15 June 2012

Jane's journal

My Jane loves writing in her journal.  I love looking through it to see what she's written or drawn.  Today was a treat.  She lost her tooth yesterday, as you will find out.  This game of "hard and soft" that she talks about was a new one yesterday.  It has a lot of potential of going bad, but so far, it's just produced a tooth that seriously needed to come out, so we'll let it go for now!

The little elephant on her bed is what she kept her tooth in for the Tooth Fairy.  You may also notice the note and gold coin on her bed that the Tooth Fairy left for her.  It pretty much made her whole day.

Another one of my favorite drawings... her hospital bed is a little more ornate than mine was!  But, the comfort level of that bed seems fitting.  Not a fan of those beds. 

On a side note, I just found out how much money we saved by sleeping in that bed for only one night.  Seriously, I can't believe they charge so much for a horrible bed and people waking you up every two hours!

And just in case you were wondering... Jane DOES love baby Anne.  She is the best helper around.  I often wonder how I managed a newborn without her!

28 May 2012

Anne LuRee Hillman

Our little girl finally made it!  Anne LuRee Hillman was born at 9:24am on May 20th.  7 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long.  Today she is one week old, and although she was about a week late, I can still hardly believe she's here.

We've shared her birth story with many, but for those who are interested, here's a shorter version than if you actually talked to either Jeff or me.  We still can hardly believe it played out the way it did... not what we expected.  In retrospect, we wouldn't change a thing.

In an effort to not look as foolish as this story probably portrays me, let me just say that my three other deliveries were all long and slow.  No hurry during any part of them.

5:45 am - I woke to long-awaited contractions.  They weren't close together, so what's the hurry?

We made a big family breakfast, showered, tidied rooms, got the kids ready for church and told my mom to come up, but assured her there was no need to hurry.  Little did I know.

This picture was taken at 8:45am, once I wasn't able to talk (or stand) through contractions any more and realized we didn't have as much time as we thought we did.  We sent the kids to the neighbor's and were off.

This picture was taken at 9:30am (she was 6 minutes old) at our hospital that Google maps would tell you would take 34 minutes to get to from our home.

How did we do it?  Jeff was running red lights, driving double the speed limit, and passing slow Sunday morning drivers.  And as I told him I wanted to push, he just drove faster.  My hero.

I never had a desire for a natural birth, so when the nurse said, "you're complete", it took me a minute to come to terms with what was happening.  But 10 minutes later, there she was. It all happened so fast, it was actually really hard to process once she was in my arms.  I kept saying, "You're here!  You're real!".  It was love at first sight.

I wish I could say I was calm and collected through the whole thing, but honestly, if I hadn't been breathing through the strongest contractions of my life, I probably would have ripped the heads off of those calm nurses at the receptionists' desk when they asked me to sign paperwork.  All I could do was sign and breathe!  In their defense, they hopped into action as soon as they realized this was happening NOW.

So, our little Anne is here, and we are all madly in love with her.

My three girls and proud Daddy...

and big brother, Jack...

Anne's middle name is after my incredible Grandma Ottley whom Jeff and I both adore.  Grandma will brag about how she and Grandpa were an integral part of our courtship, and she is right.  We were lucky to have Grandma come over to meet our little Anne LuRee this week.  Love you, Grandma.

26 April 2012

Percy JACKson

We've been counting down to a lot of things in our house, but Jack started counting down for his birthday LONG ago.  And even with all his reminders, I still don't think I could have pulled it off without a LOT of help!  Check out this cool banner my mom made... (which is now hanging in his room)

He chose a Percy Jackson theme, which seemed fitting since he's read all 5 books several times each. He can tell you more about Greek Gods than anyone I know.  This party was bound to be fun.  And, I'll just say it... crazy.

I was a little worried about the weather, and also the mix of kids.  We had kids from two different schools and a homeschooler, plus a mix of boys and girls.  I was so grateful this age is not "too cool" to play with whoever is available!  Jack assured me the girls were all "cool" girls and would have fun even if we were playing with swords, and he was right!  They were all awesome, and didn't hesitate to join in the fun.

So, Jack and his 11 closest friends (just realized one of the boys got cut off!) had a fantastic adventure at Copperton Park playing games, designing their own shields, eating yummy things, and completing a daring quest for Zeus' Bolt.

Jack says his favorite part was the quest.  I think it was my favorite to plan and carry out as well.  They started out finding their swords (that Jeff made just for them), then they had to search all over the park for puzzle pieces to piece together the next clue.  This was the one hiccup in the quest... there was one clue we didn't find until the end.  So, I did have to help them a bit with this step.

It says, "Once you've made these pieces one, do not stop, your quest's not done,
Look to the table for some gold, each must make payment young and old,
to the one who rules below,
in His cauldron, your payment throw."

They were awesome at figuring out each clue.  They grabbed the gold and looked all over for Hades' cauldron.  Jeff was a good Hades, and they all earned their next clue.  Jeff's disguise was made from black balloons.  Can't say he's not resourceful!

Overall, it was just a lot of craziness to me, but the kids had a blast and that's really all that mattered!  

Every time I am with Jack and his friends, I am so grateful for good friends.  I can only hope Jack will always choose good kids like this group!

And tonight, for his real birthday, he requested Lemon Fried Chicken, sausage, apples, and eggnog.  Who could have guessed?  We continued with the Camp Half-blood theme and did S'mores over the fire pit instead of cake.  It was a hit!  Happy 9th, JACK!

So, let the countdown to an even bigger event begin... our baby girl.  Pregnancy is going great.  Actually feeling better this week than I was a few weeks ago, so I'm grateful I can enjoy this fun time in our lives.  Although, I'd be lying if I didn't admit my arms are aching to hold her!

In case I haven't seen you in a while, here's a picture of what I look like almost 9 months pregnant.  Jane had to draw an "ig" picture.  She chose "BIG", meaning my BIG BELLY.  At least she specified that it was because I am having a baby!  And I thought she was a little reserved with my proportions.  I'm a lot, shall I say, rounder?  And the way my legs are just stumps... not too far off.  I used to call them feet.  Now they are full of water, ugh.  But, if that is what it takes to get my baby girl here, bring it on.  Someday, I will be able to see my ankle bones again, right?

Wish us luck!

23 January 2012

Christmas in a Nutshell

I love Christmas. Especially Christmas Eve.

Here's our holiday week in a nutshell.

Gingerbread house building with more eating than building.

A new tradition... so yum. I love Alice's face.

Nativity with an animal this year. A first for us.

Annual Pajama pictures...

And being a little silly...

Christmas morning anticipation...

Santa brought us a new member of our family, that Jack has named Comet. (Santa left Jack a note asking him to rename her since the elves were all calling her "Princess Flower Pants". We thought Comet was more fitting.) We are all madly in love with her. This picture pretty much encompasses what we did all day Christmas.

Not only did we add Comet, but we also found out Christmas afternoon that our baby will be another girl! We are thrilled! (Although, Jack is feeling pretty outnumbered)

First ice skating experience for the kids at our annual Rich gathering at Noah's. It was short and sweet, until Jack feel hard and hit his head. He's learned how to recover fast. Years of practice!

And we said a "see you later" to Elder Alaguretnam (top left), who's on his way to North Carolina! We couldn't be more excited for him and his family!

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright!