girl.  You make us all smile...a lot.  It's hard to be in a bad mood when you are around.  You are incredibly curious and don't like being "caged" in the pack and play.  Although sometimes it's a neccessary evil because you are super busy exploring everything and on occasion I need to do the dishes or perhaps vacuum so you don't eat the stuff that fell on the floor during the last meal because you are exceptionally good at finding all those tiny things. 

Abby, we love you so incredibly much.  You make all of our lives very full.  We are looking forward to every day and watching you grow. 


Birthday party pics!

Our little 1 year old.

My most favorite face ever.

She just wanted to play with the clown's radio.

What?  I'm just feeding my boyfriend here.

OH look at this adorable balloon animal bracelet!

I will eat it.

Hiding out with stolen goods - juice box and lollipop.  She was in heaven.

I love Abby and Olivia's faces here.

All of this?

oh okay....

Ok, let's just get into this.

No problems with the cake.  Definitely my kid.

And....we're done.

I don't need a bath!

Stats from 1 year well-visit:
Weight - 19 lbs 4 oz.  - 25%ile
Height - 18 inches - 50%ile

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The birth story

When Abby wakes up tomorrow morning she will already be 1 year old.  She was born early in the morning.  I will never, ever forget that morning.  I will never forget any of my kids births, but this one was a humdinger.  

WARNING - probably too much graphic information in this read on only if you don't mind long, rambling birth stories.

Last December 10th I went to the doctor.  Was told I was almost 2 cm.  I honestly figured it meant nothing - she wasn't due until the 18th and I had never been early before.  But I got home around 2 pm and started feeling what I now know were contractions.  I blew it off.  As the evening progressed they did get stronger but were never regular.  By about 9 pm I was having to breathe through them, but I could handle it and they were still around 9 minutes apart.  Around 10:30 I decided to go to sleep.  I called our friend and babysitter, Stephanie and let her know I may be calling her, but probably not. I was probably just overreacting.  I went to bed thinking if it was real then the contractions would eventually wake me up and if not at least I'll get some sleep.  

Cut to around 1:30 am.  I wake up, look at the clock and start quietly counting the time in between these now much, much more intense contractions.  These were tough.  I'm pretty sure I didn't even wake Jim up - I think the sound of my attempted breathing though them woke him up.  They were much closer together.  Jim started tracking them.  After about 4 or 5 he asked me, "are you joking?  These are only about 1 or 2 minutes apart."

I get out of bed and get dressed.  Somehow we get to around 3:30, I'm sitting in the glider with a huge blanket on me but shivering, and I had already puked.  Awesome.  We call Stephanie because we have to go.  She did rush over, but lived a bit further away.  The entire time we're waiting I'm losing my mind.  Kind of half hanging on the bed, groaning, attempting to breathe, dreaming of the drugs I will blissfully obtain at the hospital and agonizing through each contraction.  She arrived close to 4. We get in the car.  Jim made a joke about me sounding like some song and I remember finding absolutely no humor in his comment.

We get to the hospital at 4:20.  I remember it being 4:20 because I would have killed for any kind of drug anyone had on hand at that point.  We left the car in the emergency pull-up.  They get me a wheelchair and Jim proceeds to push me down the seemingly 2 miles of hallway to the women's center.  Of course the idiot at the emergency room did not call the women's center so we couldn't figure out how to get in.  Finally the nurses let us in.  We get into a room.  They help me change into a gown.  I keep asking them, "can I please have something?  Can you please help me?" (Note - I am not a drug addict).  I get into the bed.  She checks me - 6 cm.  They call the anesthesiologist.  They call the doctor.  They put in an IV and start antibiotics (another story).  The nurse is trying to get my information - which is infuriating to me since I pre-registered.  I'm begging, literally begging them to help me.  I repeatedly tell them I'm going to die and ask them why isn't anyone helping me?  I'm hanging onto the bed rail for dear life.  Jim sits with me and rubs my arm.  I scream at him "don't touch me!"  I'm laying there in agony.  Trying to literally climb out of my own body to get away from the pain.  I was crying that the pain wouldn't stop and the nurse was telling me that the contractions were stopping but I wasn't resting.  I remember thinking that I hated her and she was a huge bitch.  

