Saturday, October 6, 2007

What an adventure life has become!!!

Again it's been a while since I've written. I am constantly amazed at how correct the advice people gave me when I went to college. They told me to enjoy all the time that I would have because I'd never have so much discressionary time again... I guess that i've developed a clearer understanding of this and I agree but I hope that someday I can retire and have some discressionary time again.

So we've been having a few adventures lately. It's an adventure to have our new baby girl Alana home. She is naturally a happy baby but we just need to learn all the things that make her unhappy to allow natrue to make her happy. So we've cut out all sented laundry detergent or fabric softner, Holly can't eat eggs which was narrowed down from wheat, milk, soy, nuts, and anyting but fruits and vegies. So now that we've found what she's alergic to we're all much happier. Oh and she really likes the vacume. So to help her sleep now we just leave the vacume on in her room...

The weather is changing and we're finally out of the 100s!!! We're spending more time outside and everyone likes that.

Grandma North came to visit for a week. She was amazing. Our whole house was calm while she was here. Holly is convinced that she has some magical control over dust because normally we dust every two days but while my Mom was here Holly didn't have to dust at all... I think that Mom just snuck out at night and dusted while we slept, either way it was really fun to have her here. And I want to extend the invite to all of our family, anyone who wnat's to come and hold a baby can come over to our house and hang out.

I'm back in school after a short break after Alana was born and I really can't wait to be done.

Natalie is grrowing so fast. She's so smart and has a great sence of humor. Today she thought it was so much fun to sit on my head and use me as a human jungle gym. It's the best time of my day when I come home and when Natalie hears the door open she yeals DAD! Life is good.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

OK so I need to write more!!!!

Howdy all! It's amazing how it just keeps getting more hot every day here in AZ! I can't wait for winter to come and then I can get some yard work done!

Everyone has been asking for more pictures of the family. So since I'm turning into a fat old guy (not to infer that my Dad is old... hmmmm), and Holly is content with the pictures that I've already put on here I'll post some of our cute kids who are too young to complain.

This series is one of my favorite we've taken. I was at home on a Saturday and was buisy with my usual past time (sleeping on the couch... I think that this may be where the fat comes from). To be more comfortable I took out my wallet and placed it safely on the table next to the couch where I could keep an eye on it... It was an odd thing that it actually had some cash in it and Natalie took a big intrest in those greenbacks.

Next we have Baby Alana's first bath! Holly puts her in a towel to keep her warm in the water. Alana loved her first bath and it was fun for everyone, Natalie was asleep which made it much more peaceful.

Next we have another of Alana ready for her first trip to Church! Everyone was surprised when we showed up with Alana only 9 days old... We're CRAZY people though and we took our 9 day old to church... :)

Now back to Natalie, but first, let me explain that it's hot here in Arizona. There's a GEICO commercial that explains this to me every day when I'm driving to work, which is really annoying. Anyhow I just want to state that just because it's hot doesn't mean that little girls shouldn't dress modestly! However, when that little girl is 16 months old and a self apointed professional finger painter who's medium is whatever she can find to stick her hands into it's just more ecconomical on so many levels to let the kid run arround in the house in a diaper. It saves on 3 loads of laundry a day. It saves on stress as she freaks out because she's hot (she's never really done that but I assume she would if she thought of it). So long story short, We don't care how trashy we look, these are still great pictures and it's still HOT and it's not like we take her out like this or drive with her on our lap...

So Natalie's figured out where we keep the snacks. Which just happens to be in a lower cupboard that she can easily get into. (No I'm not trying to make my one year old fat in order to make myself feel better(we put child locks on those doors after this picture)). So we caught her shutting herself in the goody cupboard!

So we'll do a couple more in quick succession here. Natalie loves to play dress-up in our closet. She also loves swimming! Some how we accidentally ended in a house with a pool so we go swimming every day! Especially when it's so Hot her! (One of my beloved cousins was complaining about how hot it is in Texas... HA I think I have you beat!) I'll sneak another picture of Holly in here too! We took this picture at a Man Toy Expo and Auction that I talked the girls into going to. Mind you Holly was 8 months pregnant and Natalie was trying to finger paint this $200,000 classic Mercedes and every other car there with her sticky slimy tootsie pop fingers (yes I gave her the tootsie pop.) This picture is specifically for my Father in law who I think would really appreciate the efforts that I went to while saving the paint job on this beautiful car.

