Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meeting Laila

Sunday morning everyone came to meet Laila.  The room was crazy, but the kids were so excited to meet her.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Laila Irene Johansen's Birthday

The past week has been filled with lots of unexpecteds, including some self pity, and then Saturday came and I was feeling really frustrated with how things were going.  Then I told Brian, I have prayed about today and know that this is how God meant today to go and this was the day he decided our baby will be born, so I will accept that his plan is better than mine.   By the end of the day I was rewarded in that everything was perfect, better than I could have hoped for.  God is good!

So this is a summary of the week and why I was not a happy camper Saturday morning.  I had grand plans to get a lot done in preparation for baby that week.  I even arranged for Myann and Anders to go to school a couple of extra days so I could have all day to get things done.  Monday night was car shopping, not fun, but had to be done. We noticed the refrigerator not working right so we called appliance repair and they planned to come Tuesday.   Then Tuesday I met with repair guy who could not fix it, but planned to return Wednesday afternoon. I did fit in 2 hours of shopping while Shane was at a sea animal dissection camp at the mall. Awesome 2 hours.  Wednesday was my first day to get things done, but most of the time was spent at a doctor's appointment and grocery shopping and then meet appliance guy.  He said he fixed it. Yeah!  Then Wednesday night we noticed it not cooling, so first thing Thursday morning I called and they said appliance guy would be here at noon. I felt optimistic, so I dropped Shane off at Camp Reed, dropped kids at school and did my Costco shopping, of course filling up fridge. Repair guy arrives and said fridge was DOA, could not be fixed. Time to get a new one.  So I frantically ran out the door to try to find a fridge before I had to get kids from school.  I did get an idea, but realized we had way more choices than I knew so I needed to talk with Brian. Friday is my last day, I had so many plans, but I had to go to several appliance places and get a fridge that could be delivered within a day.  By 1pm, I had picked a fridge that would be delivered the following night. For the next 2 kidless hours, I washed sheets and cleaned up to prepare for family's arrival the next night.

July 30th, I slept great, 7 consecutive hours, the most I could remember sleeping in a while. I got out of bed when I noticed a trinkling down my leg.  I think I knew what it was, but I refused to accept it, so I slapped on a maxipad and told Brian I was fine, but there was a chance my water was broken or in the process.  My dilemma was that we had to pick Shane up from Camp Reed.  I really wanted to be there, but Brian was concerned about me being in labor and an hour from town.   I called my doctor and she expressed the same concern and insisted that I go to the hospital that afternoon at the latest.  I called my friend Sheryl, who was going to pick up her daughter as well, and warned her of my situation in case we did not make it there, would she pick up Shane.  We hopped in the car at 8:45 am and drove an hour to Camp Reed. So happy to see Shane, who was upset because he lost his tooth that morning and actually lost the tooth.  We assured him that we would leave the tooth fairy a note and he would still get paid for his tooth.  Brian is pretty anxious the whole time there wanting to grab Shane and go, but I wanted to do the full experience.  So we stayed for the parent program and then had to cash out his store credit.  Finally we left at 10:35pm, and hurried home to meet the refrigerator delivery guys. We got home and the delivery guys arrived 5 minutes later.  I had planned to go to the hospital and get checked, but I wanted to make sure the fridge was as I hoped.  Plus, I was becoming more convinced that once I went to the hospital, I was not leaving.  Refrigerator delivered - check, Shane picked up - check, now I needed to stall long enough for my mom and Danielle to arrive by plane. They were already in the air, so I only needed to get us to 8pm.  We arranged for our sitter Sierra to come stay with the kids while Brian and I went to the hospital.  Then our friends the Kipps would come that evening, to pick up my family from the airport and be with the kids until my family arrived. At about 4pm I started to feel contractions, so I knew we needed to get to the hospital. I was so disappointed that I would not have my doctor deliver the baby and that my family may not make it in time, but decided that I had prayed about it and it was in God's hands.

