Friday, January 06, 2012

Newborn Photo Shoot

If you can really call it that. Hahaha! We tried THREE different times to do pictures with little miss Sawyer. We cranked up the heat and got down to business. The first time I had Nathan as my helper and we quickly realized we had BAD backdrops. She was the most cooperative on that day but the backgrounds weren't good. Then, I made Carol help me two more times. Better backgrounds but a wiggly little baby! I would try to prop her head with her hands and she'd completely switch up her position. I'd put her on her belly and she'd flop to her side. We laughed and laughed! I'm a newbie with taking pictures and I really needed her to work with me! Here is what we got - nothing super impressive (again, they aren't edited) but I'm happy I got some pictures at least! They are better than nothing. =)

Day 1

Day 2
(See what I mean about uncooperative?!)

Day 3

Isn't she beautiful?!!

Older Kids Photo Shoot

Well, I got a new camera. I ended up going with the Canon EOS T3i. I love it but I don't have the slightest clue how to use it! AND I don't know how to edit pictures either. Hello! I just figured out how to get rid of red eye. SO, this was my first try at taking pictures. They are NOT edited (still need to figure that out) but I still think they look a whole heck of a lot better than the pictures my old camera took!

My Bookcases!!!

I've been dreaming of having beautiful bookcases for YEARS! I found some styles that I really liked but all of them were about $2000. YIKES! As much as I love books I wasn't ready to drop that kind of money on the bookcases. Anyway, after building Brenan's bed and the girl's bunk beds (holy cow! I never posted pictures of those! I will.) we figured we were pros at building and decided to build our own! Haha! We also thought that bookcases would be super easy. It ended up being a more time consuming project than we had originally planned but I LOVE the way they turned out and am SO happy with them. Nathan designed our plans using the pictures of some of the ones we liked as a jumping off point. I love ours even more than the $2000 ones. Thank you Nathan!!! Aren't they pretty?!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Keslie's Ballet/Tap Recital

Keslie had her first ballet/tap recital here in Fort Worth. I think she's a natural at this stuff! It was so fun to watch her! She is usually shy when she's in front of people but she loved the spotlight and was grinning throughout both of her performances. Here she is before her performance:
A couple group shots that we got during the rehearsal. Keslie is in the front 3rd from the left (or 2nd? I can't tell if the girl at the far left is in the front or back).
And a couple close ups of our little dancing queen:
Here she is with her fabulous teacher:
Proud daddy! He let her choose a place to go get dinner and she chose Taco Bell and then requested Braums ice cream for dessert. =)

Anika's 8th Birthday

8 years ago I became a mom and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I couldn't ask for a better oldest child. Last year on her birthday I promised she'd get a party for her 8th birthday not knowing that I'd have a one week old. I talked her out of having a huge shindig this year and promised once again that next year she could have a big party. I think that was a safe promise since 2 babies in 1 year is unlikely for me! Haha! We started off the day with her favorite breakfast - Dunkin Donuts! And present opening of course! She was pretty thrilled with all of her gifts but her favorite was the Doctor Dreadful Zombie Lab. After seeing this commercial it was all she could talk about. I guess zombie vomit and brain fizz and snot shots are all the rage! Gross!

We headed over to Vangrow Art Studio and painted some pottery. Anika is quite the little artist so she was in heaven! I can't believe I didn't get any pictures of their pottery! Anika painted a Santa cookie plate and a Mickey Mouse for Granana and Papa. Keslie painted a plate and a little reindeer. I painted a snowman mug for Nathan. It was really fun!

She chose chinese food for dinner and then we came home and had cake and ice cream with some friends. I think she was happy with her day even without the big party. =)

20 questions* : answered by Anika age 8

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? My scooter, my wilbur stuffed animal, stuffed animals, Littlest Pet Shops
3. What is your favorite fruit? bananas
4. What is your favorite tv show? Phineas and Ferb
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Ham sandwich with all the fix ins
6. What is your favorite outfit? How do I explain my favorite outfit because it's my pajamas?!!
7. What is your favorite game? Basketball at home
8. What is your favorite snack? Crackers
9. What is your favorite animal? dogs and cats
10. What is your favorite song? Tonight, Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae
11. What is your favorite book? Magic Treehouse books
12. Who is your best friend? Keslie
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cookie Crisp
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Run all around crazy.
15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk and Eggnog
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Blankies
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Donuts
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Stromboli
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy

Monday, January 02, 2012

Brenan Turns 3 , Thanksgiving, and Sawyer Grace

Brenaman is 3! It is unbelievable how fast these past few years have gone. He had been so much fun at every age. I love his little voice, his dance moves, and his squishy little toddler hands. We are so blessed to have such nice kids. He chose Trix for his birthday cereal. =)

I took him to the mall play place and out to lunch for his day. He also got to go to Toys R Us and choose out a present with the money Granma and Granpa Kivett sent.
He wanted pizza and ice cream. So that's what he got!

