Rawlins Family

Rawlins Family

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One more submission...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sorry this is such a belated post, but it's time to unveil the winner of the 1st Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest. And the winner is (drumroll, please).......................The Iowa Kilgores! Kudos to them for actually getting their pictures done on time, in public and having sweaters for 6 people! Partly due to the size of their brood, they also get points for variety. Each sweater is beautiful and unique in it's ugly-ness. So congrats, Kilgores, you're a cut above the rest.
Honorable mentions go out to Christy and Scott and the other couple who shall remain nameless (at their request) but who did submit a picture. As for Brian and Jeni...what can I say except WOW!!!! Talk about commiting to a cause. Not only did they find some super ugly sweaters but they put together a whole '80's photo-shoot. I love the shoulder pads in Jeni's sweater and that sweet uni-brow that Brian is sporting.
Now, you'll notice that in my family picture we are seated in-doors instead of in public. It's all my fault that our picture was not taken in public. We had the chance to stop at the convenience store and have the clerk there take our picture but I said no as all three children were screaming at the time. Not a good excuse, I know. Next year, though, I'll be more on top of this contest!

As for the other picture of Sophie, well, it's been an interesting week. 1718 Elizabeth Drive has had a lot going on! Sophie has already had her first cold - given to her by her loving brothers, and now she (and I) has thrush! ICK! It's actually making mommy far more uncomfortable than her, but our first course of treatments didn't do much so we had to move on to something called Gentian Violet. It's this fabulous purple medicine that we have to "paint" in Sophie's mouth every night for 3 or 4 days. And it STAINS anything it touches. So Sophie is going to have a purple mouth and face until sometime next week. Welcome to mortality, Sophie.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Yesterday we attempted to take some cute family pics in front of the Christmas tree at my in-law's house. We got a couple of good ones but MAN is it hard to keep three little ones all happy and looking at the camera!!!

Anyway, here are a couple of fun ones that won't be ending up on the baby announcement/holiday card.

Don't forget the deadline for sweater pictures is tonight!!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Time is running out! Don't forget to send your ugly sweater pictures to me at annarawlins@yahoo.com

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sophia is now 9 days old. I'm almost past the first 10 days. That's important because, as I was counseled by my sister, Chrysta, the first 10 days after a c-section are the days you feel "like you've been hit by a Mac truck." And it's true. But one more day and we'll be through it. Yay. Actually, I've been feeling pretty great for the past two days and I've been using less and less narcotics. Always a good sign. Of course, I'd probably feel better if I could sleep...but that's another post.
So I just thought I'd show the highlights of our week. Monday we checked out of the hospital. Chase's mom was working that day and had the privilege of removing my staples - all 18 of them. And then she discharged us. It was kinda funny.
Since then we've been just hanging out. I've tried to arrange some playdates for the boys because the weather was bad last week (as in rainy, not blizzardy or icy as some of you are experiencing...sorry). That helped alleviate some of their rowdiness.
Sophie also had her 1 week appointment and she's already about 9 pounds. She had already gained 7 ounces by day 6! She does love to eat.
Chase has been my knight in shining armor, as usual. He's gotten up in the middle of the night with me plenty of times, and he is always campaigning for more sleep for me. So nice. He's been doing laundry and dishes and keeping the kids happy. What a great dad and husband. Yesterday, after a particularly draining night for me, he sent me back to bed and kept the boys happy listening to music on the headphones. Miles wouldn't keep his on so Chase found some old fleece (does that fleece look familiar, Sara? It's from the big bird costume...) and fashioned a headband to keep it in place. Then he made a teenage mutant ninja turtle mask for Cam.
In terrible, horrific, awful, no-good, tragic news....my mom is leaving tomorrow. I'm so sad. She's been SUCH a huge help. She has kept my house clean and the boys fed. If it wasn't for her I'm sure I'd be an under-slept, under-fed emotional and physical mess. She has cooked all of my favorites; home-made bread and sweet rolls, pot roast, fudge. She's spent hours walking the floor with Sophie when her tummy doesn't feel good. She has stocked my fridge, freezer and pantry so that I don't have to venture into the grocery store for awhile. And she's always good for a ridiculous joke. There's just nothing better than having your mommy around when you need her. We will miss her so much. Ugh. Pennsylvania is SO far away!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics. There will be many more to come!