We arrived at the hospital and they began accessing me. I explained about who my doctor was and that I wished she could be there, but understood she was not on call. I also explained that my family was in the air and I really wanted them there. Within 30 minutes my most amazing OB/GYN in the world poked her head around the corner. She said she happened to be working a 12 hour shift at the hospital.  She also quickly accessed that my water had broken and I was going to have this baby tonight.  We explained the flight situation, to which she went and checked the flight schedule. She said my family should be arriving early, she coordinated with another surgeon to do my c-section at 8:30, which gave my mom time to arrive, see me first, and prep for surgery.  I can not tell you the elation I felt and the smile that crossed my face knowing that God must have been having a good chuckle over my fretting all day about my doctor and my mom arriving in time. He knew all along that it was under control.  So my kids were be well cared for by friends who love them, and I was having my baby delivered by my most amazing doctor and my family would be there in time.  8:00pm, Brian arrived from the airport with my mom and Danielle.  I visited for a few minutes and then it was surgery prep time. Prep went great, all the staff was wonderful.

8:54pm, Dr. Smetana announced the birth of our baby girl.  I took one look and was so excited to see a gorgeous head of dark hair and the prettiest little girl.  She was healthy and prefect! An hour later I was holding and nursing my new baby girl. 36 hours later, Brian and I settled on her name and I was being released to go home.

Birth stats:
7lbs. 2 oz.
20 inches long
Laila was picked by Lexi and Danielle, and we settled on the spelling since it was Scandinavian and means dark haired beauty.
Irene is the name of Brian's maternal grandmother, with whom he was very close

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Letter to Quatro

Dear Baby,

You remain unnamed, and that may be the case until weeks after your birth at this rate. Daddy refuses to discuss names until you are born.  He has been kind enough to say no way when it is a name he does not like.  However, he does not like any names I have thrown out so far.  There are a few he has agreed to think on, so maybe there is hope. At this rate, you better be a girl because there is not one single boy name that has been accepted.

I am so excited to finally meet you, though I really am enjoying the last trimester of this pregnancy. I love feeling the bony protrusions from my belly and guessing which body part it might be.  I love all the belly kisses from your siblings, who already love you more than you know.  I love that your daddy really steps up his game when I am pregnant and helps out so much more without me even asking.  I love that strangers see the belly and smile at me. I love that you and I have this special time, where we are one, it is like having a secret just between us.

I am going to tell you the truth on why we wanted you.  Daddy and I walked into a restaurant with your three siblings and the waitress said wow you have your hands full, then she looked at my belly and said, oh my goodness and you are having another one.  It really was not meant to be rude and I did not take it that way.  Honestly, this is a common reaction to me and the kids, so no harm done.  Well, my response is always the same, yep, we are crazy.  That is my short and sweet answer, and honestly, probably a little true.  But here is the long truthful answer. I have always wanted 4 kids, that is what I always told people growing up.  Then I grew up and realized you do not always get what you want and sometimes you do not actually want what you thought you did.  I experienced friend after friend with fertility problems and began to appreciate that I would take whatever God gave me however he gave me a baby.  Thankfully, conception was not a struggle I had to endure and I was quickly blessed with babies the moment I decided I wanted one and in some cases, a bit earlier than I planned.  So once I realized I could physically conceive without problems, Daddy and I had to decide what we could reasonably handle. After your Uncle Alex got sick, I felt very lonely, since he was my only sibling. I knew at that point I would always have more than 2 kids.  Deciding to have Anders was an easy decision, he was on the agenda, he was my third that I had to have.  After Anders, Daddy and I had to think about whether we could really give of ourselves to another child.   I wanted to make sure that I could be the same parent to 4 as I could to 3.  Honestly, I do not know that I can be, but I have quickly learned that sibling love is pretty remarkable and where I may not have as much time, siblings fill the gap.  But we still were not sure, rather Daddy was not sure, especially since he would see my patience tried by your siblings.  So what make our ultimate decision, I knew we were missing you. It is hard to explain, but I always felt like our family was not complete and that someone was missing.  Truthfully, I love being pregnant and I love babies, so that helps for sure, but I really believed that there was another member of our family that we had not met yet.  So that is why I am so excited to meet you, the person we have been missing.  I am excited for you to meet your family, and you will soon learn, you have two parents who already love you, 3 siblings who will likely overwhelm you with affection, and an extended family that will knock your socks off.  We won't even go into our network of friends who will no doubt love you like family.

To put it simply, you are going to be born into a whole lot of love, and you are already a blessing to us.  You are going to be the high note in what has been a very painful year for our family.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Anders - My charmer

Maybe Anders knew he needed to step up his game since a new baby was coming. This week he melted my heart when out of the blue at bedtime, he said, "You are the best mommy ever."  Not sure where he heard this, Shane and Myann have never used this exact phrase, but he sure knows how to win over mommy.  I have now heard it at least daily and usually several times a day.

