Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saturday with the Foxes

With pretty much every single baby, the first week is heaven.  I've rarely taken a drug much stronger than Tylenol in my life, but I can't imagine being high could feel much better than the first week with a newborn baby.  

The tiny feet, the sweet smells, the tiny diapers, the snuggling... who needs sleep anyway?  The sore breasts, the aching back are nothing compared to the ecstasy that is holding a tiny infant.

 Then comes the second week.  Like clockwork, I physically and emotionally crash right around the one week mark.  Fortunately, my "crash" of the last couple of days has not been as bad as some previous babies.  Even so, last night was rough with a crying Peter and all of my big people gone.  Faith was here, and she has been magnificently helpful, but she is still only ten, and I don't want to burden her too much.  
I am feeling markedly better today.
He is a hardworking Daddy.  Between work and helping out a little bit with Youth Conference, I haven't seen Abe a lot this week.  I'm pretty good on my own, but I do feel much more relaxed when he's around more.
My timing isn't the best, but I've been concerned lately with the younger children's lack of creative juices and their inability to entertain themselves without electronics and screens.  So, I've been enforcing a lot of no TV time this week.  Lo and behold!  It took a few days, but they've been playing so much better and making up more games and he complaints of boredom have significantly decreased.
Creativity is always messier, as the fort in the living room shows, but it's worth it.  Replete with a living room (in the center)  and separate bedrooms for each of them.
Peter wasn't really being grouchy for this picture.  I told him I wanted to take his picture shortly after the kids had posed here just before him.  I think he was trying to be a tough guy to be like them in the game they were playing.  
Clark and Bethany returned home from youth conference today.  They had a BOOT Camp theme at Camp Williams (Utah National Guard Reserves training area).  From all reports they had a great time-- the highlight being the obstacle courses.  Clark did not care for the repelling, but he's always been one to prefer to be on steady ground.  Bethany loved the repelling.  Clark came home and almost immediately headed to play practice and then to work.  Bethany came home and almost immediately took a nap.  She's still sleeping several hours later.  I'm guessing she didn't get much sleep while she was gone.
Elinor had a babysitting job in the neighborhood for the last three days.  I'm happy to have her home as well.  She has been on a cleaning rampage (no complaints from me).  Her room is spic and span and she cleaned up the kitchen so she and a friend could make and decorate cupcakes.
One more of Greta.  She has been nursing well, sleeping well, diapering well.  It would appear that we've saved the best for last! 
 Shh, don't tell the other kids.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

One Week Old

Today Greta is one week old and I have thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of sitting and cuddling her sweetness.  I don't really have intentions of doing much different this week.  The rest of the family, although they love her too, have carried on with summer festivities.
Monday night Elinor's orthodontist had a patient appreciation evening at Cowabunga Bay (local water park).  We got some free tickets and a few deeply discounted, so the gang (or most of them) could go have a fun evening.  My brother's wife goes to the same orthodontist, and his family joined in the fun as well.  Actually, they are the reason it worked out for our kids to go.  Abe joined them later, but Chip and Laura came and took everyone in our mega van.  Many thanks to them!
They had a great time and I got to stay home ALONE with Greta.  Talk about WIN/WIN.
Some sort of dance party-- Cannon is in the blue shorts on the right and cousin Kaylee is in black on the left.
Saturday evening Abe and the girls went downtown for a welcome home for Elder Flynn who returned from a mission to the Philippines.  
I really enjoy my time recovering from having a baby.  I'm not really in any kind of rush to return to normal life, and yet, I feel SO MUCH better than I did when I was pregnant, that I do have to remind myself to take it easy and make sure I rest and recover.  
That being said, I probably overdid it on Tuesday.  In a desire take the kids out for something fun to do,  we dropped Bethany off at Drivers Ed, and we made a little stop at the Southtowne Expo Center.  Abe was working there so it was fun to say hi to him, but we went to go see the floats on display that will be in the Days of 47 parade on Saturday.
I'm glad we went, but I was very glad to get back to the safety of my home.  
This evening Abe, Bethany, Greta and I went to Walmart.  Once again, probably mentally good for me to venture out here and there, but I'm so happy to get back home.
Clark is a part of a production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  The shows are coming up Aug.4-6.  He spent a couple of days this week helping build set pieces.  Here he is working on constructing desks that he measured and cut and put together.  I was so impressed!  I hear girls like guys with carpentering skills.
Here are a couple of the finished products.  You can come see Clark perform and see his desks live on stage!
 We are being very well taken care of after Greta's birth.  This was my favorite thing... a container full of watermelon just for me!
Team Little Kids, which has recently been upgraded to Team Middle Kids, made bank last weekend with a little lemonade stand.  They do sell Winder Farms lemonade, which is very tasty.  Maybe word has spread.
 They were in such demand they were even holding up traffic.
Faith and Cannon both qualified to the All County Championship track meet on Saturday in the event of shot put.  Kind of fun.  I don't foresee any kind of long term interest in the shot put, but an interesting experience just before the Olympics.
 Faith's attempt.
Cannon's attempt.
George went to the store this week to spend his birthday money from Grandma Fox.  A yo-yo and remote control car were his choices.  He was so excited.
 Peter had his follow-up appointment with the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor today.  Good news!  His ears were clear and the audiologist tested his hearing which was perfectly normal now!! Happy Dance!
He is making noticeable progress with his sounds and communication.  That is to say, the progress is very noticeable to us.  It may take a while yet, but we are very hopeful that understandable verbal communication is in his not too distant future.  
Nothing make a baby grow up faster than having a younger sibling.  You know it's coming, but it is always shocking just how big the toddler seems when you bring a newborn home.  Overall, Peter has done very well with Greta. 
Brother time in the backyard in the sprinklers this afternoon.
I am so glad they have each other.  I'm glad my girls have each other.  With so many children it is impossible to feel like I am in control of very much.  I pray a lot to know how to interact with each child.  I pray to know what their needs are and to keep my priorities straight and know where to focus my energies.  Heavenly Father answers and directs me, but I also depend a great deal on each of them to help take care of and nurture one another.  Cannon's interactions with Peter matter.  Elinor helping George matters, Faith holding Greta matters.  I often feel my efforts are important in managing the family, but I do not carry the whole weight of raising each child.  Obviously, Abe is a critical key as their father, but we work together as a family and taking care of each other.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Going Home and Greta Mania

