The end of January brought Annie’s first smiles. I love it so much! She has the sweetest face!
Thankfully we had a very mild January so the older kids were able to spend time outside and play with friends. That allowed for some calm days for Annie and me. And it helped the older kids not get the typical January cabin fever. It also allowed me to get out of the house some days to run errands and try to return to normal life.
Annie hit a bunch of milestones. We couldn’t take her grunting anymore so she moved to her own bed in mid January. It helped us all sleep a lot better. Her belly button finally fell off when she was 3 weeks old so she finally got to take a real bath. That started 2 months of complete torture. She screamed and screamed through every single bath, post bath and getting dressed afterwards for months. It was pretty abysmal. Baby acne came through in the month of January. That is always a sad time because her face just looked sad. I had to document that I did produce a lot of milk but that she was just too stubborn to drink it from me. Jack attempted to take a selfie with Annie! I love it because it documents Annie to perfection. A lot of tears. We survived one month and we love her to pieces.
Cora was blessed so my parents returned for the weekend. It also happened to fall on my mom’s 60th birthday so we were able to celebrate with her which was fun. We love Grannie Jannie.
We went as a family to see the Greatest Showman. We loved it so much and Annie was a nice lady through the whole show!
Luke loves his buddies. He drew a picture of him and his friend Olivia. He is giving her flowers! I love the attention to detail he puts into his pictures…her brown eyes and curly hair, his green eyes, the scalloped hem on her dress. He kills me. And one shot of him and his best buddies playing PJ Masks.
On January 2 we took Annie in for her 2 week appointment. I was all set to tell the doctor all about how fussy she was, that she always wanted to eat & never seemed satisfied, that she cried any time she wasn’t sleeping or eating, and how she grunted all night long. I was convinced from all of my internet research (ha!) that she must have silent reflux since she almost never spits up. Or that she had a broken collar bone or something! But I ended up not having to mention any of that because once the nurse weighed her I knew that she probably had all of these problems because she really was starving. She was down to 7 lbs 15 oz., 9 oz from her birth weight and one ounce under what she left the hospital weighing. For some reason she was not getting enough to eat even though I always heard her gulping it down, felt my milk come in every time, and felt like it was going just like all the rest of my babies. Mystery! So that landed us in the lactation clinic where the nurse there really couldn’t figure it out. Her final conclusion after being with us for about 2 hours was that she just must be a lazy sucker. She gave me a bunch of things to try to get my supply going and to encourage Annie to eat. It was really weird and kind of hard to realize that I was going to have trouble with breastfeeding on my 4th and final kid! I mean really??? Thankfully with a little supplementing we were able to get her back to gaining weight. She was up to 9 lbs. by her 1 month birthday. And with a little bit more food in her tummy she started to have more pleasant moments throughout the day which we were all grateful for! 2 week stats 7lbs 15 oz. (45%), 21.5 in (96%), 14.75 in. head (96%).
I die about this picture of Cora and Annie. This is exactly how Annie was in the beginning. The minute you put her down she would scream. And Cora’s face is so funny like she can’t even believe the noise coming out of this creature!
We closed out the year in a calm fashion this year. There was a lot of yawning, napping, puzzling, playing with friends, diaper changing and relaxing. Dan was able to join my parents at a BYU basketball game with the kids which was as fun outing for them. Annie and I did a lot of laying low. She was not a very happy baby those first few weeks so I could never even imagine leaving the house with her in tow honestly. But it did give me time to just cuddle her and take it easy which honestly I did not really do with my other babies. I was up and at it really quickly with the others. It was kinda nice to take it slow.
We are still amazed at how much dark hair she had when she was born. More hair than our other 3 kids combined. Love that I thought to document the first blow out! And why do all my babies come out knowing how to hold up their heads. They all have had the strongest necks despite their heads being ginormous!
My mom asked Luke to come sit on her lap and give her a hug. He refused but Jack obliged and it was a very funny scene. He is about 6 inches away from being taller than my mom!
Best picture of 2017!!! I die over this one!
Christmas went off without a hitch! I was happy that I had done almost all of the prep before Annie got here. The kids were up around 6:30 which is pretty good for this house. They loved all the gifts and had a fun time opening them. We loved eating cinnamon pull aparts and bacon for breakfast. Dan was nice enough to take the kids out and build a snowman in the new fallen snow. We talked to our Herway cousins which is always such a fun time. We had visits from Grandpa and Grandma Grossen. The only bummer was that Grandpa Podge woke up with a horrible migraine and had to miss out on seeing Star Wars with everyone else that day. We couldn’t escape the sicknesses this winter break. Annie was pretty chill on Christmas day which was the miracle that we all had been praying for!
