Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Break

Daddy's two weeks off after Miss F was born bumped right up to Spring break!  We got an extra week off with Daddy home!

Uncle D started off our Spring break with a Pizza party.  Even though he is very far away he ordered pizzas and had a couple of movies sent.  What a very thoughtful way for a fun uncle to help us celebrate the birth of Miss F!

The next day we had dentist appointments scheduled.  Those were canceled when we couldn't even get a couple of miles down the road because of the blizzard that was just getting going.  We stayed home and had left over pizza and watched another movie that Uncle D sent.

Digging out the next day so we could have some fun....

We headed into town to go bowling at Bass Pro.

We did a jammie drill that night as well.  There was another storm coming in and we knew this was the last chance to get more spring break fun in.
Spring break blizzard #2 showed up and we were well prepared for at home/indoor fun including chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Just some fun around here

It's been great having daddy home and having time to just relax and enjoy Miss F.  Daddy has also had time to run errands or do special things with the older kids.  The van needed new breaks, so Rob took Miss J and Mr S with him.  It took longer than expected leading to some fun at Steak N' Shake!

Mr. M wanted to go fishing for his birthday (over a month away).  We had some good weather so daddy took most of the kids.

Miss E is in need of more night driving experience so one evening after the littles were in bed she drove a bunch of the kiddos to town for ice cream.

Miss A likes to get out and about too.  She's also quite independent and resourceful.  She got herself all ready to go outside the other day.  She found Miss C's fleece, Miss J's boots, and Miss E's hat.  

This makes me think of Paddington Bear; not just the look but the sweet innocence of trying hard to get it right....even though it's not quite right.  Oh, and she has a lunch box too. ;) 

Sunday morning snuggles.  I love how the kids come to check on Miss F and snuggle with her.  We're all so in love with her.  I think this is one of my favorite parts of having a large family....watching sweet relationships grow between all of these kids.  They don't always get along, but they sure do love each other!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

2 weeks!

Miss F is two weeks old.  She's such a sweetie and we've really enjoyed these two weeks together as a family with daddy home getting to know her.  It's been fun to see how easily Miss A has slipped into her role as big sister.  She takes it very seriously.  She loves holding Miss F.  She takes the job of throwing diapers away very seriously.  If she's around during a diaper change she likes to help with that too.  She helped with a bath too.  The best part?  Miss F seems to like Miss a quite a bit too!  I think they will be best friends!

Miss F is a GREAT sleeper during the day, but also wakes up nicely to eat.  Speaking of eating....she seems to be a GREAT eater too.  At 8 pounds 7 ounces she is nearly 1 pound over her birth weight!  Yikes!  No wonder she's been waking so often at night.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


My mom always comes for at least a long week-end when I have a new baby, if not for a week.  This time her visit was carefully timed so that she could help out during Science Olympiad Regionals.  We were cutting it close given that regionals were just 2 weeks after my due date.  Nana was here to take care of littles and hold down the fort while Rob had the oldest 4 kids an hour away competing with the team.

Cooking, playing games, walks on the horse trail....lots of fun with Nana.

She had a slumber party with the littles while all of the bigs were gone.  First they needed to make caramel corn to go with the movie.

Of course she also loved getting to cuddle with Miss F.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Science Olympiad Regionals

Last year was our first year participating in Science Olympiad.  It was just Miss E and Mr. R.  This year we added Mr. M and Mr. S.  I was due just 2 weeks before regionals this year; meaning we needed to have a plan to make this happen.  My mom came to help with the littles while Rob took the big kids down for competition (it's an over night thing since they have to be there so early on the big day).

Miss E's day was full of testing.  Nothing to see.  The boys all had building events though that could be watched as they tested their builds.  Between the 3 of them we had 4 different build events Bottle Rockets, Gliders, Scrambler (a wheeled vehicle with an egg on the front; get the vehicle as close to the wall as you can without breaking the egg), and Air Trajectory.

