Tuesday, February 28, 2012

a birth story

I woke up Sunday morning around 5 and couldn’t get back to sleep. My friend, Amy Henderson had made me some “labor inducing peanut butter cookies,” so I grabbed a few and did some blogging. I had been crampy for days, but that was about it. I had my first real contraction around 6:30 and felt that glimmer of hope that this might be it. About 8 minutes later, another, and so it went. I had only slept for about 5 hours, so I went back to try to get some rest.

Matt got up shortly after I went back to bed, and even though I wanted to tell him, I didn’t want to get his hopes up, so I didn’t. the contractions weren’t at all regular, some were 5 minutes apart, some 10, but I was pretty sure we were in business.

At 8:10 I came down and told him I was pretty sure we were in labor and I was going to start officially timing contractions and keeping track. He was making muffins and got all excited and started cleaning up. I went back upstairs and puttered around between contractions. I folded laundry and tidied up. I was thinking, this is so fun, to know we’re gonna have a baby and to be calmly preparing the house between each contraction. Addie came in when she woke up and I hugged her and told her we were gonna have our baby sister today. She seemed really excited and when matt came up a few minutes later she excitedly told him.

My contractions were still all over the place. They ranged from 3-10 minutes apart and were anywhere from 30-60 seconds in length. I kept wondering if we were really even in labor, but they were getting more intense, so I felt pretty sure.

I wanted to get in the bath as soon as they started because that’s where I was the whole time with Frankie, but I didn’t want to rush things. Finally around 9:45 I got in the tub. The girls came in shortly after that and both wanted to get in the bath immediately, and they both needed a bath too. Matt came and got Frankie, but then in a moment of weakness, I told addie she could take off her jams and hop in with me. It was actually really sweet, she hung out with me and “swam” and was really calm and good and not splashing. And she made super sweet observations like, “mommy, you have a big bummy, and I have a little bummy!” J

With frankie’s birth I squatted through every contraction, but I just wasn’t finding that comfortable, especially not in the bath. So I would stand up through my contractions, brace myself on the counter, and sway. Matt got Addie got out of the bath and dressed for church again. Frankie came in again and was sad and crying for me, which broke my heart. Lana picked up the girls around 10:30. Matt quickly got in the shower and gathered the last of his things to pack. The bath had slowed things down and I again questioned if this was even real labor, silly, I know. I got out and layed on the bed and coached matt on how to rub my legs and back. J

I was super uncomfortable and I was getting super crabby. I was annoyed with everything. I guess I thought things would be pretty similar to frankie’s birth, only faster (I had hoped!). but it wasn’t the same at all. What I had found comforting last time wasn’t working this time. Everything felt more intense and I felt less prepared.  And by the time the girls had left, I had been in labor for four hours and was pretty sure I wouldn’t have a baby within the next hour, so this labor was even taking longer. Grumpy mama!

Matt finally finished gathering things and he stayed with me then. I was all over (because nothing felt good!), in the bath, on the toilet, on the bed, walking around. As soon as a contraction would come I would put my arms around his neck, head on his shoulder and sway. I told myself “relax, relax, relax, relax.”  Then I asked matt if he would bring up my exercise ball so I could try that out. As soon as he left the contractions were like bam! Bam! Bam! Hard and fast and painful! And I was starting to feel that pressure, not enough to want to push, but definite pressure.  I was sitting on the toilet loudly bemoaning my lot and wishing that he would just come back, but I could hear him rummaging in the garage, probably for the pump to inflate the exercise ball. After what seemed like forever, alexis came in to check on me and I asked her to get dad. He came up and said the ball wasn’t gonna work out, which was fine because I felt that it was definitely time to go. Contractions were still coming on top of each other, very intense, and I was getting more crabby. Getting dressed, contraction. Walking down the stairs, contraction. Waiting outside for matt to back the car out of the garage, contraction. Leaving our neighborhood, contraction. It was awful.

We went straight to emergency, partly because we couldn’t really remember where to go (because franks was a middle of the night’er, we knew to go to er) and partly because I didn’t know that I could (or would want to) walk all the way up to L and D. I got out of the car as soon as we got there because it felt better to stand than sit and was immediately met by some of st mary’s finest. Not in the form of a police officer, but in the form of a trashy, cell phone talking (although it was more like cursing/yelling), cigarette smoking lady. I was appalled and in pain and maybe gave her the worst stink eye I could muster (which was probably pretty bad now that I think of it). ;)

A sweet tech came out to wheel me up. She tried to make small talk, “when are you due?” (10 days ago), “how far apart are your contractions?” (non-stop), etc, but I could hardly answer. I was breathing and trying to stay calm. I felt dizzy with my eyes closed and still not great with them open. Have I mentioned that it was awful?

