Wednesday, June 30

the many faces of Alexis

The other night Jeremy took the two older kids camping, in equal parts to get them out of my hair and because everyone in this house is bored. From what I hear the three of them had a great time and came back very dirty. It's a well known fact of camping that there is a direct correlation between the amount of dirt you come home covered in to the amount of fun you had. They were excited to show me the pictures they took while camping, and there were some good ones. But some of the best are the pictures Alexis took. She took over the camera duties for awhile, and as she's wont to do, she took numerous self portraits. I thought I'd share a few of them with you.

First she starts with a smile:

Then she sees what she can do with her tongue:

Then she tries a more serious face, at an angle:

And there are several more, like the "how close can I get to my eye to take a picture?" and quite a few where only half of her face is actually in the frame. But this next one is my very favorite. I would even consider framing it, but it's a face I already see several times a day.
Here are a few other sweet pictures from the trip.

(She's scratching his back!)

Saturday, June 26

Ryan lately

Ryan's going through a bit of "phase".

He sleeps a lot and keeps odd hours. He doesn't speak to us and hardly responds when we talk to him.

His forehead is riddled with acne buds. He's gained weight, most noticeably around his thighs, and he's got enough gas to fuel a small automobile. Or at the very least, a lawnmower.

Fortunately, at 3 weeks old, all these things are still adorable.

Unfortunately, he'll probably be going through the same "phase" about 15 years from now.

Tuesday, June 22


Now that I'm not pregnant and in a permanent state of grumpiness, I remember how truly blessed I am. This picture reminds me of that. Jeremy spent quite a bit of time finding (and repairing) new (to them) bikes for the kids and they couldn't be more thrilled. Those license plate name tags were a pure stroke of genius. What kid wouldn't love to have their name on their bike?

It's funny how sometimes you can be missing something and not even know it. Recently I realized that's how life has been for me for awhile. For the past nine months we've been anticipating an addition to the family, thinking about what he'd be like, what he'd look like and how it would feel to have him here with us. But the whole time, though we thought about him often, he was missing.

This past weekend was the first time we ventured out, all 5 of us together, at the same time. And I couldn't get over the feeling I kept having. The feeling that life was complete--Ryan made it complete. I'm not saying that we won't have more kids someday, but for now my life feels complete and I am content. I consider myself very fortunate to spend my days with these three littles buzzing about me.

And then there's this guy, who makes it very possible for me to enjoy this stage of life.

He was neglected this Fathers Day and had a pretty lame birthday last week, but hopefully he knows how much he is loved, adored, and appreciated by every member of this family. He is a great dad and is raising our kids to be impervious to teasing by teasing them constantly. And they love it!

I have more to share but I can't stop staring at my new son, so it will have to wait.

Friday, June 11

spell check doesn't know what meconium is, do you?

Well, I bet you can't guess what I'm going to write about today, can you?

I apologize if you don't come here to read about my kids, but since I sit around doing nothing but feeding a new baby every 3 hours, you can understand why my thoughts are so focused in that one direction.

Actually, if you don't come here to read about my kids then I'm at a loss for why you come. That's all I ever write about!

Gas smiles. I like to pretend that he thinks I'm funny, but we all know the real reason he's smiling--he is a particularly gassy fellow. Did I mention that he filled at least 13 diapers in the hospital with meconium? I'm not exaggerating either. The pediatrician said that's probably how he lost 10 1/2 ounces in 2 days. And do you know how you can tell I'm a third time mom instead of a first time mom? Because during that first diaper change I was all alone in the hospital room, changing him on my lap (on top of his and my blankets), when he started to poop. I had already removed the diaper at this point, and had two options. One, I could let it get on the sheets, or two, I could catch it with my bare hand. Go ahead and guess which I did, and then think about which you would do.

What? You don't come here to read about my kids poop? Fine, I'll move on.

How about pee? This time it's about Tyler. I had hoped he would be old enough and potty trained long enough that we wouldn't have any regression. I was wrong. Several nights in a row he wet the bed, and then peed his pants in a few unfortunate places throughout the first few days of bringing Ryan home. He seems to be over it now, fortunately. But now he's getting up insanely early (for him) and remains grumpy throughout the whole day. Not sure what to do about that, other than count my many blessings that Jeremy is here to help.

