Saturday the good ol' pumpkins got carved. It's a good thing my brother called and asked if he and his girlfriend could come over and carve pumpkins with us. Otherwise, the pumpkins would probably still be sitting on our front porch, uncarved. It's a good thing they brought food for lunch too. Otherwise...well lets just say nursing my new little pumpkin around the clock makes me so hungry!!!
We had a great time with Bryce and Chelsey. We all love them so much and it was the perfect way to entertain some energetic kids on a stormy Saturday!
The kids each picked out what they wanted on their pumpkins:
Braxton - Ninja Turtle
Adelle - Hello Kitty Witch
Emmett - Pirate Skull
Bryce and Chelsey - Haunted House
We all helped the kids with theirs which was a full time job. I think I got off the easiest. I printed off the patterns and helped gut the pumpkins. Then I got busy sorting/washing/roasting the seeds for everyone to snack on while they all carved.
Everyone was happy with the finished products.
Now if Halloween would just get here already. Our house has been decorated all month and poor Emmett asks me everyday if it's Halloween yet.
My girlfriend Kibby came over and we attempted a photo shoot. My aunt Marlene made Gage the little diaper he is wearing. It is so cute!!!
And my friend Mandy made the gorgeous warm blanket he is sitting on.
Here is the light bed that Gage got to lay on for 3 days.
I have ventured out more this week. To Costco with the gang on Tuesday and to Library today. I forgot how much I love my little wallet holder. So handy to not have to carry a purse ;) Also the "fabric tent" my friend Allia made to hide the baby. It hooks onto the carseat and provides a safe/warm little place for him to nap.
One morning Braxton laid down by Gage to sing to him and totally conked out. I covered him with a blanket and snapped a picture.
I am constantly reminding myself to get pictures of this little guy by himself. Most pictures have a brother or sister in them.
Things are getting back to normal. Jeff is back working regularly and the kids and I are getting back to our routine. Gage's jaundice levels are normal now too, huge relief to me and his poor heels that got poked too many times ;)
Braxton Allan turned 7 today!! I can't believe how fast those 7 years have gone. Braxton requested pancakes so that is what we had for breakfast along with special birthday smoothies.
Look at that smile. I love this handsome boy who keeps growing on me!!
The kids and I had fun creating the dragon cake he asked for.
At the beginning of the month when I knew I was due to have a baby I started thinking about Braxton's birthday and how I was going to make it special. I knew how good he would be with the new baby and I wanted to really recognize him and provide him with a really special day.
I think I was really inspired to call up our friends who own Karate Qwest. I scheduled a birthday party for Braxton and it was the best choice I ever could have made.
Plus, it was an early release day from school so it was the perfect thing to do!
Braxton got to invite a ton of friends and I didn't have to have my house ready for them, or destroyed by them :)
Literally all I did was help Brax make the invites, make a cake, and show up and take pictures.
Not typically my kind of thing but absolutely perfect for just having had a baby.
Gage was a party animal too! Here he is with his future BFF, Caleb.
Emmett loved every minute of the party and Braxton is the best big brother. Emmett didn't leave his side the whole time and Braxton kept putting his arm around him and kissing his head. So sweet.
Here they are working on some moves.
After the structured part of the party they got to play with all the equipment, free for all. The kids loved this part and went crazy.
Braxton is super into Lego's right now and scored a ton. He and Emmett play Legos for hours. He got a lot of other cool things too.
And last but not least he got to cut his cake with a sword! How awesome is that to a 7 year old boy!!
After the party Braxton got to go shopping with his Bama and then he requested Little Ceasars Pizza for dinner. Can't get much easier than that.
I love this boy so much. He continues to teach me so much everyday and I am so honored to be his mom.
He will sit at the table with his brother and sister while they work on homework and he will draw and color away. Or, if they aren't home, he will color and draw by himself, or with me.
Emmett is also a lefty, like Brax. Not sure how I got two lefty's...
I have scanned the first self portrait each of my kids have drawn. I think they are magical. To see them put on paper their own features is really remarkable.
I will have to check back at the ages my other kids did their self portraits but Emmett I think wins for the most detailed at the youngest age. He is only 2 1/2 and I think this picture is super accurate.
And of course he signed his work. At the bottom in the purple is "E" for Emmett. He really likes making E's but he gets a little carried away with the lines coming off the E's.
And if you need help with the picture:
The red in the middle at the top is the hair
on both sides of the hair are his ears
underneath the hair is the nose
The eyes are inside the nose
The mouth is the straight line under the nose, with the tongue sticking out
Then the legs at the bottom and the arms coming out the sides
Gage is already 1 week old. It is going really fast, and there has been a lot going on.
The kids have taught him how to play peek-a-boo ;)
Adelle still hasn't tired of holding him. I don't think she ever will. This sis is in heaven.
I have been down a lot more than I would have liked but thankfully Jeff has been home and the kids got used to coming into my room and hanging out. This has been the hardest part for me. I do not like to feel helpless and I have found myself feeling that way with all that has been going on. I am much better now, hence back to blogging ;)
We have had visitors come and we are so thankful for our loving family and friends who have seriously made this so much easier on all of us. The love we have felt has been such a strength.
