Monday, June 13, 2016

Introducing: Logan Fox Brinkerhoff

This little boy kept us on our toes during the pregnancy with one issue (albeit small in the scheme of things) after another and then at the end he kept faking us out making us think he was coming but after a few hours all the contractions would end. We decided to induce one day before his due date and I'm glad I did. Made me feel like he was actually going to come instead of me being pregnant forever with a fake-out every couple days.

At my last appointment I was 3.5 centimeters and the day before the induction I was having some really hard contractions, especially in my back so we prepared to go but alas, it ended after a few hours. Honestly, we would have gone in the night before (the Dr. told us to) but I really wanted him to have the 6-10-16 birthday :)

The morning of the induction we sent Jane off to school with Grandma Ann and the other two kiddos while Brandt and I headed to breakfast at Le Peep, where we'd never been before. It was quite the hilarious breakfast, with Brandt's meal being sent back two times because it kept being wrong and me finishing before it was brought out the third time. We laughed a lot that morning. I love that guy. I'm so glad he is my husband. We asked for the check and they ended up comping our entire meal! Way to start out the morning!

We got to the hospital at 10am, got situated, they started the antibiotics around noon and then pitocin a few hours after that finished. This time the antibiotic didn't hurt which I was super nervous about. They were careful to up the pitocin because baby's heart was either a little high or a little low so they didn't want to stress him out. Between that and the fact that they were busy it was a VERY slow and boring process. I finally got the epidural after a few painful contractions because the anesthesiologist was available which was different for me because I normally wait till I'm really hurting. Getting it so early made it so I wasn't really in any pain the whole delivery! Something that did happen though was a fairly good size mental freak out. Apparently, the anesthesiologist is known for putting more narcotic in the epidural and I apparently don't do well with that. Normally I just feel itchy all over but this time I started feeling really weird and hot, my heart was racing and then all of a sudden BAM! I started freaking out, trying to get out of bed, pulling my cords off and ugly crying. Brandt was really worried and called the nurses in while trying to calm me down. They came in trying to reassure me everything was fine and I knew it was but I couldn't get the strange feeling out of me for a while. Once it left, after she turned down the medicine a little, I was hit with SUPER tiredness. I kept falling in and out of sleep the rest of the time.

They broke my water about 7pm (which finally made the contractions get more frequent and consistent) and around 8:35pm (?) I felt the pressure I knew meant it would be time to push. They told me to tell them when it came but I didn't want to have to push for a while so after I felt the pressure 3 times I told Brandt I had it and that I would let them know after two more. Well, after one more time of feeling it I knew I couldn't wait to tell them so we called and they came right in. The Dr. checked and immediately said, "Yup" and got ready. I thought it was a little weird that there was only her and a nurse there to deliver but they were all that was needed. As they got me ready to push, the Dr. said, "Oh, yup. I see his head without you even pushing!" We waited for a contraction to come and when it did I pushed and less than a minute later (at 8:57pm) he was out! They were just laughing at how easy it was. I was laughing because I was SO grateful it was as easy (the easiest) as my other babies.

And there he was! Our little Fox! Well, not little because he was 8lbs 3oz (1+lb more than Boston, 2+ more than Jane and 3lbs more than Wendy) and 21.5 inches long! Luckily his size didn't make it harder for him to deliver! Though he was bigger than my other kids he was still so tiny! I got to snuggle him for a while while the Dr. finished up and I loved holding him on the outside of me. He's a sweet little dude.

The epidural was really strong so one of my legs finally stopped feeling numb by noon the next day but it was ok because I just got to rest with Logan in the nursery overnight. The next day Brandt and Wendy came to hang out and Wendy is just IN LOVE! I knew she would be. She's been asking for him to come for nine months, kissing/hugging my belly multiple times a day and talking about him non-stop. She just wants to hold him every second she can and has the happiest "I won the lottery" look on her face while she carefully holds him. Later on Brandt and Wendy came back with Boston, Jane and Grandma. Boston was really hesitant and distant from me and the baby for a while and then decided he wanted to do what his sisters were doing (having a pillow on his lap with the baby on top) but I think he's going to struggle with jealously. Jane was cute holding Logan. She looked like such a big, mature girl with him in her arms. Things got a little crazy so we decided it was time for the kids to go.