Check out my Slide Show!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Well, here you have it! Pictures of our newest little princess. Sophia Anna Rawlins has arrived and we feel so incredibly blessed!

So last Wednesday I started having contractions. They were regular but not super strong, so I ignored it and went to bed. I didn't sleep that well and when I woke up on Thursday they were still there. Since they still weren't that strong I figured they weren't labor contractions and I'd better find something to do to stay busy and keep my mind off of it. So we packed up the boys and headed to Ikea. I made mom drive because my contractions were still there and starting to hurt a little. While we were on the way I was talking to mom about them and she said, "You're probably in labor and you just don't know it yet." That was around 11 am. By 12:30 we had eaten lunch and were letting the kids play in the toy section of the store when I realized she was right. I was in labor! I was hurting SO BAD but I was so excited. I called Chase and told him that I might need to go into the hospital and to arrange his day so that he could leave if I needed him. We played a little longer but an hour later I was having contractions so close together and so painfully that it was embarrassing to be in public so we left and called Chase to meet us at home. We arrived at the hospital at 3 and were admitted right away. My doc saw me and we agreed that it was true labor and I wasn't going home without a baby. When they checked me I hadn't made any progress so we decided that we could break my water that night if we needed to. My doctor had a part in his church Christmas program that he couldn't get out of, so he said he'd check back in at 10:30, but he said I'd probably be close to delivery by the looks of my contractions. He wished me well and headed out.

At about 7 I asked to be checked again so I could find out how much progress I had made. I hadn't made any. Not even a little! But I tried to be optimistic. By 9 I got sick of the pain and asked for some Nubain which made me super loopy, but allowed me to rest a little between contractions. My doc arrived back at the hospital (dressed as a shepherd, no less...) at 10:30 and checked me again and still no progress. We decided to try breaking the water and did so. That's when we discovered that Sophie had passed meconium, which is a sign of distress in the baby. Dr. Rost said with the baby in distress he didn't feel comfortable pushing pitocin to help my labor, and that technically I shouldn't need it since I was in active labor already. The pitocin would have just increased the stress on baby. But he wasn't trying to rush me into the OR for a c-section since she still looked good. We decided to give it another hour. That was easily the WORST hour of my life. Contractions were super strong, long and close together. I couldn't get more pain medicine because we weren't sure if we would be needing the epidural or a spinal, so I just had to muscle through it. I was panting, moaning and groaning for a solid hour and I was so sure that it HAD to be doing something! Of course, it wasn't. When the doc checked again I was barely a 2. So, we knew what we had to do and prepared for the c-section. I wasn't happy about it, but we knew that we needed to do what was best for Sophia.

Sorry, this is getting long...

Anyway, they gave me the whole host of medicines to get ready for the surgery, which included a medicine called turbutaline which was supposed to slow down the contractions. But I kept having them. I was so happy when they finally got me on the table and put in the spinal block. Dave Digioranno will forever be a saint in my book. Right there with Paul, the anesthesiologist who gave me the epidural with Cam...

So the surgery started right at 1am and Sophie arrived at 1:12. By 1:45 we were all back in the recovery room and Sophie was having an early breakfast. Mom K and Mom R were already there waiting for us when we got to our room and they stayed until about 3:30 to admire their new granddaughter! We tried to sleep until about 7:30 when we just had to get up and look at her some more. That's when Chase surprised me by suggesting that Sophie have a middle name. He'd been the one who really didn't want a middle name (I didn't care one way or the other since I couldn't find one I loved), so I was a little confused. When he said he thought her middle name should be Anna he got all teary-eyed. It was so sweet. He said that he thinks all of our girls, should we be blessed with any more, should have Anna as their middle name. It was a sweet moment for me.

