Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Birth Story

He finally has arrived!!!!  This pregnancy reminded me a lot of my first, maybe because it is my last. The anticipation of meeting our sweet boy was killing me at the end.  I want to thank Jason and the kids for being so understanding and loving the past few weeks as we waited for him to arrive.  At 35 weeks I went for my regular OB check up and was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced.  We thought for sure he would arrive any day, but just in case, my doctor set up an induction date of June 12, still a week earlier than I was due.  None of us thought I would make it that far.  Baby had other plans.  Needless to say I was getting more irritable as the days turned to weeks and he still hadn't arrived.

The night before induction is always scary for me.  I usually spend most the night when I should be sleeping worrying about the pain that will come with child birth.  I also spend that time trying to talk myself into an epidural.  I never can though.  I guess the pain isn't as scary as the needle to me.  Weird, I know!  The morning of June 12 Jason and woke up at 5:30 and got ready for our last few hours of pregnancy,  EVER!  The upside to induction is that I was able to do my hair, and make up.  Every time my water has broken on it's own it's when I look like something from a horror movie.  Thankfully that wasn't the case this day, especially because my dear friend Britney was going to be in the delivery room doing our birth story pictures.

We arrived at the hospital at 7 am, checked in, changed into those extremely embarrassing gowns and faced the dreaded IV.  Did I mention I really hate needles?!  I some how survived the IV, of course not without breaking into sweats and needing my hubby to fan me with a Manila folder.  My mom arrived, which I was so happy about.  She missed Molly's (my little sister) last baby being born and since this was her last chance to be there for the birth of one her grandchildren, I'm glad she made it.   We met my labor and delivery nurse, who was just amazing.  She was on an episode of Sister Wives, check it out, season one episode four.  Anyway, she was amazing.  We have had the best nurses here at American Fork Hosptial.  I was her only patient that morning so she was with us pretty much the whole time.  She, Jason, Britney, Mom and I all chatted away while we waited for the doctor to come break my water.  Truth be told I was losing my never the longer we waited, I almost told everyone lets go home and just wait for him to come on his own.  I don't think Jason would have let me leave though.  Finally at 9am my doctor showed up checked me and broke my water.  There was no going back now.  You are totally committed at that point.

This labor really wasn't that bad.  Mostly just felt like a lot of pressure till the very end where the pain is so bad it's all you can think about.  It helped that my nurse helped convince me to take some pain meds before it was too late.  The meds relaxed me so much that it was hard to keep my eyes open even though I consciously was aware of everything being said around me.  Jason came over and thought I had passed out. The only down side to the pain meds I chose is that they only last for 30 minutes and after a certain point you can't have them anymore.  Thankfully little man made is arrival shortly after they wore off.

I want to say again how much I loved my nurse.  Before they broke my water I filled her in that my babies tend to come quick and that it is really painful to wait for the doctor once I have to push.  She told me that I didn't have to wait, she could deliver the baby if she had to.  I heard angels singing at this news.  I don't know if she thought she would actually have to deliver our baby or not, but that is what she ended up doing.

At 10:26 am Maxwell Oliver Woodward flew into this world.  I'm not joking when I say that either.  Two pushes and he was completely out.  She said he came out so quick he almost crashed into my heels. My doctor arrived about a minute after he was born.  I am always amazed at how fast I go from feeling like I want to die to feeling like a million bucks and so overwhelmingly happy.  The minute I see my baby's face and hear them cry all that pain and misery are gone.  There is nothing but love and joy.

Maxwell was born at 10:26 am weighing 6lbs 11oz and was 18 1/2" long.  He has a head of blonde hair and blue eyes.  Apparently the Woodward coloring is strong in our boys' genes.  To say I am completely in love with him would be an understatement.  I couldn't picture our family without him now.  We are so happy to have him here and will be even happier when he and I go home tomorrow morning.  I love being waited on, but I miss my family and all their craziness.

