Monday, April 25, 2011

Grandparents Who Are Great

I think everyone has both positive and negative things about their childhood. Things they vowed they would do differently than their parents, but also traditions/aspects they would love to keep the same. One part of my childhood that I would LOVE to repeat with my children (but sadly never will) is living close to grandparents. I was blessed to live near both sets of grandparents and great-grandparents. My dad's parents lived, literally, 1 minute from our house. I spent a lot of time up there and I loved every minute of it. I think living so far away from everyone is harder for me because I have always been surrounded by family. Not just family members that I saw every once in a while, but on a daily basis. Even the grandparents that lived "in town." :)

So during spring break this year the kids and I loaded up the van and headed back home. We spent one afternoon up at my grandparents house. The girls loved it, and so did I. :) Grandpa fired up the organ and played a few songs for them. (which is another childhood memory I cherish.) I'm pretty sure there is a picture of me doing the exact same thing as Avery. In fact it would probably look identical since she looks a lot like me when I was her age.

At first they just watched and listened for a little bit.

But they could sit still for long. They had a blast dancing around while Grandpa played songs like "Beer Barrel Polka."

They thought Jude needed to join in the dancing.

I think Grace has found a new love, the piano. Grandma Pat was showing her how to use her fingers on the keys. She had a great time. A couple of days later Grace spent part of the day with Grandma and Grandpa since I went back to Ohio early and she stayed a couple of extra days. I hear she spent quite a bit of time at the piano.

She really wants one at our house, but even the old used ones are expensive. I would love to have one too, and for her to take lessons. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a good deal someday!!

Another double take from when I was young. Grandma Pat read to us every time we spent the night at her house. I can still see us laying on the pull out couch and her reading different stories out of this one series of books. I can't remember what they were, but they remind me of the Dick and Jane type stories. Maybe Grandma remembers what they are called...

Sitting in a chair with Grandpa reading books was something that happened often as well. He would read from a really old story book that his grandfather (or his dad, I can't remember) read to him. My favorite was The Spider and The Fly.

I couldn't get Jude to cooperate with the camera, so this was the best picture I got of the two of them. He is such a good baby, and loves to be held by everybody!!

I'm so glad we had a chance to visit with my grandparents. I really miss spending time with them. You don't realize how much you love certain people until you are far away from them. I always knew I loved them, but seeing my kids with them made me realize how blessed I was to have them so close all those years!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

If Jude could talk...

"What's with the camera Mom? Neither one of us feels good, so just put it down please."

"Really, I don't want to take any pictures."

"I'm not looking."

"Seriously lady, I've had enough."

I wasn't going to post my dehydrated lips and lovely washed out, still haven't lost all the baby weight, been sick for days looking face. (now THAT is a sentence!!) But I just love his facial expressions. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Baby Boy

The big day had finally arrived. It was a day full of mixed emotions for me. Of course I was beyond excited to meet my little boy. But also nervous to become a family of five. Life had already started out rough in Ohio and I wasn't sure how I was going to handle all of the responsibilities that came with three children and a busy husband. But ready or not, he was coming!

One last shot of the big belly. I would say most women are ready to have their bodies back by the ninth month of pregnancy. My last month was bittersweet. I was SO ready to get rid of my giant belly, but sad because I knew it was the last time I would ever feel those precious kicks from the inside. Jude is our last baby so I tried to cherish all those last pregnancy feelings, but by this moment in time I was DONE!!

As always, I was nervous about going into surgery. I was even more nervous because the lady doing my spinal was taking instructions from another person. When I heard her say, "now,what you're going to do is..." I was freaking out!! Why did I have to be this person's guinea pig?? She didn't do it right, which shot an incredible amount of pain down my back. Then she tried several more times, until the other lady told her to stop because they needed to numb me again. If you've never had a spinal, let me just tell you that the local numbing shot hurts worse then the actual procedure. So now I had to have it done all over again. I'm not ashamed to say that I was crying. My body was just worn out from everything it had been put through the past couple of months, and I just wanted it to be over. Finally the experienced person took over and they got it to work. But it just kind of went down hill from there. The new person obviously was still learning how to control all of the medicines, and it just didn't go very well. I got sick a couple of times before the operation started, and I felt awful throughout the whole procedure. Scottie was so good about talking to me and rubbing my head. Finally I heard what every mother wants to hear, those precious first cries. I couldn't believe I had a baby boy!!