The last 3 days have been long, rough, tiring, exciting, miserable, fantastic, breath-taking and awe-inspiring. The Lord has been good and generous, as always. Sophia has been met with love and many kisses (and pokes) from her brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. And most of all her parents. We love her so much and are so grateful for her! I hope you'll enjoy the pics. There will be many more in the days to come!

Oh, before I end I have to tell a funny story. I know you're all sick of reading, so come back later to finish if you want, but it's a good story. So most of you know that it's really difficult to sleep when you're at the hospital. The whole system is DESIGNED to keep you from sleeping! Nurses, doctors, lab techs, cleaning people, food service staff, lactation consultants, visitors...they're all coming and going 24 hours a day! So by Friday night/Saturday morning I was exhausted. i hadn't slept a wink since Wednesday night and I was worn out and sore from the labor and following c-section. And Sophie was exceptionally angry and cranky that night and cried non-stop for hours on end. So by Saturday morning I still hadn't gotten ANY sleep and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. Every time I would finally get to sleep someone would walk into my room! So when Doc. Rost showed up that morning to check on me and he said, "How are we doing this morning?" He got me, a crying mess saying how I hadn't slept since Wednesday night and the nursery people wouldn't take the baby the night before because she was crying so much and yada yada yada... So of course he said he would make sure that I was going to get sleep so I could recover. He wrote orders for Ambien and informed the nursery staff that they WOULD be taking Sophie, crying or not. Anyway, the best part of the story is Chase. He decided that I needed sleep immediately, so he took Sophie after I fed her and literally sat in the hallway outside of my room for 2.5 hours while I slept. He was so mad that he recorded every single person who tried to come into my room during that time (he's such an accountant). Every time someone would start to come near my door he would cut them off and inform them that whatever they needed they could get it later. I was astonished when he told me that in that short time I was sleeping 9 people had tried to see me! NINE! And that's AFTER Dr. Rost had put the word out that I was to be left alone! Crazy, crazy, crazy...So I owe a big thank you to my sweet and loving husband. Thank you, Chase! You are, as always, the best. I love you! And if you're wondering, yes, that 2.5 hours changed my life. It's amazing how good it feels to get sleep after so long!
OH, and another thing...so I have this sister-in-law, Kathleen. The whole time I was pregnant she kept asking what she could do to help. I kept putting her off and not letting her help me when I had a good idea. Kathleen is a fabulous hair stylist so I decided that she could help me by coming and styling my hair while I was in the hospital. After a c-section it's hard enough just to get in and out of the shower, let alone blow-dry your hair! So she did and I felt so good afterward! Thanks, Kathleen!

Okay, that's it. Sorry for the book...I'm sure the next posts you'll read from me will be VERY short. I don't see any free time in my immediate future...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No more room means NO MORE ROOM! (Jeni, I hope writing this post puts me into labor like it did for you) Seriously, there is just no more room in my body for this child. Take a look for yourself...T-minus 7 days until my due date. Let's all pray that I don't make it!

On the plus side, my mom is coming to town tomorrow! YAY!!!!!! I love when my mom comes to take care of me and the baby! It's the best pampering in the world to know that someone who loves you unconditionally will come and clean your bathrooms AND get up with you in the middle of the night so you're not all by yourself! (Okay, Chase does these things, too...) But the BEST is that she takes care of the umbilical cord. I've actually informed my mom that I refuse to have any babies that she can't come for because I can't stomach taking care of the cord stump. I have made her the official cord stump cleaner! I figure after 8 kids (plus my two that she's already taken care of), she's an expert! So I'm really glad that she's getting here soon!!

