Thursday, March 31, 2011

Benjamin at 6 weeks!

My baby boy is 6 weeks old! He weighs 11 lbs 5.5 oz. and is 22.5 inches long. He's starting to smile and most days is almost smothered to death by his adoring siblings. Special toys are laid next to him and beloved blankies are shared when he's fussy.
I'm enjoying his newborn-ness and his chubbiness! I want to remember all the little details, although I know I will forget. My favorites right now are the lil' rolls on his arms and legs, dimpled fists, and holding him while he sleeps.

My days fly by right now...and there aren't enough hours to get everything done. I'm surrounded by messes, half-finished projects, long to-do or to-call lists, laundry everywhere...but I'm putting things on a priority list. Too many things are at or near the top, but I know it's just a season! Speaking of priorities, a shower is near the top today, so I shall sign off. I'll try to post some more if I get a snatch of time here in the next few days!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Benjamin's Birth Story

Benjamin at 5 weeks...

Picture configuration, not how I want it...but not sure how to correct it. :)

I need to record this, before I forget. (Ha!) Do any mom's forget their babies' births? I don't think so...written down or not. All of my babies' birth-days have been forever seared in my memory: the pain, joy, sweat, tears, and finally: THEM! :)

Well, Benjamin was officially due on the 8th of February. I was anticipating him to be "on time" or "late"...just had that "feeling." Sure enough, 12 days of February went by uneventfully. I felt very good up until the day before he was born. I was up on and off all night on Friday with intense contractions. I remember thinking, "When these get closer together, it'll be time!" Saturday I felt horrible...I pretty much laid around all day and read books to the kids. The boys had soccer in the afternoon, so Madeline and I took naps. I called my Mom just to give her a head's up that I didn't feel good...that pre-labor feeling. My sister, Therese, came over in the early evening and helped me tidy up my tornado-of-a-house. I was trying to get motivated all day to finish laundry and tidy up...didn't happen till she came over, though. :) Justin and I put the kids to bed and hung out. We listened to music videos on you-tube. Actually, "The Alpha and the Omega" (by the Gaithers) and "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" were 2 of the songs. Throughout labor, it was "stuck" in my head. :)

I dared not verbalize my thoughts about labor being imminent to Justin, b/c I'd already used the line "I think tonight is THE night, Honey" I was afraid to say, just to wake up in the morning and be disappointed. We went to bed around 10 pm and I slept soundly till 12 a.m. Contractions were still intense and seemed somewhat closer together. I got up and started getting things ready. I finished packing my bag, checked my list of last minute things to grab, exchanged laundry from the washer to the dryer to the laundry basket and finally decided the contractions needed to be timed. I remember that they needed to be spaced kinda close together...but was it 5 minutes or 3 minutes?? I couldn't remember. I woke Justin up and asked to borrow his watch so I could keep better track. He said something like, "Why do you need it?" I replied that I thought I was in labor and needed to start timing. He decided he should go ahead and get in the shower and get ready. I was thinking, I hope all of this is not pre-mature...I really hope it's the real deal! The contractions were between 8 and 10 minutes apart, but intense! I called Labor and Delivery and talked to the nurse. She said to come in when contractions are 3-5 minutes apart for an hour...but that if I felt like I needed to come in, to go ahead. I did mention that this was my 4th baby and we live 1 hour away. After I got off the phone, I felt kinda silly for calling...after all my contractions weren't that close and I did not want to arrive at the hospital only to find out I was in early labor. I decided to shower, and put make-up on to kill some time. Madeline came into the bathroom while I was getting ready and she was dressed for the day. She actually thought it was time to wake up and go somewhere. :) 3 a.m. is kinda early for Sunday morning. :0 I sat on the couch w/ her for a little while. By this time, the bags were packed, Justin had loaded the car, and I was REALLY thinking "Oh, goodness! This IS labor!" I finally told him to call my Mom that we needed to GO, contractions close, or not! I felt bad to be in so much pain in front of Madeline...but she didn't seem to mind. She wanted me to read books to her, but I told her she could read the book to me, instead. She was fine with that. When another contraction would roll around I would kneel next to the couch, huffing and puffing till it was past. Then I was fine. :) Soon, Madeline was put back to bed and we told her we were going to the hospital to have her baby brother. It felt so surreal to finally be "in that moment!" I thought, "This child will be coming out to meet us! Yay!"

