All About Sierra

Sweet little Sierra, We are in love with you. All of us. We all want to hold you and take care of you and make you smile. I’ve been meaning to write about your birth and so many more details for a long time now. Life is busy and I am constantly tired, but I enjoy you so much more than I can put into words.
Early in my pregnancy, I met with the doctor and we discussed that your delivery date would be Dec. 15. It was a Monday and would be a great date. I assumed from that time on this would be your arrival and the date was scheduled, until one Dr.’s appointment in late October that the doctor told me the date was not scheduled and the OR that day was already packed full! So we agreed to 9 AM Tuesday the 16th, which ended up being better in many ways.
I felt especially nervous about the c-section this time around. I was not as healthy as I usually am for pregnancies and this would be my 5th c-section – that thought alone had me worried. Monday night before the big day, I had the most calming blessing from Dad and Papa Dad. I felt peace and comfort that things would go well for you and I and everything went very well. I felt very present and aware of my body and my baby inside me this time. The IV went in without a problem, and although the numbing shot seemed to sting for sooo long, the spinal seemed more even and the perfect amount. It is an amazing feeling being on the table feeling the tugging and pulling and knowing you were just minutes from birth. Finally the big push on my stomach to get you out and the sweetest raspy little baby cry brought tears to my eyes. What a tender moment I will never forget.
You were healthy and darling and awake! 8 lbs 8.8 oz, 20 inches long. I always wonder how it felt for you to be so abruptly taken from my belly. I’m sure it was shocking!
You were very alert and had your eyes open all morning long, but you were very calm and observant. As soon as I was done in the OR the nurse told me we needed skin to skin, because your breathing and heart rate were unusually fast. Your breathing and heart rate came right down as long as you were with me. I was grateful for this – in this moment I felt the Lord reminding me that my role as a mother to you and the others was divinely given and appointed to me – no one else could take this special place and responsibility. We nursed for quite a while at that point, and I knew from the very first suck that you were going to be good at eating (and it would probably be a painful few weeks for me in that way). Dad and I were so excited to get into our recovery room and enjoy our precious time mostly just with our new baby for a few days. Your eyes were open all morning and you were quietly trying to figure out this place. I think you were exhausted in the late afternoon because you finally took a long nap.
We had many visitors that were excited to come meet you. Mamama and Papa dad, Grandma and Jackson, Lacey, Rachelle, and Autumn. Mama Great came and held you and kept us company for a while one afternoon. A few of the aunts came to see you also.
You and I came home from the hospital on Friday and we were warmly welcomed by all the kids. It was such a happy and joyful time for all of us to be together, and so magical with the Christmas season. It was especially nice to have Christmas break with no schedules for the kids and we even got to have dad home for 3 whole weeks. It was blissful!                                                   My recovery went very smoothly for the first few weeks. We went to a part of Christmas Eve at Mamama’s house and enjoyed being part of the family festivities, although I was very protective of you and I hardly even let anyone look at you :) I definitely have had a bit of the mother bear syndrome in me again. I think when I’m so tired and the hospital staff scare me with so many horror stories about new babies with illnesses during this sick season I knew I didn’t even want to chance it. It even made me frustrated to have your blood drawn for testing at the lab because we waited in a room with so many people who are very obviously ill. It seems a little counterintuitive to send a brand new baby to a lab for screenings. Call me crazy, I probably am.               Your umbilical stump finally fell off at exactly four weeks. I love and hate the day the umbilical stump comes off because you finally get to enjoy a regular bath, but it also means no more ‘newborn’ sponge baths. You definitely enjoy a nice bath though – I love that. You’ve just started splashing a lot in the bath in the past few weeks. Your very first smile was also at 4 weeks, although you kinda always had a sweet smiley expression. You have been so pleasant except for a few days here and there. From that point on I had to work very hard to get smiles out of you. Just recently though the smiles have been given a bit more freely and all the kids just can’t get enough of it.  I haven’t been successful at catching any on camera though, because every time I take my phone or the camera out you stare intently at it and I can’t get your attention to make you smile. Its quite funny.                                                            You were blessed February 1st in our ward and Grandma and Grandpa came to be apart. We had Tim, Danny, Mamama and Papa, Mama Great, the Andersons and the Woods come. It was a sweet blessing. I’ll post it later.         March 20-21, just over 3 months old, we had some friends come stay with us overnight and while we were up late with them I laid you down for tummy time and you rolled over a few times from front to back. You couldn’t stop yourself that night, but you’ve forgotten how and you haven’t done it since. A few days ago you rolled from back to front but you couldn’t get your arms out from under you.                                                                                                         About a week and a half ago, you found your voice and you make these fun high pitched squeals when you are happy or sad/frustrated. It is so cute to hear your feelings now even if they are during church and other quiet times.  You are such a great sleeper. The first several weeks you slept most of the time and at night you would go about 4 hours at a time. At about six weeks or two months you started getting about six hours in at at night and the past several weeks you’ve been getting in 8-12 hours in a night. Amazing! Naps during the day are more cat-nap type, although if we are in the car you nap most of the time. Quite often I will lay you down and come back and you have fallen asleep. This is happening less and less as you get older, but still here and there. The other day you found your thumb during a nap and slept for 4 or 5 hours. I kept checking on you and you were sleeping and sucking away! It was adorable.                                                                                                    You are such a special part of our family Sierra. We are all so grateful to have your sweet, loving, and kind spirit here in our home.