Here's Ryan with his cousin Tanner who is 2 months older than him. Including Ryan, there have been/will be 4 babies born on Jeremy's side of the family in 2010. He's going to have plenty of cousins to play with! And then on my side the kids' very first cousin will be born in August.

Babies, babies, babies.

If I were in Relief Society right now, here is what I'd share in the good news minute:

I must be starting to look normal again because my kids haven't asked me in a day or two why my stomach is still fat!

Speaking of which, in the hospital Alexis asked me why my face looked funny. I thought I looked fairly normal, but according to her "the details" looked weird. Leave it to her to keep me humble.

Monday, June 7

the tiny tyrant

Last night (or the night before...who knows at this point), in the middle of the night, Jeremy and I were both found leaning over the crib of our new little guy Ryan, watching to see if he was going to settle in or if he would start squirming again.

I waited anxiously, silently praying in my head that he'd stay asleep so that I could lay down as well, while Jeremy was probably just wondering how long he had to stand there before he could go back to bed. As we stood there the thought came into my head, "How come something so tiny rules us this way? And how come people choose this voluntarily?" It was a question of wonderment, not resentment. Because, as any parent will tell you, one look at that tiny little face, those tiny little hands, arms and legs, and that squishy little body makes it all worth it. Babies may be small but they contain an incredible ability to bring large amounts of love into the home. Even a home that's already filled with love.

See? Everything about this little man just screams "Love me!", and I'm happy to oblige.

Ryan, so far, seems to be quite the content little baby. He doesn't fuss much, mostly when he's gassy or hungry. We're still working on switching our nights and days around and sleeping in his crib at night, but we'll get there.

As you can see he is loved by his brother and sister, despite Alexis' declaration on his first day home that it was no fun to have "that baby" here because he doesn't do anything. Maybe I should have been clearer to them about what kind of baby we'd be bringing home. We didn't bring home the smiling, playful baby. We brought home one of the slug variety. But he's grown on them and they find ways to play with him anyway.

Tyler's been funny with his concerns over the things Ryan does. His biggest concern for awhile was the fact that Ryan was pooping in his diaper. He couldn't believe that was allowed! And pee too? He really won't get in trouble for that??

The first few days home are always hard to adjust, especially for me. I don't like just sitting home not feeling normal, and the kids were catching on to my mood. Today's been better, and hopefully each day will get continually better.

Quick birth summary: I waited all morning on Wednesday for the hospital to call and tell me what time to come in. They finally called around 1:30 and asked me to be there in a half hour. On the way I told Jeremy that I was going to guess, quite optimistically, that I'd be done with labor by 6:30 pm, only 4 1/2 hours from then. When I got there they had the pitocin in, and my water broke by 2:30. Contractions came on quickly, but I stuck with them as long as I could. I finally asked for my epidural a little after 4, and by the time he had it all in and done it was 4:45. At that point I was dilated to a 6 (when I came into the hospital I was a 3), and within 15 minutes I'd dilated to an 8. I was still feeling the contractions in my abdomen and lower back, though, and they were constant. I finally called my nurse in to see if there was anything they could do to ease the pain in my back. She checked me again and I was at a 10 (this was all within 25 minutes of having the epidural in). She declared the best pain relief for my back was to just get the baby out. They called my doctor, and had me push once while we were waiting, which made her nervous about how long it was taking the doctor to come. But he showed up, I pushed through one contraction and Ryan was here, at 5:23 pm. They laid him on my stomach and I had the biggest sense of deja vu because I thought he looked just like Tyler. Ryan has proved that my kids features don't have too many variations, but I figure that's okay because they are so cute. Why mess with a good thing?

Also, I was only in the hospital for 2 days, but somehow my kids both grew a foot while I was gone. Seriously, where did they get such long legs??

Friday, June 4

He's here!

Ryan Anthony

8 Lbs 4 oz
20 in long
Healthy, cute, and much loved!

...more later...