Friday, December 11, 2009

Party of Five

Miss Vivienne Pathana (Pah-ten-ah) Horton, born at 6:05 PM, November 20, 2009, 8 lbs 9 oz, 21.25 inches long. Here she is at a mere three weeks old. I cannot fathom how quickly these last twenty one days have passed. And as quickly as the time has flown, it seems as if this little one has been a part of our family forever. She has the sweetest disposition, and does what newborns do best: eat, sleep, and poo. I just love her to pieces, as do her sisters and father. She has all of us wrapped around her sweet little finger.
Three weeks ago this is where we were. Less than twelve hours, three blown IVs, and a crap load of pitocin later, I finally got me meet my sweet little girl.
There's not much to say for Vivienne's birth story, except it was one of the most beautiful and empowering moments of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it (seriously people, it was amazing). The contractions were completely manageable and incredibly exciting at times. I can't say it was entirely painless, but it wasn't painful either. I love that she came into the world in such a quick (four pushes) and peaceful way, and am in such awe of what our bodies are capable of doing.
Here's Daddy getting to hold his daughter for the first time. And while we're here, let me give a huge shout out to my husband. Not only does he work ten to eleven hour days five days a week, but when he comes home he is Super Dad.

For the last few months he has been the big girls' primary care provider, and it is a job that suits him well. It fills me with pride to watch him interact with his children, and it fills me with joy to see how they react to him. He feeds them dinner, gives them baths, changes diapers, gets them in pajamas, plays with them for hours, AND puts them to bed, every night. He's never asked for anything in return and I have never, ever heard him complain. Not only am I the luckiest girl in the world to have such an awesome father for my three girls, but I am the luckiest girl to have such handsome, caring, loving, supportive husband for myself!
You can't see it here, but Vivienne surprised all of us by not having a cone head. What she did have was a bruised face. The nurses said both things are normal of babies that are born quickly. I think she's still a little TOed about having her head smashed by my pelvis.
My awesome nurses, Jessica and Satina. Jessica is a student nurse and was on the last week of her OB rounds, and Vivienne's was the first live birth she got to see. I like to think we made her experience pretty memorable : ) Satina applied pressure to my hips as Vivienne was descending and had the best bedside manner. In fact, I suggested that she should be a midwife or doula, and she then told me that her mother has been a practicing midwife for over thirty years. Their skill with laboring women must run in the family.
Grandma Boo and Papa Walter meeting their seventh grandchild.
I like to blame my incredibly puffy face on the IV and not the fact that I gained almost 50 lbs with this pregnancy : ) It's really not fair that chipmunk cheeks are only adorable on babies : (
Due to H1N1, no children were allowed in the hospital. So, the girls didn't get to meet their sister until we all came home. Zoe's love for her sister is still as exuberant as it was on the first day. Lucy has definitely come around, even though here she just looks confused.
It only took twenty minutes for Lucy to warm up. She loves to hold her sister. I think it makes her feel like such a big girl. Those two have adjusted so well. So far, I have yet to see any signs of jealously and the only time they get upset (in regards to Vivienne) is when they can't get to her to give her a kiss. It's only been three weeks, so I am realistic that one of the big girls will begin to object at some point, but for now I'll enjoy and thoroughly document their love for each other.
Great Grandma Maly and Vivienne.
Four days old and snoring already...
We've had a parade of visitors, and I apologize if you came by and I didn't get your picture. Sorry. Uncle Shawn and Vivienne. Don't mind the wacky camera angle; I have no idea what I was doing.
Aunt Tina, Bella, and baby. They brought us food and gift, and we are so thankful. Me, because the leftovers allowed Charles to not cook, and Charles because the toys for the big girls have been a huge distraction.
Aunt Vadsana and the girls have come by quite a bit. She also brought food and gifts. And just for the same reasons as mentioned above, we are grateful! It has been so nice to not worry about dinner. I'm not quite sure what Vivienne is thinking here...
Cousin Alison and Cousin Maly.
Just like after Zoe was born, Lucy came out of her shell. This has been true of Zoe this time around. Here she is smooching on her Papa (and getting ready to mop the floor-only at Aunt Vadsana's...)
We celebrated Charles' birthday one week after Vivienne was born. I spent all that time baking a cake, and surprise, surprise, I was the only one to eat it. It could have been part of the broken eggshells that deterred everyone, but hey, who's that picky? I've never claimed to be a great baker...
Charles took one whole week off of work to be at home with me and the girls. The next week Grandma Boo came up. Everyone had a great time, and I was even able to sneak in morning naps with the baby without worrying about Zoe setting the house on fire.
Sarah and Greta swung by for a few hours. They also brought food (but don't think you have to bring food if you want to visit us), and it was so yummy.
Natalie came by with Miss Elizabeth the next day. We had just come back from an appointment, so of course we had to take pictures of the future best friends sleeping in their car seats, next to one another. I hadn't seen Elizabeth in three weeks and she has gotten so big! Natalie looks great too, but I didn't get any pictures of her.
The girls would play with Grandma Boo for hours. She is a trooper. I don't even have the energy to play with them for as long and as consistently as she did.
Aunt Sue and Cousin Kalani came by last week. Sue insisted that I crop her head out of the picture, but I assure you, it's her. Thanks for the Thai food, Aunt Sue!
Daddy and his three girls! I still can't believe that we have three children. I just love my family. They are the best!
The girls helped Charles with the Christmas tree, our very sad and skinny (nearly anorexic) Christmas tree.
Their favorite pastime this last week has been to pull the ornaments off and bring them to me. No matter how many times I tell them to leave the tree alone, "or else it's coming down!", they keep doing it. I don't think it's taken them that long to realize that my threats are empty.

