Sunday, May 28, 2017

One Month with Vivian.

I guess technically she is 5 weeks today, but wow has this last month flown by! It's so unfair how quickly the newborn phase lasts. I have soaked up every minute of her tininess and snuggles and yummy newborn smell. The only problem is, I have three other kids! Haha, it's actually not a problem, but I wish I could have stayed in bed the entire month just to hold and stare and Viv. I have had lots of help the last five weeks from my parents and Mike, which has given me more time to sit and enjoy Vivian.
I would say this may have been the craziest month of our lives up to this point, with moving in, finishing our basement, and starting to put in our yard. I feel like the last five weeks have gone by so slow, yet so incredibly fast. My house is rarely tidy, and I think I have blown my hair dry exactly one time, but the only thing that really matters to me right now is a toss up between my kids, and survival. Kind of kidding on that last one, but holy cow, 4 kids is a lot! Everyone told me that after 3 kids, you could have 7 or 8 and be totally fine... but I beg to differ. Every baby brought home brings its new challenges and adjustment period. Vivian has actually been the sweetest and most easy going baby, but this last week we all go the flu and Viv has been fussier than usual, not letting me put her down, etc... I feel like I'm kind of a zombie. BUT, I'm on the mend, feeling almost fully recovered from the sickness, and Vivian has been doing so much better today already! Life gives you hard weeks and easier weeks, and I'm learning to be a lot more grateful and appreciative of the easier ones. I'm so happy that school is out for the summer! The weather is finally starting to warm up, and I already know that this summer is going to be one of my favorite ones. Adjusting to a new baby will be so much easier when I don't have to get my kids out the door to school every morning, and pick them up. Lots of pool days and otter pops are in our future.
I can't believe how much Vivi has changed in one month! She is absolutely beautiful, and has the most delicate, feminine features. She looks so much like all of my other kids! Robin told me that whenever she would bring a new baby home from the hospital, people would joke that the new baby "definitely came with the Kimball Stamp!" I have been thinking about that recently and realized that my babies come with that exact same stamp. I wouldn't change it for the world! She is a sweet and sensitive baby, that absolutely hates being cold, and is happiest when she is snuggled in the security of our arms. It seems we have another binky baby on our hands, which is totally fine by me. She is starting to smile! Her smiles are still coming at pretty irregularly but I can't even tell you how adorable they are. All of us are on the constant quest to get her to smile- especially the kids! The love her to pieces and can't get enough of her. It's been so sweet to see all 4 of them develop their own special bonds and relationships with each other. 
A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Mothers Day. It was such a special day for me this year (and every year) with Vivian's sweet new spirit in our home. There is no hood like motherhood. It's difficult and raw, and also so rewarding and beautiful. It's the best job in the entire world and I'm so lucky to have these 4 angels to love and cherish the rest of my forevers.

Preschool Graduation!