Well, there was no answer at my parents' house. We tried 3 or 4 different cell phones before we finally got an answer. Therese was on her way. After waiting what seemed like a long time (probably only 15 minutes), Justin called her back, thinking maybe she had fallen back to sleep. (Hee:) Actually, there was a LONG line up of cars in the driveway, (finding keys is always an interesting deal at my parents'...esp at 3 in the morning) and she had back out other cars first. She peeled in our driveway around 3 am. The contraction I had right before I got in the car was a long, hard one. I had to stop talking for a minute; I think I scared my sister. :) ["That's labor for ya, honey!"]
Justin drove the speed limit, we encountered no trains, and he stayed occupied timing contractions for me. The worst part of labor was in the car. The contractions were the closest and most intense. I remember thinking that they felt like the contractions at the end of labor...but quickly dismissed the thought, reassuring myself not to get my hopes up. I also started having transition-like symptoms...turns out, that wasn't in my imagination!

We arrived at the hospital at 4 a.m. It took awhile for the check-in and general paper work. I about fell out of the bed when the nurse infomed me that I was indeed close to delivery. "What?" I was thinking! I asked her twice, just b/c I couldn't hardly believe what she said! Soon, other nurses started wheeling in the delivery supplies. It felt so surreal! Justin and I smiled at happy that this labor wasn't going to be an in-hospital 18 hour deal this time! (previous labors had happened "backwards" and I arrived at the hospital soon after my water broke, thus going through the whole process at the hospital, instead of mostly at home)

The midwife came in and we chatted in between contractions. She actually was the midwife who delivered Isaac and Eva(my siblings), assisted w/ pictures at our wedding, and now was going to (finally) be able to deliver one of our babies. At one of my pre-natal appointments, she told me that it was about time for her to be able to catch one of our babies. :) Her wish came true. :) Since I knew she was on call that night, I kept trying to calculate if she would be at my delivery. According to my past labors, no...but I did also have a "feeling" that this labor would go faster. :)

Contractions spaced out to about 10 minutes apart and stayed that way. Baby was posterior, so I tried lots of different positions to try to turn him. He didn't seem to be cooperating. Finally a little before 7 a.m., Kathy the midwife, decided we'd been patient enough. She broke my water, and an intensely horrible 12(?) minutes followed. I remember screaming in my head...thoughts in a jumble, "Yeeouch! The only way to get relief is to keep going...I don't remember it hurting this much...Yeeouch!! God help me!" That stage only lasted a few minutes, and our son, Benjamin Loyal was born. Ah! Relief! He was healthy...the Lord answered prayers! Benjamin Loyal was officially part of the family February 13, 7:12 a.m. 8 lbs 4 oz. 20.5 inches long.

It's now been 1 month since his birth. I have rested more, relaxed more, and have tried to soak up this fleeting newborn stage. I had forgotten the little noises, stretches, funny faces, and overall sweet stage. Two and a half years seems like such a huge span, compared to my first 3 babies. Amazing how many things I had how many diapers newborns go through, how excruciating nursing is for me, how many dear friends and family we have, and how blessed I am to have another little one. Justin was a huge help to me, as was my Grandma and my Mom. We had a record # of meals brought to us by kind friends and family. Benjamin's delivery was the best one yet, and I rest my case, that au naturel' is the way to go. (I'm not anti-epidural...but I've felt SO good after the last 2 non-medicated births) He is a good baby. His nicknames are "Sweet Baby Cakes" and "Piglet" The kids love him and enjoy holding him for about 3 seconds.