(i know that i look ridiculous here, but this face pretty much sums up how i was feeling.)

Matt checked us in to the hospital at 12:05. We got up to the room and matt helped me change. I had been texting sarah (our photog!) all morning, but had matt text her before we left to see if she wanted to meet us at the hospital. She did. J

As soon as the nurses came in, matt told them that we would like to go as naturally as possible and that we would like a nurse that was Bradley trained. The nurse just kind of smiled and said yes and in my grumpy state I immediately didn’t like her.  I got into the bed and they got the monitoring started. I made sure to let her know that I would like to get out of the bed asap. A nurse came in to give me an IV. Can I just say, the nurses at st. marys are terrible at putting in IV’s! She tried twice and poked and prodded around my right wrist and couldn’t get it. So then another nurse came and poked and prodded my left wrist and finally got it. Just what a laboring mother wants and needs, right?! Another nurse came in and checked me and told us that I was 8-9 cm and she couldn’t  feel a bag of water. As soon as she said that I started bawling. I’m not quite sure why. I think it was relief that I was almost done, mixed with terror that I’d have to start pushing soon, mixed with the extreme pain of my never ending contractions. Whatever it was, I had started crying and I kinda cried and carried on until after Delaney was born. Oopsie. Oh, and Sarah got to the hospital at 12:20.

About the pushing. Frankie’s labor was seriously a dream. I was relaxed, I handled it well, I breathed and was happy and felt like I could have labored all day. And then I pushed and it was terrible and I never wanted to go through that pain ever again. But it didn’t last long and I told myself it was just that I rushed into pushing and I just needed to take my time and stay calm and I could totally do better this time. I also talked to everyone I could about pushing, how it felt for them, what I could do, whatever. But I was still terrified of the pushing phase!

So, back to this birth. Dr Tilley showed up around 12:25-12:30. He checked me and said I was good to push whenever I felt the urge. I think that’s when I really lost it. I started saying I didn’t want to push, I didn’t want to do this, I wasn’t ready, I didn’t want to be on the bed, was it too late for an epidural (not even sure why I asked this, I know I wouldn’t have gotten one and I knew it was too late! I just really, really, really did not want to push!!!) and I asked if I could try squatting to push. They told me (dr tilley and the nurses) that lying on the bed, with my knees pulled up, was the best way to get out this obviously big baby.

 It’s taken me a long time to figure out how I feel about this. Looking back, I think I just felt frantic. I didn’t feel ready, and even though they said (kinda reluctantly, at least it seemed to me) that I could wait till I was ready, I felt pressure from them to get the baby out. Like, here is the dr and 4 or 5 nurses, and they’re all telling me that I just need to push and have my baby and the sooner I do it, the sooner it’s over and I just need to do it. And I just.wasn’t.ready!!!

Oh and also, my contractions were still coming one on top of the other! I said, (cried, whined!) “aren’t they supposed to slow down during this part???!!!” and they kinda chuckled and said “not always.” Have I mentioned that I was kinda crabby?

 I finally thought maybe I could give it a try. I think I first pushed at 12:35 (‘ish) but not sure cause none of us thought to check the time. But I think it took me a good 5-10 minutes after dr. tilley got there to be willing to give it a try. I pushed a little and was like nope, still not ready! But everyone was telling me I needed to push, I was so close, focus, blah, blah, blah. I was crying and carrying on and seriously being a baby. I kept apologizing too because I really felt badly about my behavior.