Christmas 2014

For Christmas Eve we had dinner at Sarah’s parents and breakfast at the Ahlstrom’s.  Nothing too eventful just fun time with family.

Our favorite gift!

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Toothless grins and babies.
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Who has the real baby?IMG_1617

All the girls got their nails painted by Daddy.  Not bad for zero practice.IMG_1622

These are supposed to be santa hats.IMG_1623

Introducing Sierra Snow

Born Dec 16 at 9:10am.  8lbs 8oz.  There is nothing more precious than a new baby.  Sierra is our 5th child and our 4th consecutive girl!  Is it wrong if I secretly hope she is a Tom Boy? To be honest, I don’t care I just hope she continues to be a happy baby and is sweet and goes easy on me.IMG_1520

So far, she has been very pleasant.  She is very alert and curious about her surroundings.  We’re just happy to have a healthy baby.IMG_1530

The kids were very excited to meet their new baby sister.IMG_1536

Grandma came to watch the kids while I stayed with Sarah at the hospital.IMG_1540

Since it has been 3 years since our last child was born, the dynamics are quite a bit different.  Everyone is very aware of the impact of having a new baby and they have all been very good helpers and love every chance they get to hold the baby.IMG_1543

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Jackson is a pro at having little sisters.  His saving grace is that he has several boy cousins his age to play with all the time.IMG_1547

I can’t believe we have 5 kids.  5! Kids!IMG_1550
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Autumn’s 3rd Birthday


Autumn has been asking constantly in the past few weeks, “Mom, Am I 3?” Each time the answer was, “Not yet, but really soon!” She was so happy when the day finally came. I can’t believe Autumn is 3! She acts like she’s 15 – She has all the answers to everything and is VERY independent, but its hard to believe its been 3 years since I held my darling, tiny Autumn in my arms.

In the past few weeks we’ve noticed she really likes owls so we decided to make an owl cake for her birthday. She loved it but was not quite as obsessed with it as she was her bear cake from last year. We must have watched the bear cake video a million times for her :)

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Autumn is a sweetheart – She loves to cuddle and give kisses, she is the first to help me carry in groceries, clean up when I ask, pick up when she sees a mess, get herself ready, put her shoes on herself, and help however she can. She is fun and funny and loves to laugh. She plays hard and works hard. She is very determined and persistent, she stands up for herself and others, and WILL get what she wants, but these same qualities that make her so amazing frustrate her too-  she has her own ideas and easily gets upset when things don’t work out how she wants or if people don’t do what she wants, which is frustrating for all of us. You know that saying, “When mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy,” for us its, “When Autumn ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” I’ve never seen such love and such determined tantrums. I’m sure she’ll grow out of the worst of this, right? She favors Mom and takes time to warm up to most people, especially men. She started hating nursery in the past few weeks, she is potty trained when she wants to be but usually chooses not to be. She loves to play games – hide n seek, uno, go fish, old maid, memory. She loves to read and look at books. She is quite a nut!
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Autumn LOVED her birthday. I didn’t even have to do anything all that special to make it great – she just knew it was her special day. At one point, she was afraid Micah was going to make her do something she didn’t want to, and yelled out, “Don’t make the birthday girl do that!”  She is very funny and loves to laugh. She’s come up with some of the funniest things lately. We were at Walmart not too long ago, and I let her walk instead of ride in the basket. Normally she walks right next to me or hangs onto the cart, but this time she got behind me a little bit. In the sweetest little voice she says, ” Mom… why is your bum looking at me?” then laughed about how funny it sounded. She says stuff like that all the time – I really need to start writing all these things down.  IMG_1370-001

These girls are the best and worst of friends. They are together All the time, so there are bound to be some disagreements. Sometimes Chelle needs her space and Autumn just wants to be with her, which causes problems. Sometimes they just don’t like the other’s ideas, but most often they work and play together. Its fun to have these little friends so close to each other.  IMG_1375-001

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IMG_1380-001I love these little bright brown eyes. This is the perfect picture of her.