Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mr. GQ

we did it. he is finally here, we are finally home from the hospital, and we are finally all together, finding our way as a family of six. i am feeling pretty good, really, despite having gotten a spinal headache after my c-section, and am just happy to be home. i soak up as much as i can of this little boy, knowing he is our last and wish so hard and pray in vain that he will stay this small forever. i love loving on him and try do it as much as i can without compromising meeting the needs of my 3 other children. he is so sweet and content, he sleeps like a champ, giving me 6 or 7 hours most nights already, and puts up with all the little hands that want to touch and grab and play with him all the time. he's beautiful and has completely stolen my heart. it's hard not to get emotional about really. i just can't imagine being any happier. we are complete. and we are so blessed.

i'd like for you to meet grant. grant quen. or mr. GQ as my dear friend so aptly refers to him. weighing in at 8lbs, 9oz, measuring 20 inches long, and arriving at 1:05pm on october 20th, this little guy is as healthy as can be and we are so grateful. he has a big, round head and hank always jokes about needing to find newborn clothing with neck holes that are 6-12 months. it's no joke... it probably is a good thing he came out via c-section - who knows if i would have been able to get that kid out on my own! he also has broad shoulders and tiny little legs - i think he looks like those cartoon super heroes who sort of take a V shape: skinny at the bottom and wide on top. he's perfect, and i love to just stare at him. and stare some more. and stare some more. i remember doing that with beth, thinking it might get old and i'd do it less and less with each baby that followed, but it doesn't. it never gets old. i could just hold him and look at him for hours.

the other kids are great with him. beth, of course, wants to play mom and pick him up and carry him around (uh, i don't think so), and is the first to run to his aid and try to soothe him when he starts to cry. hyde doesn't give him a whole lot of attention, which is probably a good thing, since he tends to break about 85% of everything in his wake. and leah... leah's a bit funny about it. she loves him, loves to pet his head and play with his hands - even hold him on the rare occasion that we let her, but she's also turned a bit more feisty (is that even possible? now i know the answer is yes), toward her dad and i. the first week home was especially rough, and it's starting to thin out more now, but i can tell that she's bummed out about having been left for 3 1/2 days, and about not being the baby/center of attention anymore. but it's okay, we're all adjusting a little bit. the funny thing is, at the hospital when she saw him for the fist time it was almost like she recognized him. she jumped right up on the bed so she could get close to him and she would just look and smile at him, her hands rubbing his tummy the whole time. when we finally let beth hold him on the couch there, she wanted to lay right by him and keep her head just as close to his as she could. for not thinking she had any clue what was coming to our family beforehand, it sure was a surprise to see her react to so warmly to her newest brother. it was one of those things that just melts your heart right to the floor and you wish you could hold on to the moment forever.

we love this little boy so much. he couldn't be any more perfect or bring us any more joy. welcome to the world mr GQ.

see the rest of the pictures from the hospital here: and there are just a few...

Monday, October 13, 2014

october 13th

so here we are, in the middle of october. it's finally fall (and i use the word "finally" almost sarcastically) and the world around us is beautiful with color. colorado has held true to form, giving us some amazing days that start and end with crisp, cool air, and fill the middle with sunshine and warmth that allow us to be outside it t-shirts and shorts. it's awesome.

to be honest, the few colder, grayer days we've had have brought me into near states of depression - i am just not ready for colder weather. i'm just not, and i have been praying/begging that the warm air and perfect days will last a little longer this year. but on those perfect fall days i eat it up and will claim the whole time that fall is my favorite season. (but let's be honest, whatever season we're in is somehow my favorite season.)

a few days ago i took the kids out front, sat them in some lovely fall light, and shot away. i just couldn't resist.

hyde sat still the worst. and the light was running out for his solo feature, so hence the smaller number of pictures of him. but i'd say i pretty much caught his essence in those few shots. cracking himself up, and playing spidey man. he's still working on getting the fingers right...

and hank and i... well, we're preparing. preparing for our lives to change yet again exactly one week from today with the arrival of #4. THE #4. aka: grant. (yes, it's decided. no middle name yet.) though i have certainly had my moments of terror and fear and anxiety at adding another soul to the circus (and trust me, it is in fact a circus), i also have quieter moments of excitement at the prospect of being able to hold a tiny new babe, fresh from heaven that while on this earth i can call mine. i can't wait to meet him. i can't wait to hold him. i can't wait to have that crazy overwhelming love expand my heart in the magical way that somehow only having a new baby brings. i can't wait for him to come. ...neither can his oldest sister who has asked me everyday for the last four months (no joke) if it was time for baby brother to come out. i love that we are now counting down in single digits, which she has a better comprehension of, so she knows it's close. hyde is as excited as brothers get i guess, and poor little leah has no clue what's about to hit her. i worry the most about her and her hot/cold attitude, and how she'll react to not being the baby anymore. and it may take some time, but we'll all find our place, our rhythm, our groove... while there's been angst at times on my part about how i'm going to do and handle it all and be a good mom to so many needy (read: young) children, those quieter moments and the support i've gotten from the man draw me back in to believing i/we can do it and that it's going to be okay. even wonderful. the to-do-before-baby-comes list is getting shorter rather than longer these days, thank goodness, which probably helps put me at ease, and i feel closer as i cross one or two things off each day toward being "ready." i've paced myself though, so i hope he doesn't come early - i need the next week to really get it all done. if he decides to come early, i'm hosed. as much as i'd love to have my body back, i'm really okay with waiting one more week to get things done. that and i have a date with a pedi on friday and a date with the man on saturday. so. i'd really appreciate if he let me get those ones in.

