Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rachel Lillian Carpenter is Born!

 As I mentioned in the last post, I was having contractions during the Awana awards ceremony and as the night went on I had more and more of them to the point that I was sure it was time to go to the hospital.  We had all the childcare arranged for the night and the next day just in case and so at almost 1:00 in the morning we made our way to the hospital.  As it turned out, I was not dialated at that point, but after walking around the hospital for an hour from 3-4am, I was dialated to a 2 or 3 the nurse said.  This meant we got to stay rather than being sent home!!  Wahoo!

After a nice bath, I got my IV and epidural on board and then the waiting began.  My contractions slowed a bit, so they opted to give some pitocin at the lowest levels.  That made things begin again and I was able to rest a little for a while.  The epidural wasn't working super great on the right side and they tried to adjust it, but eventually I got a new epidural instead.  Every time they gave me a dose of the medicine via the epidural, I would get nauseous (not fun) and apparently my blood pressure dropped (also not fun).  And sadly, the second epidural was not covering a key area for giving birth, so I was not super comfortable as I had been in previous times when birthing my children.  Eventually, my body took over and they stopped the pitocin and I started to have some contractions that were making me shake really badAll these lovely symptoms definitely made me more anxious to get this party started, but still I was not ready!

Also, this was the longest labor I had ever had and it seemed to take forever for me to dialate fully and though it still wasn't as long as some, for me it seemed to be taking too long when I was used to coming to the hospital and giving birth 4-5 hours later.  FINALLY, I was told I was dialated enough to push and then I had to wait for the doctor to come from across the street at the clinic to arrive. It was really hard to wait!  However, she did make it and after 4 pushes, little baby Rachel came right out!  She was what they call "stunned" because she came out so fast and they had to try to stimulate her to cry by flicking her heel and such.  She did start to cry a little eventually and all the while Daddy was watching our little one and got to cut the umbilical cord.

She was 7 pounds and 15 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long!  She was born officially on Thursday, May 9th, 2013 at 12:54pm.  She came out with dark brown hair (a first for our kids) and smokey gray/blue eyes.  We anticipate the eye color will change probably to something darker as time goes on.  People keep telling us that her dark hair may fall out and some blonde may grow in, but I am not so sure.  All of our kids who were blonde started off either bald or with fine blonde hair, so I think for the 5th shot here we got a dark-haired one!  

As a little side note, David's mom's name is Rachel and my mom's middle name is Lillian, so we named her in honor of both grandmas.  This was of course very popular with both grandmas!!  

When we came home, my friend EJ and her boys had helped my kiddos make this lovely welcome home banner as well as a cake, brownies and dinner for us that night as well.  It was nice to know the kids were in such good hands!   My friend Kim came in the middle of the night on Wednesday when we left for the hospital too.  Thanks friends for being there for us!  
We are very pleased to welcome this new little one into our home and her siblings have been fighting over who gets to hold her ever since!  We have never seen so much hand washing and sitting still around here!  Thankfully, baby is doing wonderfully and we are glad she is finally out here in the world with us! 

Awana Awards Night 2013

 As per usual, the Awana groups march up the aisle to their seats in the front at the beginning of the ceremony.  Caleb is leading the way here very hesitantly as you can see.  Daniel is all smiles!  Last year, they both had to hold a leaders' hand up the aisle, so they are moving up in the world it seems. 

 In rare moments, I can capture a true Josiah smile, and this is one that he gave as he looked back proudly at his parents as he walked by to go to his seat.  

 Daniel and Caleb are checking out their loot as they wait for the other awards to be handed out.  They each got a Cubby Bear cup filled with candy, a certificate, and a special ribbon that goes on their Awana vests behind the little Cubby Bear that they got last year for their first book.  These guys are now done with all things Cubby and are moving on to Sparks next year!  Naomi will have her first year of Cubbies next year too, so that will be fun to see.

Josiah earned the top award for Sparks and finished his third book this year as well as the review book also.  He got his Sparky plaque for finishing the third book and for each review book he got a little pin to put on the patch that goes behind his wings.  He was the only one to finish all the possible books for Awana Sparks this year and we are very proud of his accomplishments!  It might be noted here too that all throughout the ceremony, I was having contractions in hopes that baby girl might be born soon.  More on that in the next post!! 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Josiah Testing for High Red

 Josiah spent three months at red belt, and it was time for him to test on to high red at the end of January.  From now on, he will wait three months between belts rather than two.  He still has a few more to go until black belt and after he achieves that we will allow him to either continue with Taekwondo or to move on to another sport of his choosing.  We think it is a good discipline to stick with something until the end, hence why we are requiring him to finish up.  He has had his ups and downs with Taekwondo for sure, but we determined that with any sport you will have times where it gets hard and that is not a reason to quit.  Hopefully he will learn the value of sticking with something and seeing where it can lead!  Not to mention when you get your black belt you actually get a card to go in your wallet that says you have "lethal hands and feet," which is kinda cool!   

