Saturday, March 28, 2009

Our First Week

It's hard to believe that just yesterday marked one week of Morgan being a part of our family. It's amazing how in some ways it feels like she has always been part of our gang.

We're working on developing some routines as best as we can. Just the fact alone that Nana is here, Daddy is on vacation and Grandpa and Grandma come to visit in a week means that true "routines" are far from being established. But Morgan is developing some patterns in her napping and sleeping. She hasn't had any horrific nights, in fact a few "good" ones considering she is 8 days old.

She has survived being smothered with love from her sisters (and Nana). They are all anxious to hold her and feed her and "play" with her. The novelty is tapering off but they remain great helpers and are so in love with their baby sister.

Baileigh is ready to babysit (in her mind)...she is great with Morgan and will hold her and cuddle with her as long as I allow. It's kinda crazy for me to see her with her baby sister...I feel like I was just holding her and now she is seven and a big sister to three!
Brooke isn't jealous in the least bit. She is so affectionate and caring with Morgan and always bringing her blankets or stuffed animals or pacifiers.
Mckenna is just as reliable as her sisters are in being sweet to her new sister. She likes to entertain her with singing and dancing.
Morgan survived her first bath this week. She was accompanied by Brooke who spent the majority of the bath singing to Morgan in order to try to get her to stop crying. I explained to Brooke that it's pretty common for babies to scream during their first baths...I made the mistake of saying something about how I hope she doesn't go pee-pee or poo-poo in the bath and Brooke freaked out and wanted to get out of the tub. I managed to calm her down with some white lies and then prayed that Morgan didn't go potty or Brooke would never bathe with her again!
Brooke was in charge of washing her feet...she took her job very seriously.
She looks happy to have survived the bath!
Baileigh bought Morgan a little teddy bear blanket that she will totally grab and hold which thrills Baileigh.
She totally looks like our girls...question is which one. In some pictures I see Baileigh, then lots of things remind me of Mckenna or Brooke. It will be fun in the next weeks and months to see who she starts to truly look like.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

OMG...I'm the 4TH GIRL?!?!?!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Morgan Lyn

At 5:05pm on Friday, March 20th, Morgan Lyn entered the world and joined our clan of girls. She was 7.15lbs and 20 inches long. She took longer to join our family then I expected but once the process truly began she was here so quickly that Brad almost missed the delivery.

So the short version...went in at 7am to be induced. Doctor checked me around 8:30am and said baby was still high and didn't want to break my water until the pitocin helped her to drop. An ultrasound was done, too to be sure she was still head down and everything looked okay. I was dilated to 3.5cm. So the waiting began. Our doctor got busy and was in the OR on three occasions so he checked in on me less then I desired. Around 1:00 he checked again and said that she was down but so was her arm and it was in the way. His preference was to wait an hour again and see if she moved on her own. So we continued to wait. Throughout the entire day the nursing staff (I say staff because over 5 women came into the room and assisted at various points) had a hard time keeping the heart rate monitor on the baby. Nurse after nurse seemed surprised at how difficult it was to find the heartbeat.

Finally around 4:00 the doctor broke my water and predicted that I would dialate from 5-10cm in the next 30 minutes so he was calling for my epidural and that when it was time to push it would be 5 minutes and 3 pushes. He was correct. I had insisted that Brad go get a snack and something to drink around 4:50. He said he was fine several times but I insisted. Just want to make that clear. When the doctor came in my room just before 5:00 he said it was time for me to push three times and we were going to have a baby. I panicked since Brad was still gone. I tried his cell phone and heard it ring in our room. A nurse asked his name and she ran to look. I was told to push but barely tried. The doctor looked at me and asked if I remembered how to push. I wasn't trying very hard since Brad was gone and I was panicking. Just then he ran into the room and came to my side for the next two minutes of two pushes and a baby girl being born. After the long day the birth was over in seconds.

Meet Morgan Lyn Hall...the "money shot" our doctor called it...

Only seconds old...
She is the exact same weight as both Mckenna and Brooke...7.15! She is also the same length as Brooke at 20 inches and looks like a mix between Brooke and Mckenna's newborn pictures.

All four girls have had a lot of hair. Brooke's was the darkest and Morgan's is the second darkest. I don't think she'll be nearly as dark as Brooke because she has a lot of blond around the edges of her hair and little to no eyebrows and light eyelashes. Her eyes are blue.