i've really had a great pregnancy and generally actually like being pregnant. but only recently, like in the last two weeks, have i really given a lot of thought to knowing that #4 is probably the end of the line for us as far as kids go, and that this will be the last time i carry a baby. that said, i waited too long to let that set in. even though i've had a good pregnancy, have felt really good and enjoyed it for the most part, i wish i would have relished it as my last time earlier on, when it's really good. like during the prime second trimester. waiting until the very last month to try and love it and take it in for the last time hasn't served me nearly as well unfortunately. even still, i hope i don't forget what the good parts were like, ever. because i really do think that pregnancy and carrying/building/bringing a child into the world is beautiful.

so, that's where we're at. i'm not sure how soon i'll post after he comes... i won't have the capability until i get home from the hospital and frankly i'm expecting mayhem for a little bit there while we get adjusted. but perhaps in the wee hours of the morning when grant and i are bonding it up as mothers and newborns do there for a while, i'll get a chance to retell the story. in the meantime, please pray for me to have a good baby (i'm not even kidding) and for all of us to take to our new flow quickly, and have patience with each other in the meantime.

seven days to go...

Monday, September 22, 2014

number three

this little girl has changed and grown a lot in the last month or so. like, a lot. she is finally getting some teeth after not having any for oh, 16 months. and by some teeth, i specifically mean 8. 8! all at once! which maybe explains a little bit of her feistiness. but only a little bit. she has become increasingly... what shall we call it... vocal. vocal about her opinions, about being super frustrated when she doesn't get her way or what she wants right that very millisecond, vocal about being done with whatever she's doing... just vocal. in a weird way she's actually really good at being very communicative. if she wants me to do something for her she's actually really good at telling me what that is - i rarely have to guess or have no idea - so i appreciate that about her. however, she has quickly learned the art of getting mad and screaming to tell everyone on the planet about it. sometimes she just seems ornery.

don't get me wrong, it's not like she screams all the time or anything. generally speaking she's content and happy and just does her little thing. but she did used to be kind of a roll-with-it type of gal when things didn't go her way, and that's the part that has given way to the new leah we are becoming familiar with. which is awesome. just what i needed. because my other two kids have totally grown out of fits so it's perfect. not.

there is just 10% of yuck that's no bueno. but the rest of her is awesome and of course i love her to bits. i love that she is insanely curious and interested in everything right now and that she wants to be big like her brother and sister and do everything that they do (even though it causes major frustration that she can't yet). i love that she's learning some independence - like how to feed herself - and also that she is really starting to understand things i say like, "give it back to hyde please", and she does right away, or "go get your shoes", and she'll grab a perfect matching pair every time. i love that she still wants to sleep for 20 hours a day. i love that she's her own person, both looks-wise and in personality. other than that orneriness that manifests every once in a while, she is becoming a fun little girl to get to know.

that's the other thing. she's a little girl now. she was my baby for a long time. i don't know if it's that we're having another one (exactly four weeks from today, holy cow, thank you), or if it's the fact that she's finally getting some teeth and cruising around on her own, trying to be a big kid like her brother and sister, but she's turned into a little girl overnight and it's nuts. in some ways i'm glad - i honestly don't want to feel like i have two babies at once, just one at a time is good for me - but in other ways you realize how fleeting those early days are where they are so new and dependent and just tiny little babes fresh from heaven, never to return to that phase ever again. those days are truly precious. i've loved watching her "grow up" this summer into the little girl that she's become. though feisty and stubborn at times, she also loves to laugh and play and do things on her own.

a few from early march, and a few from late august:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

where we live

we are fortunate to have a really nice sized backyard with a great deck that hank built a few years ago. so for the most part, when it's even remotely warm, we spend our time back there. in the summer, we live in the backyard. we eat, drink, play, cook, sleep, unwind, bird watch... you name it. and most days we bust out the water and play in our suits back there. we usually get two or three sweet water toys going at a time that shoot water all over for the kids to play in, but inevitably, for some reason they all always end up in the baby pool, and use it to fill their squirting toys while the "bigger" water features get shunned 80% of the time. good thing i buy the cheap ones...

i actually didn't take any pictures of the kids playing in the water all summer which is lame; except for one day, and all i took were pictures of them in the little pool. wish i'd pulled out my camera while they did the bigger stuff, but i guess since they like that little pool so much it's fitting, and fine. ps: dont' mind leah's falling-off swim suit... it was a hand me down that sort of lost its elasticity over the winter. huge bummer, because it's the cutest suit. so we put up with it for the day.