***All placings listed for the boys are at the Jr. High level.  Mr. R and Mr. M are on our "varsity" Jr. High team.  Mr. S is on the "Jr. Varsity" team.****
Mr. R and his partner won 1st place for their Bottle Rocket(s).

Mr. R and his partner won 1st place for their Glider.

Mr. M and his partner did not fair well with their Scrambler.  It was somehow broken after being impounded, their quick repair was not good enough.  It seems many teams had problems though since only 8 teams got official results.  The other 18 teams received placings of 26/27 place.  Oh well.  They will rebuild and hopefully State Competition will go better.

Mr. R and Mr. M placed 3rd for Air Trajectory.

Mr. S and his partner placed 4th in Air Trajectory.  During our practices Mr. S had been getting better and more consistent results with his contraption.  We had expected him to place better than his brothers, but thats just how competition days go.  He is very excited to get to go to state and give it another go.  Maybe at State he'll WHOMP his brothers?

All three of the boys also had a testing event; Road Scholar.  Its about reading and even drawing maps.  Mr. R and Mr. M did better than expected and are hoping to up their game for state.

***Miss E competes at the Sr. High level***
Miss E placed 1st with her partner in Anatomy.  She and her (same) partner placed 2nd for Disease Detectives (epidemiology).  We're still waiting on results for the computer programing "Game On" event.  She and her partner were pleased with how they did and are looking forward to practicing more so they will place better at state.

Over all the three teams did very well and are all continuing on to our State competition..  Our Sr. High team placed 3rd.  Our "varsity" Jr. High team placed 1st.  Our "JV" Jr. High team placed 12th and as our head coach put it "made it by the skin of their teeth....their baby teeth" (only the top 12 teams go on to state; our JV team is all grade schoolers).

***We're super thankful to our head coach and team coaches that put so much time and effort into this team and make it what it is.  We are pleased with how well the kids did, but behind the scenes there was much character building taking place.  That growth and the relationships built are the big reasons we do SO.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Loving on Miss F

We had a cold drop in shortly after Miss F was born.  She and I were quarantined in my room and entrance to the room was very restricted.  Everyone seems to be on the mend now so everyone is now allowed to love on her, and boy are they!
She's not fully convinced about all of this "love"

She seems a bit more exited about being held by bigger kids.  With so many arms wanting to hold her, I'm sort of thankful for that little bug that gave me several days alone with this little girl.  Sort of, but not really.  I'm so glad everyone is feeling better and we can all enjoy this little treasure of Miss F all together now.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Naming Miss F

*We do not share names on the blog.  Just initials, for privacy.  If you don't know the baby's name and think you should feel free to e-mail me.  I'll be happy to share with anyone we actually know. :) 

This was the first time we intentionally did not find out the gender of our baby ahead of time.  It was also the first time we didn't have a name for our baby right away.  We'd been working on it.  We were able to come up with boy names.  We even had more than one to choose from that we loved.  But girls names?  Nope.  There were some we liked, but none seemed right.   Rob suggested we just not worry about girl names unless we actually had a girl.  There were several signs hinting at a boy anyways.  We were pleasantly surprised to have a girl.  Everyone is fully in love with this little sweetie.  Finding a name for her was the only problem.

We "tried on" a couple of sweet names in those first couple of days.  We really liked those names, but they just did not seem quite right.  On evening #2 with no name Daddy started going through names.  He picked one that just seemed "right."  We slept on it.  In the morning we wrote it down with a couple of other possibilities we still liked and were hesitant to let go.  We even asked Miss E for her opinion....she told us she thought we were joking about one of the options....ok, then...that one was out. :)

"F" was decided on as a first name.  It just seemed right.  Her middle name was chosen for it's Scottish/Christian historical significance.  Daddy has become more and more interested in Scottish History in recent years for many reasons and really liked this name.  Her red hair seemed to make the name all the more fitting.
Miss J has been itching to get Miss F in this sleeper.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Birth Story

This birth story begins weeks before baby was actually born.  I often have false alarms and because of how my labors have gone in the past we have to pay attention to those too; since we can't really be sure.  On Friday Feb. 11th I was having some regular contractions.  I wasn't convinced it was "the real thing," but enough was happening to cause me to cancel my plans (going to Bible study) that day and keep in touch with Rob regularly that day.  By early in the afternoon I suspected this was not "it" and sure enough it all fizzled out in the next couple of hours.