Nothing makes my heart overflow quite like watching my kids perform or do what they love. This year we got lucky with TWO preschool programs to attend, and they did not disappoint! We have absolutely loved Bear Hollow Preschool. Miss Molly has been so great for both of my kids, and it's just the cutest preschool. They do so many fun things! This year Georgia had her very last program and graduated from preschool. Que all the tears from me over here. I just cannot believe that she will be starting Kindergarten in the fall! She is so ready, and I am so not. Very typical of the two of us. In my ideal world, I really would home school my kids and never let them leave my sight. Mike likes to remind me that home schooling our kids would be way more for me than it would be for our kids. Only because, Georgia is such a social love bug, and absolutely loves going to school! To be honest, she has loved every single part of "growing up." I can't say I haven't loved it, because I have loved every minute of the last 5 years with her. I just still feel sad to think that life as I know it is shifting, and the years I have had with my kids, I'll never get back. Thank goodness I have enjoyed and really LIVED these years with my kids. And seriously, THANK GOODNESS that Kindergarten is only half day. If she had to go full day, I really would have home schooled. She absolutely loved her last year of preschool, and learned so much. She is totally reading, can count to 100, knows some simple addition and subtraction, and is an expert at "staying in the lines" with her coloring. She won the award in her class for being the best athlete, specifically for being the best swinger. Haha! I love it! Georgia is so coordinated and athletic! Miss Molly said she would be on the swing every recess, pumping as high as she could- higher than anyone in the class. She also was super complimentary of Georgia's sweet personality and how she tries to befriend everyone. She did wonderful at her program. Got right up and said her part so loudly and clear! Sang every word to every song and exaggerated all of the actions that went along with the songs. So entertaining and adorable to watch. Gosh, we love that girl! So grateful to have her in our family.
Lanes first year of preschool completely surpassed any expectation I had of him. I was really hesitant to even send him this year. Lanes personality is one that is a little more shy and reserved, he isn't the first one to jump into something new with a huge smile and be in the center of all the action. He likes to ease his way into new situations and people, and is perfectly content to just kind of take a back seat and let other people be the center of attention. Nursery is something he never did on his own, and even now with sunbeams at church, he won't go by himself. Even though Lane is definitely young for his school year, I felt like deep down I knew that sending him to preschool would be the best thing for him. We had a lot of victories this year! He jumped into school with both feet, and totally loved it for the most part. The first half of the school year went incredibly well, but the last 3 months have been so hard for both of us. Every Tuesday and Thursday I would drop him off a school crying, which of course would end with me in my car crying as a drove off. It's so hard to see your child scared and sad. But every time I picked him up, he was happy and had a huge smile on his face! I had learned from the Christmas performance that Lane isn't one for exaggerated song actions and over the top singing, so I knew that this end of year program would be a similar performance from him. He made me promise that I would sit right behind him for the program. So there we were, Lane and I, marching hand in hand into his performance together. As expected, he wasn't really into actually performing- I don't think he sang one word to any of the songs. I was 100% sure that he wouldn't in a million years get up and do his part in the microphone. I knew that I would have to lean down into that microphone and recite his part for him. His turn for his part came, and again, we walked hand and hand up to the microphone together, and something magical happened. He said his part!!!!!!! He did it! And he did it perfectly. I couldn't hold back the tears, and I actually still can't. Seriously. Every time I think of him doing that part, I start to cry. It's a moment I will never forget and one that I'm so proud of. It seems silly to be so emotional over a preschool program part, but that moment was WAY more than that for me. 

Last Day!
Last Day!
We LOVE Miss Molly!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lane Turns 4!

Today Lane turned 4! Life is racing by so quickly and I'm realizing more and more how important it is to write down my feelings and experiences and memories of this crazy life. My life kind of fell apart last year when I had that miscarriage, we sold our house, moved into my parents, Mike was gone almost constantly for work, I was so sick with pregnancy and so unorganized from my move, and to be completely honest I haven't felt like myself at all for the last 10 months. That being said, this silly blog is something that nags at me on an almost daily basis, like I NEED to get around to catching up on the last year of life, but get overwhelmed every single time I think about it. So instead of avoiding it altogether and not documenting anything, I think I need to just focus on what is happening NOW and then maybe I will get around to catching up on what happened in 2016.
But for now, for today, my baby boy turned 4 years old. Lane is such a ray of sunshine in my life and in our home. He is my child that is constantly making me question whether or not I have this whole parenting thing figured out. He has a depth to him that is so beyond his years. Such a little feeler, that one. He craves (and has) deep connections with the people he loves and trusts, but also is very selective on who he lets his guard down around. He is a quirky little love that likes things just so. He also has the most incredible memory! If I'm ever thinking out loud, "what was that book called where we read about the two frogs in the pond?" or any other random ramblings or questions I might have, he ALWAYS knows the answer! Every time! He's like an Encyclopedia of random facts. He loves to do whatever Mike is doing, and is easily our hardest worker and best helper. A sports lover, attention hater, and conversationalist. I could go on and on about this boy of ours. I'm constantly telling Mike that Lane is such a gift. If I only ever get one boy (likely at this point) how lucky I am to have to Lane as that boy. 
This morning was rainy and cold, so unlike the day I gave birth to him 4 years ago. I promised him pancakes with candles for breakfast and realized once I woke up that I got EVERYTHING at the store last night except the candles. I text my neighbor Aleesa, praying she would have 4 birthday candles to spare, and lucky day- she did! Pancakes with candles it was. He didn't want to wait for me to wrap his presents, so Mike wrapped them up in a blanket. Haha, it's funny because putting our kids birthday presents in a blanket is actually kind of becoming a theme around our house. I just can't be bothered to get the gift wrap out. He got some new cleats for t-ball, new clothes, new socks, a football, some army guys, and my personal favorite- a new pair of crocs. He's kind of shoe guy. He notices everyone's shoes everywhere we go. Lanes worst nightmare would be having an actual birthday party with friends, so we kept it simple with his favorite dinner and my parents over. Uncle Ty came too, which was a fun surprise for Lane. We celebrated yesterday by going to the Seven Peaks Fun Center, which was a first for all of us but a total blast for the kids. Lane is a simple man, and is easily pleased. He wanted Mike to dress in all Utah Utes gear with him today, and being the adorable dad that Mike is, he happily obliged. I think that may have been the happiest part of Lanes day! He idolizes Mike, and I love to watch the two of them together. Dads are such an important part in a child's life. I'm so lucky to be married to Mike, who is constantly playing with and genuinely enjoying every second he has with our kids. We LOVE YOU LANE!!!!! I could say it a million times and it would still never be enough. Happy Birthday

