Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Welcome to the World Baby Girl!

Margaret Melissa Mannion arrived on 13 July 2009 at 10:32 pm. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces, and is 20 1/4 inches long. Currently, her eyes are blue and her hair looks strawberry blond. She's a great nurser, pretty good sleeper, and really resents being woken up or bothered during a nap. I guess we should place her in the redhead category based on temper alone!

Here's me as we kicked off the induction. As I mentioned in my Facebook status the other day, I was still wearing my wedding rings. Both other times my hands had swollen too much by about the 8th month to wear them anymore.
They started me at about 8:30 that morning. As always, it took a while. They gave me misoprostl (?) to ripen my cervix, and started the pitocin around 2. A couple hours later, I got my epidural, smoothest one yet, and my doctor broke my water. Boy, do I love epidurals. Unfortunately, right after that things got a little slow. My contractions weakened and became really irregular. I started to get really worried that we were heading for a c-section. I had no problem with the idea of a caesarean, I just didn't want to have to recover from one while chasing my other kids!

Fortunately, things picked up and around 8, my contractions intensified and regulated. Unfortunately, Maggie's heart rate would drop as I contracted. I was starting to think we were going to be 3 for 3 on cords around the neck. Fortunately, we shifted my postion, got into a good place, her heartbeat steadied and at about 10:15, I started pushing. 17 minutes later, Maggie was here.

This isn't a good picture of her, but I sure look happy to see her.
Turns out part of the reason things took so long was that Maggie was tring to come out a bit transverse. Her poor little head took quite a beating.
She recovered from it, though, and got a 9 on both Apgars.
Proud papa and his beautiful girl.
Still trying to be zen while being really mad about her first bath.
Look at thse cute sisters.
Our new and improved family.
Addie sweetly saying hi.
Chloe really was more excited than she seems to be in this shot.

Addie was more excited about my big cup of icewater. Everytime Bracken brought the girls in, she would head straight to it. I'm so glad I got to bring that cup home!
Look at her! 36 hours old and already holding that little head up.
So now we're all home and doing well. I'm really feeling quite good, knock on wood. We'll see how the night goes.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th 'n stuff

I know this is a lot of blog entries in one day, but I'm trying to get all caught up before our baby arrives and things fall apart even more. It's been a super busy couple of weeks. On the positive side, Chloe had a great birthday, our bathroom is almost done (pictures to follow upon total completion of the project, so maybe in a couple years or so), and I have an induction scheduled. On the negative, our house has been an absolute disaster, Addie has achieved new levels of mess making, we've all had colds, my carpal tunnel has prevented me from sleeping most of the time, and yesterday I got a stomach/intestinal bug.

We went to our church 4th of July breakfast, and all morning I'd been having intermittent painful contractions. I'd been awake since about 3, just not feeling well. I kept thinking, is this what labor really feels like, because I just feel gross? I tried to power through, though, and got the bathroom caulked while trying to ignore the errors I'd made with the grout (I know I'm a novice and shouldn't expect perfection the first time I do something, but I don't want to have to redo it.) By mid afternoon, though, it became obvious that this was not labor, it was just sick, and I gave the new toilet a thorough workout. Thankfully, I was able get some good sleep last night, and haven't had any more unusual visits to the toilet today.

I was bummed (literally) last night, though, that I didn't get to go to the fireworks with the girls. They'd had a pretty uneventful 4th since it mostly consisted of working on the bathroom or Mom groaning on some flat surface, and Chloe, as always was very excited about seeing fireworks. (For reference on Chloe's struggle to see fireworks, check out the end of this blog entry.) Here are the girls waiting for the show to start.
Chloe starting to curl up into fetal position.
One last peek out, and . . .
once again, she didn't make it. Bracken tried and tried to wake her up, but it was no use. She was out for the night. Addie, who'd had a late nap, was full of energy and refused to be contained so Bracken gave up and came home. Maybe next year, Chloe.

Happy Birthday Josh!

The day after Chloe was born, her dear friend Josh arrived in the world. They have been best buds ever since. He celebrated his birthday Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle style this year. His mom, Ashley, made masks for all the kids. Addie's matched her hair.
Chloe chose a red one. She also chose her own socks that day.

Opening the gifts.
Trying to get a picture with everyone in their masks. Dave's helping Addie.
And here are all the little turtles.
Have I mentioned that Addie likes frosting?
Happy Birthday Josh! We sure do love you, and are so glad we know you.