The other pictures are of Family Home Evening last night. I decided to talk about how important families are and how we need to take care of each other. We read a little from the proclamation - you can see how well the boys listened to the lesson. Then we gave them each a stuffed animal and let them "practice" taking care of Sophie. Cameron passed with flying colors - he's very excited for sister to come. Miles...well, let's just say we won't be leaving Miles and Sophie alone together for at least the next 12-18 months. He's sweet, but, uh, shall we say, agressive in his expressions of affection...Miles DID enjoy the bath demonstration, though...

Monday, November 26, 2007

I want to give a quick shout-out to my fabulous husband! I am so proud of him! He has taken all four sections of the CPA exam! But the shout-out is mostly to announce that he has PASSED three of those sections. We just found out about the third one today. He has been very worried since he took it October 6. It was one of the hardest sections and he wasn't sure he passed. But he did. SO, now we just have to wait to hear about the Regulation section that he took on Saturday. He doesn't think he did so well on that one...cross your fingers!
And here's an update on me: I'm still pregnant. SO, SO pregnant! On Saturday I actually had contractions start at 3:30 pm. By 8:30 when they hadn't stopped and were getting closer together, I called the doc and he said to come in. They hooked me up to the monitors and we could see the contractions on the screen every 5 or 6 minutes (they were closer together when I was up and walking). So they checked me and...I AM STILL AT 1 CM DILATION! STILL! So they let me get up and walk and had me on the monitors for a few more hours and I was still having regular, hard contractions, so they checked me again at 12:30...and no change. None. I was so worn out from having contractions all day that they gave me some Ambien. I could totally get addicted to that stuff! It's fantastic! But, when I woke up at 5:30 my contractions had stopped completely. I got up and walked some more but they never picked back up. When the doc came in at 7 am and checked me I was still just a 1. So I got sent home with no baby. It was depressing to say the least. All that pain for NOTHING! I was pretty upset when we got home. I was really worried that I'm going to keep going through this and then end up with another c-section! I want to avoid that if at all possible. It took a ton of pitocin to get me to dilate when I had Cam (you remember my 29 hour, completely pitocin induced labor, right?), and they try not to give VBAC moms pitocin unless absolutely necessary. But, I still have 9 days until my due date so there's still time for things to change. And I've actually been feeling pretty great since I got home Sunday morning. So much so that I mopped my floors, did laundry, and cleaned my house this morning!
Anyway, that's it for us!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

1. One. Uno. Un. Ein. Um. Doesn't matter how you say it, it was the number I DID NOT want to hear today. After 20 weeks of braxton hicks contractions that have now reached the point of being both annoying AND painful, I have only reached 1 centimeter of dilation and 50% effacement. ONE! How is that even possible? This is my THIRD baby! I was 1 cm and 50% at 38 weeks with my FIRST pregnancy. How can I be the same the third time around? It's like a giant baby-and-cervix conspiracy! They're working together to plot against me. The baby is like, "Hey, cervix, here's the deal. I'm going to painfully grind my head against you at least once an hour causing mommy to feel like, a., she's dying, b., she has to pee, c., I'm about to fall out, or d., all three combined. Your job, cervix, is to stay closed for as long as possible. Won't that be hilarious?!" And the cervix is like, "Yeah, great idea! Let's see if we can get the uterus to have MORE contractions, too! Mwah, ha, ha!!!!"
I just want this baby out of me. And can I tell you how annoying it is to hear people say, "Oh, just enjoy this time! Go on a date, see a movie, get some sleep! You won't be able to do any of those things after the baby comes!" Uh huh, right. First of all, I can't sleep now. AND I can't breathe, eat, sit, stand or walk. So....um....yeah, I just want this child to get out. Soon.
I hope all of you enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Think of me when you're having seconds because I can't (my stomach is too squashed to even get firsts in). Think of me when you lay down for that post-meal nap, because I can't (that would give me heartburn, plus it takes at least 8 pillows strategically placed around my body for me to even START to get comfortable, and then 15 minutes later I need to change positions...). Think of me when you're outside playing football, because I can't (does this require an explanation?). Think of me when you take that early evening stroll to make room for pie (walking makes me feel like my pelvis is fractured in six places...not to mention there's the whole issue of getting SHOES on...). And lastly, think of me when you're watching the parades of TV tomorrow because I WON'T (seeing those balloons makes me self-conscious because they remind me of myself).
Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hello people! My sister-in-law has given me a good reminder that I need to remind Y'ALL of the Christmas sweater challenge! You know you want to do it, so just give in to the urge. I actually know of one relative (not naming names) who will be having a PROFESSIONAL do their family picture in the sweaters...so obviously a lot of you are taking this seriously - just as you should.
Anyway, here are the rules:
Get yourself and everyone in your family the ugliest possible Christmas sweater you can find. After combing the racks at a thrift store last week this is much harder than it sounds. So get started if you haven't already! Next, put your sweaters on and go someplace PUBLIC (Note: Your back yard doesn't count as PUBLIC - you have to be at risk of other people seeing you!) and have a STRANGER take your family picture. Then email said picture to me at annarawlins@yahoo.com no later than December 24 at 6 p.m. central time (remember, I'll have a newborn and will need to go to bed early...). Chase and I will be the judges and we will reveal the winner and all other entries on December 25. What a great Christmas it will be!
Get crackin' people!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last post today and then I'll be officially caught up. Jeni tagged me on her blog so now I have to do this: Here are six things about me.

