The short story...
-regular contractions on and off all week
-Friday afternoon things got more serious but then calmed down so we went to bed
-Saturday at 3am I woke up with a hard contraction
-Counted contractions until 6am
-Called Grammy & Grandpa to come get the kids
-At the hospital by 8am
-Slow and steady progress all day--no big stories to report--thank-goodness!
-By 5pm we were holding our sweet little baby that is miraculously perfect in every way!
We feel so blessed to being holding such a little angel and grateful that everything has gone well with her birth. Ryan and I are just throughly enjoying our time alone with little Audrey--kissing those soft little cheeks and soaking up all the cuddles that we can. We are excited to start sharing her with her adoring and excited sisters soon!
I'm officially letting the world know that I'm done with being pregnant and ready for this baby to come!!!
I am in no way proud of this picture but it's one of those things I felt obliged to have done before this baby comes. I remember when I was expecting my first I excitedly took a picture of my growing belly every month. I think this is the first official "bump picture" that I've taken this time!
I think in true baby#4 fashion our focus has been on a million things other than actual baby prep (like all those great house projects). I finally got around to setting up baby equipment and tried to remember what to pack in a hospital bag this past week. Wrote instructions for Grandmas. Made arrangements with schools. And generally did all the prep work that I normally would have done 3 or 4 weeks ago.
The one area that we have completely failed at is being prepared with a name for this little lady! We've always had our kids pretty much named by 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Not this time. We've spent more time pouring over books and websites and negotiating favorites than ever before. And we don't feel like we're too much closer than we were 9 months ago. Hopefully something magical happens and this baby comes with a name stamped on her forehead to help her slacker parents out a little!
Now to enter the days of OCD when there's no real goals or to do lists but the house always has to be clean...the laundry caught up...every dish done...just in case!
Having a newborn is starting to sound like a relaxing option around here. Somehow we keep getting ourselves immersed in "house projects" that are exhausting but oh-so-good to get done!
We did a major re-organization on the basement. Took out the couch and coffee table and turned it into a playland for kids. While we were at it, I spent several long days sorting through toys and ended up with lots of garbage bags of donations and trash.
My favorite part of all the work is going over-board on labels at the end!
The end result: a fun place for kids to play, craft, and swing and climb.
A couple weekends ago my little brother Benj came over and helped Ryan expand our attic storage space. We are so dependent on this attic to help us fit in our house and it was overflowing!
Of course you can't just add a few floorboards...we took almost everything out of the attic and went through tote after tote of books, papers, decor and kids clothes. It was amazing to me how much of it had been just sitting there for the last 6 years! It feels so good to have it all organized and labeled again (and much of it thrown out!). And thanks to all the woodwork, it's actually accessible now!
This past week my Mom came over for a day to do a cooking marathon.
I've always wanted to try mass producing freezer meals for the family have only tried a recipe here and there. Well...we now have almost 20 meals packed and frozen. Hopefully we can keep our hands off of them until my initial post-baby support diminishes and it'll make my adjustment to juggling 4 kiddos a little easier!
The meals we tried were: manicotti, chicken alfredo casserole, crock-pot taco salad mix, and beef stew. Plus we made about 7 dozen muffins for kids snack food. Yummy!
Our kids haven't been the greatest at playing games together. Not for a lack of trying. I have instituted all sorts of "motivational programs" to get the whole board-game thing rolling. The root of the problem is that nobody likes to lose. But recently we have seen great strides. We have a loooonnng Sunday morning until church starts at 2pm so we've been encouraging a lot of game playing on Sundays. It seems like they are actually starting to enjoy it! Hurray!!!
What is truly amazing is that the game that they are most excited about right now is chess! What little girls enjoy chess??? I barely know how to play and think of it as a pretty boring game...but then they are way ahead of me in so many areas!