Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday, Bradyn Elizabeth!!

I can't believe entire year has gone by and my sweet baby is ONE. On her birthday, it was bittersweet, because I love watching my kiddos get older, but this is the last time we will ever celebrate one of our children's first birthdays. Such an important milestone!

Bradyn was born May 18, 2008 at 4:12 am. She was exactly 2 weeks early, but I was in labor off and on for a few days, and was very much ready for it to be all over. I remember working that weekend, trying to get ahead before her birth. On Saturday afternoon, I left my office for the hospital because I was having alot of contractions. They kept me there for awhile, told me that I was having good contractions, but they weren't progressing, so to come back when they were. I knew she'd be born, so my mom picked up the 3 older girls and took them to her house. Sure enough, early that morning I went into labor. Derek got up with me and thought we should get to the hospital, but I became this very stubborn person (having already been sent home from the hospital), and I wasn't about to let that happen again! So while he was trying to get me into the car to go, I was refusing and in quite a bit of pain. When I finally agreed to go (only because I could hardly walk anymore) he got all excited that he could drive 90 mph to the hospital and "if I get pulled over they can't do anything"! The hospital is about 20 miles from our house, and we made it in just under 10 minutes! When we got there, they admitted me, and we were only there a short period of time before she was born.

She was our smallest baby, at 7 lbs 9 oz. She was measured at 21 inches at the hospital, but at her check up a week later was 19.75 inches, so we are pretty sure she was 19.5-19.75 inches at birth. We were amazed at her head full of dark hair (the others were either very blonde or bald at birth) and she was beautiful! She looks like she fits right in with the rest of the group, sharing almost all of her sister's features. She has an adorable dimple that we saw right away, and within moments after her birth popped her thumb in her mouth and started sucking away. This was so cute and sweet, and we laughed because in EVERY ultrasound we had with her, starting at 13 weeks, she was either trying to suck her thumb, or actually sucking it.

Most of you all know that it's been a very rough ride with Bradyn. She has been constantly fussy since day 1, and we've gone through many rounds of testing to try and determine why. We've done everything from lab draws, to specialist visits at Seattle Children's Hospital (the BEST medical care in the world!), numerous visits to the pediatrician, etc. Nothing has really shown up, except she seems to have an allergy or sensitivity to lactose. Around 6 months she practically stopped growing. It took us a few months and regular weight checks, but we finally got her BACK on the growth charts! As of yesterday, she weighs in at a whopping 18 lbs even, 5th percentile on the growth charts. We will take it!

While this past year has been trying at times, we feel very blessed with our family. Bradyn completes our puzzle, and keeps us on our toes. She is pulling up on furniture, cruising around, and desperately wants to be part of the "sisters" as she watches them running all around her. Personally, I'd be ok if she didn't walk for another few months, but I know the time is coming. Happy Birthday, pretty pretty princess! Thank you, God, for giving us the chance to have Bradyn in our lives, she is an amazing gift!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday for Mother's Day and every year we take our girls to Riverfront Park in Spokane. We started this when it was just Brooklyn and Bella, and they had so much fun we go back each Mother's Day. The girls enjoyed the famous carrousel, feeding the ducks, sliding down the huge red Wagon slide, and running around. First, Brieyn went down the slide with Brooklyn, and the second time up Brooklyn went ahead of her. Brieyn sat down as if she were going to slide, then smiled, and stood back up and backed away. So Derek had to go to the top and slide down with her. (You will also see Derek enjoying the carrousel while riding with the girls, he's such a nutball. The girls got me the coolest digital picture frame for my desk. I love that I can look at random pictures throughout the day! Thanks Derek and my sweet girls for a wonderful Mother's Day! I am very blessed indeed!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Back to the 80s!

