Willa's first bath

This was SO TWO WEEKS AGO, but life and such got in the way and I want to keep trudging along at documenting, so here I am. Willa had her first bath at two weeks old, on March 7th. They don't give baths in the hospital anymore and then we had to wait for her stump to fall off, then I had to order a baby bath, so you know, it all took time!

I saw this bath seat contraption that you can use on the counter and the water just drains back into the sink. I thought it was cool and went for it. It is cool and super easy to use. Willa has been comfortable and has yet to cry for a single bath. She cries when I undress her, but as soon as I put her in the seat and start putting water on her, she is happy as can be. So, I would call it a success. And given that I've had babies in the past that hated the bath, its a nice change. It's also a nice change to just plop a chair on the counter and easily give a bath...I'm going to start singing praises to this contraption like I have been about the velcro saddlers that are magic and my husband is going to accuse me of being paid by the company again! But it's a pretty cool little chair.

In conclusion, this was Willa's first bath. It happened at two weeks old. Isla repeatedly asked me why I was waiting so long to bath her. Willa enjoyed her first bath (and every bath since).

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Connor's Big Weekend

Connor had quite the weekend this past weekend. First up was his pinewood car derby. He got fourth place, which I thought was totally respectable given he mostly made his car himself and it was his first time. He was not impressed with fourth place because he didn't get a trophy. Also, some of the vehicles that people made were legit. Like I am pretty sure Pinterest or something was used as inspiration and I'm still not fully sure how some of the creations were made just out of a piece of wood, but what do I know?!

Next up, Connor had a performance with his band "Storm". It was a band created through a music program he just did. The band is formed and practices for eight weeks, then performs. He was on keyboard. His band is performing again this next weekend, then will be done. He really enjoyed himself and said he would like to do it again. Music has become something Connor has had a lot of interest in recently, so this was perfect for him to do. 

We watched four of the bands (out of 38!) and the level of ability was all over the place. Two of the bands were teenagers and they were really good. The other two were younger kids. Though one kid seemed like he was being tortured up on stage, everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves. And it was fun seeing Connor up on a stage in a big theatre. 

It's fun to watch my kids do things they enjoy and are interested in. I want them to experiment with all different things, to learn what they really enjoy and then spend their time doing what they enjoy.

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Willa {one week}

In her first week of life, Willa has managed to accomplish going to a lot of places. Something about being the fourth child and life going on, or something like that. She has gone to Target, Winco, the kids school, the coffee shop and more. 

So far she is a pretty chill baby. She enjoys being held and cuddled. She does not enjoy when she needs to poop. But once it's out, she is fine again. Willa seems to be taking to a pacifier nicely and that makes me happy. I associate pacifiers with sleep because my best sleeper was the only baby that took a pacifier. Willa seems most awake first thing in the morning...which generally begins sometime in the five o'clock hour. Yawn. But the nights have not been bad, so I really shouldn't complain. Willa also enjoys staring at light, whether it be from a lightbulb or a window.  

Connor and Isla are smitten with Willa and both enjoy holding her. Callum, not so much. But he is coming around. As for me, I am loving having a baby around again. Those newborn cuddles are just the best!

Also, I went back and looked at Callum at one week and couldn't believe the resemblance. And here I thought Willa didn't really look like any of the other three.

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40 weeks 5 days

I know I already had the baby, but I still want to document the end of my pregnancy, to perhaps remind myself just how miserable I was. I made Ian take these pictures when I knew for sure that I would be going in to have the baby. I was 40 weeks, 5 days. I had Willa the next day, at 40 weeks, 6 days...squeaking in just before 41 weeks. 

You guys, I was fully convinced this baby was coming early. Because of that, my last weeks of pregnancy was m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. Exactly two weeks before Willa was born, I was actually convinced I was having the baby. I had non-painful contractions consistently for a couple hours. Because of this, I packed my hospital bag, laid out clothes for the kids for the next day, wrote down the kids school schedule, made their lunches...and then NOTHING HAPPENED. It was such a disappointment. But it also made me think that labor had to be happening soon. I spent a week constantly making sure everything was ready for the kids in case I went into labor. It was exhausting. The midwife even told me at my 39 week appointment that she thought I wouldn't make it to my next appointment. 

