Friday, March 29, 2013

Quick 5

O Death, where is your sting?
O Hell, where is your victory?...
Our God is not dead...He's alive, He's alive!

1.  In the midst of last week's yucky snowstorm we made the trek to my parents' house to celebrate Easter.  There was egg-dying and egg-hiding and egg-finding and ham eating.  It was fun for all.  Especially Joya, who was able to eat her chocolate marshmallow bunny by handing it to Grandad to open rather than to her mother, who surely would have made her wait until after dinner.

 2.  The girls are pretty sweet with Bria.  They always want to kiss her, although they seem to only want to kiss her while she's trying to eat.  And because of Joya's "germy germs" I do my best to keep her at an appropriate distance from Bria's face.  But Joya still tries to kiss her.  She most often tries when I have Bria up on my shoulder to burp in between and after feedings.  Which means most of Joya's kisses land on Bria's butt.  Who can say no to that?

3.  I read a hugely encouraging blog post this week called "5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity with a Newborn."  It was filled with tiny little nuggets that serve as good reminders for me in these super-long brief newborn days, written by a lovely gal who has a baby exactly one month older than Bria.  She has claimed these newborn days as a time to dream and plan, when she can't really accomplish all the normal things that you can when you don't have a newborn.  It was just the grace-filled statement I needed to hear, since I feel like I should be accomplishing quite a bit more than I am these days.  I need to recognize that this phase won't last forever, and it's okay to function at base-level survival, while dreaming and planning for the times when Bria's not so needy and I'm not so sleep deprived. My next question then is at what age are they no longer considered a newborn?  I think I need a deadline.

4.  The Kimble family is coming into town today.  Lee's parents and sister and brother-in-law are coming in to meet Bria and celebrate Easter and hopefully provide the girls with a much-needed reprieve from the monotony of our life right now.  I wish they could come visit more often because a) we genuinely enjoy hanging out with all of them and b) I love having a kick-in-the-butt to really clean my house.  They'll be here for a long weekend, and we are so excited.  Alaina's been counting down the "sleeps" all week.

5.  Here's a sweet little face to round out this week's Quick 5:
Christ is Risen, y'all!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Quick 5

Welcome, Spring!  Where have you been all my life?

1.  We finally made it to church!  And it was just as fun to show off Bria as we thought it would be.  It helps that everyone seemed to have a vested interest in Bria's outcome, since my role as nursery director made it possible for everyone to watch me grow more and more uncomfortable each week.  90% of the people who saw her said the same thing: "She looks JUST like her sisters!"  It's true.  She does.  So, for fun, I thought we'd do a little comparison here.  (Side note: I know I have a picture of Alaina's first bath at home somewhere.  But I can't find it.  So her hospital picture will have to do.)
Joya and Bria look near identical in these pictures to me, but when Bria is sleeping, she looks just like that picture of Alaina.  

2.  And here's another fun comparison:
Avery & Alaina, August 2008        
Alaina & Avery, March 2013
 3.  Lee took this past Monday off and was able to check another one of our To Dos off our list: painting my bathroom.  It was this really ugly shade of brown.  To make things simple, we picked an off-white color, just to get it done.  I think that was a mistake.  First, that room is very small and has a window, so a dark color would actually work great in there.  Now it just looks naked.  And makes me woefully aware of my lack of decorating skills.  It took three coats to cover the ugly brown, so I think I won't make Lee re-do it for a year or two.  Maybe that will give me time to figure out what color will actually work with the weird granite counter that the previous owners put in there.  At least it smells fresh and feels clean in there.

4.  Other than that, it's been a fairly quiet week around here.  The girls and I made our first trip to the mall to buy Alaina and Joya their spring/summer sandals.  And we ventured to Kohl's so I could buy a pair of jeans, since only one of my pairs has made the grade on this post-baby body. 

5.  The final stage of childbirth has started to play out: the influx of insurance EOBs and hospital bills.  Lovely.  A nice lady came to us while we were in the hospital and asked us to make a payment toward our future bill.  Then she gave us her card with her phone number on it when I told her that we would be requiring a payment plan for the rest of the amount.  She told me that I should call her number and not the customer service number on the bill because "those guys will make you cry."  I'm tempted to call the customer service number when we do get the final bill, because there is nothing they can say to make me give them money that I don't have.  I can only give them what we can each month.  I'd like to hear what they have to say about that.  What are they going to do, take Bria back? 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick 5

The Lord has done great things for us
and we are filled with joy!
Psalm 126:3
1. We took a giant step as a family this week and herded our brood over to meet the new neighbors.  A family moved into the house next door the Saturday after Bria was born.  There was a big snowstorm that weekend, and I was recovering from childbirth, so we didn't go over right then.  I finally felt good enough this week to bake some cookies and take them over, so we did.  And they are perfectly nice.  They're a young family like us, with two boys.  I was so glad we met them.  The next step is being intentional about forging some kind of relationship with them, but I'll take that one step at a time.
2.  There are two very good ways to lose pregnancy weight.  First is to breastfeed.  Second is to have a small, 4-year-old know-it-all who lectures you on proper dietary habits every day at lunch.  Granted, I've always fed my children better than I eat myself, most noticably in how many fruits and vegetables they eat.  But now Alaina is calling me out on it, instructing me on the importance of fruits and vegetables, and the dangers of eating too much sugar.  (I would like to say, however, that I'm not sure how much she understands about all of it, seeing as how in the middle of her lecture she often asks me for a cookie.) 
3.  I was terribly bummed last weekend when Joya spiked a fever on Saturday, preventing us from going to church on Sunday.  I was ready to venture into the world, and more than ready to introduce Bria around at church.  It has been almost a full month since I last stepped foot inside our church, and that was never my intention.  We're praying the girls all stay healthy this weekend so we can finally go as a family.
4.  Here are some pictures from the first weeks of Bria's life:
Mommy, Bria and Joya in the hospital
Bria's first bath (at home)
Three little ladies
Modeling one of the baby turbans that Grammy makes
How Bria looks in the morning after a long night of NOT sleeping
5.  I accidentally grew out my bangs.  I didn't mean for it to happen; I just didn't have time to get a haircut between Thanksgiving and Bria's birth.  I'm not sure I like it.  And I'm not sure I see time to get a haircut in the near future.  And really, who ever knows what to do with their hair anyway?  I need a hairstyle that a) is appropriate for a 30-year-old mother of three, b) only requires a cut every eight weeks rather than every four to six, and c) can be styled simply with a blow dryer and round brush each morning.  Does such a style exist?