This is Gage with Grandma Johnson.
I have been out of the house for a total of 1/2 hour since getting home from the nursery. Adelle and I snuck out real quick one afternoon to see Braxton get his award from the jog-a-thon. He got 2nd place again for all the 1st grade boys. Last year in Kindergarten he got 2nd place as well and he even ran the same amount of laps. Horray for consistency!
Gage looks so much like Braxton to me when Braxton was a baby. This picture really shows it I think. He is a happy little guy.
Emmett loves being a big brother but came down with a cold this week so he was miserable for a couple days. Nothing like adding to the already boiling pot. Thankfully he is on the mend now and no one else is sick.
Emmett loves to tickle Gage.
It's funny too Jeff and I both keep calling Gage, Emmett. I guess we are really used to him being the baby ;)
After a few heal pokes last night we got the call that Gage's jaundice levels were high and that we needed to do light therapy, like immediately. So late last night the option care nurse comes over with this glow worm like apparatus and a light bed for our little guy to sleep in.
Nothing like nerve racking for this momma, yet again.
This jaundice thing however has been way easier than I expected and as of today he is showing dramatic improvements.
I really keep counting my blessings because I know things could be a lot worse. (buy you try telling my hormones that ;)
My friend brought dinner tonight, again one of many delicious dinners that have been brought and enjoyed, and she made sugar cookie dough and brought Halloween cutters.
So we celebrated with the older kids. Just mom, dad, and the former 3 made Halloween cookies. It was a good break and time we all needed.
And before they were completely dead I had to post a picture of this amazing bouquet my brother brought me after Gage was born. It's from Pike Place (love it there) and it says Andrea all over it. I love how perfect they are for me. The plant in the middle is Kale. Thanks Bryce & Chelsey!
.... to say the least!
Here is the whole story, before I forget. Pun intended, I don't think I will ever forget this story or last weekend.
Thursday started off normal. The kids and I walked Braxton to school and everyone on the way asked if I was yet ready to have the baby; to which I would just smile and say, "any day." When we got home my sister brought over my sweet niece to hang out with us while she got some stuff done. I wanted more pumpkin pie so the kids and I got busy whippin' some up.
That afternoon Jeff got home from a small job and my mom met us at our house to watch the kids. Jeff and I headed into Bellingham where I was scheduled to have an ultrasound and a non-stress test. Since I was a week over due the midwife requested both just to make sure everything was still save to have the baby at home as planned.
My friend Mindi did the ultra sound and everything was well. Then we went and my midwife did the non-stress test to which everything was fine again. At the end of our meeting with the midwife she asked me if I wanted my membranes stripped. Um, yes. I was dilated to a 3/4 and had been for a couple weeks. So she did that and then she also told us of a homeopathic remedy that is often used to induce labor. She wrote down the name on a post-it and on the way home we stopped at the co-op to pick some up... just in case we got desperate.
We came home to yummy tacos that my mom had made and happy kids. I told my mom that everything went well and asked if she wanted to have the kids for the night. This is totally not my personality. For one, it's a school night. I had a really strong feeling like something was going to happen though and my mom was happy to have the kids so after dinner we packed their bags.
My dad had come over too but he was on the motorcycle so my mom followed my dad home to drop off the motorcycle and said they would be back in 1/2 hour to grab the kids. I got busy getting the kids stuff all ready.
The next thing I know I am in the kids room, looking through Adelle's suitcase to make sure all the basis are covered and my water breaks. Mind you, I have a huge bag of water. Like seriously in the 95th percentile
(it had just been checked at the ultra sound that day). So imagine lots of water. That is why I am in the bathroom standing over a towel, kissing my kids goodbye for the night.
We didn't tell the kids what was going on. They were too excited anyway just to go stay the night with Bama and Umpa. They packed their bags and came to the bathroom to kiss me goodbye.
Here are the little cuties. Braxton asks me as I attempt to take the picture, "so mom, should I just stand here like a high-schooler?" I think it was the bag, but the kid just cracks me up regardless.
Meanwhile I text my mom something like, "my water just broke, this show is on the road." They return, grab the kids and they are off again.
Well, let's just say the show wasn't on the road as I anticipated. And looking back, duh. When my water broke with Adelle I didn't go into labor either so I don't know why I had my hopes up. But I did anyway. We immediately called the midwives and they were at our house in less than 20 minutes. Everyone was acting like since it's my fourth baby it was going to go fast. No such story. The midwives came and checked all my vitals. I was perfectly good, except for obnoxiously wet pants. They offered some suggestions of things I could do to get the labor progressing and I did them. Meanwhile Jeff enjoyed the pie I had made earlier that day (and I had some too). We did everything they said ( I am not going to go into details here but ask me if you're curious and I will tell you) and labor did progress. They hung out in the kitchen while we were back in the bedroom laboring. My contractions got to where they were 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I kept going and going with the techniques and as long as I was working at it labor progressed to a point. It was exhausting. At 4:00am in the morning I finally swallowed my pride and through many tears I said, "this is enough. I am tired and I need to go to bed." So the midwives went home and Jeff and I went to bed.