So tiny next to Daddy's hands.
Just as he predicted so many years ago...4 daughters. Completely outnumbered by girls but so in love with each of them.
Big Sister #1, Big Sister #2, Big Sister #3 waiting to meet Little Sister #4...
The girls had waited all day. I had thought they would be meeting her sometime in the late afternoon...not at 7:45pm just before heading home to go to bed. I couldn't make them wait all night so Nana ran them up to the hospital to meet her before bedtime.
We're buying stock in tampons already...
Brooke has lost her "baby" status in our house but seems genuinely excited to have a little sister and has passed the torch without much protest.
I'll have to post Mckenna's baby pictures...this is who I see the most resemblance, too.
Two jr. mother's in training...
Baileigh is ready to baby-sit. She will be such a help...right now they are all a little too helpful since they are infatuated with their sister.
Sleeping peacefully after being worn out meeting her family.
I was so ready to go home this time around. I've always stayed the two days and enjoyed the break in a was a lot different with the girls at home this time. I just wanted to get back to them and let them see their sister. I also wanted my own bed and felt completely capable at home and just felt like a prisoner in my room. As soon as we hit the 24 hour mark we were cleared to leave since both Morgan and myself had met all the criteria necessary for discharge.

My room had a door that went out to a private courtyard that only 5 other maternity rooms had access to and there were a few benches and a fountain. It was the perfect spot to get some fresh air and take a few pictures before heading home.
Our family...
So we're home and healthy and happy. Morgan did pretty well her first night. She is a little frustrated with mommy as I'm not able to feed her enough yet. She took a 2 ounce bottle of formula from Brad yesterday and did pretty well with that as well as nursing throughout the night. It's crazy how we've been home only 24 hours and she feels like she has already been a part of our family. We haven't started any routine's yet so we'll have to make all those adjustments in the weeks to come but we'll cross those bridges.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Labor Day!!

So while most of you are marking the first day of spring tomorrow, it will be labor day around here! I feel like I've been pregnant for years, yet at the same time tomorrow seems to have snuck up on me! I recently heard it said by a bull rider that you're never ready to ride the bull, it's just your turn (I think that was Jewel's husband on Dancing With The Stars referring to it being his turn to dance...I don't tend to listen to a lot of bull riders otherwise). That is a little how I feel...I'm not sure if any woman is really truly ready for the birth process...but the time comes and the desire is definitly there to be past this stage!

I was telling Brad that when I think back to our wedding I wish I could do it all over again. Initially this statement didn't go over well...then I explained that I would still marry him and have the same wedding, I just realize now that if I had been less concerned with details and less distracted by truly insignificant things I would have been able to focus on the more important things and relax and enjoy myself even more. So with that said...this is my fourth opportunity to experience childbirth (and final) and I've been working hard to not be stressed by the details leading up to it or distracted by the insignificant things. I think it's a lot harder to do this when you're a first time mom and you want the nursery perfect, the swing assembled, the whatever it know what I mean if you've been there and done that a few times. We're ready to love this baby and take care of it...we're not ready in the sense that the room isn't done and the miscellaneous things aren't taken care of. But I'm pretty certain that the baby will never know and that we'll get there eventually. Man, I never would have said these things eight years ago when I was pregnant for the first time. I already see and understand how birth order effects the kid's's not just where they fall in the line up, I think it is primarily how the parents raise them differently with time and experience.

The girls are so excited to meet their new sister or brother and that is a fun and new aspect to this pregnancy compared to the previous three when they were all too young to really seem to comprehend everything taking place. Brooke already seems big to me considering she is three and Baileigh was 21 months old when Mckenna was born and Mckenna was 30 months when Brooke was born. She is little miss independent and that will actually be really nice considering I'll probably have my hands full enough.

I'm almost dilated to 4cm already...but the pitocin and epidural tomorrow will slow me down at first. I've been induced all three times now. Baileigh was an incredibly long delivery and had some minor issues, but Mckenna took four hours and Brooke took six hours. So my goal is by 1:00pm tomorrow at the latest.

I'll be able to post something while I'm there since the rooms are wireless and I'm taking my laptop. I figured it would be a good use of my time at 3a.m when I'm up with the check back in soon and you may meet our fourth girl or our first boy! Thanks for all your well wishes, prayers and support.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Girl's Bathroom Remodel

It was very slow...but the girl's bathroom remodel is now complete!!!!! Just in time to give birth to baby on Friday. Better late then never. Below are a bunch of before and after pictures...for the most part I tried to take pictures at the same angle so you could compare.

The project wasn't without hitches, as is to be expected...but we survived and we're pleased with the outcome. As always, Brad did a great job and deserves his upcoming "vacation" will be more of a vacation from moonlighting in the bathroom then anything else!