I was embarrassed and frustrated and maybe a little bit ashamed of the way I was carrying on.  I just felt like, this is what I wanted, a natural birth, but in a hospital, which is kind of becoming an oxymoron these days. But it’s what I wanted. And with Frankie it felt so different. I was still being a baby about the pushing, but I didn’t know what to expect so I wasn’t quite as bad. And I liked the nurses better with frankie’s delivery too. They suggested different pushing positions, but I felt more comfortable laying. These nurses told me again (when I frantically cried again that I did not want to be laying down) that this was the best position. Then dr. tilley even told me that this was the best way to push out this large baby. He said I could try squatting, but that was going to make things more difficult for me. I wanted to yell, that’s not what everyone else says and then quote statistics about how squatting opens the pelvis, but I thought better of it. I just cried some more. J

They kept telling me that I needed to hold my legs back and push. I will never understand why they ask the laboring woman to hold her legs back after she’s already exhausted by pushing! And I let them know that I was already working hard and couldn’t someone else hold my legs back?!  I gave another half hearted push and then the nurse told me that I was pushing her across the room because I was pushing my legs out and that I had to hold my legs back. I wanted to tell her that my husband seemed to manage holding my leg without being pushed across the room and maybe she should get herself a membership to the gym. But I didn’t. ;)

It’s all kind of a blur, but a few random things I remember. I know they offered me a towel for my head. I tried that but immediately hated it and tossed it off. Matt was rubbing or something and I shrugged him off cause it was irritating. Dr. tilley broke my water. I faked a push, but I don’t think I fooled anyone. ;) they asked if I wanted a mirror to see the head, cause I guess at some point I pushed enough for her head to be crowning. I reluctantly agreed. I’ve never watched my babies being born, but I figured since this would be the last that maybe I should, and I’m glad I did. It was pretty cool and it helped. I just remember crying and apologizing and people laughing cause I was being such a baby. Matt was telling me it was okay to wait until I was ready and the nurses were trying to help me clear my head enough to push. I think it’s important for me to remember too that the pushing only lasted about 15 minutes, even though it felt like forever to me!  Also, my right leg was totally spazzing out! Like shaking uncontrollably. I even asked “what is wrong with my leg?!” but I don’t remember what they said. It was weird! Oh, and I didn’t get sick! No throw-up, yay!

I don’t know why I finally decided to go for it, but I finally decided to push and I watched in the mirror as her head came out. I think that really helped, to be able to see the progress I was making. Dr. tilley had given me specific instructions that after her head came out I really needed to focus and listen to him because she was so big and I needed to be careful. Or something like that. I was yelling or grunting loudly (I’m not sure what sound I was making, but pretty sure I was doing something loudly) and I may or may not have let out a minor curse. I looked at dr. tilley and he coached me through pushing out her body and then it was finally done! At 12:49pm, 9.12 lbs, 22 ½ inch long Delaney Noelle Ray was finally born. 6 ½ hours of labor and 15 minutes of pushing (and 10 days late!). I think it was really 3 pushes. One to get her head down to crowning, one to get her head out, and one to get her body out. If I pushed anything other than that I was either faking or not really trying, which maybe is the same as faking.

She was so beautiful! And she looked so huge! The thing I remember most about the first time I saw her were the rolls on her arms and the wrinkle above her nose that made her look angry. I was all like, “I’m angry too, Delaney! I’m angry too!” I was sooooo happy that she was finally here! We were all laughing and joking about how big she was, she seriously looked huge! We all guessed and I think everyone guessed that she was over 10 lbs. dr. tilley told me how he classifies babies sizes like turkeys.  The only one I can remember him saying was butterball, and he thought that she looked like the one that was bigger than the butterball.

She was pretty reddish purple after she came out and her face was bruised from coming too fast, they said. She had burst a blood vessel in her eye and had a little bruise on her eyelid and also one on her nose. And I was bruised too, also because she came so fast. I don’t understand that either. I was crying that I wasn’t ready and then she came too fast? Couldn’t I have just waited until I was ready and then would everything have been perfect? That’s what I want to believe, but whatever.

He checked me and I had no tears! Yay! Then he started tugging on my cord to get the placenta out. I told him, “can you please just leave me alone down there for awhile, can’t we just let it come out on it’s own?” I don’t remember what he said, but I told him that a couple more times and he finally  laughed and said “look at my hands, I’m not doing anything!” maybe I was still a little grumpy. ;) finally the placenta came out and I was done and so, so, so happy! And exhausted.

