Monday, November 29, 2010

Eyes Open

Every time this baby opens her eyes I am blown away. It's hard to capture on camera, but she has this amazing look of ancient wisdom. It's really dazzling coming from such a tiny little face. I think she is a very old and wise soul. I feel so blessed to have her in our family.

It's wonderful how the fifth baby is every bit as unique and glorious as each of the others. Some people might look at my family and just see a big pack of kids, but I see five very singular individuals, each one with their own set of talents and abilities that add richness to the flavor of my family.

I love that story about the Roman noblewoman Cornelia whose simple mode of dress was questioned by some of her wealthy and ornately ornamented friends. In response she indicated her young sons and said "these are my jewels." That's definitely how I feel about my children.

And I have FIVE of them!

But then, I always did seem to be luckier than most people.
Posted by Picasa

Thank You, Aunt Crocodile!

My dear sister deserves a medal after this week. She is used to a quiet house where your shoes and keys are exactly where you left them and where you can nap when you want to and where nothing smells like pee. I was sort of waiting for her to come unglued after a few days here at Toad Hall, and she didn't. She was amazing. She cooked, fed, washed endless dishes, and ran laundry through constantly without me even asking her to. She read tons of stories. She even changed poopy Rabbit diapers without batting an eye.

She has been wanting for several years now to be at one of her sisters' births. I'm so glad it finally worked out this time. She even got to cut the cord, which she thought was pretty cool. And you can see from this picture that Baby is quite fond of her aunt.

(This little one smiles a LOT in her sleep. And all that talk of "it's just gas pain" is baloney. She's really smiling. Must be good dreams.)
Posted by Picasa

Badger Snuggles

(I'm not the only besotted parent around here.)

Posted by Picasa

Coming Home

We had to cinch and cinch the car seat straps until they were snug enough around this teeny little body! And her going-home outfit was way too big (she's swimming in everything!) But look at that sweet perfect round little face! Don't you love that little nose? (I can't help myself-- I must gush a little bit.)

Posted by Picasa

Meeting the Fan Club

I'll never forget the moment on Saturday morning when the door to my room opened and in walked my four children, eyes shining like it was Christmas morning. They reverently walked to the bed and began gazing raptly at their new baby sister. I knew it was a moment that the older ones would remember the rest of their lives and it was so glorious to watch the love and happiness flood across their faces.

Posted by Picasa

More Newborn Pics

Those of you who are anxious to see pictures, have no fear: there will be lots!

Posted by Picasa

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Just after midnight on Saturday I delivered by far the smallest baby I have ever had. She was full-term and typically my full-term infants are over 8 lbs, but she weighed in at 6 lbs 7 oz.

I still can't get over how tiny she is. Everything about her is absolutely perfect and beautiful and yet so very, very small. I just can't stop staring at her. I'm madly in love.

And the birth? It was perfect, almost like it was orchestrated. I went into labor around dinner time on Friday, but I wasn't sure if it was still just false labor because I'd been having lots of that. When it was time to put the kids to bed I decided that I would lie down and try to go to bed and if things continued I would know it was probably time to go to the hospital. So, like maybe in about two hours.

We had family prayer and as soon as we were done my sister looked at the Badger and said "I think we should take Birrd to the hospital now." He said "Yes, I feel the same way." I'm so grateful for that prompting they received because if I'd waited until I thought I should go I might have had the baby in the car like I'd been so worried about.

So my sister drove me to the hospital and once the OB triage people had determined that this was very much a go I called my friend Becky to come over and stay with the kids. Once she got to my house the Badger made a beeline for the hospital. He got there the same time my midwife did-- she had an even further drive into the hospital than we did, it turns out. And the baby was born half an hour later. It was just perfect.

I am so very very happy!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Thanksgiving Dinner That Almost Wasn't

Here we are sitting down to our simple, yet delicious Thanksgiving dinner Thursday afternoon.

I had contractions all night the night before (which kept me awake all night!) and that morning we weren't sure if we should put the turkey in or not. We had joked about having macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving and it looked for awhile like that might be the plan. But things kind of simmered down on the baby front during the morning, so the Badger and my sister decided to go ahead and make the traditional turkey dinner, just a little later than originally planned. I'm glad they did.

I helped a little bit, but they heroically did most of the work. We didn't have a fancily-set table and we just had the Thanksgiving basics, but they were delicious. The Badger is a genius with turkey and my sister is a genius with dessert, among other things.

I knew I was going to be having a baby within a couple of days and possibly within a few hours, so I didn't eat near as much as usual. I think it was the first Thanksgiving of my life where I didn't completely stuff myself.

But the great thing is, when I get home from the hospital today, there are still plenty of leftovers!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fall Color at the Zoo

It was such a beautiful day at the zoo, with temps in the low 70s and lots of fall color left.

I just felt so happy as I slowly waddled around with my family. I was very tired and had all sorts of aches in places I didn't even know I had, but it was impossible not to thoroughly enjoy my surroundings, despite the discomforts of pregnancy.

Actually, even though the very end of pregnancy is very uncomfortable, I feel better now than I have for most of the pregnancy. And the aches and pains really don't bother me a lot because I know they're not going to last much longer. I have a harder time dealing with morning sickness that I know is going to last for months than I do dealing with pain that is going to last only a week or two more at the most.

Cold weather is forecast for Oklahoma tomorrow. Maybe the temperature change will make me go into labor.
Posted by Picasa

At the End

Lots of women take tummy pictures at the end of their pregnancies and I usually forget, but with my sister and her camera here I got one this time.

Posted by Picasa

Zoo Exhibit

I've found that many people think that a family with a dad, a pregnant mom, and four kids is just as much to gawk at as a black bear or any other exhibit in the zoo.

I love my family. This is what I always wanted. And when people tell me I have my hands full I just smile and say "But I'm having so much fun!"

Slightly off-topic, but on a similar vein: people also often tell me "Enjoy your kids when they're little because those years go fast." That particularly bothered me with Bean because his toddler years seemed eternal-- he was such a handful. I mean, I enjoyed him, but it definitely didn't seem like it was going fast. I decided that "it goes fast" is not quite right, at least from my perspective. What's true is that "when it's over, it's over." You can never get it back, so you should enjoy it as much as you can while it lasts, whether that seems long or short. And I do enjoy it.
Posted by Picasa

Zoo Views

For the Badger's birthday we took a trip to the zoo. The Badger loves the zoo, and though his badger relative was not making himself available for viewing that day we still had plenty of great animal encounters. My sister got some great pictures:

The last one is by far my favorite. The otters are my favorite exhibit at this zoo and you couldn't have a more perfect picture!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Terrific Sunset

We sat on the lawn and watched an absolutely terrific sunset last night.

Well, we grownups sat. The boys didn't. But I think they still enjoyed the sunset.

Posted by Picasa

Another Great Thing About Living in the Country

BB shooting range? No problem!

Posted by Picasa

Ready For Baby

I just finished moving the car seats around in the van and I think we're just about ready for the new baby. My midwife said yesterday she didn't expect me to make it to my appointment next week. Everyone's pretty excited. My sister has been working on the pressure points in my heel to try to help things along.

I think the Rabbit is ready to be a big sister, if these photos are any indication!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Campfire

Yesterday was such an incredibly mild evening that we just had to have another one of our famous campfires. The Badger made a dutch oven stew and then we roasted sausages and made little apple pies with the pie irons.

We enjoyed a brilliant sunset followed by a magical moonrise over the pasture.

I think my sister enjoyed herself as much as we did!
Posted by Picasa