1. I hate babysitting children I don't know well. I love to have kids I know come over. They're like little extensions of my kids. But I always hesitate when I have to watch random people's children. I usually do it because I want to provide some service, but it's always awkward - especially if I don't know the parent and their parenting style. And I REALLY hate changing diapers/taking the kids potty if I don't know them. YUCK.

2. I secretly like it if Chase has to work late one night here and there. It's like a night off. I feed the kids cereal for dinner, let the toys collect and the dishes pile up, put the kids to bed early and put in a chick flick. If he's coming home at a regular time I usually like to stay in the normal routine, but for some reason I abandon it if he's not around for one evening. It's weird, I know.

3. I'm a library junkie. Well, really I'm a book junkie and I can get them free at the library. The problem with this is two-fold. First, I am terrible at bringing books back on time. As I type I have three overdue books sitting on my nightstand and over $30 of library fines. I know, that's insane. I might as well just buy the books because my fines are constantly accumulating. For all of my budgeting you would think I would want to get the books back on time...This is a VERY dirty little secret of mine. The second problem is that Chase hates that I read so much. Well, not that I read, but WHEN and HOW I read. My favorite thing to do in the evening is put the kids to bed, chill with Chase for an hour and then read in bed until I fall asleep. Chase would prefer that I spend more time with him (and I should), and that I not keep the light on all night while reading...I'm so obnoxious.

4. I have a love/hate relationship with the sound of my children's laughter. On one hand it's such a delightful sound. What could make a person smile more easily than hearing a child laughing? On the OTHER hand, laughter often means naughty behavior. No, laughter almost ALWAYS means naughty behavior.

5. I have a friend that I met online. For some reason it seems weird to me that I met someone online and now we're friends in real life...she knows who she is and she's laughing as she reads this.

6. Lastly, and perhaps the most ugly...I'm a terrible thank-you note writer. Some of you are probably sitting there nodding your heads right now thinking of all of the thank-you notes I never wrote to you. In fact, I never finished sending out the thank-you cards for my WEDDING!!!!!!! We received thousands of dollars worth of gifts/money/gift cards and I sent thank-you notes out to about half of the people who deserved them. Ugh. It still makes me nauseous just to think how rude that is...Of course, I don't do it to be rude, I'm really trying to be good about it, but I'm just so bad! I'm also horrendous at remembering special days for people, like anniversaries and birthdays. I have relatives who are so on top of things (Christy) and it always makes me feel badly when I forget their birthdays, etc. because they always remember mine.