I am so thankful for such a supportive husband. I didn’t write much about what he was doing because I really don’t remember. I was so wrapped up in my  own discomfort that I don’t remember a lot of the specifics. But I knew he was there, I knew he loved me and supported me and I think that was enough. He advocated for me and helped me and didn’t let me throw him across the room. ;) I asked him later what he preferred, since I had an epi with addie and then two natural births. His answer was something like, well I support and love you, but I hate to see you in so much pain, so I would think you would want an epi. Very diplomatic, that one. J

It took me a long time to write this. I have gone back and forth about how I feel about it. I am happy with my birth. It was what I wanted in that I wasn’t rushed into being induced, I went into labor on my own and labored at home for most of the time. I don’t really know why I felt grumpy for most of the labor, except that it was very intense and different from my last time and being my only other natural birth, that was my comparison. The last 15 minutes were the worst and, this is one of the hardest things, I felt disappointed with my dr and the nurses for how they handled things. It wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t feel as supported as I would have liked. I think it was partly my own fault. I know that I need to advocate for myself. I wish that I could have calmly told them all to go away and that I would call them when I was ready to push or that I would have told matt, because I know he would have stood up for me. I just wish I could have somehow made myself more clear and not been as frantic. Pushing your baby out shouldn’t be frantic, in my opinion.  In the end I really did get what I wanted. I had my beautiful, healthy baby girl all naturally and I had my wonderful husband and good friend there to see to it.

 And I call that a good birth story.

Wednesday, Feb 15

still sick...
still tired...
still happy...
(and goofy)

tuesday, feb 14th

monday night (heading into tuesday) was the longest night ever! at one point (around 11, i think) all 3 of the babies were crying. it was seriously overwhelming. i don't think any of them felt well. addie was waking up periodically all night and would just thrash around uncomfortabley. in my state of exhaustion i gave her some benadryl instead of tylenol (i was just thinking "go to sleep!!!") and that took over an hour to kick in. matt helped and we finally got everyone to sleep around 3, but then laney was up to eat at 4, and i got up to do valentines with the big kids at 6.
long, long night.

i did the 14 days of valentines for the family again this year. i had to plan it all out and have everything ready  in january cause i knew i wouldn't be going out after delaney was born. i had it all ready though and everyone enjoyed it. the daily treats were small, heart shaped little debbies, red m & m's, cute socks, etc. just small and fun things to show them i love them. then on valentines day they get one big thing. we also got breaking dawn as a family, yay!
a & c wanted to do their scavenger hunt for their big gift before school, so they got up a few minutes earlier than usually. little laney was kind enough to join us too.
i made them go downstairs and upstairs and out to the garage.
they try to act cool, but they were loving it!
finding the last gift...
a zebra blanket for lexi and a camo hat for christian. :)
of course after the worlds longest night, i couldn't just go back to sleep cause laney had a dr's appt. it was just a regular check-up, but since she was sick i wanted to take her, that's the only reason i didn't cancel it. my friend shelly was hosting a valentines party for the little ones, so i dropped them off and took d to the dr. she looked great and her lungs sounded great. the only problem was she hadn't gained her birth weight back, so i got to make another appt to bring her back for the next week. ugh.
then i headed back to shelly's for some partying. :) it was cute and the kids had fun.
then it was home for a much needed nap!

after daddy got home from work, he took the little girls around for their hunt. their's just tells them where to go, like "piano." that's hard enough for a 3-year-old and 1-year-old to figure out, right?!
frankie's a little slower than big sis.
"the computer?"
 a purple fairy dress up set was addie's prize...
and a pink one for frankle-berry-crunch.
they loved them. :)
matt got a casio g-shock (ahem, nerd) watch. :)
we ordered pizza and watched breaking dawn. robin and sydney came over and we all had a good time. matt even watched with me and didn't make any comments about how lame it was.
it was a great day. :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy birthday, bubba

14 years ago today I gave birth to my only son. He has grown to be a handsome, smart, hard working, generous, kind, talented, and gentle young man.

I love you so much, baby boy.

monday, feb 13

i'm behind.
story of my life.
but i really want to document these days.
these are really good days.
long and exhausting, but good.

so. instead of making one humongous post, i'm splittling it up.
one step at a time, that's my motto lately!
anywho, monday.
alecia offered to watch the girls for a little while, so i dropped them off around 9 and hurried home to get 'er done. laney had other ideas though, so i cuddled and fed and loved on her for awhile. i know, it's a tough life, right?! :) the big achievement of my little-girl-free-time was that i got delaney's laundry done (and some other laundry too). newborn laundry takes soooo long because everything is so little and they have lots of blowouts, but i was able to get 2 weeks worth done, so yay!
i picked the girls up before naptime at 12:30 and we headed for our first target trip with the 3 littles! alecia would have kept the bigger girls, but i wanted to dip my toes gently into the life of a mama of 3 3-and-under. addie didn't want to leave alecia's house, wouldn't put her shoes on and we couldn't find her socks. d started crying as we were leaving, so on the drive to target she and addie cried in tandem. franks was sitting there like, what's wrong with these two?!
thankfully by the time we got to target, all was well and we had a delightful trip. i finished up my 14 days of valentines shopping (in the nick of time!) and bought the little girls valentine cards for their party. i got home, put the girls down, and by that time christian was home from school. i don't like to nap when he's home, so no nap for me.