My mom stopped by for a visit. She's been working like a fiend lately. With the holidays people are always calling in, and she worked four nights this last week, plus her normal day shift. She and Vivienne fell asleep and I couldn't resist taking this picture. So presh!
Oh, the swing, how I love you! What did people do before the invention of these things? Without fail, if Vivienne is the least bit tired, I just pop her in there and she falls asleep.
Grandma Maly was here the last two day to help out. She is so good with babies, and that is probably because she not only raised her three kiddos, but also helped in rearing every single one of her grandkids.
And lastly, just yesterday, I finally caught her smiling on camera. She's a bit milk drunk, (as evident by the milk dripping from the bottom corner of her lip) but those make the best pictures. We are so glad that she is here and healthy and can't wait to see what the next three weeks bring!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fall 2009

The last month has been a busy one. We've basically been trying to squeeze in as much as we can before winter sets in, a new baby is here, and we're stuck in doors. A couple weekends before Halloween the cousins all hit up Caroline's for a little pumpkin picking, tractor riding, animal feeding, and donut eating.

Here is my first attempt at the required "picture among the pumpkins" with just my two. Slight Fail.

Much better. Even thought they're not smiling, at least they're facing the same direction and looking near the vicinity of the camera's lens.

The ham decided as I was putting the camera away she was ready to cheese. Typical.

The next attempt was at a cousins picture. Even bigger Fail, but at the very, very least they are all in the frame.

Lucy loved the idea of her head atop a scarecrow's body...

so much we had to take two pictures.

Uh, Zoe, not so much.

Let the tractor rides begin. Parents with multiple children: It's probably not a great idea to take kids on a vehicle without seatbelts and an open roof if you 1. are outnumbered, 2. have child(ren) that don't mind (and try to throw themselves between the slats of the tractor as it's moving), and/or 3. are nine months pregnant.

I told the girls they could get ANY pumpkin they could pick up and carry back to the tractor. Zoe found one she really wanted. Unfortunately, when she went to claim her booty, I heard her state (very matter-of-factly, and with a grunt, no less), "Too heavy, Mama". Oh, too bad. Maybe next year.

I have no words. I think it's only something a toddler would understand...

The girls are champion "loungers". They love to lay all over any surface or person they can reach: couch, floor, mom, dad, etc. This seating is typical in our house, and believe it not, neither of them seem to mind the arrangement.

Zoe turned 19 months at the end of October. Every day I think, "When did she become such a big girl?" She is no longer a baby, and I have a feeling that this will become even more apparent in the next week or so. She is just so verbal and mature (the benefits of having an older sibling). Sure, she's got kind of a sassy streak, but I like em' just a bit spunky.

My Lucy isn't so little anymore either. She is quite funny and smart. She knows exactly what to do to get what she wants too. Example: I was telling Charles the other day that she is quite a hypochondriac. Everything is a boo-boo or an ouchie. He tells me about an exchange they had just the day before, an no kidding, in the next minute their exact same conversation takes place.

Lucy: Daddy, my tummy hurts.
Daddy: Oh no. Your tummy?
Lucy: Yea. Tummy. Hurts.
Daddy: What would make your tummy feel better?
Lucy: Chocolate.
Daddy: Chocolate would make your tummy feel better?
Lucy: Uh huh.
Daddy: Okay, we'll get some chocolate for your tummy.

Lucy eats her chocolate and looks at her father with such love.
Lucy: Tummy all better. Thanks Daddy.

This is how the conversation would have ended had it been between Lucy and myself:

Mommy: Oh that's too bad about your tummy, Lucy. Chocolate would just make it feel worse. Do you need to poop?

Which is exactly why my children never ask for candy.

Lucy's school had a Halloween party where the kids dressed up and went trick-or-treating door to door. I sent Charles to the party with the camera. He took two pictures. Two. Apparently there was a memo that all the Asian girls in Lucy's classroom dress up as witches...
We did trick-or-treating on the Square again this year. The kiddos loved putting on their costumes and begging for candy. And, in case you're wondering, Zoe was a turkey.

When we got home Daddy and the girls decided to make cookies, and by make cookies, I mean they opened up the package of pre-made, pre-shaped, and pre-decorated dough and laid them on a cookie sheet. Baking is hard work!

Someone's a wee bit excited.
Waiting patiently, or not so patiently...
The next day was so beautiful that we decided to be productive while enjoying the outdoors. Lucy and I raked while Zoe did nothing (of course), and Charles mulched the huge leaf piles.

This past weekend the Sue, Kevin, Kalani, my Dad and Stepmom came over to hang out with the kids so Charles and I could go out (Thanks, guys!). It's been almost one year since our last date, and I figure it will be another year before our next. I'm glad that we got out of the house by ourselves, but it made me realize how fulfilling just being at home with the kids and Charles is.

39 weeks
I had my 39 week appointment this morning and all is well. The practice I go to will not let anyone go past the 41 week mark, so in less than two weeks we will have another family member. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I could be pregnant for another month. I get really sad thinking this pregnancy is quickly coming to an end. It is an understatement to say that I LOVE being pregnant. *sigh*

Side note:

I did have an fetal growth ultrasound last week and this baby is a peanut. I knew she was smaller than Zoe (because I can walk without my hips giving out and sleeping is a non-issue), but I was really shocked to hear that by the 40 week mark, they estimate her size to barely be 7 lbs. The blessing is two-fold. Because she is smaller, they won't be urging me to induce this week AND the doctor thinks that pushing her out won't take the full two to three hours that I am accustomed to. So, yay!

As of this morning I am 4cm dilated. I was 3-4 with the girls for over a week before anything happened, so I'm not holding my breath anything is going to happen before the end of the week. I'm hoping for either the 18th or the weekend following when my two favorite doctors are on call.