 The newest addition to his testing was to have to spar as well though!  He is pictured here in the blue doing a kick as he is sparring.  They essentially are supposed to just try and get kicks in at the chest level and they chase each other around the room trying to do just that!  Josiah is still learning how to spar well to be sure, but I really enjoy watching him do it!  

He is breaking his board here.  Normally Daddy comes to the test where he breaks the board and gets to hold the board for him.  David wasn't feeling well on this day, so I came with him to the test and asked Master Justin if he could find a replacement board holder, since I was pregnant and didn't really want to hold it.  He was glad to do so for me.  It was nice too because I got to film the board break and take pictures.  He broke the board this time on the second try. Be sure and click on the links in the second and 3rd paragraphs of this post to see him in action!  :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012--Part 1

On Christmas Eve, the kiddos received some new jammies from Grandma and Grandpa.  Josiah wouldn't sit for the picture, but you will see his jammies in the Christmas photos in "Part 2" on this blog.  The twins and Naomi were happy to pose as you can see here.  Sadly though, Daniel went to bed fine and then woke up in the middle of the night very ill and so he is wearing different jammies for Christmas morning.  

Caleb got a few new costumes to add to his collection this Christmas and he wasted no time in putting them on.  He is a very serious little army guy here with all his paraphernalia as you can see.
He is wearing his new dragon cape here and is holding his new dinosaur toy as well.  He loved all his gifts and was busily playing with them all morning long.  

 Poor forlorn Daniel was feeling very sick all morning and this picture makes me laugh now only because it reminds me so much of my brother.  Brent would totally give looks like this growing up!  Daniel would rally to open a few gifts and get excited about them and then would lay back down on the couch to rest.  He fell asleep a few times  there after we finished opening the gifts also.  Not the most memorable for Daniel boy I am sure, but he did love his gifts despite the sad look! 

He would play his new Leapster game for a little bit and then would lay down again.  This is very uncharacteristic of our little guy who would usually play and play and play until his batteries died first!  We were thankful that he was over the throwing up part at least and only just had a sour tummy Christmas morn.

Christmas 2012---part 2

For Josiah this Christmas, it was the year of Angry Birds.  Grandma took him to the store (I think when she came for Thanksgiving) and bought him a couple of Angry Birds shirts and since then they have been his favorite characters and he has been asking for all the stuffed animals and various things that go with this theme.  He is wearing his new Angry Birds hat and his new stuffed Angry Bird as well.

This is where Josiah is reading the letter that Grandma Walker wrote to announce to the children that their present this year was to take us all to Disneyland!  This is the link to the video where you can actually see Josiah's first reaction.  He doesn't really comprehend what he is reading at first as you will see.  Grandma and Grandpa also gave them rolling bags for the plane rides and a little toy inside each one also. 

This is all of them opening their rolling bags.  Daniel got cut off a little bit, but you get the idea!  Daniel got a Toy Story one, Naomi a Princess one, Caleb a Cars one and Josiah a Spiderman one.  

Naomi really got into the gift opening this year.  Here is a link to some of the other gift opening on Christmas day.   As you can see she got a lovely princess tiara, a little cash register, a teapot set, and a little stuffed animal we now call "Unicorny" that she loves to sleep with. 

Naomi wasted no time getting in her princess dress too and Caleb put on his cowboy boots to go with his camo outfit as well.  They played and played in their new costumes the rest of the day!

Naomi girl is pulling her new bag around the house and is telling me something very important here clearly!  It was a fun day and I think the kids were really happy and excited! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Co-op Christmas Party 2012

This was the first year we were a part of the North Spokane Homeschool Connection Co-op here in Spokane and they had a fun Christmas party in December that we participated in.  They had face painting and Josiah got a snake as you can see here pictured.  They also had a craft area and the kids played some fun games too and also came down to sing carols.  I played the piano for those who wanted to sing, so that was fun too.

One of the games was to wrap up a partner in toilet paper to make a snowman.  The person who was most wrapped from head to toe was the winner.  Daniel didn't really want the toilet paper over his face, so this is as far as he got to being a snowman, but he was enjoying himself!  They had scarves and other things to decorate the snowmen too.

Caleb decided that Naomi would be his snowman and started wrapping her.  She was loving it!  It was a really fun event and we all brought potluck items for lunch and the kids had a great time!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Pre-Christmas 2012

 As always, we set up for Christmas early like most people and this was the first Christmas in our new home!  It was nice to have this fireplace to set up the stockings, and I decided that rather than hammering holes in the mantle, it would be better to buy some stocking holders.  I found these at Target and they were perfect!  Each year, we can put in new pictures of the kids in the frames to keep it updated too.  I am sure even without the pictures that you could NEVER guess which stocking is Naomi's?  

And we decided to put our Christmas tree to the left of the TV rather than near the window on the right of the TV because it would have been too close to the heating vent on that side.  It fit nicely where we put it I think actually and am very pleased with the result!   This is one of the first years I didn't have to worry so much about the kids breaking ornaments, though we did have a few mishaps anyway!  I still put most of the glass/breakable items near the top, but they are old enough now to finally get it thankfully! 