Most of you have heard about or OUT OF CONTROL projects around our house. One of which is Natalie's new room. Natalie loves animals and we've lovingly given her the nick name of Monkey. So we built her a Jungle Room including a Jungle Hut bunk bed. In these pictures you can see the initial construction process, Natalie helping me do some finish work and a near finished Jungle Hut. Notice the tea-chi torches on either side of the door. I'm especially proud of these! I wired them for power and put in those flickering flame light bulbs!!! It's so cool.

Finally our last picture of the evening is of Natalie sitting in Alana's bed playing with her under close adult supervision.

Please let us know how you are doing!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Our New Addition!!!! Alana is Here!!!!! Phils account.

Well I thought that this would be a great first post to the North Family Blog. We've had a busy couple of days. I'll share my side of the story and then see if Holly wants to make and adjustments to it in her post later.

It all started late last week when I surprised Holly by showing up at her doctor's appointment (even though she parked next to me and didn't recognize my car). I thought that this could be the last appointment before the baby came and we had been in debate over an early induction or waiting to term on the 16th. Holly did a lot of study and we spent a week in "debate" over the issue. I didn't do an study at all so I wasn't very helpful in comming to a decision, then Holly started to feel uncomfortable, really uncomfortable which, in the end was more motivating than anything. Our great doctor wanted to induce Holly on Monday the 6th but when we went to see him last Thursday he suggested that we do the induction the next day.

Holly and I were a bit nervous about inducing the baby 12 days early but.. deep down I thing that we both felt that it was right. I'm glad now that we went with out gut instincts. We were supposed to report to the hospital at 5:00 AM Friday morning. I have a great boss at work who was so supportive. She helped me apply for a paid family leave of absence so that I didn't use up too much vacation and took on my responsibilities for me so that when I return it should be manageable. We farmed Natalie out to some good friends who took her for the night. The clock was ticking and we had so much to do that we didn't get to bed until midnight. I was doing last minute cleaning (Bob and Janelle came over mid-day Saturday to stay at our house to watch Natalie and they're so much cleaner than we are that we didn't want them to have to deal with all of our messes) and Holly was putting the finishing touches on a hospital nightgown that she had made so that she didn't have to wear the ugly and uncomfortable one the hospital provided. So we were taking care of the priorities. This was actually good because we were told to call the hospital after 10:00 PM Thursday night to make sure that they weren't full and then again before we left at 4:30 the next morning. We made the call at 10:00 and got the green light...

The next morning we were up at 3:30 putting the final touches on the 3 hospital survival bags we needed, all of which were so full that they wouldn't zip up all the way. We thought about calling the hospital again but agreed that we should just show up. This is a typical tactic of our family, what would the hospital do? Even if they were full we would go to breakfast for a couple of hours and then come back... It turned out to work in our favor. They were full and didn't have a nurse to help us start the process. They did however have a room in Labor and Delivery which we accepted. We were told that they would do all that they could to get us going but that we might have to wait until 7:00 when the shift changed and they had more staff. It turned out, to our pleasure, that with us just sitting in the room sleeping the nurses felt pressure to get us going and we were off and running by 7:00 when we got one of the best nurses that we dealt with the entire time.
Holly was a total trooper! To her, the worst part of birthing a child is the IV. She did awesome with getting stuck with the IV and then just pretended that she didn't have a left arm. This brought a lot of humor to everyone who came in because she just refused to move that arm. Not only did she not want to move it but she also refused to look at it. I was only slightly reprimanded when I took a picture of the IV and was coerced to delete it quickly. Amazingly latter in the day that arm came back to life and it was the one of the funniest moments of the day!

The anesthesiologist came in around 10:30 (I think...). The last guy was a sore spot in our last pun intended. But this time around we broke through the grumpy professionalism and actually had a lot of fun! At the beginning he ignored us and only graced the nurse with his verbal communication. Then he asked Holly some questions. I think that since I wasn't the patient and no one really knows if I'm the dad (except for me and Holly and anyone who actually knows us) that the doctors and nurses don't really like to talk to me. Then again maybe it was because I had a two day growth of beard and was hovering over my wife like an injured bulldog guarding it's most prized possession. Any how I finally broke through this guys grumpiness and got him to laugh a bit. Some how we got onto the topic of saving the placenta and how some cultures eat it... I know it sounds really gross now but at the time in the hospital it wasn't so disgusting (no offense to anyone reading this who has eaten or condones the eating of placenta... To each their own). Any how this doctor got us all rolling when he suggested that we could make Jerky out of it and it would last forever... maybe even make it a birthday tradition to eat a hunk of placenta. Really funny stuff.... ahhh the memories.