I don't know why we didn't get the traditional before and after blowing out the candles picture! But, here he is, waiting for his cake.
20 questions* : answered by Brenan age 3

1. What is your favorite color? Blue
2. What is your favorite toy? Racecars
3. What is your favorite fruit? Um, I yike oinges.
4. What is your favorite tv show? Cars
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Strawberry yogurt
6. What is your favorite outfit? I yike my car shirt
7. What is your favorite game? hide and go seek
8. What is your favorite snack? fishy crackers
9. What is your favorite animal? Um, horse
10. What is your favorite song? I yike ABCD, Scripture Power, There was a little house
11. What is your favorite book? Go to sleep book and Dora book
12. Who is your best friend? Thomas
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Basketball
15. What is your favorite drink? water
16. What is your favorite holiday? Halloween
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? I don't yike cars in my bed. I yike my blue blankie.
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cheerios
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? yogurt. ??? =)
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Francesco and Finn McMissile. =)

We saw Puss In Boots at the Drive-in. We have the worst luck at drive-ins. Our car battery died and we had to ask someone to jump us. Always super awkward. We felt grumpy after that so we skipped out on the second movie (Footloose).
Here I am at 37 weeks.
We decorated before Thanksgiving this year just in case the baby decided to make her debut a little early. Here are the kids putting their ornaments on the tree. I had big plans to have a fancy tree this year but in the end decided that I like the one we have every year. =)

Grandma Kivett sent the kids a box of fun Thanksgiving crafts to keep them busy. They LOVED them! Here was one of their favorites:
We spent Thanksgiving with the Soters again this year. It was lovely.

Here is this AMAZING picture of the chefs!

Getting ready for the feast!

Keslie REALLY wanted a turkey leg. It looks like a chocolate ice cream cone to me!
Mandi and I hit up the Black Friday sales and it was great fun! It's a totally different experience when you're about ready to birth a child though. My back almost went out a few times - at one point we were in the mile long line at Toys R Us and I had sat down on the ground to rest. When I tried to stand up I found that I was stuck. I ended up having to get on to my hands and knees and then slowly climb up. It was pretty embarrassing and I was grateful to have Mandi there to laugh with me! We were pretty successful and got almost everything we had set out to get! The next day we came home to get some last minute things done before the baby came. We dropped the kids off at the Soters on Sunday night and headed into the hospital to be induced the next morning. Here I am right before we left:

Sawyer's Birth Story

Sawyer Grace West was born on Monday November 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm. She weighed 9 lbs 8 oz and was about 20 inches long! My induction was scheduled for 5 am - at least that's what the nurse had told me. When we arrived at the hospital we were informed that we were actually scheduled for 7. LAME. I could have used those extra 2 hours of sleep! We did get set up in a room right away though and then we just waited around for a couple of hours. About 7:30 they finally got things rolling. I got the IV put in my hand - OUCH. It was pretty painful! Maybe the worst part. =) Then got started on pitocin. I was dilated to a 4 and was totally shocked by that. Usually I don't get farther than a 3 until my water breaks. I figured that my doctor would stop in on her way to work, break my water and we'd have a baby by noon! She didn't end up coming until about 1 and I hadn't dilated any further - even being on the pitocin. I went ahead and got my epidural before my water was broken - why not?! I LOVE epidurals but HATE getting them. Totally worth it though. And I'm betting the crazy screaming girl next door was wishing she'd gotten one. No offense if you're a screaming crazy lady when giving birth - but FYI having a baby with an epidural is blissful. See:
Happy as can be waiting for my baby to come.
SPOILER ALERT - I'm about to give "TOO MUCH INFORMATION" so don't read if you don't want it. Haha! Most embarrassing moment during this birth: The nurse came in to check to see if I'd dilated any farther (this is after my epidural) and as she was doing her thing my body (on it's own accord) let out a SUPER LOUD, LONG TOOT. At first I didn't put two and two together - I hadn't felt it, only heard it. But when I realized what had happened I said "oh my gosh! Was that me?! I am so sorry!". She said that it was ok and that I couldn't control it. Anyway, she went and sat over by her computer and I glanced at Nathan. His ears and face were bright red from trying not to laugh. We both tried to control it but every time we'd look at each other we'd burst into quiet laughter. I don't know how the nurse didn't join in. =)

The next time she came into check me I was at a 10 and ready to go! She called for the doctor and we waited for a little bit. When the doctor arrived I pushed 3-4 times and she was out! I have loved all of my childbirths but after this one I was on a high. I just sat there and smiled and watched my baby and smiled some more. I am so grateful to have her here! Right away I thought she looked like Keslie with her chubby cheeks. Over the next couple weeks I couldn't decide whether she looked more like Kes or Anika. Either way - she's a cutie and she's happy!

Here is our nurse who took such great care of us even though I tooted on her more than once. =)
Here we are right after, getting to have some "skin to skin" time.
Her sugar levels dropped because of my gestational diabetes so Nathan got to feed her a bottle.
The kids were pretty thrilled to see their baby sister. Brenan and Keslie didn't want to hold her at first (Keslie told me later that she thought she looked gross - haha!) but Anika wanted to right away.

First family picture!
I left the next day this time. Usually I want to stay the full 2 days but I was ready to be home.

This is us right after we got home from the hospital on Tuesday night:

Here are a few more of her first few days home. Aren't her cheeks so squishy and so kissable?!

She had LONG feet!

First bath - she was not happy about it!

Granana and Papa came the following weekend to meet her. I think they liked her a little bit. =)
Papa is always so great to play games with the kids.
Carol stayed for 4 more days to help me out. She was my very own personal angel. She got up every morning and got the kids ready and made their lunches. She did laundry galore, kept my kitchen clean and killed millions of angry fire ants. She kept me company and helped me take "newborn photos". I was so glad she was able to come. I hardly had any of the normal hormonal emotional breakdowns and I know it's because she was there making things easy for me.

We had a hard time getting the kids to cooperate for this picture. I guess the more kids you have the harder it is to get them all looking at the camera at the same time! Let alone smiling!
Here we are - a family of 6 heading into the holiday season. =)

We love our little Soybean. She is a very happy and content baby. We feel so blessed to have her in our family. I love my babies. =)