Wenders and her new best friend:

Biiiiig yawns!

Brandt stayed behind so we could hash out a name for this kid because we had NO idea what it would be. Finally we decided on Logan Fox. Logan because we both liked the name and 3 of my siblings recommended it within a minute of each other while we were choosing so I asked Brandt about it and we both felt it sounded right. Fox because he came home many months ago with name suggestions and Fox was one of them. I told the girls that dad wanted to name the baby Fox and it stuck! That's what we'd been calling him since that day. Though, the kids came up with loads of variations... Clover Fox, Foxine, Foxy, Foxy Brown (Wendy's latest that I kind of love). We will probably still call him Fox with Logan thrown in there when he's in trouble :)

Big sister Janie with baby Fox. She looks so old!

I'm so grateful everything went so well. He didn't even have any health issues like the other kids did after birth and he knew just what to do for nursing right away. He's got some really blonde hair so it'll be interesting if it stays. The other kids had really dark hair that lightened up over time. He looks like Boston (we actually keep calling him Boston...) so we'll see in a little while who he actually turns out looking like.

My three boys!

Grandma Ann and little Fox:

Little Logan Fox, we are so happy you're here! We will love you and teach you and try our darndest to protect you from your crazy brother and sisters. We are excited to be your family!

Welcome home Fox!
(Chalk drawing by your daddy)

Here are some random pictures I took of him on my phone throughout the hospital stay:

"Why did that just happen!? I was so comfortable in there!"

The view from my bed. I love it.

 Just relaxing with me and enjoying the peace and quiet before we go home!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Boston Knight: 2 years old!

Boston is my sunshine. His big brown eyes, his huge smile, his hilarious laugh... How have I lived 29 years without him?!

I have enjoyed this past year SO much. The transition from 2 to 3 kids was so easy because Boston is awesome and this year was no different. He's SUCH a great 3rd child. He's so happy, exploitative, snugly, silly, and has started to be very independent.

Some of his favorite things are:
-His blanket. Luckily we've been able to withhold it during the day unless he is napping and the last 6 weeks he's been ok with it. When he's done with a nap or when he wakes up in the morning he hands it to us for us to put away and then he reaches his arms up to get picked up out of his crib. He goes down for his nap and bed SO well because he looks forward to getting his blanket and when you say, "Bossy, you want your blanky?", he gives you the biggest smile and runs to his crib. While I hold him in my arms and sing his favorite, "twinkle twinkle", he sucks his thumb, snuggles with his blanket and cuddles into me. It's probably my favorite time of day and not because he's going down for a nap... because he's SO sweet.
-His thumb. BUT, he's our first kid to only suck his thumb at sleep time. He never sucks his thumb during the day! I'm hoping this makes it easier to wean him from it. Side note: He takes great naps. They are usually 2.5-3 hours long and he sleeps from 7pm-7am at night.
-The balcony. He loves sitting out there and saying hi to everyone that passes. He also loves eating out there and when I give him a snack he runs straight to the balcony and motions for me to open the door so he can go out.
-Hiding. When he knows Brandt is about to brush his teeth or get him ready for bed, Boston will run to me yelling, "Hide! Hide! Hide!" and will climb up on me to get covered with a blanket or pillows. Lately he has been being SO still and quiet waiting to hear Brandt come calling for him. I loves his cuddles while he hides and his big eyes looking up to me trying to focus on hearing Brandt coming.
-Elevator buttons. He has seriously grown inches in the last few months. Before, Jane or Wendy had to lift him up to press the elevator buttons but now he can reach them all on his own! He loves pressing them for us and gets mad when someone does it for him.
-Climbing on unsafe things. Ugh, this one drives me crazy! He will climb on anything unsafe and then slowly stand up, raising his hands over his head in triumph giving me a huge smile. He has yet to fall thank goodness.
-When dad comes home. Oh I wish everyone could experience the joy he shows when Brandt comes home from work. He runs as fast as he can and screams till he finds him at the door. I'd say he sure loves his daddy but honestly he's really good at showing us both love and equal sadness when we leave.
-Baths. I really think he gets dirty at dinner on purpose so he has to take a bath. He loves playing in water and would take a bath at least once a day if we let him.
-Wendy. He loves randomly hugging Wendy when Wendy's not paying attention to him.
-Jane. He loves playing with Jane. Jane gets him to laugh like no one else. She loves to carry him around and they usually get along really well.