Bella had her dance recital last night, and the theme of the evening was 80s music. We LOVE 80s music at our house, and had a ton of fun listening to all the songs. The girls did a great job, we were proud of them for really knowing their routine and getting up there with their big smiles! Our beloved teacher, Carolyn, is graduating from WSU, so she will no longer be teaching. We are all bummed about her leaving, and Bella woke up this morning with tears rolling down her face because she will miss Carolyn so much! She even asked me to get Carolyn's phone number so we can arrange visits. GOOD JOB GIRLS, we are all very proud of you! We look forward to starting with a new dance company in the fall!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Our sweet girls

Some days it seems like we are so busy, that the time between rolling out of bed in the morning and getting back into bed in the evening seems like a blur. Our mornings normally start around 5:30, and we were blessed (??) with children who have no issues getting up early in the morning. Most days we leave the house by 7:00 and between school, and after school activities, some days we don't get home until 7:00 pm. Lately, I've been thinking about how I'm looking forward to when school is out so while our days will start and end around the same time, the girls won't have the added pressure of completing homework, and other school stuff. Last year, with the birth of Bradyn, we decided on no activities for the entire summer. So while having a newborn and 3 other children was busy, it was nice to be on our own schedule. This summer will be different...with the girls doing track and our membership to the aquatic center, but we are looking forward to it. I am looking forward to track, while the older girls have practice a few days a week, I will have the opportunity to get some good use out of the jogging stroller and hang out with the little ones. And, 1.5 hrs of running is great for the making of tired children. :)

I've also been thinking, is how quickly time is going! We are getting ready for more birthday celebrations, as Bradyn turns 1 in exactly 2 weeks, and a month after that Brieyn will turn 3. Derek and I agree that the past year has probably been the longest year in our marriage. Bradyn has presented us with joys as well as challenges, and it's definitely shown me that there are things as a mother than I can definitely work on! There are times when she has shown me how much patience I really do have, even when internally I was sooooo done and desperately wanting to clock out for a good while! So while she officially stays my little baby for 2 more weeks, I will do my best to enjoy every moment...because I know soon enough I'm going to wonder how she grew up so quickly!

Egg hunt (a bit late!)

Our town has a fabulous egg hunt, and the kids enjoy it every year. It's getting a bit tricky now that the girls also have soccer games on the same day at the egg hunt, but so far we have been lucky with being able to hunt eggs then run quickly to soccer without missing out on either activity. Brieyn was really excited to start, but once they said GO she needed some direction from Derek. She grabbed one plastic egg, then started walking back towards us. She didn't understand that she could pick more than one right away, but once she got it, she was speedy and filled her basket. The highlight for her was a prize egg with a 1-time family pass to the aquatic center. She still talks about her ticket to the pool! :) Unfortunately, I was only able to get pictures of Brieyn, because the other girls were hunting eggs at different locations in the park.

Spring musical

Brooklyn recently had her spring musical at school. The day was packed with school, then 2 hrs of soccer, then a quick run to grab some dinner, quickly changing into a dress in the car, and finally....the big show. Brooklyn had been practicing her songs for what seemed like an eternity at home, and she was pretty excited to perform. By the time we actually got there, the gym was packed, and there never seems to be enough chairs at these events, so we stood in the back. Which actually worked out really well, as Bradyn crawled around (and found someone's parked stroller to keep her occupied), while Brieyn and Bella found friends to color with on the gym floor.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's a crazy life....but we love it!

Lately, our days and evenings are filled with kids and all their numerous activities. As of today, Brooklyn does volleyball 3 days a week, and soccer 3 days a week. Bella does soccer 3 days a week, and dances 1, sometimes 2 days per week. There are days when we get home and it's a quick dinner, baths, and bedtime for the kids. We are enjoying watching them grow and develop! Brooklyn and Bella are quite the soccer players! Brieyn watches patiently (or not) from the sidelines, but will be excited when it's finally her turn to join her sisters in the big girl activities. Bradyn can often be heard screaming and crying from the soccer sidelines. For whatever reason, she's never happy there. We are very thankful when a couple of Brooklyn's friends are around at the games to play with the 2 younger girls. It makes a huge difference! Now with Brooklyn's team, Derek is co-coaching with another of the parents. We haven't been all that thrilled with the coaches their teams have had, so with some bothering and bargaining, Derek agreed to take it on with the other parent. He has really enjoyed it, and is VERY good at dealing with the kids. Until last week, Brooklyn's team was undefeated (wait...we don't keep score, haha). Bella was lucky enough to get coach Eric, who is fantastic, and her team is doing quite well too. Both girls are surprisingly aggressive, and get right in there with the boys. We are very proud of them, and I have to admit, I am one of those moms that gets butterflies on game days because it is just so exciting to watch!