My beautiful friend Britney, who took our pictures, sent me a couple for a sneak peek and I would love to share them with you.  A big huge thank you to her for being there, especially when you factor in that she too is pregnant and only a few weeks away from her own delivery.  Love you Britney.

Thank you all for your love and well wishes!!!!

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Back in the Game!

     Wow!  It's a bit depressing realizing I haven't blogged in almost 18 months!  I've never been great about updating, but never this horrible either.  What can I say life with six kids gets CRAZY and most days when we finally have a few minutes I end up falling asleep.  We lead such an exciting life, huh?  These days it's considered an all-nighter if we stay up past 10.

     While I would normally go over the several months since my last update, I feel 18 months is a lot to cover.  So I'll fill everyone in on the most important updates.  First, everyone is happy and alive!!!  So proud we made it through another year (or so) without killing each other.  Good job us!  A few years back we moved from Georgia to Utah.  We had been renting a house in Cedar Hills while we waited to see if we would stay here.  Good news is we decided to stay and we bought a home in July of 2013.  We love, love, love our new home.  Not to mention we won the lottery when it comes to our neighborhood.  The icing on the cake is that our church building is a two minute walk from our front door.  The kids love their new school (Faith - 4th grade, Emma - 3rd grade and Charlie - 1st grade) and all three have really great teachers.  Hyrum will be starting Kindergarten this fall!

     We got a dog last Feburary.  His name is Lucky and he is a miniature poodle.  We rescued him from  the pound and once again won the lottery.  He was already house broken and had some basic commands under his belt.  My favorite part though is that his breed doesn't shed!!!  I can not express how much I love this about him.  He also never gets that dirty dog smell.  He is great with all the kids and is a Momma's boy.  Even as I sit here typing he is curled up at my feet.  Despite the fact that all the kids begged to get a dog Charlie is the one who plays with him the most.  Love having him as an addition to our family.

     Shortly after moving Emma was baptized.  It was such a great day.  My parents and sister came out from California to be here.  Emma loved getting dressed up and being the center of attention all day.  So far she says her 8th birthday has been the best.  

In September of 2013 my parents surprised us all and put their house on the market and moved out here to be closer to our family.  While they looked for a new house and waited for it be finished they lived with us.  I think it was a growing experience for all of us.  They now live only 15 minutes from us.  I love that our children get to see their grandparents more often.  Plus the occasional free babysitting is nice too.  This past week the girls had a Father/Daughter dance at school and my dad joined the girls and Jason.  They all came home sweaty from cutting it up on the dance floor.  Such great memories being made.

In October of 2013 we were very happy to discover that we are expecting our seventh (you heard right) baby this June.  Originally I wanted to wait to find out the sex of the baby, but was out voted by everyone else.  So as a Christmas present I went and had an ultrasound and found out the sex of the baby.  Almost everyone was happy.  I had a good feeling I knew what we were having and I was right.  We are having another little boy!  Faith was devastated.  Her exact words were "Another turdy boy...NO!"  She has since embraced the fact that she will only have the two sisters she has now (at least till her brothers get married).  We also let the kids pick out the baby's name.  We'll reveal that once he arrives just in case we decide to change it.  They did a great job though and we were impressed.  

This next update needs a disclaimer on it.  If you are feeling especially sad or don't feel like crying I suggest stopping here and coming back at a later time......

Last chance!


     So on February 13 I had my 20 wk ultrasound.  Because of Payton's condition they always check hands and feet.  Unfortunately they couldn't get a good look at his hands and feet so they set us up to have a better ultrasound done on the 25th of Feburary at the hospital.  During this more extensive ultra sound we learned that our newest little boy appears to have the same condition as Payton.  