(middle of the night sunday night with sickie-poo)
delaney was super stuffy and i was starting to feel under the weather too. nothing too bad, but i could tell a cold was a brewin'. frankie started crying (read: screaming) after about half hour in bed, and since it was already like 3:30 by that time, i got her and addie up without either having slept. (this will be relevant later.) lexi had cheer and got home at 6. aaaand since i didn't have anything scheduled on my calendar and it was 2 weeks ago, that's all i remember. :)

 we also worked on some potty training, which she is most decidedly not interested in.
and now that's all.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

lexi lu-who

i feel bad that i don't write a lot about alexis.
and then sometimes when i do, it's about bone-headed teenager stuff that she does.
and she really is a good girl and i love her so much.
 a little bit about alexis.
she wakes up every morning (m-f) at 5:30 to leave for seminary at 6:15.
then it's off to school for her. school get's out and the girls have about half an hour to work on their homework and then it's off to cheer practice from 3-6.
once or twice a week, when they cheer at a wrestling match or basketball game, she comes home right after school, and then has to be back to school by 5 or 6.
she's a busy, busy bee!
see why she's often absent from family antic pictures?
she is 15 1/2 now, and in maryland you can get your drivers permit at 15 and 9 months, so she is working hard at finishing her young women in excellence award so she can get her permit.
(not sure i'm ready for that, but i'm trying to fake it till i make it!)
more fun facts
*alexis is fiesty and totally unafraid to stand up for herself or others if she feels they've been treated unfairly. she really should be an attormey!
*she is a total social butterfly! she is comfortable around pretty much anyone. teachers, leaders, coaches, smart kids, popular kids, athletes, she is sure of herself and able to relate to people, so much more than i ever was. (or even am now sometimes!)
*she hates to cook, loves to go out to eat, and totally convinced she can make it through life like that.
*she goes back and forth from wanting no kids, to wanting to be a mama. :)
*she wants to be a counselor, which i think she would be wonderful at.
*she wants to "go away for college, but somewhere close'ish so i can come visit the babies a lot."
*and as the little girls get older she's going to be the "best big sister ever!" you know, the one she wishes she had.
*she hates to read ("I mean really, who reads?!") but loves to read status updates. :)
*she loves chic flics. a true romantic, that one is.
(favorites are the notebook, remember me, and justin bieber movie)
*she is a good and loyal friend and really cares about people.
*she is smart and when she puts her mind to something, she can accomplish it!
*she does not have a sweet tooth. if she could choose any treat, it would still be hot cheetos.
(they have been the favorite for at least 10 years!)
*she is learning to control her emotions and her tongue. :)
*she loves bath and body works body splash and sprays at least 5 times before leaving the house for anything.
*she is a hypochondriac and there is always something wrong with her!
her latest (just yesterday!) was that she had to go to the dr. because she had put lotion on her hands and they were all red and itchy.

i love her and want her to be happy and succesful and good.
and so far she is. :)

**and just for the record, i wrote this before she made my cute valentines post of fb.
it just takes me awhile to finish things lately!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012