Honestly, after I hit 40 weeks, my attitude got better. I think I realized the baby had to come out sooner or later and that it would happen soon. Of course, going in for an appointment at 40 weeks, 4 days and having the office staff say, "We didn't think you were going to show up. We thought for sure you would have had your baby by now" felt like quite the blow. But leaving that appointment with an induction day for the next day put a spring in my step. That was about all that put a spring in my step though because my 10 minute appointment turned into a 2 hour appointment after they decided to monitor the baby and check it's fluid levels, etc. But still, I knew an end was in sight. 

On Wednesday, the day these photos were taken, I excitedly packed everything into my hospital bag. All my toiletries, everything. After I called about my induction at noon and was told they were full and to call back again at 5pm, I felt a little discouraged. I remember telling my friend at ballet that if I have to unpack my toiletries, I will be so bummed. Thankfully, that never happened thanks to some random doctor who I never even met that said, "You are post due. It's time for that baby to come out!" Thank you, THANK YOU random doctor! 

And the rest is history

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Willa's Birth

I'll start off by warning you that there are probably more photos than you wanted to see on here, but this was me cutting it down. I mean, I could have also included the pictures of her getting her ears checked, the photo I took right at 24 hours old and more. But I practiced restraint! Still, it's a good portrayal of the first 24 hours or so of Willa's life. If you don't want to read the story of Willa's birth, feel free to scroll down to the pictures. 

Now lets go back to Wednesday, February 20. I found out the day before at my doctor's appointment that I would be induced on Wednesday. At that point I was dilated to 1cm and really nothing was going on. On Wednesday, I was having mild contractions all day. It gave me hope because up until this point, I wasn't having any contractions at all. I was told to call labor and delivery at lunch time to confirm my induction. They were full and told me to call back at 5pm. So, I went on with my day. I took Isla to ballet after school. I had a contraction just as we were walking out the door to the car, then another one as soon as we got to ballet, so at that point I decided to start timing my contractions. They were around 8 minutes apart...and at ballet was the only time I ever timed my contractions, haha! I called labor and delivery after ballet and talked to a rather funny doctor who told me that I needed to come in tonight to get this baby out, no matter how full they were. At this point, I pretty much agreed. She told me to come in at 9pm. That was the perfect time because we could still do all our normal evening routines with the kids. 

Once we got to the hospital, we just chilled in a triage room for a while, as they were cleaning the room that would become my labor and delivery room. The good news was that my contractions were continuing. With Callum, they totally stalled out when I got to the hospital. After a while, they got me all checked in and stuff and the midwife came to check on me. At that point, I was 4 cm dilated. Because of that, they decided to not do the procedure they were originally going to do to get my labor started (a foley catheter) and instead maybe give me pitocin to speed things along. I got into my room, which always has felt a bit emotional to me...walking into the place you know you are going to meet your child. They hooked me up to an iv and I was sort of just chilling there at that point. Ian went to get food and it was close to 11 when he left. While he was gone, my contractions really started getting painful. Like where I needed to focus and breathe. I stopped doing anything (i.e. playing on my phone) and was only focusing on contractions. Ian came back and started helping me by pushing on my back where it hurt during the contractions. About that time I remembered I wanted an epidural and why should I work through the contractions when I want an epidural!?!  So I asked for it. But the bummer was, I had to wait over an hour to get it. It was close to 1am when I got my epidural and at that point my contractions were about 2 minutes apart. The hardest part of that experience was staying completely still while they shove something in my spine while having a contraction. But I made it. The awesome thing was I never lost control of my legs, even with the epidural. The nurses were impressed and the midwife said it was a sign of a good epidural. After the epidural was in place, the midwife came and checked me. At this point, I was only 5cm and rather bummed about that. I was hoping those painful contractions had done something! The midwife had me started on pitocin and broke my water. And then we waited. Ian and I both went to sleep. Next thing I knew, I was awoken by a nurse coming in and checking the baby's heart rate. Apparently the baby's heart rate was dipping super low at the end of each contraction. The nurse left, then came back like two minutes later with a baby nurse as well. They left again and came back and this continued for a few minutes until all the sudden there were about 8-10 people in my room. At this point I was getting rather nervous and wondering if I should wake Ian. Thankfully all the commotion woke him. They put a monitor in the baby's head to accurately monitor the baby's heart rate. It was still dipping and they discovered baby was sunny side up. So, they decided to try to flip the baby. They were able to flip it and also put something in to refill the sac with fluid, as they thought the cord was wrapped around the baby's arm (which ended up being correct) and was being squeezed with each contraction. They talked about trying to deliver the baby right then, even though I wasn't 10 cm yet, but everything they did worked and the baby's heart rate was no longer dipping, so they decided to leave things be. And as quickly as all those people flooded my room, they all left. 

