Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mini Photo Shoot

I don't know much about photography, but I like to practice on my kids.  Annette is an excellent subject because she doesn't move much.  While Jenna and Rex were away visiting cousins and Marielle was at school, I took these newborn shots.   Isn't she lovely, adorable, precious, and all the rest of the adjectives that compliment newborns?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Introducing, Annette!

It's been over two weeks since my "three u turn" post, but I haven't been suffering pregnant.  I've been doggie paddling through the deep waters of caring for four kids, around the clock feedings, and well, life.  Posting Annette's birth story has been relegated to the back burner of non-essentials many a time.  But this afternoon my family is off to church and I've found myself in a quiet house with a just a sleeping baby.  Ohhh, let me say, the quiet sounds so nice.  Just me and the clickety, clack of the keys.  (And a few grunts here and there from sleepy Annette.)

I woke up Friday morning feeling discouraged.  How would I endure another day of contractions, questioning if "this is it", and that solid lump in my belly prohibiting me from doing things that I love such as bending over, getting up off the ground, and walking at a "normal" pace?  Ryan and Marielle left for school and I laid down on the couch with the idea that if I didn't move much my contractions would stop.  But they didn't.  They were a lot like the day before: about five minutes apart and mildly painful. I managed to get myself off the couch and get Jenna and Rex ready for the day to drop Jenna off at preschool.  As I drove I noticed that the intensity and speed of contractions started picking up.  My moral also picked up at this new development.  I started making phone calls and arrangements, "just in case." The plan was for Ryan and I to go to my Dr's appt at 10 and then see if he recommended checking in at the hospital.  But by the time we got downtown, it was clear that we should just go straight to labor and delivery.
When we walked in the same nurse greeted us from the day before, but she could tell things were much more "ramped up" and checked me into one of the delivery suites.  From that moment on everything went as smooth as I always thought delivery would be.  My anesthesiologist came quickly, the epidural worked great.  Ryan and I watched a movie, and I took a nap. In fact by about 3:30pm Ryan and I looked at each other and said, "So when are things going to get rolling?  This waiting around is getting kinda dull."  Right then my nurse came in and checked me, I was expecting to hear, "You are at a 6 or 7"  Instead she said, "Ok, you are complete. I'll call the doctor." Huh?  Turns out I had been napping during the hardest stage of labor. Then in a very routine manner she readied the room, another nurse came in and we made polite small talk, while we waited about five minutes for our Dr to arrive.  I laughed at how strange it seemed to be ready to push our baby out without feeling any kind of pain or even pressure.  Man that epidural worked!  On cue I pushed and out slid a head.  Two more pushes and someone shouted, "Its a girl!"  I squealed with joy!  As with all my pregnancies, my gender prediction was wrong. But I couldn't have been any happier to welcome Annette into our family.  I felt wonderful as they plopped that warm body on my chest and watched her slowly take in the world around her.  She very peacefully looked from side to side and seemed in awe of her new surroundings.  I was definitely in awe of my new daughter.  It was such a peaceful, beautiful moment.  One I hope I will never forget.

The Stats:
Annette Sycamore Mullen
Born Friday, October 25, 2013 at 3:52pm
Weight: 8lbs 4ounes (our smallest baby yet!)

Moments before "go time". 

Moments after go-time!

First visit from her older siblings.  They were quite the rowdy bunch!

First family photo with six!

Crazy Hair Day at the hospital

She was stylin' with her knitted cap.

In her new take home outfit.  Good thing we went shopping yesterday instead of delivering!

That smile is because I love Annette so much more now that she and I have our own personal spaces.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Blog Emulation

I have a friend named Katie who has blog that I love.  Her writing is witty, the pictures of her kids always adorable, and she manages to capture life's little moments in a way that I really resonate with.  A few months ago I saw this post on her blog. (Seriously, click on the link, my words cannot do the picture justice.)  And then, a day or so later I saw an odd toy out of on the lawn.  I couldn't resist trying to copy cat her photo.  If you come across a large animal mask on your lawn the next few days, TAG! You're IT!

Hamily Fome Screaming

When I was a kid we had a family home evening job wheel.  Since there were 8 members of the family, we needed a little creativity to create enough jobs.  I remember conducting, talent, education, game, treat, song, prayer, and lesson.  The coveted spot was conducting.  For some reason, we all loved standing on the fireplace mantel and welcoming everyone and running the order of events.  One night my younger brother Jonathan got a bit mixed up and said, "Welcome to Hamily Fome Evening." Everyone busted up laughing and the name stuck. But all of this is just me reminiscing, and has very little to do with what I set about to post.
Ryan and I decided that we wanted to get our kids more involved in the planning and running of our FHE.  Marielle chose to teach a lesson on the Word of Wisdom on her first week.  I helped her prepare the lesson,  and she ran the show.  We had found some clip art food and substances that fall under "do's" and "don'ts" online, and that night she coached Jenna and Rex on where to place the pictures.  But here's where we got creative:  instead of printing the banners "Yes" and "No" that were provided in the template, we used something our family can really relate to. Superman and Bizzaro Superman headed each column to reinforce how to keep our bodies healthy!  Pretty good role models, huh?

First Day of First Grade

Our summer came to an end, but it was not disappointing to Marielle.  She was chomping at the bit to get back to school.  This girl likes to stay busy! Our morning was rushed getting the whole family ready and out the door by 8, so we didn't have a lot of time to linger of the loss of Marielle's youth before the bell rang.  Thankfully, we did have a few moments to snap pictures and wave goodbye.
Dad and Marielle same tree 2012

Mom and Marielle 2013

She looks a little sad here, but she was happy, promise!

Family Photos

We spent some time in LaJolla with Ryan's family back in August and took some professional family photos.  If we look expertly color coordinated we have Target's line and my sister in law Kimi to thank.  The whole family got new outfits, which for a family that really only "shops" at the swap shop, it was a fun occasion.   

Rex and Ryan "roaring" each other.  It's so great having a boy!