I may have blogged this before, but it is so cute, it bears repeating. Whenever Anders eats something he likes, he says, "It's good to my tummy."  Also, Anders has learned from his siblings to say he does not like a food when he has not even tried it. Since that does not fly in our house, he always has to try it.  More times than not Anders has a green eggs and ham moment and says, "Oh, I do like it."

My poor boys having to go to the ob/gyn with me... Shane was traumatized by witnessing my iud being removed and now Anders went with me to nearly every appointment where I had to pee in a cup.  The first time, he got a cup and was going to pee in it himself.  Now, every time we walk into the bathroom, he grabs a cup and hands it to me and says, "This is for your pee."  Lovely.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Our exciting date night

I have to write this down for fear that I will forget exactly what all happened. It was a crazy night.  We were waiting for our sitter to arrive and then she showed up upset because she almost ran over a dog and had the dog with her because she was afraid someone else would hit it. So we immediately went into high gear trying to post adds online, ran up to vet to check for microchip (no luck), and calling all shelters.  Over 2 hours later, when all adds were placed, Brian and I went car shopping. For the record, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my minivan and do not want to give it up, but we need a AWD or 4WD vehicle to get us through these winters.  We were not impressed with the Toyota Siena, so I have agreed to consider and SUV. We show up at Chevy to check out the Suburban and Tahoe. Tahoe is way too small. Suburban has less leg room and way more crowded, meanwhile way bigger than my minivan - not sure how that is.  The dealer salesman says that obviously they do not have a vehicle that will make us happy so would we consider customizing a passenger van. He gets super excited and explains all he could do. Meanwhile, I am laughing on the inside thinking no way - we will only have 4 kids, why on Earth would I need a passenger van. Brian seems to be going with it, but I honestly thought he was just messing with me.   We leave and I laugh saying whatever, I am not driving an airport shuttle around town. Brian is frustrated and said he genuinely thinks this is the way to go and he will get me the nicest customizable van possible. Seriously - I am in the twilight zone.

Then we drive down to look at Nissan Armadas. The dealership is closed by an older lady is there with her granddaughter. Brian and her strike up a conversation about what a great and honest dealership they are and Brian will be sure to mention her name if we come back.  She then gives her personal business card - a 70 plus year old woman carries business cards with her name and email.  I was so impressed with how savy she was, but seriously a personal business card.

Next we are going to finally eat and we get a text from our sitter that the dog's owner has called and they are on the way.  It was a beagle mix male and the owners tell her to check to see if it is there dog by saying his name and seeing if he perks up. Chuck Norris!!!!! The dog is named Chuck Norris - Brian and I were laughing so hard and kind of wanted to hurry home to meet the owners who would name their dog Chuck Norris.  We then went on to do about 30 minutes of Chuck Norris jokes between us and texts to family members and friends who could appreciate our humor.  We enjoyed that our dogs had no idea they kept messing with Chuck Norris.  All in all, so happy that we helped reunite a lost dog with their owner.

So we head back to our side of town and eat a fave neighborhood restaurant.  20 minutes there and 2 cop cars goes racing by. No biggie.  15 minutes pass and we seeing 5 to 7 cop cars with lights and sirens flying into our restaurant's parking lot behind a white Navigator.  Cops hop out with guns pulled yelling out people in Navigator to come out with hands up.  I thought we were watching an episode of Cops.  Brian orders me inside the restaurant, as we had been eating on the patio adjacent to the parking lot, so he was afraid of a shoot out.  We go in and watch the whole thing unfold.  When we felt safe, we got in car and left.  I have been wanting a Jack in the Box Blackberry milkshake ever since I saw that they brought them back this summer.  So we pull in the Jack in the Box that is about 2 blocks from our restaurant. We notice 4 cop cars and a camera crew and the parking lot and several employees outside.  I still pull into the drive-thru not really processing what I'm seeing.  As I roll my window down to place my order, we hear a security alarm going off and the employee walks up and says they can not serve us tonight.   Ding Ding Ding - I began laughing hysterically that I am pretty sure our two cop episodes are related and likely the Jack in the Box was just robbed by the two guys taken into custody at our restaurant.  What are the chances????  Very exciting night - quite possibly our most interesting date night ever, and that says a lot since Brian and I encountered some equally bizarre events early in our dating life.