     I know that there will be many different feelings about this from people we know.  I know that some will be supportive, some will avoid the subject, some will judge us for having more children after Payton and may even feel we brought this on ourselves.  No matter how anyone else feels, we feel good about this.  He is healthy!  Besides his hands and feet he is developing normal in every other way.    We feel that he is a blessing for our family.  Not only will he have a huge support group surrounding him, but he will have a brother that will understand exactly what it is like to be him.  Someone who will understand how it feels to be different in that way and for that I am so very grateful.  
     I don't want anyone to think that we are going into this with blinders on.  We realize having two special needs children will be challenging at times, but I also know that if we stand together as a family and trust in God's plan for us we will make it through much stronger than we started.  This little boy is already loved so very much.  We are all very anxious for his arrival.  
     I know the next reaction will be to wonder if we are done having kids now.  The answer is yes, but not because of Payton or this current baby.  Being pregnant in my 30's is a lot more tiring than it was in my 20's.  I'm sure the fact that I have to run after six other ones adds to that.  We have decided that 7 kids is perfect for our family.  We feel very blessed to be the parents of such amazing children.

     The next big thing that is coming up is this Tuesday, March 4th.  Both Emma and Hyrum are going in for surgery to remove a Cholesteatoma from their right ears.  This will be Emma's first surgery.  After her latest ear infection she was sent to an ENT.  That is where it was discovered.  She is very nervous, but I know she'll be just fine.  She is a lot tougher than she gives herself credit for.  This will be Hyrum's third surgery.  Last summer he too was sent to an ENT after his ear infection wouldn't go away.  While there the doctor discovered a cholesteatoma in his left ear.  He was referred to a Pediatric ENT after that (Emma was referred to the same one).  While in surgery for his left ear (July 2013) they discovered he also had one in his right ear.  He went back in December to have the right one removed, before they operated on his right they decided to check on his left and see how it was healing.  Unfortunately the growth was back.  Because of this they made the decision to operate on his left again.  This next surgery will be to remove the one on his right leaving him almost completely deaf.  He will be receiving some fancy new hearing aids that he got to pick out.  Hopefully if the growths don't return he will be able to have reconstructive surgery done on his left ear before he starts school in the fall.  His right will be done sometime later this year hopefully.  As for Emma we won't really know how bad it is till they get in there.  We aren't sure when she will need (if at all) reconstruction.  
     I am so very thankful that they have such an amazing doctor.  The nurses and staff at the children's hospital are great as well and I feel they are both in good hands.  It will be a long day for them as well as for this nervous Momma.  Waiting to hear when they are out of surgery and how everything went always seems to take forever.  The only part Emma is looking forward to is the fact that she gets a week off school.  Personally I would rather go to school.

     In more upbeat news, Jason and I are doing well.  Jason works so hard to provide a great life for the kids and I and I am so thankful for such a wonderful husband.  I am doing the mommy thing.  My days don't vary much, but I'm doing what I always wanted.  I love watching my children grow up and feel so blessed to be able to say I haven't missed a thing.  I have been here for every first and I know just how lucky I am.  I am also planning on attending beauty school to become a makeup artist.  Once our littlest man is old enough I will be taking night classes.  So nervous and so excited to go back to school.

I always love closing with some of my most favorite recent moments.   So here you go:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Much Ado About A Lot

It's still amazes me how much we cram into a short period of time.  It's been just a little over two months since my last post and I have so much to write about.  It's crazy busy, but honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way.

     On August 13 I turned 32!  I had a great birthday.  Jason sent me shopping, which was a little less dangerous this year as I'm still trying to lose baby weight.  Jason also got me a beautiful necklace with all of the kids names on it.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  Then we went to dinner and a movie with our good friends the Wilson's.  We ate at The Cheesecake Factory, which seriously has the world's biggest menu.  How does one decide what to get?  How do you not pig out when you go there?  Simple answer, go with a group of people and everyone shares and inevitably you pig out anyway!  Although I could easily eat about a dozen pieces of cheesecake by myself.  So YUMMY!  It was such a fun night!