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2 Weeks of Viv.

I cannot believe how FAST the last two weeks have gone! In some ways it feels like the longest two weeks of my life, but I am so sad that our Vivi Joy is growing so quick already. So much has changed since we welcomed her into our family. I told Mike tonight that I can't believe I lived 27 years without her. She is the sweetest thing! Such an easy going and content baby. We feel so lucky to have her sweet little spirit in our home! The kids are still just as obsessed with her. Lane is becoming less and less excited about helping out with diaper changes, but lucky for me Georgia and Leo are still on board for helping with every messy diaper they can get! Vivian sleeps like a champ already, and pretty much only wakes up to eat once a night. I have spent a large part of the last 16 days holding her as much as I possibly can and staring at how incredibly perfect she is. I want to run away to newborn land and live there the rest of my life. I still can't believe we are a family of 6! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Vivian Joy Kimball.

We rounded out the busiest and possibly craziest weekend of our lives by welcoming Vivian into the world on April 23rd. We have been in the process of building our house for the last several months, and finally got to move in! The last couple of weeks have been so busy trying to pack up our belongings, finalize house stuff, and on top of it all being so pregnant! Vivian's due date was May 8th,   and our closing date on our house was April 21st. That gave us a two week window between move and baby, IF she decided to come on her due date. I knew that the odds of that happening were slim only because both Lane and Leo were born early, and all the physical demands of moving house so close to my due date. Leading up to the move, everyone kept telling me, "this move is going to send you right into labor!" Possibly the most unfortunate timing piece to this whole story is that my parents have been traveling so much lately, spending 2 weeks in Washington, coming home for a week, and then turning right around and leaving the country for an extended 2 1/2 week European tour with Mary Alice and my dads family. So moving and delivering a baby without the help of my parents has been interesting to say the least. Sometimes you don't realize how much you need your mom until you don't have the option to have your mom!
We woke up on Friday morning (closing day!) and drove up to Salt Lake to sign all of our closing documents and title for the house. Robin came over to stay with Lane and Leo while we went (Georgia was at preschool) and help pack up some boxes for when we returned. Mike and I enjoyed our drive to and from Salt Lake with no kids, the anticipation of this closing day had been a long time coming! We couldn't believe that our house was actually going to be our house and we reminisced about the whole building process and how much had changed in the last 7 or 8 months. After we signed all of our paperwork, Mike dropped me back off at my car and went into work for a few hours. I went home and helped Robin pack up a few more things and then load both of our cars to take an initial load over to the house. Robin was so cute and literally wouldn't let me left hardly anything! She would get mad anytime I tried to pick anything up- haha. Kelsi picked up G from school and met us over at the house, where she helped us unload our cars. The kids were so excited to be in the house and had a blast running around with Miles and Owen, showing them every detail of the new place. It was a long (loooooooong) day full of making trips back and forth from my parents house to the new house. Lucky for me, I was mostly on the receiving end, directing people where to put things in the new house, and organizing boxes as they came. The kids were good sports through it all, considering it was such a chaotic day and they kind of had to fend for themselves a lot of the time. By 7:30 we were all so exhausted. I bathed and put the kids down, and Mike and I just kind of started at each other blankly like, "what just happened today?" Moving can be such a pain! He kept asking me throughout the day how I was feeling, and to be honest I actually felt really good. I had an occasional braxton hicks contraction which was really normal for me, but other than that nothing felt abnormal, I actually felt as though I was contracting less than I had been in the days leading up to the move.