About a week later on the 18th things started up again.  We had quite a few plans that day and my contractions were so strong that even if I wasn't in labor it really was not safe for me to be driving around.  We canceled the day's plans.  In another hour or so I thought it may be a good idea to have Rob start the process of coming home since I knew it could take a while.  A little while later the midwife was on her way over.  We thought I was making progress, but after a few hours we realized the contractions really were not very productive.  My awesome midwife realized what was most likely going on (muscle spasms that felt STRONG, but were unproductive).  She recommended some supplements and a few other things to do to try to stop this if it was indeed false labor.  Oh how I love her!  Not only did it calm and stop the contractions, but I had not felt so good in weeks!

The day I hit 39 weeks baby decided to start spinning.  First it just went to breech and stayed there for 3 days.  Then it started going to transverse and back up for a day.  After that it kept going up and down.  At 40 weeks my baby was still spinning.  While this little stinker was taking this much farther than any of it's siblings, this is not out of the "normal" range for me.  I've had several babies spinning, even over due.  We were not too worried and decided to just wait and see what the position was when I went into labor.  Given that baby was so actively spinning there was no point in doing anything about the situation.

At 40 weeks +2 days I had an appointment with my midwife.  It was time to talk about plans for helping baby out.  Baby was transverse.  We decided that it would be in both my and baby's best interest to move things along as soon as she went head down next.  After a quick ultrasound to verify baby's position the midwife gave a gentle nudge in the right direction and sent me on the way.  I was to let her know the next morning if baby was head down....or just next time it was in position.  We'd be staying in touch the next few days.  Miss E and I headed to Costco.  By the time we were there I could tell baby was head down.  The walking helped keep it there.

The next day happened to be Rob's birthday.  Baby was head down.  The midwife was texted with the info and she said she'd be by later to get things moving as long as baby really was head down.  Rob got his first gift...the day off while we figured out what was to be done and prepared for a (likely) birth.  My wonderful midwife showed up a bit after noon.  We verified, yes, baby was still head down.  It was time to move things along before baby decided to spin again.  She broke my water and after monitoring us for a while headed out for a quick appointment.  She'd be back in a couple of hours.  In the mean time we were told to find a funny movie and laugh while we waited.  It's supposed to be good for labor.  Another option was given as well...just watch the antics of Miss A, she was especially cute that afternoon.  It was nap time though, so  we watched a movie. :)

Around 3 I could no longer sit comfortably, walking didn't feel that great either.  I made them pause the movie and start filling the birthing tub.  I really had to focus on those contractions.  The midwife's assistant showed up and helped me change to get into the tub.  That tub could not fill fast enough, those contractions were strong!  Getting in the tub felt so much better.  The contractions were still very strong, but they were different; like pressure instead of pain.  I was only in there for a little while when I felt ready to push.  I could hear my midwife coming in.  I let her know it was time.  The plan was for Miss E to deliver, and that was what happened.  My midwife directed her and helped her as baby was born "sunny side up"

It's a girl!  Baby girl was born on her Daddy's 40th birthday, delivered by her oldest sister!  Over the next couple of hours we had some bonding time as older sisters and brothers came in to admire their new sister.  This was our first home birth and it was just as great as I had hoped.  Laboring in the comfort of my own home was so much more relaxing and easy.  The kids could come and go as they pleased and I was able to go right to bed and stay there bonding with my little one.  Want to know more about why we would choose a home birth?  Check out this post

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Welcome Miss F!

Miss F arrived on her Daddy's birthday and was delivered (with the help of our midwife) by her big sister Miss E!  More details to follow
Yes, she is a red head!