12 October 2017

Felicia: Three Months

Felicia is three months, and she is incredibly interactive. She is very smiley and chatty.

Her siblings love her, especially Trixie, who asks to hold her at least once a day. You can see that Felicia tolerates these brief moments of sisterly affection.

Felix knows that Felicia looks more like him than her other siblings, and he loves to talk about that. Sometime in the last month he asked me to take a picture of them together, and even though I don't think this picture of Felicia is very much like any of Felix's baby pictures, I thought the two of them look a lot alike here. Felix likes to interact with Felicia and usually precedes her name with the adjective "silly," because he says she makes funny faces.

We went on a hike to Stewart Falls sometime in the last month. I carried Felicia in the Ergo. On the way to the falls I carried her on my chest, and she did great. I fed her at the top, and then I put her on my back for the journey down. She was cranky toward the end, and when I took her off my back to feed her I realized she was a little cold. Next time we'll put socks on her feet and make sure we don't forget the hat.

Felicia is on the verge of rolling over from her back and is very wiggly. I often plop her in this little non-working swing in the kitchen, and now I have to strap her in it because she squirms her way up and out of it if I don't.

The bald spot in the back has stretched around from ear to ear because she has gotten better at sleeping in the last month. (But I fear that will end once she's rolling off her back. I'm pretty sure we'll have to stop swaddling her in the next month. It's not going to be fun.) Her eyes are brown, and I don't think they will change much anymore. She has an adorable little chin, and my mom says she looks a lot like I did as a baby.

She has discovered her fists for sucking, and it is adorable to watch.

I need to take more pictures of her with the actual camera instead of my very sub-par phone.

10 October 2017

Felix is Five

When the Primary sang to Felix a couple of weeks ago, the leader who announced birthdays said, "And you may not believe it, but Felix is going to be five!" Felix very quickly added, "Yeah, you can't believe it because I look like a three-year-old!" Most of his clothes are size 3T, some are still 2T. He still rides in a car seat and isn't even tall enough for a booster. He's just a scrawny guy.

In the last year, Felix got tubes in his ears, 

became a big brother again, and

finished three-year-old preschool and started four-year-old preschool.

Felix loves to be outside, and usually enjoys going on walks in the gardens and going on hikes. This summer while Eric was out of town, Felix frequently took it upon himself to go cut flowers for me and put them in vases (something Eric usually does). He loves hugs and kisses and is a very affectionate child.

He has a great sense of humor and has a terrific belly laugh. He also has a terrific temper and is working on learning to handle his emotions.

 Felix favorites:

  • color: golden
  • movie: Planes: Fire and Rescue
  • food: probably pizza
  • places: the dinosaur museum, the Bean Museum
  • music: I Am the Tiger (Eye of the Tiger); Lord of the Rings soundtrack; 1812 Overture; Slave March; New World Symphony; Gethsemane

Felix has become quite the social butterfly and constantly wants to play with friends. Although there are many kids his age on our street, he usually asks me if he can play with their older siblings. We frequently have conversations like this:

Felix: Can I play with Justin? [Age 8.]
Me: Don't you want to play with Paul? [Justin's four-year-old brother]
Felix: No, I want to play with Justin.

We do this with other sibling combos including: Ricky (6)/Ella (5); McKenzie (8)/Archie (4); Presley (6)/Bridger (5). I am working on getting him to accept the fact that he is not as old as he'd like to be. But I also understand where he's coming from. I always thought my older brother's friends were just awesome.

Right now, Felix starts many conversations with, "You know what? Guess what." He leaves no room between the question and the statement.

Sometimes he can be really helpful. I usually will not let him go play with friends without first doing some chores, so he'll approach me with, "Mom, what's my job?" When I give him a job, half the time he's okay with it, and about half the time he balks that it's too hard or he can't do it by himself.

With Ike in school all day now (instead of just half days like last year), Felix and Trixie have become better buddies. She still is not very good at playing with other kids, but Felix is becoming more patient with her and learning better how he can play with her without her ruining his schemes.