Chloe's Birthday Party

When I was growing up, we only had parties for our 6th birthday. I have no idea how my parents enforced that, because for months Chloe has been talking about and anticipating her birthday party. We had to make a countdown chain to convince her of how many days were really left until her birthday. She was very specific in wanting hats, balloons, blowers, a horse pinata, a cake with flowers, and everyone she ever met in attendance. We decided to have a water party in the backyard, and I think everyone had a great time. Thanks so much to Ashley especially, and all the other moms who pitched in to help things run smoothly.

Happy 4th Birthday Chloe!

I can't believe my little Chloe turned 4 on Thursday! She is becoming such a little lady. If I do say so myself, she had a really fun birthday. She started the day with a few small gifts from Mom and Dad. Though she would happily spend most days in her pajamas, on this day she got dressed before she would even consider opening her presents. My dad, who always insisted that we get dressed on Christmas morning before we opened any presents, will be so proud.
My friend Ashley came over that morning to take Chloe to the free movies so I could have my hands free a little to get everything ready. I was especially grateful for the extra help since Bracken and I had stayed up until about 2 trying to get the bathroom ready for the party, only to discover we needed a thicker wax ring for the toilet. It was a bit frustrating to have worked so hard to get so close, and be unable to close the deal, and then be so tired the next day. Oh well. Ashley's movie plans didn't pan out so well either. Since the theatre cancelled the screening of Curious George, the kids ended up watching Journey to the Center of the Earth through their fingers before leaving early.

After a trip to the mall playground, Ashley brought the crew back and helped me with the final party prep. We had a water party in the backyard, and I think all the kids had a really good time. They played in the wading pool, in the sprinkler, and on the Slip 'n' Slide Chloe had gotten that morning.

We also had water balloons, which the kids just kind of threw into the grass until Ashley showed them how to throw them at each others feet, and then they had a great time.
There was one mishap early in the party when Chloe, wrapped in her towel like a burrito, per her request, tripped and bashed her cheek into the metal swing. There were a lot of tears, and a couple requests to just go lay down, but eventually, a big cup of chocolate milk solved the problem, and she was able to return to enjoying her party.
Then it was pinata time. Chloe has been requesting a pinata for years, and we finally got her one. She really wanted a white horse, but thankfully was accepting of a mulitcolored donkey.

All the kids were excited to get in on the action, and fortunately, not even the random two year olds running past the enthusiastically swinging broom got hit.

Chloe then got to open her presents. She got everything she'd been wanting, plus a whole lot more. Thanks to everyone for spoiling my daughter!

Here's me and my birthday girl. And my other little imp stealing a cupcake before we got to sing.
Happy Birthday to you, Chloe!

That night, Ashley, Josh and Parker stayed to join us for dinner and a little more birthday celebration.
In Bracken's family, they always had a treasure hunt for their big present when they were growing up. His dad would hide pictures of objects around the house in little tins and the kids would go from place to place until they got to their big gift. Chloe really wanted a blue bike, and they are impossible to find for girls in stores. I had ordered it online later than I should (what, my hands have been a little full lately), and desperately hoped it would come in time for her birthday. It was due to come FedEx that day, and at around 10 that day, the FedEx truck had pulled up. I was so excited, thinking that the bike was arriving and I could assemble it while Chloe was gone. The truck did a three point turn in front of my house, then drove away. No!!!

Thankfully, around the end of her party, the bike showed up and I was able to smuggle it into the house and assemble it before the treasure hunt. Bracken set everything up for the hunt and after dinner, the kids were off. Sort of. Chloe found a picture of pots and pans, went to the cupboard with the pots and pans, opened it, shut it, then turned to Bracken for the next clue.
Good thing Josh is very interested in pirates, and could help her out with the actual locating of the clues.
Until the end, when they reduced all of us adults to tears of laughter. The last clue was the crib, and in front of the crib Bracken had placed the bike. The kids ran in, ran past the bike, and started looking in the crib.

Then they started looking around the room for the "treasure."
Nope, still not seeing it.
Addie and Parker then ran in and immediately climbed on the bike. By the time Chloe and Josh located it, Addie was perched proudly on the seat and Parker was straddling the front wheel.
In Chloe's defense, there is a family history of bike finding issues. When my dad was a little boy, he wanted a bike more than anything. In his family, everyone had their own chair on Christmas morning that all their gifts were placed on. He woke up, ran to his chair, and was heartbroken to not see see a bike on it. It took several minutes for him to process that a bike wouldn't fit on the chair, and was waiting for him right behind the chair. Come to think of it, his bike was also blue. Maybe blue bikes are just harder to find. It sure was for me!

But here is our proud girl taking her first ride on the sidewalk.
She's just so big!
We then had more singing and cake with dad.
Addie loved the frosting.
Happy Birthday Chloe! We sure love you, and are so glad you're part of our family.