Well at about 10 to 6:00 Friday night it was pretty obvious that the time was near. The nurse called Dr Bass and Holly was feeling a lot of pressure and pain even through the epideral. Dr Bass showed up and the pushing began. Holly was again really good and was working hard when Dr Bass asked for her hand. She volunteered he left one with the IV in it and Dr. Bass asked surprised if she was left handed. Holly just looked back confused by the question. I could see the thoughts forming in her head, "What, Dr. Bass does this have to do with me and my BABY!!! I'm busy here stop asking stupid questions and lets get on with it." What came out though was completely different, " I don't know" The whole room started laughing and Holly gave Dr. Bass her right hand so that she could feel the babies head. I personally think that this is kind of strange but I think that I know why he does it. He uses this to distract the mother between contractions. The man is a really good doctor.

So Alana took more pushing than Natalie because she was face up (posterior). It turns out according to the doctor that if Alana was much bigger then he may have had to use some other techniques, possibly including a c-section which was our biggest fear. So I chalk this one up to one more time that Heavenly Father was watching over our little family! Alana was born at 6:13 PM on Friday August 3rd. She is 7 lb. 6 oz and 20.5 in long. She came out a beautiful pink color and scored a 9.9 on that new born test... I don't remember the name, but 9.9 is GREAT! She has a perfect nose just like her sister and it looks like she may have her Uncle Michael's feet. She took to eating like she had been starved and feeds very well. She is a very quiet baby.
It's amazing at the differences in personality between Natalie and Alana. We call Natalie our little Monkey. She is always playing and running and laughing. She loves animals, fire trucks and airplanes. She loves her Jungle room! Although her favorite movie is Barbie Twelve Dancing Princesses and Princess and the Popper. Deep down I think that she just likes all the singing and dancing... another Monkey trait.

I know that it's only been two days since she came out to play with our family and I may be projecting a bit here but I think that Alana will be our little Princess. She is so serene even when she is upset she is still very princess like. She is much calmer and dignified. She has that proper air around her just like her Mom. (I know that Holly was more like a monkey when she was a kid but in college she was much more like a kind loving princess.)

I am so happy that she is here and I am completely overwhelmed by the miracle of it all. I catch myself getting choked up all the time. I'm so proud of my amazing wife and best friend. I'm happy that Natalie likes her sister and isn't too jealous yet. I'm grateful for all the amazing hospital staff and doctors who really made the hospital (a naturally horrid and depressing place) a joy to be at. I keep counting my blessings. We have wonderful friends who helped us so much. I think for the first time I am in a situation where I couldn't do it all myself, I just couldn't be everywhere and take care of everyone who needed me, even though I tried. It was great family and friends who helped us in our time of need. Beth and Zach took Natalie for the first night and Janelle and Bob took her the second. We missed her so much that I came and got her and Natalie spent the last 6 hours with us at the hospital. I know it sounds foolish but I just felt uncomfortable without her there with us. I can't imagine how my personality will take it when my girls grow up and move out. I'll have to learn to let go.

I hope that you all enjoy the pictures and the story. There's to much to write and I've left a lot out. Nonetheless I hope that you can feel our joy happiness and hope. We will be using this blog to update everyone on our adventures and life. Feel free to add your comments and give us a ring. We miss and love you all.

Holly's Addendum: Phil summed up pretty well. I just want to emphasize that yes, it was very uncomfortable! I did feel several hours of miserable contractions. I wanted to throw that in for the record. I felt great after the delivery, though. It was easier the second time around. I would also like to add that Natalie is being a great helper. She just helped me change a messy diaper (by pulling out an ample amount of baby wipes for me to use) and she rubbed some lotion on Baby Alana's feet. She is going to be a great big sister! Oh, that 9.9 score is called the APGAR score. I'd like to extend thanks to a few more people who've really earned it these past few days. Thanks, Janelle and Beth, for taking care of Monkey. Thanks, Phil, for the Panda Express at the hospital and for being an amazing dad and, for this week, a great housewife, and thanks to whatever blessed soul invented the epidural!