For Felix's birthday we grabbed a pizza and headed for a picnic near the dinosaur museum. On the way, Eric asked Felix what music he'd like to listen to, and he declared without hesitation, "New World Symphony." His one gift request was for a fidget spinner, and we obliged. When we had our family party for him, he chose rice and lentils for our meal.

One of our family traditions is to go to Cold Stone the Monday after a birthday to get ice cream (using a buy-one-get-one coupon). The birthday person gets to choose one flavor and mix-in, and Eric and I get to choose the other. The kids always want cotton candy ice cream, much to mine and Eric's dismay. This time Eric told Felix that he should try the green cotton candy ice cream (actually pistachio), and Felix said he preferred it to the blue. Eric can outsmart a five-year-old! Now, if only we could teach him that gummy bears are a terrible mix-in for ice cream.

05 September 2017

Trixie is Two

Well, Trixie made it to the two-year mark with no open-heart surgery, and with none in sight. We are so thrilled with our little miracle girl.

We celebrated her birthday with donuts on the actual day and a little family party a few days later. In the L family we sing a birthday song from an old radio show called Big John and Sparkie. (You can listen to it here, but you have to listen to about 30 seconds of the guy introducing it to you.) The song starts with, "Today is a birthday, I wonder for whom. I know it's for somebody who's right in this room. So look all around you for somebody who is happy and smiling, my goodness it's you!" It is so fun to sing this and avoid looking at the birthday child (especially if the child is very young), and then for the whole group to look at the child and point when the lyrics say, "my goodness, it's you!". Trixie was just so thrilled with this, both when we did it as our little family and when we did it with the bigger family.

Trixie is such a sweet and cuddly girl. She loves her baby sister so much, and it just thrills me to no end. She is still absolutely obsessed with animals. When we visited my brother to watch the eclipse a few weeks ago, she just constantly followed his beagle around trying to pet her, and possibly ride her. It's a good thing LaFawnduh is so patient.

Trixie has some speech delays, presumably because of the chronic ear infections she had from about September through February last year. (Yes, she still had chronic infections even after getting her tubes in December.) However, she is really making progress in the last few weeks, and I feel like we are on the verge of a breakthrough with her language development. I know that eventually she will be caught up with peers, and I'm not terribly worried about her in that regard. I'm just looking forward to being better able to figure out what the heck she wants.

Trixie continues to be my best eater. She loves most things and will try pretty much anything. She frequently eats as much food as her older brothers. She's not crazy about meat, but I think that's mostly a chewing issue.

If Trixie could spend her entire days outside wandering around, she absolutely would. Either that, or going to the nursery at church. She loves both of those things.

Trixie is an incredibly friendly and fearless child. She frequently goes up to perfect strangers at singing time at the library and sits in their laps, uninvited. She also likes to visit different families during church and cuddle with anyone who will hold her. It's like she's a neglected middle child or something.

A few other things Trixie loves:
  • Dancing to music
  • Listening to music
  • a few books including a book about dogs and a book about dinosaurs. She's not so keen on other books.
  • washing her hands
  • brushing her teeth
  • taking baths
  • putting lotion on
  • getting dressed
  • helping
Eric's parents gave her this little pony that sings and walks. As annoying as it is, it is so fun to watch how much Trixie enjoys it. She can't get enough of it.

We love her curly blonde hair and her light blue eyes. We love watching her close her eyes while we sing to her at bedtime. We love her little lamb-like run when she is excited or in a good mood. We love her chubby cheeks and willing smile. We love this little girl.

01 September 2017

Felicia: Two Months

The big news for Felicia this month: BABY SMILES. I love them. She isn't yet a super smiley baby, but she smiles here and there, and I can't get enough.

What color are here eyes? Nobody knows. Grayish, blueish, brownish. We'll just have to see.  You would think one of our kids would have brown eyes since Eric and I both have brown eyes, but none do so far.

I had a company party at the zoo. Eric was away at summer camp, so I took all four of my kids by myself because, FREE ADMISSION TO THE ZOO! Felicia didn't seem to notice we were anywhere special.