It took a while for the adrenaline of what just happened to wear off. The nurse kept asking if I was feeling pressure and I said only during contractions. But she said if the baby was down low, I should feel pressure all the time, so they just left me. After a while, the nurse checked me again and the baby's head was about half an inch from coming out. The nurse ran and grabbed the midwife. She came in. The midwife asked Ian if he wanted to deliver the baby and I've never heard him say no so fast in his life, haha! The nurse put me in this horrible laying down position, claiming it was the best for pushing, even though I told her I wanted to sit up. Thankfully, baby was born in two pushes, so that ended up being a moo point. I had asked to grab the baby and bring it up to my chest and as I was doing that, I saw it was a girl. I was actually shocked. I was seriously convinced I was having a boy. That leaves me at 0/4 for ever guessing any of my children correctly. 

After Willa was born, she got to hang out with me for close to two hours before they weighed her and measured her. Our hospital doesn't do baths in the hospital anymore, so they just wiped her down while she was on me and put on her hat and diaper and we started skin to skin. Then after a bit I nursed her. The kids facetimed us right as they were taking her to be weighed and measured, so they got to see all of that. Willa weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 19.5 inches long. She was my smallest baby. After she was all done, they transferred us over to postpartum. 

^^ We took a picture like this with Ian's hand as well and Ian's skin and Willa's skin are literally the same color.

^^ I always look at pictures of me with my kids in the hospital and can just tell how tired I am. Those Grimbleby babies just love me laboring through the night. 

After one night in the hospital, we were more than ready to go home. I swear the nurses just love to disturb you throughout the night, then also tell you to get rest. We were ready to leave like two hours before they finally took the baby alarm off Willa's ankle so we could go. 

And so we begin our life as six.

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38 Weeks

I feel like I should point out that I am more than halfway through my 38th week, meaning I am practically 39 weeks, meaning we are practically to the end. And at the end, every single day seems to matter!!!

This post could probably get really whiney really quickly. For a few weeks now I have had what is referred to as "pregnancy induced carpal tunnel". Basically my right had feels like it is asleep or numb more than half of the time. Which obviously feels awesome. I am also feeling more and more tired and wanting to sit around more and more. My feet and hands are swelling. My boots have been tight on my feet for a few weeks now, but at church on Sunday it was really hot and I could feel my feet ballooning up so bad that I wanted to rip my shoes off right then and there.

In other news, I installed the baby's car seat in my car last week. And I set out a bag to pack for the hospital. I was thinking I will make a list of what I want to go in it, so I don't really have to think about it while I am in labor. Other than that, I feel like everything is as done as it can be. I do make sure to make the kids lunches every evening, just in case I go into labor that night, so whoever comes to watch the kids doesn't have to worry about that.