     Lots of things started in August this year.  Faith, Emma and Charlie all started their first year of soccer.  Faith loves to play defense, and she's actually really good at it.  Her team is named Skyscrapers, it's an all girl team and they play on a regular sized field with all the actual soccer rules.  Her team has lost two games, tied one and won three.  Emma who is normally our least aggressive child, is an animal on the field.  She doesn't back down from anyone.  She is on a co-ed team and I use this term loosely here because she and the coaches daughter are the only girls on the team. They are called the Blue Cobras.  Her team is really good.  They are undefeated!  Hopefully they can keep it up when they resume playing in the spring.  Now, poor little Charlie.  I have to admit he isn't the most graceful player.  But he sure has a good time!  He too is on a co-ed team, called the Yellow Bees (like there is any other kind).  I think he has a little crush on a girl named Rachel on his team.  He has fun with his teammates but,  unfortunately they haven't won a single game this season.   Hopefully with some practice over the winter break we can come back stronger in the spring.  Honestly though, as long as Charlie is having fun he'll keep playing.
     Some of my favorite moments from this season have been: 1) watching Faith play goalie.  While she had some "downtime", waiting for the ball to come her way, she would be out there bustin' out her Justin Bieber dance moves.  I only wish I'd had video of it!  She's a hoot!  2) Seeing Emma make her first goal.  At her age they still kind of follow the ball in one big herd, but she was able to get the ball and made a break away down the field!  She was all alone out in front and Jason is yelling next to me "SHOOT, SHOOT, EMMA SHOOT!"  She shoots and she SCORES!  The look of excitement, shock and pride was great!  That was the only goal scored (by either team) that game.  She won the game!  I think that was the moment she really fell in love with soccer.  3) Now, while Charlie's team hasn't won a game it's still fun to watch.  I love watching how awkward Charlie is.  I know that may seem mean, but it's a reminder that he hasn't quite grown up yet.  I've never seen a kid trip over his own feet so much in my life.  It reminds me of Bambi.  I also really loved watching Charlie cheer his team on and how excited he would get when one of his team mates scored.  He wasn't upset that he never did, just happy for the team and the person who did.  He has such a great heart!  4) I have enjoyed watching Jason become his father.  I remember many a football game where Jim was the loudest parent in the stands.  The love for, and pride in, his children was so apparent.  Jason has become that same man.  I love it.  At Emma's last game this past Saturday Emma was running down field with the ball.  Jason is yelling "GO EMMA.  DOWN THE MIDDLE!"  She is surrounded by the opposing team, her teammates trying to catch up (who would have guessed Emma could run so fast).  She finds herself in a position to score.  Jason screams...seriously he was screaming..."SHOOT EMMA, SHOOT!"  She kicks the ball as hard as she can.  Jason jumps from his chair yelling like a mad man "GO IN!"  She missed the goal by a hair.  It was hilarious to watch Jason though.  I love him so much.
     As much as we have enjoyed cheering Faith, Emma and Charlie on it'll be nice to have our Saturdays back.  I won't miss the rushing from one game to another, or cranky younger kids who have missed their naps.  I'll very much enjoy being able to sleep till 8 am.  It was so much fun though and the kids have learned a lot about team work, team spirit and how much we love them.

See...Awkward!  I love it!

 Emma was so excited for her first game.

 Eating lunch and cheering on Charlie.

 Number 9 is Charlie's crush, Rachel.

 Go Faith!

Daddy with his oldest and youngest.

     Around the same time as soccer, school started as well.  Faith entered the Third Grade, Emma entered Second Grade and Charlie started Kindergarten (half day, which is way lame. Miss the full day they had in Georgia, but it is what it is).    Faith's teacher is Mrs. Taylor.  We LOVE her.  She really pushes the kids to excel!  Faith's math has greatly improved since entering her class.
     Emma has Mrs. Smith, Faith's teacher from last year.  Mrs. Smith is a character.  Emma is doing awesome in her class.  Mrs. Smith says Faith and Emma are night and day.  While Faith was the talker and often off task because of it, Emma is little miss quite and on task.  Emma is enjoying her class and has made lots of new friends.
     Charlie is in Mrs. Reiber's class.  She is a great teacher for Charlie.  Charlie is wicked smart, but he can be lazy if something doesn't interest him.  His writing and drawing have come a long way in a short time under her.  He loves her and he loves being in school.   I will love it even more when he is in school all day.

