Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Carving Pumpkins!

So we spent our Family Home Evening activity this week carving our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. This is the first year that we've let Abby and Landon carve pumpkins by themselves (we usually paint them...less messy and dangerous) and they did a pretty great job! 

The hardest part was getting all that pumpkin gunk out of the inside!! We did have Nolan paint his pumpkin which he thoroughly enjoyed...and thoroughly colored green!

Hard at work with Jason and Maylie supervising...

Three finished products at night...

I took these shots the next morning so we could really see what each pumpkin looked like. Nolan was a very willing model too!

Here is my pumpkin (first time using a pattern...not too shabby!)

This is Landon's pumpkin. It is Harry Potter complete with glasses and lightning scar!

Abby's pumpkin on the left is a pirate. She decided she wanted to both carve and use some paint to give it some finishing touches. Bet you can't tell which one is Nolan's?!?!?

And the grand masterpiece of them all...Jason's castle pumpkin!!

I have some pretty vivid memories from growing up and carving pumpkins together as a family and it is fun to now have kids who are old enough so that we can also "carve" some family memories together!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Pickin' Time!

We went to Reynolds Farm last Saturday for our annual pumpkin picking adventure! We have been going to this same place since we moved here seven years ago and it has been fun to see our family change from one 1-year-old child in 2007...

To now FOUR children in 2014!!

My how we have grown!!

First thing on our list to do...a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins for this year!

A mad dash to find the best (but still small enough to carry) pumpkin out there...

We searched high and low to find the right one...

Some were even bigger than we were!!

And some made a pretty nifty riding toy!! (Nolan got on this pumpkin and started yelling "Yee-Haw!")

Our cute little pumpkin pickers!!

Such beautiful country we live in!

We spent the next few hours playing in the play area with slides, a pirate ship, a castle, tractor rides, petting zoo, etc. Then right at the end we hit up the corn maze. It felt like we were going in circles for a LONG time and I thought at one point it may just be easier to cheat and call it quits, but we persevered and eventually found our way out!!

Such a fun way to celebrate this Fall season!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I surrender!!

This girl can often be found sleeping like this during the day. We call it her "I surrender" pose! She gets swaddled up good and tight at night though and so far has been a great sleeper, usually waking up only twice a night to eat and then going right back to sleep. Thank goodness for big babies who can sleep for longer periods of time at night! It makes all the difference to get some good, long chunks of sleep during the newborn phase!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The many faces of Maylie Magoo!

I am pretty much obsessed with this little girl and her squishable chubby cheeks...

How could you not love this adorable little beauty?!?!?
Maylie Elizabeth was named after two very special women...both of her Grandmas. We took the first three letters of Jason's mom's name (Maylene) and combined it with the last three letters of my mom's  name (Julie) to form the name Maylie. Her name also means "beautiful" in Mandarin Chinese, which fits our little girl very well. Elizabeth is a family name on both sides but was named specifically after her great-great-great Grandmother Ann Elizabeth Webster who was a pioneer who traveled with the Martin Handcart Company across the plains into Salt Lake City. She gave birth to a baby girl while making that journey and her story gave me a lot of strength and courage during this pregnancy and enduring my own labor and delivery. 

Our Maylie Elizabeth is a very special girl with a pretty special name to match!

Monday, October 20, 2014

First Bath!

Abby and Landon missed Maylie's first bath since they were at school.
But I did have one little helper!
Maylie doesn't love bath time but she sure smells good afterwards!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Family Love

Maylie and I both slept much better the night we returned home from the hospital and the whole family enjoyed having us home. It was so nice to be able to spend Sunday at home while sitting and watching General Conference. It was a great way to relax after Maylie's fast and furious entrance into the world. Admittedly I have become a bit of a baby hog and cherish the time I get to sit and hold Maylie. I waited a long time to hold her in my arms and I am taking full advantage of it now.

However, I do share her every now and then as evidenced below...

Nolan asks to hold Maylie numerous times each day although he only lasts about 10 seconds before he finds something better to do!

He sure is a great big brother though!

Landon was not thrilled about having a baby sister but quickly changed his mind once she was born. He is always talking and singing to her and loves giving her big smooches. I am amazed at how much he has grown to love her already.

Abby is thrilled about having a sister although she wishes she would grow up a bit faster so she could play with her more. I know only too well how fast she will grow and am just trying to soak it all in while I can.

Me and my little one...I just love to kiss and snuggle those chunky cheeks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coming Home!

After just 24 hours in the hospital, we were itching to come home. I never sleep very well in the hospital with nurses coming in and out (plus I could hear the woman next door in labor that night which made a truly restful sleep nearly impossible.) Jason had gone home to be with the kids that night, and stayed up way too late watching the disastrous BYU football game against Utah State (ouch!) It was nice spending some one on one time with Maylie, but I missed being with the rest of my little clan. The whole family came back up on Saturday morning and we tried to listen to General Conference a bit before finally being discharged around 4 pm that afternoon.

Maylie looked pretty cute in her coming home outfit. Her onesie says "Born in 2014."

Look at that sweet little face!

Matching hospital bands...

Welcome home little Maylie!

Monday, October 13, 2014

She is Here!!!

Little Miss finally came a whole TWO weeks after her due date!! We are so ecstatic to have her here and we are all madly in love with this little sweetie pie!

But let's back up a bit shall we...