I then heard a pop.  For real.  My water broke.  I immediately felt intense pressure and started yelling that I had to push.  The nurse checked me and told the other nurse "this baby is coming now."  All of the sudden it felt like every nurse on the floor was in the room.  I started pushing.  I had too - I don't think I could have not pushed.  I pushed about 3 times, maybe 4.  And then she was out.  It was 5:11 am.  She was out and I felt ridiculously amazing.  Immediately.  I'm not kidding.  I felt soooo insanely good.  I was overjoyed and in zero pain.   It was a bit unreal.  I apologized profusely to all the nurses. I felt proud of myself.  I never in a million years thought I could have given birth without pain meds.  But having it forced upon me and getting through it made me feel good, powerful even.   I had this beautiful 7 lb 10 oz beautiful, baby girl in my arms.  I remember looking at her and being so thrilled to finally see her face.  I would have willingly done it all again in a second after seeing her.  She was so sweet and perfect.  I couldn't get over how she looked like her sisters, but also like herself and how I knew her immediately.  And then we had to pick her name...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We took the girls to Disneyland for Thanksgiving.  The 2 of us with 3 children under the age of 5.  People say how crazy brave we must be to attempt it.  But it wasn't bad.  We didn't lose any kids.  We went for more than one day so we weren't rushed.  There was nothing specific that the kids knew they wanted to see.  Honestly, I had the most meltdowns.  And that was because when we travel I get all stressed out about keeping things organized and under control.  Yes, I realize that I'm actually causing the exact opposite by forcing it.  Whatever, I'm evolving, albeit slowly.

Olivia was able to experience the most. We brought the double stroller and since she walked the most she complained about her feet being tired.  I thought she would be fine - but in hindsight, my feet were tired so why wouldn't hers be?  She ate an unknown amount of cotton candy.  Her favorite rides (she says) were the Little Mermaid (California Adventure), the swings (California Adventure), the Matterhorn (Disneyland), Big Thunder Mountain (which was "so awesome") and Autopia, because she got to drive a car!  She loved the fireworks.  Although the last night she fell asleep during the fireworks. She loved the parade.  She actually saw the parade by sitting on one of my shoulders (ow).  We weren't going to stay for it and then did, but we were so far back I had to lift her.  She had her picture taken with Pluto and Mickey.  She was not a fan of the life size Monsters, Inc. characters and spent most of the live show hiding behind the stroller.  She did see one princess but we didn't do the whole big princess thing.  They didn't even know they missed it and there are plenty of years to do it if they want to as they get older.  My favorite memory of her is when she was told me "it's okay mom, you don't have to lift me up higher," during the parade.  She was being kind and caring about how I was feeling, even though I was shifting her to try and save my back. 

Emily was able to go on a lot of rides.  She was enthralled with "It's a Small World."  She also ate her fair share of cotton candy.  For most of the wait lines Emily stayed in the stroller with Jim until he could pass her over the fence at the end.  It actually worked well, since waiting in a 30 minute line would not have been a good experience with her.  Her favorite rides were the Nemo Ride, the teacups, and Little Mermaid.  She went with Olivia to meet Tinkerbell and get her face painted.  She also had the chance to drive a car the last night when Olivia fell asleep, but instead chose to let Jim drive and she just went along for the ride.  My favorite memory of her is when she saw the fireworks the first night.  There was such a look of wonder and amazement on her face.  My funniest memory of her was when she was telling Jim on the shuttle ride back one night that the guy saying goodbye to everyone was a vampire. 

Abby was able to go on a few rides.  That's the great thing about Disneyland.  There are a lot of rides where you watch a story or something and the whole family can go.  She went on It's a Small World, the Nemo ride, Monsters Inc., the Winnie the Pooh ride, and the Jungle Cruise.  The rest of the time she was perfectly content to watch people and hang out in the stroller.  She LOVED the fireworks.  They were really amazing and set to Christmas music.  She loves music so that may have been part of it.  She also loved the Nemo ride.  My favorite memory of her is when she fell asleep in the front pack the last night.  Maybe it's lame, but it made me feel like she is still my little baby even though she'll be 1 in a week!

We really did have a great time.  We did the Thanksgiving character buffet which was delicious and very well organized.  We did some shopping at Downtown Disney the last day and had a pleasant drive home since everyone passed out for awhile.  The girls are still bringing things up from the trip so I think it was a success and hopefully they'll remember some of it one day!