 We stayed for the raising of the flag.

Leah slept through everything.

 Mario Backpack...check

 Mario shirt....check.
Dog shorts and spiderman shoes....What?
Can you tell he dressed himself?

 Checking out his cubby.

We had Leah's baby blessing at the end of August.  We were so happy that my parents were able to be there, especially since my dad was able to participate in her blessing!  It was a beautiful day and Leah looked like a princess.  Her blessing was beautiful and we are so blessed to have her as one of our children.  Our family wouldn't be the same without her.

Leah in her blessing gown.

     In September we had a busy month.  Jason's parents, Jim and Pam, came to visit! We had a blast going to soccer games, playing cards and talking.  One weekend is never long enough.  We spent a good portion of the trip trying to convince them to retire and move out here.  I think we're wearing them down. :)  September we also celebrated Hyrum and Payton's birthdays.  Hyrum turned 4 which means he got a BIG birthday party.  After a lot of thought he settled on a Mario Bros. themed party.  We ordered him Mario Bros. invitations, plates, cups, napkins, a Luigi cake (that's his favorite character) even a Mario Bros. bounce house.  We bought about 30 thirty cans of silly string for a silly string war as well, and it's a good thing too.  Every party has to have it's hick-up right?  Well, ours manifested as no bounce house showing up.  I was freaking out!  We had planned the whole party around that showing up.  How else do you keep 30 kids entertained for three hours!?  Supposedly our order was never sent to the warehouse on the day of the party.  So lame, lame, lame.  Thankfully we had silly string and Jason!  After the silly string war we busted out the Nerf swords and Nerf guns.  The kids spent about 90 minutes shooting and hitting Jason.  I don't know who was more tired at the end of the party, Jason or the kids!  At the end of the day Hyrum had a good time and that was all that mattered.  We are so blessed to have him as one of our children!
 Playing with the new Barbies Nana bought them.

Love this picture of the kids with Nana and Papa!

 Totally awesome Luigi cake that I didn't have to make.

 His favorite t-shirt he got just for his birthday party.

Payton turned 2!  Thankfully his affair was much simpler.  We had cupcakes and sang happy birthday.  Much less stressful.  I can't believe how much he has changed in a year.  He is talking so well.  He has no problem articulating his disdain for certain foods or chores he doesn't want to do.  I think his favorite sentence is "No, I don't want to!"  Another favorite is "Hyrum (or some other older kids name) did it!"  He is learning to pass the buck onto a higher up.  Despite those few examples I do love that he can speak in full sentences and that I can understand most if not all of it!  He's still our most stubborn and determined child.  Even though there are days I don't love those qualities as much, I know they will take him far in life.  Love his little face off!

 Such a happy boy!

 Why even bother to my hands, when I can go face first into it?