So there you have it. 6 ugly little truths about me. Feel better, Jeni? I'm not tagging anyone because I'm too tired to think of anyone to tag. Plus, I should be in bed reading right now.

So I guess that just brings us up to today. I'm 37 weeks pregnant today and feeling every minute of it. If I were Sara I'd be having the baby right now, but alas, I am not. I will more than likely be pregnant for another year or so before this baby decides to leave the safety of my ribs. However, just for kicks, I have been having more and more contractions every day. That's pleasant. Not to mention I'm huge and clumsy. I remember reading in my preggo books the first time around how women at this point need to be extra careful because we're prone to falling (due to the fact that our center of gravity is now precariously hanging three feet AWAY from our body). But I never felt clumsy and I always laughed at the idea. Well, I didn't have two kids and thousands of action figures back then. Since I can't see my feet (and since I refuse to pick up anything off the floor) I have found myself tripping and bobbling multiple times a day, nearly wiping out each time. NOW I get it. The authors of those books obviously already had children! I've even had several experiences of tripping OVER my children because I could not see them standing right underneath my belly! That is a sure sign that I'm far too pregnant for my own good (and the safety of all those around me less than belly-button height...remember I teach in Primary). Sigh...

Anyway, my mom is scheduled to get here on the 28th at which point I will beg, plead and grovel at the feet of my doctor to induce me and put me out of my misery. He's a merciful man, I think he'll listen. As far as whether or not I am dilated or effaced, I have no idea. We'll check next Wednesday. I didn't have the strength to even ask him to check this morning, as it would have required me getting half-undressed and then RE-dressed - a monumental and time consuming task.

So I'm posting a picture of me at 37 weeks.

This past weekend we had the Grant Thornton "Fall Family Festival." Usually they have a big adults-only Christmas dance AND a family Christmas party, but they probably realized that was a lot of parties in one month so they moved the family part up a month. Good idea, GT.

So there was food, games, a petting zoo and mini-golf. It was a good time and the boys got MORE candy. Yay...

Next we have Halloween! The boys used their outfits from last year. Since we didn't have to put snow suits underneath them, they fit perfectly again! They went as Nemo and Squirt, the turtle. Miles would NOT put up his hood but other than that it was fine.

The Saturday before we had Trunk or Treat and it was so FUN! We've never been in a ward that did this, though I've heard of them before. Anyway, it was fun to just sit and hand out candy in the parking lot. I made Chase do the walking-car-to-car thing with the boys.

The Monday before Halloween we made a trip to the Pumpkin Patch with Jeni, Brian and cousin Natalie. It's so fun there and the kids had a blast. They have live animals, hayrides and those big blow-up slides and bounce houses, not to mention pumpkins galore. What a good time! Afterward we went back to our house for a meal in a pumpkin (SUPER yum!) and Family Home Evening with Brian and Jeni (this mainly consisted of me and Jeni eating all of Cam's candy from Trunk or Treat and Chase and Brian looking through old boxes of stuff from their growing-up years. Fun night.

Halloween night was AWESOME! The boys were so excited all day it was crazy! We had dinner at Nana's house before taking off for Trick-or-treating with Jeni, Brian, Natalie and Kathleen and Eric (side note: Eric was Wolverine and Cameron now has a new hero in his life. He frequently reminds us that "Uncle Eric is Wolverine"). As we were getting ready to leave Cam had a bit of an identity crisis and ended up wearing his Nemo costume OVER his Spiderman outift. I think this is in part because he truly believe he is Spiderman. Sigh... Miles made it to a few houses before losing it completely and needing to be taken home. Chase stayed out with Cam who had a rather scary incident. There was a house that had one of those light things that casts a picture up onto the house. In this case it was a large skull that would strobe. Cam thought it was pretty creepy, but went up to the house anyway. Well, the woman who lived there opened the door in some crazy skeleton get-up and yelled BOO! Cam lost it and took off running, totally scared for his life. Thankfully that house was near the end of the route so Chase just brought him right back. Poor kid!