Everyone was so excited to have Annie home. We made it home in the nick of time too. The first snow storm of the year rolled in just hours after we got home. The only sad thing was that the very day we got home all the kids came down with a cold and cough. So we were immediately thrown into trying to keep her safe from all the germs. My mom even got the cold bug too. It was a major bummer. Thankfully we were able to keep her healthy. The kids fast learned that newborns are kind of boring! Ha! They kept saying things like “she’s always eating”, “she’s always sleeping” or “she cries a lot”. But they still wanted to hold her and checked in on her whenever they saw her.
Those first days home are kind of a blur. Adjusting to a newborn is no small task. And Annie was a pretty fussy lady those first few weeks. She wanted to eat all the time. And as soon as she would get her burp out she would scream for more. She just never seemed content. So she was either sleeping or eating. She did ok at night. But she was a super loud sleeper, grunting like crazy. She ended up in our bed way more than any of the other kids because it was the only place she would be quiet! And let’s face it, I am so old and so tired! Add to all these factors that her bilirubin was running high and we had to take her to the hospital for a blood draw 3 times! No fun at all. We learned early on that she doesn’t like to be in the car!
First bath at home went about as well as you can imagine! Ha! I love that you can tell that Dan is saying “Shhhh” in that last picture.
Grandpa showed a day earlier than he told us he would be so that was a super fun surprise. It helped to alleviate my moms concerns about him driving all alone from California because she didn’t even know that he was driving that day. He brought a box full of their delicious oranges from the tree in the backyard. They are seriously the best oranges ever.
Christmas Eve was low key this year. We decorated cookies to leave out for Santa and the kids made sure that their presents were under the tree that they had wrapped for each other. Dan smoked some ribs and my grandma came over. We played some Christmas songs on the piano and read Luke 2. Then we watched a Christmas movie. Before bed, the kids set out their cookies and some carrots. The snow started to fall just before bedtime. I couldn’t believe that we were in for our 4th straight white Christmas.
I decided early on that I wanted to be induced with this baby. The unpredictability of a December 22 due date was just too much to handle for me. I knew I would end up there on Christmas Eve or Christmas day itself if I waited to go on my own. So we elected to do it on the 18th so that we could enjoy one more weekend at home. Dan and I actually had 2 dates that weekend to see Star Wars and to his WGR Christmas Party so we went out with a bang!
The hospital called on Sunday night and said they wanted us there at 6:15 am. So it was a bright and early wake up call. And I actually slept the night before which I was thankful for. I remember when they took us to our room and I got all hooked up to the monitors & pitocin that I couldn’t believe this was happening again. It seemed kind of like an out of body experience. I checked in at 1 cm dialated/80% effaced–the same I had been the whole last month. Dr. Savage came in about an hour into my Pitocin and broke my water. About an hour after that and after feeling only 5 contractions I got my epidural. I thought it felt fine initially. I could still move my legs. But within an hour I could feel my contractions every time. Not super painful but not super comfortable either. That continued until the baby was born for the most part. They double dosed me at some point which only helped for about another hour until the pain came back. Anyway I progressed slowly in the beginning, sometimes only 1/2 cm in 1.5 hours. My nurse brought in a big peanut shaped pillow to put between my legs. That is supposed to open the pelvis and help the baby move down since I carry my babies super high. We did that 2 different times. Finally around 3:15 pm I was dialated to 7 cm. Within minutes I felt real pain/pressure and called the nurse back in. She checked again and I was 10 cm. The baby was still sitting high up so that gave Dr. Savage time to drive up from Provo. But those minutes were excruciating to me. Just very uncomfortable. I decided with this delivery that I wanted the mirror so that I could watch. So after one push the baby came down enough that they flipped the mirror up & I could see a lot of dark hair! I pushed through 4 contractions or so & Dr. Savage recommended an episiotomy which I have had with all my other deliveries. After she made the cut, the next push the baby came right out. It was awesome to watch! Like seriously, my body is amazing that it can grow this baby and push it out. A miracle. Dan was the first to see the gender and he quietly said “Ame it’s a girl (I tear up just writing this).” And I immediately put my hands over my face and cried. We had really wanted a girl. It seemed amazing that it was a girl. I held her for about 5 minutes before they took her away to start her measurements and such. 8lbs 8oz and 20 inches long born at 3:59 pm. Within about 10 minutes I could tell they were worried about her breathing. She just seemed to keep holding her breath & then she’d scream and let it all out. After Dr. Savage finished putting my back together she went to Annie and suctioned out some fluid from her throat. But that didn’t do the trick either. Eventually the respiratory therapist came in and he said a bunch of scary things…”These sound like painful cries. She could have a malformation in her airway. We need to take her to the nursery & possibly the NICU, etc.” So within a few minutes they wheeled her away. We decided then to call the kids since we knew they were waiting to hear if it was a boy or a girl. Their reaction made my whole day. They literally went crazy and my mom and Kerri cried! We told them that they probably wouldn’t be able to meet her because of her breathing problems. But that they could still come to the hospital to see me. After we talked to them I sent Dan to be with the baby while I waited to be moved to our new room. He came back and reported that she was still doing her breathing problems & that they were waiting for the neonatologist to get there to evaluate her. In the meantime they were going to move her to the NICU. It was a sad time. Even though I felt like she would be fine, its hard to not be able to hold your little one or have them there with you. The kids arrived and it was fun to see them & to show them pictures of her. About 15 minutes after they arrived our nurse came in and said “Annie is on her way to your room now. She seems to be doing just great.” Hallelujah! So it was a sweet meeting after all. Family of 6 all together.