     As is becoming our family tradition, we took the kids to Cornbelly's this month to do the corn maze, pick out pumpkins, eat way too much and generally have a rockin' good time!  So, last year we never completed the corn maze.  We got lost, it was really windy, cold and we weren't dressed very warmly (can you tell it was our first fall in Utah).  This year we were prepared and it was warmer, so yeah for that!  We made it through the corn maze this time!  Thanks to the fact that we worked as team this year and we had a map!  Next year I think we'll break into teams and see who finishes the fastest.  I love a good competition!  After the corn maze the kids and Jason went down the big slide.  They loved it, unfortunately it was a really busy attraction so they only got to go once.  Then it was off to the big hay pyramid to play.  This is where we lost Hyrum.  I was feeding Leah and keeping an eye on Payton. who usually is the most trouble, Jason was with everyone else.  The girls and Charlie went over to the wooden horses to play (it's literally, two feet from the hay pyramid).  Jason goes over for  a bit to play with them.  I guess Hyrum didn't want to play on them so he took it upon himself to wander over to one of the many playgrounds to go play on the slide.  Jason goes back over to the hay pyramid to get Hyrum and he's gone!  We figured he's just gone over to the playground closest to us, but he wasn't there.  We got that sick feeling in the pit of our stomachs, now we are franticly looking for him.  We broke up into two groups and literally checked the whole park.  He was nowhere to be found.  I start picturing the worst in my mind.  I'm crying, searching and praying.  At this same time, unbeknownst to me,  Jason and the girls get on their knees and give the most heartfelt prayer to find Hyrum safe and sound.  I get the idea all of a sudden to go check by the information booth up front, even though Jason had already checked up front.  What do my tear filled eyes find,  HYRUM!  He's just sitting there on a stool talking to the lady who was working the booth.  Once I saw him and had him in my arms I completely broke down.  We were so lucky that no one took him.  Just then Jason and the girls come up and we are all hugging and crying.  Hyrum was just as scarred as we were.  We gave him a good talking too and I don't think he'll ever do that again.  Thank God for answered prayers!  After that it was all good times and smiles.  We ate yummy corndogs, seriously they were AMAZING, a fried snickers (you heard me right, and they were heavenly), a fried PB & J (also amazing, but honestly why wouldn't it be) and a fried twinkie (which actually wasn't very amazing), we got our faces painted and jumped on the jump pillows.  We had such a great time!  Can't wait to do it again next year, except for the whole losing a kid part.
 Poor little Hyrum, not quite tall enough (Payton is standing in the stroller).

 Stop the cuteness....seriously.

 Can't....quite.....make it.

 Yep, this about sums us up.

 Sleeping beauty.

 We have a thumb sucker.

 Wow, we have a lot of kids!  LOVE IT!

 She sure is growing into a beautiful young lady.


 The Hulk!

     A little over a week ago Leah had tubes put in.  She hasn't passed a single hearing test yet.  She had a build up of fluid behind her eardrums.  Not only were they full of fluid, but it was all infected.  Poor thing had two major infections and still managed to be a sweet, cuddly and wonderful baby!  Since her surgery we have noticed a big change.  Her whole world got a whole lot louder, and you know how loud our house can be.  I was worried that she might not stay the same happy, sweet little girl with all the noise, but she is even happier now.  Didn't know that was possible.  She is doing well and she'll have another hearing test (this will be her sixth one) in about two weeks.  So thankful for her wonderful pediatrician
and her wonderful ENT.  She is getting bigger everyday and despite her baby mullet she is absolutely beautiful.  She has eyelashes to die for and is always so happy.  Everyone spoils her with lots of holding, kisses and hugs.  She melts my heart every time I look at her.

On Tuesday we painted small pumpkins with the kids.  So messy, but so much fun!  They had a great time and it was so neat to see what their imaginations came up with.  The girls did theirs completely on their own.  The boys needed a little more help.  Charlie and Hyrum painted theirs as Mario and Luigi with Daddy's help.  I helped Payton who wanted a zombie.  Faith did a unicorn and Emma did a witch.  Mostly Payton just wanted to try and eat the paint.  Then on Wednesday we had our ward Halloween party.  So much fun!  The kids had a great time doing all the games and eating lots of candy.  The kids ended it with dancing, Hyrum threw some of his own special moves in it too (it's a little hip thrusting, booty grabbing and break dancing.  Don't ask where he learned it, it beats us) .  We were just glad when they all crashed from the sugar!

He even helps clean up!

     Now we are gearing up for Faith's birthday, her last single digit one, and Halloween.  Faith is going as a girl Frankenstein, Emma is Strawberry Shortcake, Charlie is a Blue Power Ranger, Hyrum is a Gold Power Ranger and Payton is going as Spiderman.  All the boys costumes come with built in muscles, it's hilarious!  I'll post pictures after Halloween.  We're going to carve our pumpkins this weekend, so that should be fun.  Then it's lots of sewing for me, got to get those Christmas gifts done, and going home for Thanksgiving.  How has this year just flown by?