And welcome to the world, Baby Elyssa!  Bria's first little friend was finally born on Wednesday, and we're thrilled for her family.

Spring is knocking on our door!  Let's welcome it with open arms.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quick 5 - We're Still Alive

Life moves on.

1.  There are a couple of details I want to remember about Bria's birth that I didn't put in her birth story:
* I watched Return to Me and The Wedding Planner while laboring that morning.  Lee played Angry Birds on my Kindle.  That's how relaxing the whole experience was.
* Once again I had a paramedic-in-training in the room to observe the whole thing.  His name was Neil, and he was there all morning with us (well, following around Laurie, my L&D nurse.)  He was very nice and very helpful; he even brought me ice chips when I ran out. 
* It started to snow shortly after Bria was born.  I feel like this is significant, since it had hardly snowed all winter up until that point. 

2.  There was a snowstorm the Sunday after we came home from the hospital.  Lee had been thinking about going to church that morning, but decided to stay home instead.  (Which turned out to be a great decision, since our church ended up cancelling the service he would have gone to.)  So he and the girls went out and played in the snow.  It was the first time Joya had gotten to play.  They had fun.  I took pictures from the window.

3.  The girls love their sister.  Although mostly they ignore her, because she's usually either eating or sleeping.  They can only look at her for so long before getting bored.  I can't wait until she starts smiling at them; they might hang around a bit more.

 4.  Just a little glimpse into what our house has looked like the past couple of weeks:
Mom on the couch; toys on the floor; Joya's pants around her ankles
 5.  Bria had her two-week check-up yesterday.  She's gained a full pound since they saw her last.  She's in the 90th percentile for height and 50th for weight, just like her sisters always were.  The doctor was most impressed with her weight, though.  I guess gaining a full pound in a little less than two weeks is remarkable.  Bria celebrated the weight thing by choosing to be awake and crying between 1:00 and 2:30am.

A big shout-out to everyone who brought us food these past couple of weeks.  SUCH a blessing.  Now I have to figure out how to cook dinner for my family while taking care of a late-afternoon fussy baby.  We might be eating pot pies for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Birth of Bria Faith Kimble

I suppose Bria's birth story really began sometime early in February, when my blood pressure started to creep up.  My history with Alaina has made everyone, me and the doctors, fairly sensitive to any blood pressure changes, so when my numbers started to go up, warning flags started to fly.  The doctors recommended that I start coming in every three to four days, instead of just once a week, to keep an eye on things.

Unfortunately, the numbers never went back down.  On February 15, I even landed in the hospital for about 5 hours to monitor my blood pressure.  It stayed good and high, which led to a prescription for blood pressure medicine.  The doctor told me to follow-up with her office on Monday the 18th, and if my blood pressure hadn't changed in a good way, then we'd be facing an induction at 39 weeks.

Monday came.  My blood pressure was still high.  So we scheduled the induction.  Thankfully the 39 week mark was on Wednesday, so we didn't have to wait long.  It was very stressful to walk around with crazy high blood pressure.  There is a list of warning signs to look for with numbers like that, and every little headache or foggy contact episode made me wonder if I had crossed over from hypertension to full-blown preeclampsia.  It was exhausting.

You know me, I've never enjoyed the waiting for labor game either.  So scheduling an induction, while not ideal, was actually a bit of a blessing.  I was able to take the girls to Chick-fil-a for lunch for our last lunch together, and to finish up laundry before taking them to my parents' house for the next few days.  I could peacefully think through everything I needed to pack for them and me. 

So on Tuesday night, after dropping off the girls at my folks', I checked into the hospital to have my cervix ripened.  I'll spare you the details, although it wasn't a very detailed procedure.  Basically it just meant a long night of very little sleep, because who can sleep well hooked up to baby monitors?  But I got as much rest as I could.  AND I got to have Molly, the L&D nurse I had overnight with Joya.  She was great.

Molly started the pitocin at 6:30 in the morning on February 20th.  I had been having crampy contractions all night, but that really kicked them into gear.  I asked for the epidural at 9:00, and by 9:45 I was as relaxed as a cat.  My doctor came in around 10:00 to break my water, and by 12:00 I was feeling the tell-tale signs of pressure.  The good doctor came back around 12:15, and after pushing through 5 contractions, Bria popped right out. 

So far she has been almost exactly like my other babies.  I have to wake her to feed her, and she sometimes likes to spend her one hour of awake time a day during the 11:00pm hour.  She's a hard core sleeper otherwise, even though I do my darndest to get her to join the family during the day.  She's awfully sweet to look at, and is a champ at filling her diaper the very moment I put a fresh, clean one on.  I know it will come soon, but I'm really looking forward to the day she starts looking AT us instead of just all around us.

Welcome, Bria.  We love you!