Some things he doesn't love:
-Anyone touching his ears.
-Being told no.  
That's about it!

Favorite foods:
-berries/any fruit
-sour cream and onion chips
-ice cream and popsicles
-veggies but only before a meal while I'm cutting them
-plain abelskivers and german pancakes
-orange juice and lemonade
-whole apples

Not favorite foods:
-whipped cream
-apple juice
-sausage on pizza

A few random things about Boston:
-Boston falls when he runs probably 85% of the time. He cries about it 1% of the time. He's such a tough dude! He just says a little sad or surprised, "Ow" and stands back up, continuing to run.
-In the last couple months he's started demanding to feed himself. I'm super sad about this but it's also nice. I think I've spoon fed him way longer than the other kids but he wants to do it on his own now. He's actually really good at eating yogurt on his own. He can also drink from a cup really well and loves to drink out of water bottles the right way (not putting his whole mouth over the opening). He only uses sippy cups for water in his crib.
-He still isn't talking much. He says, momma, mo (more), eese (please), papa (Heavenly Father), dadda, taytoo (thank you), up, hi (and hi for bye), dat (that), dis (this), wawa (water), no, yesh (yes), oh, wow, ow (when he hurts himself), kaka (cracker) and uppa uppa (clean up clean up). Half of those he only says if we ask him to say them but he babbles a lot and we love hearing him gibber jabber with such seriousness.
-One our favorite things is when Boston is super excited about something or eats something intense like lemon juice, how he gets so expressive and he gets what we call starfish hands. Seeing him tense up and spread his fingers out as far as they'll go crack us up every time.
-He still gets so happy and claps for "amen" at the end of prayers. I sure hope he learns how to say "amen" before he gets too old but for now his "amen" clap is super cute.

Boston, we all love you so so so much. Your little self is such a huge part of the joy we have in our home. Sometimes I have to throw you over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes because you usually don't come when I ask you to but it doesn't upset me. You hardly ever make us grumpy because you're super cute when you're being a stinker. Your smile can get you anything in this world so I hope you use it wisely. I wish I could have two of you; one that stays exactly how you are now and one that grows up so I can see what you'll be like when you get older. Since that's not possible I am enjoying every single day with you the way you are now so I don't get sad when you grow up. We are so happy you are in our family.

Happy birthday Boss, Boston, Bossy Boy, Boston Knight (when you're in trouble), Turkey (when you're being a stinker)!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

First beach day 2016

This last week has FINALLY been warm (above 50 degrees). It's actually been really hot but you won't hear me complaining because it took so long to stop being cold. One day last week I was going to take Wendy and Boston to a park but decided it was probably the last time I could take them to the beach before I have our baby so we got all sunscreened up and walked over there. It was so hard for me to not go get Jane from school to enjoy the beach with us but honestly I didn't have enough energy to get another kid ready for the beach (thanks to being 38 weeks pregnant). I'm SO glad we went. It was exhausting getting us all cleaned up afterward and kind of did me in for the day but they loved it and I loved laying on the towel watching them play.

Would you just look at this girl!? Could she get any cuter?!

I know this is basically the same picture but I couldn't choose between her expressions so I'm posting both. This is such a drastic difference from Wendy at the beach when she was younger. The girl who literally pooped her pants she was so scared of the sand. Sand and water are basically her life now and she LOVES the beach. She's been asking to go about every other day since January.