this was my 3am wake-up call.
it was a long night.
we went to bed at 9:30 (yes! 9:30!) because i had been exhausted all day and hadn't had a nap. :)
this little one woke up at 12 and went back down at 1.
then there was the 3am fun. after that she went down at 4:30.
then i woke up with the big kids/matt at 6.
i saw christian off to the bus at 6:45 (matt left at 6 and lexi at 6:15) and hustled back to bed.
and then addie was up by 8.
so that's about 7 hours, broken up into 1-3 hour increments.
mama's been tired.
(this pic courtesy of addie the photog, who happens to love instagram!)
((i stayed in my robe all day and frankie woke up in those jams and went back to bed in them. don't judge, it was one of those days.))
thursday wasn't one of those days though.
sweet colleen had texted and asked if she could get the girls on thursday, but addie has preschool and i had already arranged a ride, and i wasn't sure how everything would work.
so thurs morning colleen texted and asked if addie could just be dropped off after preschool, and also offered to drive her there. then addie's preschool ride texted that her kids were sick and were skipping, but she had arranged for another ride for ad's. then that ride called and said they weren't going either. no problem, i thought, i can rush and get there and maybe only be a few minutes late. but i hadn't fed delaney and didn't know how she'd do for 30+ minutes in the car without having eaten.
so i stopped, took a deep breath, and texted colleen to ask if she could pick addie up after all.
i don't know what my problem is and why i hate accepting service.
before laney was born i gave myself a million pep talks.
it's okay to let lana watch the girls while you have the baby and matt comes to visit.
it's okay to let monique keep the girls while matt visits and we bring delaney home.
it's okay to let people bring meals and pick up the girls and, and, and!
it's the circle of service, sometimes you give, sometimes you recieve.
well i was okay, until thursday.
and then the
"well, i really can do it myself, even though it might make the baby and me miserable, i really can do it"
mentality kicked in!
anyways, colleen said of course she could take addie to preschool, and then when i was getting her carseat out of my truck i realized that frankie's carseat was still in matt's car (she went to scouts with him on weds night), so i wouldn't have been able to drive her anyway.
double blessing.
she ended up keeping addie all day, which was so nice to spend some one-on-one time with delaney and with frankie. i guess really that's two-on-two time, except that when d went down, i focused on franks, and when franks went down, i focused on d.
also, matt, delaney and i (christian babysat while lexi was at cheer) went to a delicious dinner at outback to celebrate an early valentines day. i had a coupon that expired on the 10th, so even though i really didn't want to take delaney out, it was use it or lose it, and i'm glad we went.
d-money and i both cleaned up, dressed up, and had a great time.
and she didn't cry at all, contrary to how she was feeling in this pic.
back to today...
that frankie-girl loves her sister!
she smothers her with kisses and lays on her.
she puts her beanie on when it falls off.
she teaches her how to be a tough chick.

"just kidding, mom! i'm just dancing, see?!"

i tried to nap when the girls did, but lane's woke up after about 30 minutes, in which time i had been tossing and turning. so i fed her, laid her back down, and then frankie decided she was done napping. i knew she needed the rest, so left her to whine for about 10 minutes. by that time it was almost time for christian to come home from school, so i headed downstairs to unlock the door for him, then back up to lay down. then i got no less than 10 texts, and even though my phone was on silent, it was still vibrating. (why does it do that, alli???) then i finally fell asleep for about half an hour. but i woke up cranky, hate when that happens.

addie had poo'd her pull-up.
lex had decided to stay at school for pizza and "forgot" to let me know. again.
chris needed a foil dinner, about 10 minutes before he needed to leave for his campout.
matt had planned to go on the campout with christian and he was going to take addie along, but she's had a runny nose all day, and it's supposed to snow tonight.
so then he was still going to go, which didn't seem like a good idea to me, but i hate to tell him not to go, cause i feel like him going is supporting christian, and that's important.
he was home for about 5 minutes and said, "maybe i shouldn't go?"
thank heavens.

he got christian off to his campout (and he took the little girls, bless his heart!), alexis and i made chocolate covered strawberries for the camp fundraiser, and i lightened my load.
matt made dinner, we let the girls watch some tv,
 (i'm working on my mother of the year acceptance speech right now!!)
and had a nice night.
and lexi reported that our strawberries sold for $41, so yay!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


in no particular order...