We woke up Saturday morning and Mike ran over to my parents for a quick load before the kids woke up. I got up with the kids around 7 am and started making breakfast for us. Mike came home around 8 and we decided to go get one more load in Alpine before heading to Georgia's soccer game at 9. Saturday became almost as chaotic as Friday, with lots of loads to and from Alpine. Also a trip to Lowes, and Costco for good measure. Again, Mike kept asking me how I was feeling and again, I really was feeling fine! Uncomfortable, yes. But no signs of impending labor. I made the kids Mac and Cheese for dinner and we called it a night early. When the kids were in bed, Mike ran out and got us a takeout. We enjoyed dinner, and set to work on setting up our dining table and putting felt on the bottom of our chairs and stools. We were both SO EXHAUSTED that night. Our couch was delivered earlier in the day, so the second we showered and sat down to watch a show, we both passed out very quickly. After a really normal nights sleep, we woke up on Sunday feeling way more refreshed. Mike, once again went to Alpine for another load that morning, and I once again began making breakfast for the kids. That morning was like a scene from a dream for me. We ate breakfast together as a family, the kids were playing together so contently, music was on, and I was actually feeling surprisingly settled and somewhat organized in our new place. The girls spend the morning playing Play-Doh while Lane spent his time lining up and organizing all of his cars. I hopped in the shower and then Leona helped me pick out a dress for church. It took a couple of different tries to find one that fit, but we settled on the blue and white striped trusty Target maternity dress. I helped the kids get in their church clothes and did their hair. We were late to church, which bothered me because this was the first Sunday in forever that we actually lived so close! I noticed while I was sitting in Sacrament Meeting that I was starting to have some contractions. I didn't think much about it because I do tend to have a lot of BH contractions toward the end. The only thing abnormal about these were that they were happening while I was sitting down and not up chasing my kids or packing and moving boxes. Everyone at church was asking me when I was due, and kept congratulating me on keeping the baby in during the move. Mike and I teach the CTR 4 class at church, so after Sacrament, Mike and I started walking into Primary when I realized that my contractions were happening pretty regularly. I looked over at Mike and said, "I think I might be in Labor." He kind of gave me a look like, whatever, and then had a second look of, "wait, are you really?" by the end of what seemed like the longest sharing time of my life when I made the decision to go to the hospital. We took the kids home and Mike made them lunch while I got a few things together to take to the hospital. They got me all checked into a triage room to check me and I was at a 4 and 80%. The nurse was really nice, but definitely did not believe I was labor. For some reason the machine was not picking up my contractions! She kept coming in and asking if she could feel my belly to make sure I really contracting. An hour passed and when she checked me again I was nearly a 5. I had been in contact with Mike the whole time, but told him that it was definitely time to come to the hospital. Mike took the kids to Kelsi's house to wait until Robin could get there to pick them up. Kelsi was such a lifesaver this whole weekend! Because my mom has been gone, I have really had to count on her to help during the move and this baby, I am so grateful for my sister!!!! Once Mike got to the hospital I gave them the go ahead to get the epidural as soon as possible, and the Anesthesiologist came in within 15 minutes. Once I got the epidural, I was so comfortable, I even took a nap. The epidural definitely slowed things down a bit. It took forever to get to a 6! Because it took almost 2 hours to get to a 6, I told the nurse it would be OK if they gave me some Pitocin. Once they got that going, went from a 6 to a 10 in 45 minutes! I couldn't believe it when they told me I was complete and ready to push. The anticipation of meeting your baby is unlike anything else. What will she look like? How much will she weigh? Will she have hair? We didn't have to wait long to have all of those burning questions answered, because 3 pushes later she was here! And more perfect than we could have ever imagined.

6 lbs 15 oz // 19 inches

 They put her on my chest and the first thing I said to Mike was, "she looks like Leona!" The relief of having her out and hearing her cry was the best feeling. She calmed down right away and nursed almost immediately. We spent the next hour in the recovery room doing skin to skin and nursing until it was time to take us down to my recovery room. Mike finally got to hold her, and on a side note- the Jazz won! April 23rd, will always and forever be one of my very favorite days! It was the perfect day to welcome our sweet Vivi Joy into the world. Even though our lives are chaotic with this move, Vivian has helped me be able to slow down and enjoy the newborn yumminess that is so fleeting. The kids are head of heels in love with her, and we all feel so lucky that she is here, healthy and safe. Vivian's pregnancy was by far my hardest pregnancy, both physically and mentally. The only thing that could make up for how difficult those 9 months were is HER! I would do those 9 months over again and again for the gift of having her with us. I love you more than you will ever know, baby girl.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mary Alice Gets Home!