The next morning, Friday, we woke up around 9:00am and nothing was happening. I was having a contraction here and there but nothing to get the baby going. Baby was still super high and meanwhile I am sleeping on pads to keep the bed dry. I am frustrated at this point. We have pumpkin pie for breakfast. We start up again walking, trying to stimulate labor and the contractions intensify again but to no avail. Finally at 1:00pm I call my midwife and tell her the uneventful situation. She reminds me that she left the castor oil at our house and that she would recommend I try it. It was getting to the point where something had to happen. She advised me to take it then because it would take 4 - 8 hours to kick in and because my water had broke we didn't have a lot of time. I got off the phone and stared at the bottle of castor oil. I knew what that tasted like from Adelle and it is not good. After I took the castor oil my husband gave me a Priesthood blessing of comfort and reassurance that everything would be o.k.
We went and took a nap only to be woken up by contractions. They were coming intensly. Bah, that stuff took only 1 hour to work on this momma. Go castor oil!
At 2:30pm we called the midwives back and at 5:29pm Gage was born. It was an intense couple hours but he was born happy and healthy, weighing in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 21 1/2 inches.
These are the ladies that helped me along the way. They are amazing and wonderful and I will dedicate a whole post to them, later.
The next part is insane and still makes me gasp. I was nursing Gage, about 10 minutes after he was born. The midwives went out to the kitchen and Jeff and I were in bed, with the baby, having a awe moment. I looked down to see that Gage was completely blue/gray and not breathing. Without hesitation I called for the midwives. The next thing I know my peaceful bedroom was in an uproar. There was an oxygen mask, there were assignments made to call 911, there was commotion galore and all I could do is sit there, silent, in almost a haze.
I remember the EMT's coming into my room and evaluating my baby. I remember one of them in particular looked me in the eye and said, "what a healthy boy." I don't know if he meant it, or if he wanted to make me feel better, but I remember that he said it. Next Jeff left, with Gage in this space suit (blanket to conserve his heat) in the ambulance to the emergency room.
The next time I saw my baby was in the nursery at the hospital. Have you ever thought about what it would feel like to have a baby, and then less than a half hour later be dressed and riding in a car on the freeway to the hospital? I have never wondered, nor have I ever really felt. I honestly think my body was in a state of total shock. I got to the hospital and when everyone let us be I asked Jeff to bless our baby, to which he graciously did. This deserves it's own post as well but I will just say that I am truly grateful for my faith and the power of God in this whole process. After Jeff blessed Gage I knew everything would be o.k. I knew that things were not in my hands and that whatever happened would be the Lord's will.
The hospital did what they do. They tested him for everything they could think of. They x-rayed his chest. They poked him and looked for any source of data to give us an answer as to why our little guy stopped breathing. Then when they found nothing was wrong they admitted him and had us all stay for 24 hours and be monitored.
So there we sat. Gage was hooked up to a monitor for the whole time. They charted his heart rate and his breathing and we panicked every time the machine beeped. We took pictures of him and sat and looked at each other without really talking about anything.
They didn't admit me into the hospital but they gave me this chair to sit in so that I could hold my baby. The hospital workers were great, to Gage. The funny part is here I am about 12 hours post par-tum and they never checked any of my vitals, or asked me how I was doing. It didn't even occur to me that they never even checked me out until now. Thank goodness for my adrenaline I guess because that's the only thing I can think of that kept me going.
Here is a shot for the scrap book with Gage in the cage and the monitor right beside him.
He was so good and so active and happy the whole time. The nursery staff kept telling us what a strong, boy he was and that we were their easiest patients. That I was grateful for.
He never had another episode while we were there being monitored so they gave us the answer of basically, "we don't know what happened, maybe a little fluid in the lungs, maybe just a fluke... we don't know but we are pretty sure it won't happen again." So that was it and we were discharged. We called my parents on our way home and asked them to meet us there with the kids. No one had even met Gage yet because we were admitted right away and couldn't have visitors in the nursery.
It was a sweet reunion with the kids. My Gramy was at our porch when we pulled up. She didn't know we had been in the hospital. We didn't really advertise this because it was all so sudden and shocking so if you got a text on Saturday from me announcing his arrival this is why it was such a late announcement. And when I said we were doing good I wasn't lying... just being optimistic I guess ;) How do you text such a story anyway?
So here are my parents Saturday night after having our 3 little ones for the past 2 1/2 days. I am so glad they could have them. Our kids had a blast and I honestly didn't even worry about them the whole time. I knew they were happy and totally having a blast.
And Gage Joel is just as sweet and cuddly as can be. We have been calling him Gagey Baby and I think it's really cute. He is named after Jeff's dad (Joel) and I keep asking Jeff if that is why he is such a stinker! Just kidding! We were really excited to name him after Jeff's great father. If I were to do it all over again I totally would. He is so priceless and we are all so in love with him.