The hospital stay was a little different this time around. Usually I eat every second of it up. It feels like such a special time. And I felt that a little bit. But it was also different because Dan had to be parent to our other kids who had Christmas concerts and dance recitals on the very days I was in the hospital. So he had to leave at different times to see them perform which meant some alone time for me. Plus Annie was not that sweet of a lady at the hospital. Dan and I both commented that we couldn’t remember our other babies crying this much at the hospital (that should have been our first clue about this little one!). She had a hard time nursing. She seemed like she was starving at all times but refused to nurse. Anyway it wasn’t as peaceful as I remembered it being. And by the end of the 2 days there, I felt ready to be going home with our new little lady.
These days seem like a distant memory now. But we did do a few things before the baby arrived that need to be documented!
Luke’s little preschool group is so fun! We went down to the BYU Art Museum one day. They have a little preschool program where they took us around to different paintings and talked about them and then we did some art projects of our own. It was very cute. I love BYU. Also one day they told me that they all needed to take a nap. I told them I thought that was a brilliant idea! Ha! It only lasted a few moments.
We went and picked out our Christmas tree the first Saturday in December. We say this every year but we really believe this was our best tree yet! And I just love the fireplace at Christmas and we were pretty excited to put up 2 stockings on the last hook depending on if we had a boy or a girl!
Dan and I had a date night every weekend leading up to the baby being born. Kind of like our last hurrah! One night we went downtown with our friends to dinner. Afterwards the husbands went to the Jazz game (where Todd hooked them up with seats in a courtside suite) and us girls went shopping and desserting around City Creek. We have made the sweetest friends here in Lehi. We just love them.
We had the Moody boys over finally. It made me kids the happiest. And they just played and played for hours with no problems. We sure miss Sam and Harvey.
Santa paid a visit to Grandma Pett’s house. Sophie and Luke were happy to sit on his lap and make their requests. Luke wants an orange two wheel scooter and Sophie a guitar.
We had Christmas at both Grandpa and Grandma’s. It is always fun to be together with cousins. At Grandpa’s we decorated gingerbread houses. Bless the grandparents for orchestrating such things cause I don’t think it would happen otherwise! Sophie loves her Shopkins mall she got from Grandma.
My mom arrived on the 15th and we enjoyed a weekend of fun before the baby came on Monday. Right before we put the kids to bed on Sunday night my mom said we should take a final family photo and a belly shot of me. I was hesitant because my pregnant self was huge! But I’m so happy to have these photos now. We had a great ride as a family of 5 but it was time for a bigger and better life with our new addition.
Luke had the cutest Friendsgiving at preschool. I was dying over these pictures. Especially the one of him and his friend Jack doing a belly bump because both of their “tummies were huge from eating so much food.” Love these buddies.
We had quite a few boy meltdowns at the beginning of the month. The joy of blogging a month behind is that I can’t remember what they were about. But I sure love to document these to show that its not always the easiest being a mom!
We got out some of Christmas décor just to get started. Luke was overjoyed to help me out and felt the need to put on his Christmas sweater the next day for school.
Sometimes Luke and Jack can actually be touching and not end up wrestling. Its pretty miraculous when it happens.
We spent a lot of time snuggling with baby Cora. Sophie is a miracle worker. I can’t wait for her extra set of hands when our little one gets here.
There were a couple of nights that we found Luke sleeping at the bottom or the top of the stairs. I’m not sure how we didn’t hear him or see him until right before we went to bed on this night. But I’m glad we did. What if he had turned over the other way and tumbled down the stairs?! That would have been scary to hear in the middle of the night. Sneaky little guy.
We had the best Thanksgiving this year. Deeds, Kimmy and Lynlea came down from Rigby which was fun. I sure love that Lynlea girl. We spent most of the day on Wednesday cooking food. It made Thanksgiving a little less busy. We were even able to actually play a card game before we got everything ready for dinner. The food was amazing and the pies were even better. On Friday we went and saw the new Disney movie Coco. It is such a wonderful movie. Everyone should see it! On Saturday the boys went to see the Justice League movie and us ladies hung around with the kiddos. That night we went and enjoyed a Mexican dinner. It was fun to be together and to laugh a lot (did you see Deeds in that Yeti costume?). Thanksgiving is such a fun holiday to me. I love being with my family.