Saturday, August 30, 2014

Our Family of Five

Our Hollin arrived three weeks early- in quite a hurry, I might add- on August 21st.

All three of my kiddos have come on their own early- 
Hollin at 37 weeks
Harbor at 38 weeks
Henry at 39 weeks.

After timing contractions at home for over an hour, we called friends {at 2:00 am} to come watch the boys. We headed to the hospital with the overnight bags I had only packed about six hours before.
I definitely cut it close this time!

Upon arriving, I was dilated to a 5 and 70% effaced.
I delivered both boys naturally without medication, so I continued to do the only thing I knew how to do: 
breathe and walk and talk and keep moving.

I quickly dilated to a 7 and 90% effaced where we were then moved from triage into a room.
So nice!
The windows overlooked the Rockies, and during contractions I would let my eye travel their craggy peaks, stopping on aspen and pines, allowing myself to imagine what hiking trails must meander there.

With Henry, my window overlooked the Detroit River and the Canadian shore.
No lapping waves to distract me this time, but spires reaching into the clouds, colored purple in the moonlight sure did the trick.

I used my birthing ball and felt a total sense of calm.
I knew in the back of my head delivering so early could be rough for Hollin, but I felt such a peace.
After dealing with gallbladder attacks for months and months, Hollin's arrival was well anticipated.

My water broke soon after {at a 7/90%} and I held Hollin 30 minutes later.

Going from a 7 to holding in 30 minutes is very reminiscent of Henry's birth 
{he was born in 47 minutes from the time my water broke}
and it has its pros and cons.

Pros: fast labor and very easy to do naturally
Cons: both bebes had some breathing problems from such a quick birth

My mom arrived the next day, and we're very thankful to all the Colorado friends who helped us out in the meantime.  There is nothing as lovely and magical as bringing home a new baby.

I'm always saddened to hear of people who view children as a burden, as another mouth to feed.
Children are His best gifts.
There is no greater blessing in life than to build a family.

We're so thankful for our Hollin Leslie McCash!
7.7 pounds, 19 1/2 inches
born 37 weeks and 1 day
Apgar 9 & 9

{Leslie is my dad's first name}
: )

            {These pictures were taken four hours after delivery using our tripod and self timer. Thank goodness for tripods!}

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

School Days

Harbor is a kindergartner!

I know all mamas feel like the time has flown since birth, but it really has.
A piece of advice for new mamas:
enjoy the years of babyhood and toddler chaos.
All too soon, they go away to school.
And when they do, you will be left like me...
watching the clock on the oven, waiting to sit in the carpool line for an hour, missing them terribly so!

Thankfully, Harbor is only gone for three hours per day and then we get to pick him up.
 I'm so thankful for the schooling choices we have here and the freedom to choose what feels best.

Seeing that big book bag on my little fella is enough to make my eyes water.

However, he is really doing well!
Lots of homework {20 minutes per night already} and they are already learning Latin.
He is really enjoying it.
I'm so very thankful.

On the first few days, my mom was in town, so he had a very special send off.
Even daddy took a half day from work to help with drop off and pick up.

                                 Since he is only gone a short time, he has snack instead of lunch.

                         I've really bought into the idea of the Bento Box, though I have zero time to
                                         cookie cutter sandwiches or make anything themed.
                                            I do like the idea of snacks that require no waste-
                                 no packages for little hands to open alone or lack of fresh produce.
                                   Bento Box originated in Japan and is really intriguing if you want
                                                               to read up on the full concept.

And while big brother is at school, little brother has taken his seat at the workbook table.
Henry misses Harbor, but I have enjoyed spending one-on-one time with him.
He really loves to draw and color, so we've been spending lots of time encouraging those 
beginning writing concepts.