I'm crocheting a blessing dress for her. I don't know whose crazy idea this was (actually, yes, I do. It was mine). (Forgive my angry face. I just really stink at selfies. I'm always so focused on not wiggling the phone too much that I forget to look happy.)

Rise and shout, the Cougars are out! Felicia watched (read: slept through) her first BYU football game last weekend. She's not a serious fan yet, but I'm sure she will be. Trixie slept like this through her first BYU football game too. (Sorry for the blurriness. I just don't have a steady hand.)

And this was just yesterday while we hung out on the front porch as our big kids played outside. Felicia was looking so alert and curious.

Other things I want to remember about this past month:
  • I took all four kids to Jackson Hole to watch the eclipse. I had Ike sit next to Felicia, and he was great at sticking the pacifier in her mouth as needed. We only stopped once each way, and Felicia showed she can handle some road tripping.
  • Trixie is still absolutely in love with her baby sister. Right now Felicia has a hard time with it, but one day they'll be best friends, just like Ike and Felix are now. I really look forward to it.
  • Felicia has gotten much better at sleeping. We still have rough nights here and there, but she usually only wakes up once per night. Her morning nap is generally really good too.
  • I love wearing her. She sleeps so well when she's cuddled against me. I got an Ergo in the spring, and it is so much better than the other baby carriers I've had since it allows me to hold the baby's weight on my hips instead of just on my shoulders. I did love the K'Tan for Felicia's first few weeks, though. I wore Felicia to a Real Salt Lake game last Saturday, and she just slept the whole time.
  • Felicia has really long fingers and toes. I'm wondering if they will get more proportional to her body at some point, or if she's just going to keep them. At her doctor's appointment we learned she is in about the 70th percentile for height and about the 40th percentile for weight. Those proportions, along with her facial expressions, make me wonder if she'll be more like my side of the family than any of the others.
  • She still loves to be held, swaddled, and kept in motion. (Not necessarily all three at the same time.)
  • She already has a bald spot on the back of her head, and a headband rubbed some of her hair out recently too. So, this dark hair is not going to last much longer.

02 August 2017

Felicia: One Month

Felicia is one month old, and she is so sweet. She is a good eater, and she's really good at sleeping if somebody is holding her. Otherwise, her sleeping is not yet very impressive.

She is already growing so much. She is too long for her newborn clothes already, but she is certainly not too fat for them. She has really long fingers and toes. She still has quite a bit of dark hair, but I'm confident it will all fall out and grow back in blonde. I'm pretty sure her eyes will be brown. The general consensus is that she takes after my side of the family.

Felicia loves tummy time. She enjoys her pacifiers, and she doesn't mind the car seat. She loves being held, being swaddled, and being in motion.

Her siblings love her. We were really worried that Trixie would not like her, but Trixie has actually been obsessed with her baby sister. Trixie frequently asks where Felicia is, especially when she firsts wakes up, and she loves to kiss Felicia and hold her.

I am loving having having a little baby to snuggle.

05 July 2017

Introducing Felicia - And a Birth Story

She's here! If you follow me on Instagram, you already knew that. And if you don't do Instagram, that's okay. Instead of uploading a million pictures to this post, I've just embedded some of my recent Instagram posts because of all the lazies I'm feeling right now.

My original due date was June 15, which basically meant our baby would be coming in June. But then at my 20-week ultrasound they pushed my due date back to June 26. And because I'm a little crazy, I started hoping for a July baby.

Not only could my baby have a palindrome birthday if born on July 1 (7-1-17), she would not mess up my family's birthday patterns of one birthday per month from August to December. A July baby would fit nicely in the mix; a June birthday would forever bother me as SO CLOSE. And, neither my family nor Eric's family has any July birthdays, whereas we both have multiple June birthdays. I make a calendar most years for Eric's mom with pictures of all the grandkids, and I thought it would be nice to fill in that July hole.

So I'm probably the first pregnant woman ever to hope to go past my due date and then be happy when it happened. I had told my doctor that I was hoping for July 1, and he set an induction for me that day.