The girls are waiting, eating fruit snacks, and playing the DS. They were obviously having a better time than me. :)

Here he is: Jude Michael. He cried for quite a while at the beginning. The nurse said they had to use the vacuum to help him out a little bit, and his head was probably hurting him. People kept saying he was feisty and had a temper, but they couldn't have been more wrong. He just had a headache people!!

I loved all 8 pounds and 21 inches of him immediately.

So cute!!!!

Just chilling on mommy's legs about an hour after birth. Where's that feisty temper now??

We were so happy to have a little boy join our family.

Grace and Avery meeting their brother. (by the way, that was the hospitals hat. I wish I hadn't been so loopy from the meds or I would have insisted someone find him a better hat. I hate that thing, it's so ugly.)

Nana and her babies!

Grandpa and Jude (seriously, that hat has to go)

Grandma and Jude in a normal hat.

Love this picture!! All she wanted to do was sit and hold her baby brother. But she ended up taking a little snooze with him.

Ma-maw and Pa-paw with Avery and Jude. (Penny was having troubles with her eye and the patch was helping to correct it. I promise she doesn't have a fantasy of being a pirate! :)

Uncle Joe drove all the way over to meet Jude. He is such a good uncle. The girls love him to pieces!

The girls holding Jude one more time before it was time to go home. Grace never handles this part well. It's weird because she is so independent and has stayed at her grandparents houses many times by herself without any problems. But to stay in our house when I'm not there upsets her. I don't think she likes to think about her mom and dad being somewhere without her. She wanted to spend the night at the hospital every night we were there. I hated to know she was so sad, but she had Nana with her so she wasn't too sad.

Scottie's Aunt Cindy just happened to be in town from Iowa, so she came over with Jeff and Penny the next day. I'm glad she got to meet Jude since I'm pretty sure it was the first time she saw Avery. We never seem to be available to come over to Hagerstown when they come to visit, so we don't get to see her very often.

Daddy and Jude taking a nap in the hospital. Trying to soak in the peace and quiet before we have to go home to the girls!

Jude in his coming home outfit. Aunt Rena made his hat and I love it!

All bundled up and ready to start our new adventure. I couldn't believe we were bringing home a little boy, I thought for sure we were going to have all girls. But we were thrilled to carry out a little bundle of blue. Although there were still those overwhelming feelings at the thought of three children depending on me, but it was too late to worry about that now. ;)

Avery was happy to see Jude, but not too happy. She would hold him for a minute and then say "I'm done" or "take this thing." Eventually she warmed up to him and started talking about her baby Jude.

Grace loves being the older sister. She really loves babies and is pretty good with them. Her and daddy were always fighting over who got to hold Jude. I think she will make a good babysitter someday!

Oh, and this is how Avery prepared for baby Jude. She got all "pweetty" with Mommy's make-up. :)

To blog or not to blog...

that is the question. After a VERY long break, I'm starting to get the itch to blog again. The last six months have been about pure survival, and I just haven't had it in me to sit down and blog. I've been able to throw some pictures on facebook pretty quickly, so that's been my way of updating friends and family so far. But I feel like I'm in a place where I can sit down and write out my thoughts again, and to be honest I think I need it. Blogging helps me have a voice since I don't have anyone physical to talk to most days. So, I think after the kids go to bed tonight I'll start with Jude's birthday since that is where I left off. Of course I won't back track the last six months, but I would like to get that special day down in writing. Here's to finding my voice again!!