Probably the most exciting thing about Christmas in 2016 was that Mary Alice got home from her mission! As if the Christmas season wasn't magical enough already, having this event to look forward to made it that much more exciting. We were all looking forward to this for oh you know, 18 months... My kids kept asking me every day toward the end, "is Mimi getting home today?" Finally, the day arrived and it was even better than we could have ever anticipated!! We had to wait for her at the baggage claim for what seemed like forever, but then we finally saw her coming down the escalator and we all got a little choked up. My mom kept saying, "I know that I won't cry, I'm just not a cryer." Well, that plan went right out the window as soon as she saw Mary Alice. Even Mike was getting a little teary eyed. A mission is such a sacrifice! I'm so proud of her for jumping in with both feet and really committing to her mission for the 18 months she was there. I can't imagine how the Atlanta, Georgia Mission will ever have another sister missionary as cute and amazing as Sister Hunter. 

Leona Gets Stitches.

I should have known that the first child in our family to need stitches would be Leo. She is so much fun, and also so accident prone! Being so close in age to Georgia and Lane makes her feel like she can do just about anything they do, so she is constantly trying all the "big kid" stuff. This happened way back in November (20th, 2016) but I wanted to make sure to write it down, because even though it was so sad, it's worth documenting. It was a Sunday, and we had been home from church for a few hours. At that time, we were on the 1-4 o clock meeting block, so we would pretty much come home, eat dinner, and our day was over. I remember Leo asking me all day if we could make popcorn that night, and I promised her that after her bath, we could do popcorn and some movie time. We had finished eating dinner and were all just playing around. Mike was playing some game with the older kids and Leo was in our bedroom. I was cleaning up dinner, but thought I should go check on Leo and make sure she wasn't into too much mischief (which is normally the case when she is quiet). I began walking into our room, and could see Leo climbing up onto the Billi-Bo toy we have, trying to get onto our bed. I couldn't exactly see what happened because her back was turned to me, but she slipped on the toy, and hit her mouth right on the metal bed frame. I kind of stopped because I knew that was a bad fall, and sure enough she was SCREAMING within seconds. I ran over to her and turned her around, only to see she had a mouth full of blood. So much blood, that I couldn't actually see the cut right away. I initially thought that maybe she had knocked out her tooth, or bit through her tongue. But then I saw the big gash on her lip! I'm still not totally sure if the bed frame split the lip or if she actually bit through her lip when she fell, but it definitely needed stitches. I realized that I'm not great under those circumstances and really hope that none of my kids gets seriously hurt under my watch. I kind of freeze up and not know what to do!! Luckily Mike was there, and we got a towel for her lip and tried to calm her down. She didn't really calm down at all though, and soon enough, we were on our way to the Emergency Room. By the time we got to the hospital, she had calmed down some, and the bleeding had stopped a little bit too. We waited in the waiting room for what seemed like 2 hours, but was probably only 30 minutes. She was so cute while we waited!! Running around and saying, "watch my gymnastics guys..." and would do this little plank move on all the chairs. When we finally got called back, they tried to numb the lip with some ointment (twice!) that didn't even work. So we waited and waited for the Dr. to finally come in and just give her a shot that would numb the area. The Dr. was seriously the nicest human being ever! We LOVED him! I just hope no one has to experience getting stitches on a two year old, because it's honestly the saddest thing I have ever seen. They had to wrap her arms down so that she couldn't flail, and then they had me essentially lay on top of her. She was terrified. And for good reason! Long story short, she was hysterical, and I was hysterical, and Mike was probably like, "get me out of here..." but at the end of the day, she only needed 3 little stitches and given the circumstances, was probably the most well behaved two year old patient they have ever had! She kept the stitches in for a week and when we went back to get the removed, she didn't cry at all! She does have a tiny little scar on her lower lip, which makes my mama heart a little bit sad, but I know it will fade as she grows up. She was the cutest little patient, and I'm just grateful that it wasn't anything more serious. Here's to hoping my kids just live completely accident free lives, because seeing them hurt and in pain is probably the worst possible situation for me!