Saturday, September 19, 2015

September School Days

We are still taking a break from our at-home homeschooling, but the kids have started their once-weekly school programs!

The "big girls" are going to a Kids Day Out program on Fridays at a local church. It's from 9-11:30. Meredith LOVES it. For being our most reserved child, she is also the one who likes to be out-and-about the most. It's a strange combination but fits her perfectly. Paige, unfortunately, is having a rough time with KDO :( I think it's a combination of Daphne's birth, first preschool/new teachers, and having lots of activities on Wed-Fri - she is just burnt out by the time we reach Friday mornings. I'm sure she'll enjoy it...eventually.

Russell is going to The Learning Vine homeschool enrichment center for his 3 Friday classes (Musical Foundations, Aquatic Animals, and Literary Construction Hour). He is loving it and doing really well! He has a friend he already knew in 2 of his 3 classes, so I know that helped him feel comfortable. Even without his friend, though, I think he would have been fine. He is amazing me lately with his grown-up maturity.
Also, we had an awesome homeschool family social last night organized by our good friends Julie M and Rachel H. We had a potluck pizza dinner, a Bible story, kids' Bible songs, and a great game of freeze tag. We had a blast! We love the homeschooling community and how fun, welcoming, and Christ-focused it is.

Thankful for homeschool friends and activities, especially in this busy season of little ones!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pops and Mimi Week

We were all looking forward to a week with Pops and Mimi! "Helpful" isn't a good enough word to describe them - they kept life running for the week they were here.

In keeping with her tradition (it seems), Mimi gave Daphne her first bath. I was mostly taking pictures but did help a little :)

My parents read the kids some picture books on their tablets - always a favorite!

Pops and Meredith are always up for a nap :)

...and Daphne is learning all about Russell's love for Legos!

My favorite girls!

Russell and Meredith played a good game of Battleship against Pops:

Snuggles with Mimi:

And the kids spent as much time holding and playing with Daphne as possible!

It was an awesome week! We're counting down until Thanksgiving when we can see them again!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Daphne meets her siblings

We had a couple days at home as a family of 6 before my parents came to help out. The kids were so excited to meet Daphne! Russell will tell you that he was "a little disappointed" she isn't a brother, but he loves her so much anyway :)

First time in the swing. She is not crazy about it - her favorite thing is being held, of course.

Babies are tiring!

So thankful for my 3 helpers!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Daphne's birth and hospital stay

Well, I never would have believed I'd actually go into labor (vs. being induced, like with the other three) - but it happened! I started having irregular, more painful contractions Monday night, 8/24, which was my due date. They increased to 6-7 minutes apart on Tuesday morning, then went back to 20 minutes apart for the rest of the day.

On Tuesday afternoon around 4, one of our close friends from NC flew into town with her little boy. They were planning to stay with us for 2 nights. Kristen knew she was "on call" to watch the kids if I went into labor - and I did!

(Daphne and me on Monday, 8/24, my/her due date - before we knew she was Daphne :))

At about 5 pm Tuesday, contractions moved to 5 minutes apart. I was really wanting to wait to go to the hospital until I was sure it was true labor - I did not want to be sent home!

Kristen (and my mom, whom I called) suggested going on a walk and then seeing how I felt. Well, we got all the kids ready and were about to walk when I just knew I couldn't. It was too painful. So instead, Jason and I left for the hospital! SO THANKFUL Kristen was already there to watch the kids; what a blessing!

When we finally got there (we had a lot of trouble figuring out where to park) and checked into triage at about 8 pm, I was extremely surprised to find out that I was 6-7 cm dilated! Yay - no going home!

We got into a real L&D room and got an epidural right away. Well, it was ordered right away. I was afraid it wasn't going to work in time. The doctor took forever to even get started, and then took even longer to get it put in. I was 8+cm by the time it started working - but still, what a relief :)

Everything went quickly and perfectly, and before we knew it, Daphne was here! She did have the cord wrapped around her neck once when she was born, but the doctor said everything happened so fast that it didn't affect her. Her Apgar scores were 8 and 9.

Some pictures from our hospital stay:

First bath!

Daphne is a great baby - nurses really well and sleeps well (so far - I'm sure sleeping patterns will change). She looks exactly like her sisters did when they were born:

Daddy/Daphne cuddle time:

One other thing (just for my notes): I did have some health issues on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning after Daphne was born. I lost too much blood too quickly and fainted twice in the bathroom. It was pretty dramatic - scared Jason and, I think, the nurses too. They gave me some more IV fluids and pitocin, and I was good after that!

Otherwise, the hospital stay was a vacation for these two tired parents :) A sweet baby, cooked-to-order food (I actually have no problem with hospital food), and even time to watch a new movie! 

We came home around 11 am Thursday morning - to a clean house and entertained children! Several friends helped out while we were gone and we could never thank them enough: Kristen (of course), Rachel, Julie, Jenny and Sophie, and Karyn - THANK YOU! 

Welcome, miss Daphne! You are precious, blessed, and loved!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's a girl!

She's here!

Daphne Belle
8/25/15 (only one day after her due date - and no induction this time!)
7 lbs 11 oz
19 in long

and perfect

Looks just like her sisters!

We have had a wonderful first week with our Daphne. More updates will come soon!