But, I must admit....
Henry hasn't been getting too much time with me this past week.
Hollin has arrived three weeks early!
And, boy, oh boy!
Have we been busy!
Three little ones ages five and under.
I feel so blessed, my heart so full and content.
Children are truly from Him.
How lucky I am to be a busy mom, how blessed I am to be their mama.
 I can think of nothing else I'd rather be doing in this season of life.
My hands may be full...
but my heart runs over!
: )
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hollin and Happenings

I'm coming down to the last few weeks of this pregnancy!
Hollin is due in about a month and it has really passed so quickly.
Her nursery has been finished for weeks and just today we bought a pink car seat.
This house has never seen so much pink!
: )
I've gained a total of about 15 pounds so far and am hoping to gain more in the next four weeks.
With gallbladder disease, they put you on quite a strict diet, but they reassure me she is measuring right on track, so we're very thankful for that!
{These pictures were taken about a week a part from one another}

My boys have been busy-
Harbor started kindergarten this week.
He goes to a uniform half day school and so far, he loves it!
Though he is only gone for about three hours a day, we miss him terribly here at home!
I'm really enjoying having the rest of the day with him to continue in our home school studies. 

This guy is almost 19 months old.
He talks so much that we can actually admit we have lost count of words.
He has started to make two word sentences: sky rain and Daddy bye-bye
He loves to draw and color, climb onto the kitchen table, eat!, play at the park, brush his teeth,
read books, and chase brother {he calls Harbor 'brother'}
We love him so!

David is doing great!
Work is rewarding and he is really happy with the company.
Recently, he flew alone to Ohio for business and
I joked that I would go into labor while he was gone.
Well, it almost happened.
While he was in Cleveland, I suffered an extreme gallbladder attack alone with the kids.
I ended up calling 911, which was a first for me ever!
David arranged childcare from Ohio just as the ambulance arrived.
They kept me overnight for two nights while David struggled to make it back home.
The attacks bring on massive contractions that require pills to control.
Thankfully, my sweet mom made the long 12 hour drive alone from Arkansas to Colorado and stayed for a full month to help out with the kids. My aunt even flew in during that time for a week.
We are blessed, indeed!
While my mom was here, I ended up having a grand total of four attacks and hospitalized three times.
Gallbladder stones are no joke, especially in late pregnancy.
I'll be very glad to see it removed after Hollin arrives.
Needless to say, David cancelled another trip to Chicago last week to stay close to home
and even cancelled a year long camping trip with the guys that had been on the calendar for a year.
He is a great guy and very supportive.

Despite life's circumstances, I am choosing joy!
Hollin is much wanted and prayed for, and she is worth the wait for surgery.
Hope you are all off to a great school year!
The house is quiet with Harbor gone, but I'm trying to get a nap schedule for Henry during those few hours so I can maximize my time.
Pretty soon the snow will be flying here and I'll be consumed with Christmas.
Is it so bad that I look forward to those days?
: )
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Monday, August 4, 2014

July 4th Visitors

Third trimester pregnancy + gallbladder disease and five hospitalizations + my oldest starting kindergarten in one more day {!!!} = no time to blog, but for my memory's sake, I'm bound and determined to record these pictures and stories.
Essentially, life is busy during this season, but these memories are too great to not record.
At least I'm trying, right?
: )
I'm hoping to blog again in a few days to get totally caught up.
The 4th of July brought my parents and granny here to visit for over a week.
The weather was cool and breezy.
Colorado summer is king!
We drove to Garden of the Gods to show my granny the red rock spires, the Kissing Camels formation, and the front range Rockies. The snow has finally melted off of Pikes Peak it seems.

We took my parents to the Sand Dunes for another day of majestic sand cliffs.
We brought sleds, sand buckets and shovels, and extra clothes.
We were much more prepared this time around!

We hung out in Denver at the Downtown Aquarium, dined with the mermaids, and touched sting rays.

We drove to the Air Force Academy to walk the grounds and visit the chapel.
{This was my Granny's favorite place we took her!}

And we celebrated without fireworks as they are illegal in most areas of Colorado. Due to the dryness of the forests, it's just too risky.
We ate good food, put a lot of miles on the car, and laughed a whole lot.
It was good to have family in our home again.
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