Clark was a little hesitant to hold her right off, and I could be mistaken, but I believe Clark has found quite a soft spot for her already.
It's like having a little Clark and Bethany all over again.  Peter was so excited about Greta-- not much for words (we're working on that) there was much excitement from Peter.  He is so very interested in her and whenever she does her little birdie squawk cry, Peter is quite to notify us.
It's fun to think about how close they are in age (23 months) and what adventures and games they'll share with each other.
The campers returned around 1:00 on Friday and Elinor finally got to meet Greta.
By Friday morning she was starting to resemble Faith a little more.  When she was first born I thought she looked like Cannon.
Allison snapped this picture on Saturday.  I like it.
I LOVE this little outfit-- I call it her Jane Austen Regency Era gown.  
Now I'm just going to post a ridiculous number of pictures of this very loved baby.  It's okay if you need to leave.
This was during church on Sunday.  The whole family was gone and it was just Greta and I at home.  Or were we in heaven?  It's hard to tell the difference.
How this little one will love her older sisters!
 My heart can only take so much.
This is Bethany's photo shoot with Greta.
Maybe Greta has had enough?

What is it about newborns that make them look like wise old people?
Have I mentioned how glorious it is to have so many helpers?  
And THIS girl?  Faith is magical with Greta!  She holds her and snuggles her and is my #1 helper.
A couple people have mentioned that she's smaller in person than she appears in pictures.  

For comparison, this is how she looks in her car seat.  
One more hair picture. 

Greta's Visitors

Abe's sister's family was in town for a family reunion on her husband's side.  Aunt Samatha, Ruth, Talitha, and Abby were Greta's first visitors.
Clark got everyone where they needed to be Wednesday morning, but then they came over for a sibling visit.  Elinor was off at Oakcrest (girls' camp) for the week so she didn't get to meet Greta until Friday once we were home.  We knew she'd be sad to miss Greta in the hospital, but we also knew what a great time she was having a camp.  We wanted her to stay and soak it all in because the baby would be here when she got back.
Let the excitement of 8 children begin!
Little sillies.
Cannon and Faith reenact giving birth.
Abe's other sister Marjorie came up from Orem for a visit.  This gal LOVES babies!
Neighbor and dear friend Michelle J. stopped in for a visit.  She has a busy couple of weeks coming up as Young Women's president with girls camp and youth conference.
Grandma and Grandpa Cannon came over after their missionary work for the day was over.
Aunt Brig (my sister) has been to visit me in the hospital with every single baby except George, but that is only because she was recovery in another hospital from giving birth to her Emi the day before.
 Annie C., a friend and neighbor has the same Dr. and was at the hospital for an appointment.  She is expecting a baby girl in October and since we already have two who match up in ages, I hope our kids will spend quite a bit of time together over the years.
Camille S. gave the me the best postpartum advice I've ever heard.
"Oh, and remember.... wait as long as you possibly can (maybe 2 years) to put on real pants. As soon as someone... anyone.... sees you in real pants they assume you are recovered and ready to get back to normal routine. Keep the pajama bottoms on as long as you can possibly stand it. If you must wear real pants, do it alone... in your room.... don't even let your hubby know....."
How wise.
 Uncle Daniel (Abe's oldest brother)
Aunt Lori (Daniel's wife).
They were the last of the hospital visitors.  I really felt so good after her delivery and the whole time in the hospital.  I think it has to do with delivering such a small baby (small for me, anyway).
 Is this a happy papa or what?  I love how much Abe loves babies-- especially baby girls!
Her hair is much thinner and shorter on top, but from the back it's so thick.  It's also quite light compared to most of the others.  Cannon was pretty light as well.
Ready to come home on Thursday night.
First car ride.
Favorite hospital picture.