I was really disappointed when I saw flashes of younger Wendy when I got Boston out of the stroller. He's never really had a problem with the sand but he was REALLY not a fan of it when we got there. He wouldn't get off the blanket or stop fussing for the first 20 minutes. Luckily I brought two big towels so I shared my sand free zone with him. Then he discovered he could play with the sand and not have to touch it and was happy for the next 20 minutes.

 Cute Boston:

My towel buddy!

After that he started fussing because he really wanted to play in the water like Wendy but he didn't want to cross the sand to get there. I asked Wendy to hold his hand and walk him to the water and she was such a sweet angel and sister. He held her hand and she carefully and slowly guided him to the water. He got nervous a couple times but she was patient and helped him to the water.

Wendy showed him the joy of throwing rocks in the water and it was his favorite thing the rest of the time we were there. Here he is sneaking rocks from Wendy's pile when she turned her back to find more.

She wasn't too happy so he started finding his own rocks.

Winding up:

And release! Rinse and repeat a million times.

He definitely preferred the wet sand to the dry sand but I was so surprised and proud of him for overcoming his fear so quickly.

I think he'll enjoy the rest of 2016's beach days.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Baby #4 says, "Juuuuust kidding"!

Last night I started having contractions after the kids went to bed and they started out 2-3 minutes apart just like they did with Jane. They lasted a few hours so we cleaned, finished packing our bags and called a friend over to watch the kids. I was hesitant to go to the hospital because I have always had a fear of being sent home (hasn't happened yet) but I figured, the doctor said to come in and it is my fourth so I should probably listen. Jane came out of her room and I told her I needed her to obey and go to bed because her brother might be coming and her face lit up more than I've ever seen. She was so excited! She went to bed and fell straight to sleep.

We got to the hospital and the long walk to the Women's wing took forever. It was so hard to walk. We eventually made it and got settled into our room when the contractions stopped for the most part. I knew this would happen. I still had a few but they checked me out and said I could go home. The walk back to the parking garage was much easier.

I was actually really happy to have not had the baby last night. I was so not ready mentally. We cleaned all day and got everything ready for the baby to come so we were ready but I was so not ready to go through the process of having the baby. I'm still not but knowing it's gonna be soon after last night's scare is starting to get my mind ready. I can do this... I can do this... I do think though, we have made so many great strides in health care, why can't we pregnant folks just go to sleep and wake up with the baby born and feeling great? Is that too much to expect in 2016? Sigh.

While we await the birth of Baby #4 and before we welcome his cuteness and screams into our home, I'm going to try and enjoy the three munchkins already here ruling our lives.

Boston: My favorite thing about him? His big brown eyes and how he randomly hugs Wendy.

 He wasn't too happy I wouldn't let him have the camera in this picture but since he hardly ever gets sad I have to save this photo so I can remember his little squishy face. Terrible twos are definitely underway but that doesn't stop my smiley boy from brightening all of our lives. He has no idea his life is about to change. Kind of nervous how he'll react.

Wendy: My favorite thing about her? She frequently asks me to snuggle her and "sing wiff" her. Oh, and she is super sweet, doing what I ask her to do and giving Jane anything she asks, even if it's her last chip or piece of candy, even if Jane hardly ever does it back to her.

I can't believe she's 4.5 years old! She's really growing up! She's definitely a goofy and inquisitive girl and she makes me laugh at the most random times. She's SO excited for baby to come and will probably be his best friend.

Jane: My favorite thing about her? She's very clever. Watching her figure things out ways I wouldn't have thought always make me smile. I think she'll do great things.

From getting Boston changed and dressed for bed sometimes to making me a random piece of toast to "help" me feel better last week when the baby was really taking a toll on my body, I think she's going to be my greatest asset when baby #4 actually does come. 

So... three weeks away from my guesstimated due date and Boss was 2.5 weeks early. It's a waiting game now...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Celebrating Jane

Jane's birthday, (well, day before her birthday) was packed full of fun. Seriously, there wasn't a moment to spare.