I was not surprised in the least to go over my due date. Each one of my kids have been late and all of them have had induction dates, but eventually they all came out before their "eviction notice" went into effect. I had what I hoped would be my last prenatal appointment on Tuesday, September 23rd. I was 2 cm dilated, 75% effaced, and her head was VERY low. I had them do a membrane sweep as this had put me into labor within 24 hours with both Landon and Nolan. I went home feeling crampy and a few hours later the contractions started. I really thought it would be happening that night so I got my bags packed, said goodnight and goodbye to the kids that night and explained I probably wouldn't be around in the morning because I would be having a baby! I even called our babysitter to give her a heads up that it looked like we would be needing her at some point during the night. Then after about 3 hours of pretty steady contractions, they petered out and went away. I was a bit frustrated. I had never had false labor before...contractions for me in the past always meant it was baby time, but not this time!! I had a few more nights during that week of contractions that would last a few hours and then fade away. This girl was really being stubborn about coming out!!

I had my next prenatal appointment on Tuesday, September 30th and since I was in my 41st weeks of pregnancy by that point, I had to have an NST and an ultrasound to verify that both baby and I were doing well (we were, thankfully!) Since it looked like my September baby would actually now be an October one, I discusses with my midwife Nicole what my options were. Basically I had two options...1. Schedule an induction for Friday morning when my favorite midwife Donna would be on call or 2. Come in on Friday for another NST and ultrasound and wait it out until Monday which would be the latest they would allow me to go. I really had no desire to go through another 3-hour appointment on Friday and wait through another weekend, so Jason and I decided together that a Friday induction date would be best. I really thought I would set the date and then this little girl would come on her own just like all the others, but she had a little mind of her own!!

On Friday morning, we dropped off Nolan at our neighbor's hours, dropped off Abby and Landon at the bus stop and then headed to the hospital. I had a lot of tears on the way...I kind of felt like an impostor going to the hospital to have a baby when I wasn't in labor!! Plus I was pretty scared of the whole induction process since that would all be new to me. We registered at the front desk and then headed back to our room. I always get a bit antsy once I am inside that labor and delivery room because I know I won't be able to leave until I push a baby out, always a bit daunting in my opinion!!

My midwife came in at 9:30 and we discussed the course of action for the day. I explained I wanted to hold off on Pitocin for as long as possible, so we decided to do the gel on the cervix to hopefully get things going on their own. If that didn't work, they would try breaking my water and then Pitocin would be the last option we tried. Right at 10:00 a.m. they checked my cervix (3 cm at that point) and then inserted the gel. I had some intense cramping as soon as they inserted the gel, which they said was a really good sign. About 30 minutes after the gel was inserted, the contractions started for good and came pretty regularly from there on out (about every 2-3 minutes.) The worst part was that I had to lie in bed for 90 minutes with the gel so that it could do it's work on the cervix. Laboring while lying down is not my favorite and I was so relieved when they finally let me out of bed. I spent the next hour walking around the room and leaning on Jason when the contractions came. Around 12:30 p.m. that became too much so I sat in the rocking chair and labored there for another hour. I need complete silence while I labor (no TV, no music, no talking) because I really go inside myself, urging myself on as I try to stay on top of and breathe through each contraction. At about 1:30 the contractions started coming closer together and were getting pretty rough. I was also starting to feel some pressure so I stood up to get back in the bed and felt my water break (that was the pressure I was feeling.) The midwife came back in to check me at that point and I was 7 cm dilated but the head was right there. She knew things were going to go pretty fast from that point on so she stayed in the room with me and let me labor how I saw fit (which is why I really like her!) I knew I was hitting transition at this point, my body was shaking and the contractions were incredibly intense. I remember asking Jason to "help me" at several points during this time, although I had no idea what he could do for me! After three natural deliveries, I realize that when you reach the point where you really don't think you can do it any longer, you are almost done. Then just 40 minutes after my water broke, I felt like it was time to push. I still had a bit of cervix in the way but I was able to push it out of the way and finally dilated to a 10 just minutes before our little girl was born. The pushing was REALLY intense as she was turned slightly and kept sliding back in, but finally at 2:18 p.m. our little girl was finally out and the immense relief that it was over came flooding over me!! Childbirth is no joke, but seeing her for the first time truly made it all worth it! I was so thankful that even though I had to be induced, I never had to be on Pitocin (I didn't even have an IV!) and was able to have the natural delivery that I had wanted. The fact that it only lasted 4 hours from start to finish was also a HUGE blessing!!

There was meconium in the fluid when my water broke so they immediately passed her off to a neonatologist to suction her out and make sure she was okay (all of my kids have had this so I wasn't too surprised but still missed having her brought immediately to me first!) 

After getting weighed and measured (8 lbs 12 oz, 22 inches)...

And wiped off a bit...

I finally got to hold my little baby girl for the first time. I was already so in love!!

Daddy was pretty enamored with her too!!

I mean look at that adorable little face with those squishy little cheeks!!

After a few hours of bonding time with just Mom and Dad, Jason left to go pick up the kids so they could meet their new baby sister!!

Abby was so excited to finally have another girl in the family...

Landon decided right away that having another sister was actually pretty great!!

And Nolan is a great big brother and loves giving her hugs and kisses all the time!!

Welcome to the world 

Miss Maylie Elizabeth Call!! 

We are so excited to now be a family of SIX!!