*lexi wanted to stay home to "help" us on monday. in texting our seminary carpool buddy, laura about our arrangement, she offered to come help lex cook something, and lexi agreed. alexis needed 3 more hours to complete her 10 hour cooking project for her ywie award. so laura came over and they chose a recipe, went shopping at laura's for ingredients we didn't have on hand, and cooked all day. they made a delicous baked ziti and yummy pampered chef cookie concoction. then they were going to stay for dinner, but at the last minute they got a better offer and headed over to heather's for dinner. ;) i totally understand.
(addie showing off for laura, while wearing her glasses and a lovely dress-up dress.)
*in the middle of the picking recipe mayhem, mindy texted and asked if she could brind izzy by to meet miss d. i said of course, and it was a party! mind's brought mcd's and we all visited and laughed. then we had to talk about some gross childbirth stuff just so lexi doesn't think all i do all day is visit with friends and eat fast food! ;) i don't know if she's convinced.  
*laura took this pic. this is how a lot of my days have been going. i'm feeding delaney, and suddenly i'm everyone's favorite person! and notice frankie's cinderella dress and addie's "icandressmyself!" outfit. lovely.
*addie learned how to write her name. this isn't her best effort, and it's hard to read becasue she chose yellow, but she wanted to show the world, so here it is. also, we've hit the "i want my picture taken and i will be making a goofy face for it," stage. love it!
*addie also learned how to use the mouse sometime that i don't recall. last week she asked for her letter game and before i sat down to help her, she was off doing it on her own! she and frankie will sit down and play for a long time, which is so nice. it's so sweet to hear them interact too! addie will say "do you want to do that again, franks?" and frankie will say "uh-huh!" and that conversation will repeat however many times addie feels like doing the same letter. then addie will say "okay frankie, should we move on?" and sweet frankie will say "uh-huh!" it is seriously the cutest. :)
*we figured we better get a picture of delaney wearing this newborn outfit that is for newborns from 5-8 lbs. d-money says "haven't you ever heard of a 10 lb. one week old???"
*i love nap hair. and cuddly one-year-olds.
*and newborn smiles.
*christian has basketball practice on friday nights. then he played a game on saturday. he has really improved a lot, and scored several times. he also got fouled, which never happens, so here he is making his free throw. nothing but net! matt went to our neighborhood b-ball court to play with the boys one day and came home saying how much fun it was to play with them now that they (c, mike, david, the usual crew) have gotten so much better. yay!
ps - the rockets won.
*on friday matt took the little girls to the jumpyard and then chick'fil'a to play. thankfully he took them out to do something fun every day last week. hopefully that will tide them over so they don't get too bad of cabin fever this week.
(addie loves taking pictures. i have about 50 of this exact face on my phone.)
*matt stopped by the thrift store and picked up this cheer outfit and poms. then addie and frankie played "lexi" all day. and fought over the poms. they love their sissy!
*speaking of lexi, she still lives here, even though there's no photographic proof of that. she loves going out to eat and spends most of her money doing that. yesterday i picked her up from cheer and took her straight to salsa's for a date with heidi, hannah, and tatum. she's been so good lately that i'm trying to give her some extra freedoms. and she is 15, so i guess...
(not sure why she looks so forlorn, pretty sure she asked for this to be taken!)
*have i mentioned my love of goofy newborn faces?
*i am doing pretty good. i'm tired, but that's to be expected. i had a headache yesterday and most of today, and then late this morning i smelled sulfer. i called matt, and just to be on the safe side he came home to check things out. all was well, and i managed to squeeze a nap in while the girls napped and woke up sans headache, so yay! i do not have cabin fever, even though i've only left the house for about 2 hours since last sunday. a true testament to my home body-ness. :)

*it's been so fun to see the big kids interact with laney. they are so sweet with her, actually ask to hold her, kiss her, and show her off. there's not much that's cuter than a rough and tough teenager showing off his baby sister to his rough and tough friends. or alexis telling robin "oh, did you wash your hands?" before she holds her, even though lex just grabs her up without a thought of hand washing. it's been very sweet.
*these two have been all over little miss too. frankie will either say "some?" (i don't know why?!) or "i hold her?" and addie will say "can i hold your baby delaney?" and if you will stop to listen, addie will also tell you "this is my baby delaney. she came out of my mom's body."
ps - i didn' realize delaney's fingers were so precariously in frankie's mouth until i started blogging this. and no baby fingers were harmed, thankfully!
*sarah's sweet ellie is having surgery tomorrow. i just can't believe it and i feel so helpless. we've all been praying for her, and the ward did a special fast on sunday. alexis and christian, who hate fasting (but what teen doesn't), fasted all day until after church without a grumble. we are praying for her speedy recovery so she can reacquaint herself with her bff over here.
*on sunday we quietly celebrated watching the superbowl. we've had people over to watch with us the last few years, but with delaney being only a week old, we didn't think we should this year, even though i really wanted to! we had traditional subs and chips and soda, and then addie and chris helped me make valentine cookies. we enjoyed the game and all the commercials, but i especially just enjoyed being together. okay, and the cookies. ;)