The Wednesday before induction day (June 28) I had a checkup, and I was dilated to a five. My doctor said if I felt even a few contractions I really needed to go straight to the hospital. I agreed that was logical and basically put myself on bed rest. (I can do that because it's summer time, and Teacher Husband is home a lot, thank heavens.) Also, I had gone to the hospital on June 21 with frequent and mildly painful contractions. I arrived dilated to a four, but I didn't progress at all. They told me I could stay or go home. I opted to go home so Eric could sleep, and I could try to sleep until the contractions became unbearable. But they never did, and we both slept all night. And then the contractions never really picked up like that again.

So, on Friday night we went and delivered our three kids to their grandparents. As I got ready for bed I had a few uncomfortable contractions, but that was par for the course. I had been having contractions at night, sometimes painful ones, for several weeks. We went to bed. I awoke at 3:45 with a pretty painful contraction. I waited it out and tried to go back to sleep, but then I had another one. And another one.

The night before, Eric had given me a blessing in preparation for my induction. One of the things he prayed for was that I would get to the hospital in time. I thought that was interesting since we were scheduled for an induction. How could I not get there on time?

I remembered that phrase as I was having contractions and thought, "These are the real deal. We need to go." Even though they were painful, they were not at all unbearable. I still could easily talk through them. In fact, I was having one when I woke Eric up and told him we needed to go.

I put on makeup while Eric loaded the car and made me some toast. (And, I'm not even going to lie here, I'm glad I put on makeup. I looked pretty good in my post-baby photos, and it's because I was wearing some long-lasting lipstick, some blush, eyeliner, and mascara. That's all. But it made a huge difference.)

I checked into the hospital and learned I was dilated to a seven. Eric was not surprised given that I was a five two days earlier, but I was surprised that the contractions I was having had made that much progress since they really weren't that bad. I immediately asked for an epidural.

My epidural was placed without any issues, and my doctor arrived. He checked me and said I was dilated to an eight. Then he broke my water and immediately checked again, and by then I was a 9. He and the nurse stepped out for a few minutes, and Eric decided to take a little nap.

Just as I was beginning to feel more pressure and more frequent contractions and was thinking about waking up my husband and paging my doctor and nurse, they came back in. They had been watching the printout of my contractions and said it was time to have a baby.

We were aiming for a 7:17 delivery time to go with the 7-1-17 birthday, but I failed. She was born at 7:20. She was my heaviest baby yet, weighing 7 pounds 13 oz. She measured 19 inches long and has a full head of dark hair.

For the first time, I didn't have my baby whisked away from me immediately. She got to hang around me and do skin to skin contact for a couple of hours. I was so excited about this, but she was not really happy about being born, and she was pretty fussy during that time. I began to be very worried about the demeanor of this baby. Thankfully, as the day progressed she became unbelievably mellow and sweet, and I stopped worrying.

Eric and I knew we were having a girl, but we kept it a secret. I originally wanted the gender to be a surprise, but I could see on the ultrasound pretty clearly what it was. Ike insisted from the get-go that he wanted a sister and that was his guess. Felix went back and forth throughout the pregnancy. For a while he said he wanted a brother so "the girls would be surrounded by boys" (said by a child who can't say his R's well yet). About the last six weeks of the pregnancy his tone changed to match his more generous nature, and he said he wanted a sister so that Trixie could have a sister. Trixie had no guess and was generally clueless.

Everybody is healthy and happy. She was easily my best delivery, and I am constantly grateful that I don't have giant babies.

Her blog name is Felicia (because I wanted that for a real-life name, after an ancestor of mine, but for Eric it was a no-go).

In summary:

  • Dilated to a five a few days before induction day, but no real contractions.
  • Contractions started in earnest about 3:45 the morning of the scheduled induction.
  • Hospital a little before 5.
  • Epidural worked well.
  • Baby girl (blog name Felicia) born at 7:20 on 7-1-17, my little palindrome baby!
  • Best delivery yet. (I should just keep having babies!)