A before of the first portion of the bathroom (set up a little like a hotel bathroom) vanity:
After...we moved the ceiling flood lights to a wall mounted fixture, ripped out all the flooring and put in new vanities.
Another shot of the first section of the bathroom from the hall entry way...that is a linen closet door on the right.
Standing in front of the linen closet door looking past the first vanity and into the second portion of the bathroom with the tub and toilet.
During...we ripped down the wallpaper, re-drywalled in areas, changed out light fixtures and tore out all the tile.
The after...the original vanities were a mocha color but ended up not fitting correctly so we had to switch to these white vanities. They have grown on me though and I really like them...especially with the bronzed hardware we used throughout.
Another view looking a little more to the left when you're in front of the linen closet. We used our previous "doggy" theme stuff...I kinda wanted a change but to save time and money we're sticking with this for now.
Standing in front of the window looking at the bathroom from the other direction (tub is to my right).
Same shot during the project with vanities ripped out, new drywall and electrical.
Same vanity as above just a closer shot...
The tub before...this is probably one of the biggest changes. We ripped it out completely and put in a new white tub that we (Brad did the work and I did the design) tiled up to the ceiling and gave it a built in look.
During...working on some of the plumbing.
The beginning of the tile design...
The after...this wasn't an easy project and it was really Brad's biggest tiling project to take on at this point (he has done more sq. footage in floors but nothing like the shower walls).
Shower from another angle...I always prefer these type of shower heads with kids...especially girls since it makes it so much easier to pull the shower head down and rinse their hair.

We're both looking forward to the baby's arrival so we can relax a little. I know that sounds funny or backwards but I also know that he has 10 days off and we'll have my mom in town to lend a hand and odds are we'll spend a lot more time in the evenings just sitting around with the baby relaxing and no longer chained to the bathroom project.

So two bathrooms down...master bath to go. I think we'll wait a few months, or years!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lucky Girl

I want to take a minute and deviate away from my typical post material (whatever that is) and talk about my husband.

First...and this is a side note and words that I thought I would never type...he has a blog that you should check out. It's very different from mine, but very him...meaning thought provoking, political and contemplative. So take a second to check it out and let him know he actually had someone visit his blog...I think he is jealous! :)

Before I digress, I have been watching my hubby a lot lately. I don't know if that sounds strange...but I have had a lot of moments this past week where I find myself observing this man that I've committed to spending the rest of my life with. I've watched him overcome his frustrations and challenges as he tackles projects around the house. I got to have lunch with him at work on Tuesday and watched him interact with his coworkers and observe him in his "professional" environment. I watched and listened to him at church while we worshiped together. I've watched him fulfilling one of his most natural roles as a Daddy while he plays with the girls and reads them books. I've watched him as he talks to my tummy in anticipation of meeting our next child.

I've watched him. And I've been reminded that I'm a lucky girl.

Truly, I know I'm blessed, not just lucky...but I'm being thematic with the song you're hearing on my playlist. Lucky, blessed, fortunate etc...I'm all those things. As our family prepares for a week that will forever change our lives I am thankful to be in love with my best friend. Life has felt chaotic and stressful lately as we have a lot on our plate in addition to anticipating the events of the next few weeks and I doubt I would still be functioning if it weren't for the man who stands beside me and supports me 110%. I never thought my life would look like this...the military part, the three girls...maybe four, the constant moving...but I did always pray to be married to a Godly man that I could call more then my husband but also my best friend.

I'm a lucky girl.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bunk Beds!

The girl's got new bunk beds yesterday. This is one big step towards getting the rooms all rearranged and situated before so we can set up a nursery this weekend. All three girls have had their own room since we moved into this house in August, but now Baileigh and Mckenna will share while Brooke and the baby have their own rooms. The first few nights with bunks haven't gone extremely smoothly, but we anticipated that the excitement would effect the normal bedtime routine. Hopefully the novelty will wear off and their good sleep patterns will return.

Baileigh was excited to get the top bunk but Mckenna didn't complain about the bottom since it's a bigger bed and she thinks it's like being in a fort. Now that we have the furniture there is more decorating I want to do...I have wooden letters that hang from ribbons that spell their names and I need to decide where to hang them. I also saw these cute flower lights that mount on the wall from IKEA that I think we'll put up on the wall above Baileigh's bunk. Between this room, the bathroom remodel, the nursery set up etc. I could nest for the next year!
Since this is a bedroom set we anticipate using for the next ten years we also got the girls a desk. I look at Baileigh now with her first grade worksheets and think about her sitting there someday with her laptop and textbooks spread open working on an assignment with a picture of her boyfriend on the corkboard. I'm sure that day will be here before I know it...
The first bedtime. Brooke didn't want to be left out of reading time so she crawled in bed with Mckenna and Daddy. Baileigh wanted to do her own reading up top. I like everything about the bunks except that it is harder to cuddle with Baileigh unless I make her crawl down on Mckenna's bed.
My big girl...reading alone since she doesn't need our help anymore.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Welcome To Our Church

This video clip has been shown a few times at our church this past month. How it looks is's what it says that I love.

They also showed this video this past slightly registered, at least with me.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, Brooke!!!!

