Sunday, September 23, 2007

A big day for homeschool!

We started school pretty early this year because I knew I'd need some time "off" while we all adjusted to having a new baby. While on hiatus, Levi spent a lot of time reading on his own. It finally dawned on me that my boy is reading! Not just the little one sentence per page books - anything he puts his mind to! I wanted to do something special to celebrate - something special that didn't involve going out for ice cream. There's a great new ice cream place close by and we've done a lot (this stuff is good, really good) of rewarding/bonding/celebrating with ice cream lately. So...I took Levi to get his very own library card! He was so excited! I think we'll make it a tradition that as each child learns to read they get their own card. Brenna is already working harder on her letters - if Levi has one, she wants one, too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A fashion update

It's hard to tell with my poor picture taking ability, but Brenna wore the most adorable outfit to church yesterday. The dress is a cream colored shift with pink flowers and a simple pink bow. The jacket has lace around the collar and sleeves. The real kicker? It was mine when I was little! My grandmother made it for me! I try so hard to keep my home decluttered and not be too sentimental when it's time to get rid of things, but I am so grateful that my mom held on to things from my childhood so that I have them to pass on.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Christian's birth story

I'm surprised that it's taken me so long to sit down and write about Christian's birth - he'll be two weeks old tomorrow! I usually bore everyone to tears going over and over all the details. I just felt more at ease this time, I think, so there was less to process after the fact.
I was pretty sure when I went to bed Wednesday night that I'd be in labor by morning. I don't know if it was just my own wishful thinking or intuition or what. I started having contractions around 2:30 when I was up with Jack (teething pain was keeping him up), but I decided to try to rest for awhile. After all, no one sleeps through labor, right? By 4:30 the contractions were strong enough to wake me up and convince me to call my doctor and call Casey home from work. While I waited on Casey to get home with his mom (our middle of the night babysitter), I finished packing my hospital bag and laying out everything the kids might need.
We finally left the house for the hour long drive just as the contractions seemed to slow down. They were getting stronger though so I felt pretty sure we wouldn't be going home empty handed. The drive was peaceful (although Casey could qualify for Nascar when he's a little nervous) and it was so good to have a little time to talk, just the two of us.
Once we got to the hospital and got settled in, the doctor checked me and decided we would need to go ahead with the c-section. But I had to wait my turn and I was fifth (that's right, fifth!) in line. Apparently my frequent flier card meant nothing to these people. My family started to trickle in - grandparents, my favorite aunt - around lunch and my mom called every hour to check on me and update me on her attempt to find a plane ticket out of Texas.
Finally they wheeled me into the operating room where I got a spinal and relief from the contractions. There's something very unfair about having to go through both contractions and a c-section. I had the most wonderful anesthesiologist. She was hysterically funny and reassuring all at the same time. She put me totally at ease, although it is hard to have a good belly laugh when you're numb from the sternum down. My doctor, too, was in rare form joking that Casey could come in as soon as I was covered up because "we can't have him seeing you naked!" When Casey did come in he was so sweet - it was so precious to be holding his hand when Christian was born.
I did have a few issues after the birth - serious shakes for about two hours, high blood pressure for the first week, nausea (always with the nausea). But I did not throw up on the operating table and for that I am immensely thankful!
The baby had to stay in the nursery for a little bit (the pediatrician wanted a chest x-ray because Christian was making a slight grunting noise) which postponed breastfeeding a bit and (I think) contributed to him having jaundice. Overall, though, things went very smoothly. Lots less drama than we have had with other babies:)
The kids came for a visit that afternoon and every day while we were in the hospital. They love the baby although Jack was not too happy with me while I was up there. I had to bribe him to even get a goodbye kiss! They had a really good time with Casey while I was gone and Levi got to go to the Cracker Barrel. I don't know which he was looking forward to more - the Cracker Barrel or the new brother.
My grandpa was especially happy -not only did we name the baby after him (Bethel is his last name) and give him the "Bethel nose" (well, not intentionally - sorry, Baby!), but he was born on Grandpa's birthday! We have a a real thing about naming the kids after someone we love and admire - someone we'd want our kids to be like as they grow up. My grandfather spent a big part of his childhood in an orphanage and enlisted in the army when he was so young he had to find his father to get permission. But he went on to build an incredible family of his own. And he really "adopted" my grandmother's family when he married into it - helping her sisters the way a brother would, not the way an in-law would be expected to. He served in two wars (twice in Vietnam). He and my my grandmother have been married for more than 50 years and their family includes 24 people now. If Christian grows up to be the kind of man that he's named after, I'll be very proud indeed.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What we've been doing all week

The big kids (even Jack!) are crazy about NewBaby. We were worried that Jack might be jealous, but so far so good. I keep meaning to sit down and write out Christian's birth story, but I honestly just haven't felt like doing much of anything just yet. On the one hand, I'm so happy I could bust. On the other hand, the littlest thing sends me scrambling for tissues and the big things (jaundice, doctor's appointments and disagreements, getting things "back to normal")have me falling apart. Ah, hormones.

Monday, September 03, 2007

He's Here!

Christian Bethel
August 30, 2007
7 pounds.7 ounces