Justin and I loved the name Benjamin. I even had a baby doll named Benjamin, growing up. (and still have it!) We were having trouble coming up with a middle name. We briefly began to regret the whole character-middle-tradition we started. We had already used the more "normal" sounding ones. :)

Benjamin: "Son of my right hand"/ "Mighty"

Loyal: "Faithful, true to duty or love"

One day, Justin heard some preaching on the radio about loyalty, and what a lost virtue it is these days. He had it! Benjamin Loyal...he liked it! Justin came in from work and wasn't in the house very long, before he was dealing with a discipline issue with one of the kids. He wrote something down for me on an index card. I thought it was some quiet message like, "Be consistent!" (still thinking of how I incorrectly handled something w/ the kids) Was I surprised, when he handed it to me, and it was "THE" name! It simply said BENJAMIN LOYAL GOFF, in Justin's capital-letters-handwriting. I looked at him and said, "I LOVE it! That's it!" With each of the kids, once we found "their" names, it just clicked with both of us. And that's the lil' story behind Benjamin's name.

We are excited and hopeful that God will use Benjamin in mighty ways. That he will become a man who is mighty and loyal to God in his generation. Just as God had plans for the great men and women in the Bible, we believe He has great and mighty things planned for each one of our children. We are trusting Him and seeking to be faithful.

So that's the long and short of Benjamin's story. Wow...I wrote a book, but I wrote it out so I wouldn't forget. Maybe someday he'll enjoy it too. :)


Crunchy Snack Mix...

1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
1 14 oz box shredded wheat
2 c. nuts
2 c. craisens

Boil first 3 ingred. and pour over shred. wheat and nuts. Toss to coat and spread in a pan to bake at 250 degrees x 1 hr. Spread craisens out on wax paper and pour warm mixture over and let cool. Store in an airtight container.

A friend brought this mix over after Benjamin was born and it is DELISH!! A must-try!

This made a little over 1 gallon of mix...just sayin'

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lil' Things...

Life is in the little moments...the details. I don't want to forget!

Like my 5 year old, who made his bed and went to feed the chickens without being asked. He wore his army pjs and his gum boots. *smile* (Me: "Yessss"!)

A Grandma who lives next door and invites my children for breakfast nearly every morning...

My sweet 3 and 2 year olds who clip-clomp over in their gum boots, hoods flapping and curly hair flying...

My girly who decided to wear her collared pj shirt under her collared white dress shirt w/ a pair of jeans. "I wear this under," she said. ("Alrighty...we'll roll w/ it!" smile:)

A 3 year old who says embarrassing things without realizing...(like tellling my grandma that her pants are too tight and telling a girlfriend how he likes to pick his nose...)

A Baby Boy who is warming the middle of my king size bed with his lil' self...completely sacked out. So cute! (and ooh, how I'd like to go crawl back in bed and get a few more hrs of zzz...'s)

Big blue eyes and a curly head of hair that look at me so earnestly while I help her get dressed.

Toys and strollers left outside...

Long days...short nights...lots of little memories...don't let me forget!

Monday, March 14, 2011

1 month...

Come, Spring!
Bath Time!

Come, Spring! (We put away all snowy decor and brought out the spring decorations! Justin bought seeds for the 1st planting in the garden...I think spring IS near!)

Has it already been 1 month?! Time flies!
Ah, bliss! (Samuel captured this smile!)
I'm working on Benjamin's birth story, so stay tuned, if you're interested. :) I'm going to work on ordering pictures from Snapfish, and hopin' to make my first album online...just b/c I got a *free* one. :) Happy Monday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend Photos...

Couldn't resist posting a few of Benjamin...He's 3 weeks old now! And growing fast...putting on chubbiness. This was Samuel's outfit...and to me he looks like a mini-Samuel only w/ white eyebrows and a red-cast to his hair. I'm curious if it'll stay...I'd love to have a red head!
Saturday was my Grandma's surprise birthday party at my Aunt's house in Chicago. It was so very fun to see lots of relatives we don't see very often! My Aunt was a very brave hostess to house and feed all 30! of us. I actually came down w/ flu symptoms and wasn't feeling good at my pictures are kind of random. :) But I did capture a few. I know there's lots of other photos floating around too!
Uncle Justin meets Elliana...

Little girls are special to him...

Havin' fun w/ the cousins (William loves Grace's curls...can't resist:)

Aww...I love girls too :)

Surprise! Grandma Nett!

Big Hugs...

William was so excited that Auntie Krista let him hold Elliana "all by himself" :)

Friday, March 4, 2011