Today my least for the next few days or 3! When I think about the fact that when she was born we were living in Washington State and running a meal prep kitchen on the side of Brad's AF career it feels like a decade ago. On the other hand, as I anticipate the arrival of a baby any day it's hard to believe Brooke will be the big sister!

Here is a picture of Brooke opening up some birthday cards that arrived in the mail from her grandparents.
This morning she was up at 6:55am...the norm on weekdays is me having to drag her out of bed at 8:15a.m....somehow her body seems to know when it is Saturday! I threw her in my bed to cuddle with Daddy while I took a shower. I didn't remind her it was her birthday because I was afraid she wouldn't stay calm during the 7am-8am hour...but I did take her picture.

I always try to get a picture of the girls in their room on their birthday morning...since Brooke was up early and came into my room I made her go climb back in bed to stage a picture wearing the official family birthday hat. She insisted that Baileigh join her.
We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast on the special her request.

The girls...Baileigh 7.5, Mckenna 5.5, TREE! Aka...three.

We invited three girls from Brooke's preschool class and one of our friends for a Max and Ruby birthday party. While I appreciate the fact that this was a new theme to one of my kid's parties...there is nothing Max and Ruby out on the market for parties. Thankfully Easter provided me with a few ideas.

On the left is Lilly, Grace, Brooke (who decided to get overwhelmed as we took the group shot and started crying and hugging Baileigh), Baileigh, Samantha, Anne and Mckenna.

Brooke was very good about opening all her presents relatively slowly and then hugging and thanking her friends. It was very sweet. I kept praying she didn't open anything we already had because I had forgotten to practice with her the appropriate response. Thankfully there were no duplicate gifts or toys we already owned!
I love Anne's bunny ears in this photo...Brooke gave each girl a headband as part of their favors. They looked so cute...but in the back of my mind I was constantly reminded of the Playboy bunny ears...nice visual as I dress up a bunch of three year old little girls!
Opening a few more presents.
Our present to Brooke was a Dora vanity...she asked for a "booty-paror" back at Christmas and was sad that Santa didn't produce. I saw this beauty parlor for half off and the fact that it was Dora was a bonus since she is also a Dora fan at this stage and age.

We played "pin the tale on Max". Most of the girl's participated...we blacked out sunglasses thinking that the girls would be less scared to wear them then be blindfolded. Brad did a great job drawing Max for the game.
For lunch they ate bunny shaped sandwiches, Cheetos (Brooke probably would have been happy w/out a party and just Cheetos!), and fruit.
So happy with her Cheetos cheese covered face. Usually she only gets to experience them at Subway or Quiznos where we use them as bribery to get her to eat all of her sandwich. They were one of her first requests when we talked about a party.

Brad hanging out with the mommies...I think he forgot that Mckenna had given him her bunny headband to wear.
We had two cakes for dessert. Inspired by the Rosemary Wells book Bunny Cakes...and the author on whom the show Max and Ruby was created from...we made a Worm Cake like Max makes and an angel raspberry-fluff cake like Ruby made in the book. I never got a great shot of the two can see the worm cake in the photo above on the island. The girls didn't seem too grossed out about it and liked the chocolate cake filled with chocolate pudding and covered with chocolate frosting, chocolate graham cracker crumbs and gummy worms. I read the story to the girls so they could hear about the two cakes...afterwards the majority of the kids wanted to try both cakes.
Our baby on her 3rd birthday with her angel raspberry fluff cake. She seems three going on nine! Maybe having a baby in the house will help her want to do younger things again instead of trying to keep up with her big sisters...or it will make her seem even older!
You are such a big are sweet and often say things like "I love you , too Mommy" and "you are a sweetheart" without any prompting. You are very strong willed and stubborn yet willing to be led by your sisters and get along well with your friends. You like to pretend your shy on occasion but if you're in any type of environment you're familiar with you run off to enjoy yourself without even saying good-bye.

You like to drink milk, not juice. You love fruit chewies. You change your mind daily on whether or not you like bananas, oatmeal, and cheese. You can be a big flirt with Daddy, or a huge heart breaker...depending on your mood. You still suck your thumb and love your taggie...although we're working on the thumb thing. You think flossing and vitamins are highlights of your day. And just this week you decided you don't need any type of kids potty seat to assist you on the toilet and you now sit on the regular seat by yourself!
After the "official" party events I found the girls downstairs like this....they all said they were tired and resting while watching cartoons. Would 7 boys ever do this at a party?
The rest of her birthday will be spent recovering. She is currently napping after a busy morning, so is Daddy. It's at least 70 degrees out today so maybe we'll head to a playground to enjoy the weather. I have a bad cold/sinus thing starting and am so stuffy and miserable. I'm medicated as much as possible at this point but it doesn't seem to be doing anything. So hopefully we'll all enjoy the evening relaxing and playing with new toys.