Sunday

The Main Attraction


My boys have this collection of trucks:


That's close to 80 monster trucks. They are probably the most played with toy in our home. And if they are playing with something else these trucks somehow get worked into the game too. They also watch Monster Jam while eating breakfast most mornings.

So they were pretty excited when they heard that Monster Jam was coming to town. Last time the show was here the tickets were too much but this time they had $5 kids seats and that made it much easier to say yes to going. And last night was the night.


Actually it started Thursday when we stopped by the Advance Auto Parts in Alcoa to see Spider-Man...


Last night started with the "Pit Party". You know, getting up close and personal with the trucks and their drivers....and about a zillion other people. Crowds like that make me claustrophobic...and extremely nervous about losing someone. I think the boys were over the crowds too, but we managed to stop by most of the trucks.

With Grinder...


With High Maintenance...


With Predator...


With Prowler...


With Bad News Travels Fast...


The only one we didn't get to see up close was Grave Digger. He was surrounded, and if you know anything about Monster Trucks you would know he is a big deal...

Anyway, we made our way to our seats pretty quickly to get away from the pushing and shoving going on down on the floor. The show started with the Wheelie Competition:


They had Quad racing:


And the truck racing:


Here is one excited fan:

Okay, well not really, but she probably was pretty happy that she was held and fed nearly constantly for over 3 hours.

Back to the show. Motor bike jumps:


Donut Competition:


Then they got ready for their favorite part,


Freestyle.


With lots of jumps


and falling over


and more jumps


And the winner is:



Tuesday

Working With Leather

Today, a group of us met to hear and watch a demonstration on leather crafting. First he showed them all of his tools and how he would go about fixing the heel of a leather shoe.


And he showed them the tools used to punch holes into the leather


Then they all gave it a try


As you can see by the looks of concentration....


It was pretty hard to punch through the leather.



Then he showed them length of leather that was to be used to make a strap or handle and how to stitch it up.


And everyone got a chance to make a couple stitches




Saturday

Annika's Birth

I've had this post written for weeks and I have gone back and forth on whether or not I was going to post it. But here it is...

Annika's Birth

I was due on December 13th, which came and went with no baby. I usually go later than my due date, so that was no big surprise. But 9 days later we still had no baby and my doctor was getting uncomfortable being that far past 40 wks and I was a little worried about missing Christmas with the boys so I agreed to be induced on the 22nd. So early Wednesday morning we packed everyone up and drove to the hospital. We had to be there at 7am, and my dad was going to meet us there to help with the boys. I will say I wasn't in the best emotional state to start the day, I really didn't want to be induced and was uncomfortable with the whole situation. I have been through it before- both Cohen and Rylan. But I arrived basically in labor and they broke my water and I was done. This time my doctor knew I wasn't too happy with the induction so she was going with a slower route to try and kick my body into labor on it's own.


So here's the basic time line of our day:

7:00- Arrive at the hospital
7:30- Finish paperwork, start the IV- which hurt worse than just about anything else due to placement. My dad took the boys to breakfast
8:00- 3cm- which I had been at for weeks- and start the first dose of Cytotec.
I had to be monitored for 30 minutes before I could get up and walk around.
8:00 to 11:15- WAIT I had 3 hrs to wait before getting the 2nd dose. It was boring. Paul's mom showed up. I feel guilty for making everyone hang around waiting when nothing at all was going on. I have the same contractions I have been having at home for months. It's very annoying to be in the hospital NOT in labor. And I really just want to go home and wait for her to come on her own.
11:15- 4cm, 2nd dose of Cytotec
11:15 to 2:15- More waiting. Same contractions as before. Obviously not in labor. Everyone leaves to go eat lunch. I continue to feel guilty about making others wait. Everyone comes back, boys play, watch TV, go back and forth between our room and the waiting room.
2:15 - still 4cm, I ask about my other options. Emotions are getting the better of me and I can't stand sitting in a room full of people waiting for a baby when I am not in labor. Paul and the nurse try to tell me it's about me, not them. So we decide to go the quicker route. Pitocin. I have to wait until 3:15 to start it since it has to be 4 hrs from my last dose of Cytotec. So I get hooked up to the IV and they push a bag a fluid and call for the epidural- which I wanted before the pitocin. Then we wait for the fluid to run out.
3:15- Anesthesiologist shows up, talks to us and gets set up.


3:30 to 4:00- Epidural is in. I lay on my back waiting for the epidural to take effect. My blood pressure drops. They fix that. I can still move my legs, I am feeling contractions a *tiny* bit more often than before. If I were at home I would not think anything of them though and wouldn't even consider going to the hospital. Some where around 4:00 they start a small amount of pitocin on a very slow drip.
4:10- I am finally sitting back up, waiting for the epidural to take effect completely. My water breaks. Almost 6 cm.
4:20- 7cm
4:25- 8 cm
4: 27- 10 cm and I am told NOT to push.



I can feel the contractions. I can feel the baby. They tell me to blow not push. The nurses can see the baby. The doctor is on her way. They are just hoping I can wait, but the baby doesn't want to wait...so after about 10 min of not pushing....

4:37- Annika's here.
4:40- Doctor arrives


Paul's glad we did the induction. We'd been worried about her being born in the car this whole time since my labor with Lakin was so quick and we barely made it to the hospital. And if I had waited that probably would have happened since the once my body was in labor it was barely 30 minutes until the baby was born.


So that's the story of my daughter's birth. If I had to do it all over again I would have waited and risked delivering outside of the hospital or gone for the homebirth I considered in the beginning. My recovery both physically and emotionally have been much harder this time, and I think it is because of the negative emotions I experienced and associate with the labor and delivery. But, none of that really matters. What matters is the beautiful little girl sleeping next to me. The one who hardly ever cries and only wakes me up once at night. Who is 3 1/2 weeks old and seems to have grown so much already. And she will probably be just as spoiled as everyone says.

Tuesday

Snow Day


Monday we got 5.5- 6 inches of snow


The biggest snow these boys have ever seen.


The first day the snow was fluffy and not at all good for snowballs and snowmen


But Tuesday the snow was ready for packing. Here's the snowman Paul, Lakin and I worked on:


The others were making one in the back with my mom. But soon they came up to try and make a bigger snowman than the first.


They succeeded....but only because the head is huge...


The snow is still out there...Rylan, Cale and Cohen took their bows and arrows out to shoot the snowmen earlier. There is no mud from the dogs since the ground is covered and frozen solid. And while I am not looking forward to how wet and muddy the ground will be when this snow melts, I am ready to see the sun again.

Saturday

Bonding


Big brothers loving their baby sister....


Cale has always loved babies and asks to hold Annika the most


He loves when she's awake and stares at him


It took Lakin awhile, but he did finally hold her


He's a proud big brother


Cohen comes in second when it comes to holding her


Between him and Cale she gets passed around quite a bit


I think she's just as fond of them too


The scene tonight while reading bedtime stories...


(and in case anyone was wondering why there are no pictures of Rylan and Annika, it's because he won't hold her. She might spit up on him....)