We started the day off with breakfast of her choice. She would have asked for German pancakes but we had it a couple days earlier so she chose donuts. We were excited because Chicago makes good donuts but on the way to the donut shop she said, "Can we get donuts from Jewel?" Um, why yes you can Jane! But first, Brandt and I stopped and got REAL donuts from Do-rite Donuts and then we stopped at our grocery store for $.50 donuts for the kids. They were super happy and so were we :)

I couldn't get over watching Boss eat his donut. I loved how he held it with his chubby little hands.

Next we went to the bike shop and picked up Jane's gift from us, a new bike! It was time for a bigger size and she rides it so well. We headed to dance after that because Jane had her last Storytime Dance and Wendy had her last ballet class that day. When we got home we had lunch and Jane got to open all her presents. Baby #4 gave her a build-able pony which she LOVED, Boston gave her two packs of markers, one of which were stamp markers which blew her mind, and Wendy gave her a bubble gum machine which she was excited about and then gave back to Wendy because Jane DOES NOT like gum. Wendy ate all the gum in two days. Wendy was very happy about her gifting choice. The best was probably from Grandma and Grandpa Brinkerhoff who gave her 2 littlest pet shop kits. I will praise their name for months because the girls play SO well together with them and they play with them for ages. Best babysitter :)

And she got... A NEEEEEEEWWWWW car! Just kidding, we bought our mini van the night before and surprised the kids with it that morning. They absolutely LOVE it and get so excited every time we ride in it. Wendy asks if we will be taking the van wherever we go and jumps with joy with fists in the air when I say yes (like 7 times a day).

Anyway, next we went to Toys R Us so Jane could use the gift card they sent her for her birthday. I still hate this tradition because NOTHING in the store costs $3 but I warned her that she could only get a treat and we only let her look at the treats so that really helped. This year she chose Baby Bottle Pops for her and Wendy and was ecstatic to get her birthday balloon.

And then we played on the rides. For now they are happy without needing to put money in :)

When we were finally able to pry them out of the store we went to the Jump Zone! They talk about this place all year because we really only go on their birthdays but it's the place they choose each year as their birthday activity.

Boston was not a fan this time. He eventually warmed up to it in the end but only if Brandt was holding him. Reminded me of how Wendy was TERRIFIED of bounce houses when she was younger. I'll never forget Boston's face as he went down a HUGE slide with Brandt. He looked happy and excited the first half and then complete panic and terror took over his expression the second half. Poor kid! Naturally Brandt took him down it a second time. Same outcome.

Jane found a million new friends to play with and kept herself busy. She played so hard. She was DRIPPING in sweat after the first half hour but it didn't stop her. She loved it!

Hey look! Another gumball machine! She's pretending they are Gobstoppers which is what I'm supposed to buy to refill the machine with...

Wendy was as red as her shirt by the time we left. She eventually found a friend to play with and they were stuck together like glue. I love that kids can make friends wherever they go. Oh and have you noticed Wendy's outfit change in every picture!? She's the reason I do so much laundry! She can't wear the same outfit for more than a half hour any day. Sigh, such is life with my girly girl.

The kids were so tired and obediently came when we called them to leave. 2 hours is about all they can handle playing hard core like that. We drove straight to the dinner place of Jane's choosing, Leona's, which is a block away from our house. She really just chose it because they have an open room where they play movies and they spent most of the time in there watching Puss and Boots while Brandt, Boston and I sat at our table. I told the waiter it was her birthday so after we ate pizza they surprised her with ice cream. Here's my birthday girl while we sang happy birthday to her.

And at the end of the song I said, "Now blow out your pretend candle!" Ha! She totally did it!

And thought it was as funny as we did. She shared her ice cream with Wendy and Boston and then we headed home for baths (because they were SO gross from the Jump Zone) and then bed.

I love family birthdays every other year. It's so fun to let them choose whatever they want to do and spend the day doing it as a family. Jane chose well and we all had a blast.

Happy birthday sweet/funny/crazy girl!