 Josiah was willing to pose if he could hold his Angry Bird dressed in a stocking with him.  You will note that Caleb took the meaning of stockings too literally and is wearing two of them on his feet.  A better shot of that to come below!

 Baby girl, who incidentally corrects us now to say, "I not baby, I Naomi!"  had to get in on this stocking action too.  She loves to copy her big brother Caleb and they are definitely play buddies most of the time. 

 Caleb in all of his stocking regalia!  

On Christmas Eve, we got a dumping of snow and the kids were having great fun playing in it.  Unfortunately, Josiah was on the tail end of being sick that day (Caleb had the same things a few days earlier) and he just wasn't up for playing out in the snow.  As it turned out, that evening Daniel came down with the same thing and so he was feeling pretty low on Christmas Day, but thankfully was well enough to at least open presents and not get sick again that morning (they all had the stomach flu).  Sadly, Naomi came down with it last on Christmas night, so it was "fun times" around Christmas again with the sickies!  We were sick last year too, but it was with bad colds instead. 

Friday, December 07, 2012

Caleb & Daniel's 5th Birthday!

 Caleb & Daniel blowing out the candles on their cake.  They were very interested in licking the frosting off the candles afterward too!  Here is a link to us singing "Happy Birthday" to our twin five-year-olds!
It is pretty hard to believe they are five now!  They are definitely growing up!  

  We had this cake made at Rosaur's and though they didn't have the "car kit" to put on the cake, I assured them we had it covered!  So we used our own cars to park on the cake itself and it worked out great!  

 Some of the kiddos took to singing songs during the meal before and as you can see Matthew didn't like the sound of it! 

 More singing and the twins are really into it here!  They sang the "ABC's" a few times and various other numbers as the kids thought of songs to sing. 

 Time to open presents!  

The twins are opening a gift from the Craciuns, which was a big set for these hamster critters that go around on a track and then battle in this center ring.  They were very interested in getting the track all set up and Evan was eager to show them how to do it.  The party really went well and I think the twins had a fun time!  We had a lot of friends come and join us and that was really special too!  Thanks one and all for the lovely gifts and your presence on their special day!

Before & After Caleb & Daniel's Birthday Party

 This is a classic picture of the twins!  Caleb showing off his new book and Daniel with a funny look on his face looking at his new book from Grandma and Grandpa. Each year, Grandma makes a picture book for them that shows their growth throughout the year.  They enjoy pulling them out and looking at all the old books!

 Daniel is opening one of his gifts.  We decided to give our family gifts to them first before their big party, so they would have something to play with during the day, and also so that they could focus on the gifts their friends gave them more rather than the gifts we gave.

 Caleb opened a gift from Great Grandma Margaret, a play gun that makes lots of noise and lights when you press the trigger.  

 Naomi and Grandpa having a nice time together!

 Josiah opening his "unbirthday gift" from Grandma and Grandpa.  Grandma started the tradition of giving the other kids gifts too even though it was not their birthdays, and so it was the same this year as well.  

 Naomi's "unbirthday gift" was this lovely dollhouse.  Caleb saw it and wanted to play too and she was very possessive of it and yelled, "MINE!" when he tried to get near.  As it turns out, she let him play after all and they still have great fun with the dollhouse together.    This is a link to the video we took of her opening her gift. 

 On the twins' actual birthday, there was a homeschool group that was going to Jump and Bounce for a discounted rate, and so I thought it would be a nice treat to take the kids for a fun event to again celebrate the twins' birthday.  It was their first time there and all four kiddos had a blast!

 Caleb had the most fun driving these "Fred Flintstone" cars (as I call them) and Josiah decided he was the designated car pusher and many times pushed Caleb around and around the car course there at the play area.  

Daniel and Naomi having some real jumping fun here!  They also had some big slides the kids enjoyed going down too and a big play structure to climb in as well.  It is a nice place to go and burn off some kid energy for sure!  When we left, Josiah told me how tired he was and how it was "a lot like working out at Taekwondo!" 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

 I meant to take lots more pictures when all our guests arrived for the Thanksgiving dinner, but I forgot to get the camera out then, so all I have are the "before" pictures of Thanksgiving with just our family and my mom and dad present.  Our lovely Thanksgiving table was set for 11 adults (the kids ate at the breakfast bar in the kitchen) and our guests included:  Uncle Mike and Aunt Genny and their girls Erin and Lauren (Kalen and her hubby live in North Dakota and couldn't come), my Mom and Dad, my Grandma Margaret and her friend Bill, David's brother Jon and of course David and myself.  You can see the lovely turkey napkin holders handed down to me by Aunt Genny as well.  

 Josiah never likes getting his picture taken, but I caught this one when he was not expecting it!  

 No Thanksgiving is complete without the cook sticking his tongue out at me!  I have one from last year too, but I didn't post it as it turned out.  

 Daniel and Caleb watching a show before all the festivities started.  

Grandpa looking at his phone and Naomi with her hair braided all pretty, courtesy of Grandma.  

 A picture of my parents with all the kiddos on the day that they left for home after spending the Thanksgiving holiday with all of us.