I found out at my last appointment that the kids can't come see me and the baby in the hospital and I was rather bummed about that. The midwife said I could get around it by having the kids waiting in the hallway when they transfer me from labor and delivery to postpartum, but honestly I think that would be especially hard and confusing on Callum and I am sure hard on Isla too. Who wants to see their mom and new sibling for just a minute then be forced away from them? Confusing. So I am thinking FaceTime will have to do...and maybe I can convince someone to bring them to the parking lot so I can wave at them from my window. I always get stressed out about the other kids when I am stuck in the hospital.

I was 1 cm dilated at my appointment on Monday. The midwife thought I would make it to my 39 week appointment, but not my 40 week. So that's encouraging. But, I am also convinced they really shouldn't have changed my due date by an entire week during my first trimester. My hope has been all along that because of that, the baby will come a few days early. Because a girl can hope, right?!

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Making Space for Baby

One of the most common questions I keep getting from people is where the baby is going to sleep. We have an extra room downstairs, but no one wanted to move downstairs and I didn't want to be schlepping up and down the stairs at all hours of the night with a baby, so I decided to set it up in our room. 

I scored a minicrib off facebook marketplace that fits well on my side of the bed. I fixed Callum's old mobile that the kids broke like a year ago and hung it above the crib. And the blanket, well I had bought that when I was pregnant with Callum, but it totally still works. A friend passed on a dock-a-tot that I plan on using in our bed, as I am sure that even though the minicrib is right next to me, the baby will still end up in our bed a lot! But, the good news is the minicrib is on wheels, so I can pull it right up against the bed if I want. 

We set up a little changing station for the baby in our closet, which the entrance is next to my side of the bed. Ian thought the dresser that I had used for Callum as a changing table was too rickety (after all, my mom picked it up on the side of the road for free!), so I stalked the Crate and Barrel warehouse until I found one. Which, if you are local and have never been, you need to check it out! It's basically a scratch and dent store for Crate and Barrel furniture. I have scored many a great deals there. We hung a piece of pegboard over the dresser, which Lowes so nicely cut to size for us. And I got one of those newfangled changing mats that doesn't require a cover and you just wipe down. I'm excited about it.

That's about it for baby. Most of my nesting urges have been put into the rest of the house, given I didn't really have much to do for baby. I've filled nail holes and touch up painted. I've hung shelves and redecorated things. So all that random hormonal energy is at least being put to good use! 

^^ I took this picture imagining doing the same one with a baby laying there...eek! I'm so excited...for the baby, not the labor and postpartum parts so much. 

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Ice Cream for Lunch

I've become really good at blogging like maybe once a week. Alas, I will trudge on, as this is how I keep our memories going. After we went to the Pacific Pinball Museum (a little over a week ago!), we crossed into San Francisco to go to Salt and Straw. This was the reason for the trip anyway. And it was obviously destined for us because first there was literally no one at the toll booths to get on the bay bridge. I've never seen it like this before. It was crazy. Then, we head to an ice cream shop in the middle of San Francisco and manage to score street parking right in front on the first pass through. WHAT?! The ice cream was obviously meant to be!!!

Even though it was past lunch time and no one had eaten yet, we basically used ice cream as lunch because, well, everyone got a lot of it! The ice cream itself was quirky and fun. I got a gingerbread cookie dough one and it did not disappoint. All the flavors were quirky and sometimes things like that can throw the kids off, but they liked it. Of course, I think the ginormous waffle cones Connor and Isla got helped! They ended up with ones way bigger than me somehow...all because they "split flavors". Apparently the 50 cent up charge for splitting flavors for a single scoop really is code for getting two scoops. It was kind of crazy.

It was a fun little stop in a cute area of San Francisco - Hayes Valley. We've never been to this particular area before, but would definitely go back and explore more as there were just so many cute shops all around there.

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Pacific Pinball Museum

This past weekend was Ian's last holiday off until the end of busy season. It felt appropriate to do something fun as a family. We were going to go to the snow, but found out the snow level was rather high and decided to scrap that...we were hoping more for an experience like last year. Which apparently, now looking back on that, it was in March. So there is still hope for a really good snow for us to go play in. But I digress. Ian and Isla had read about a new ice cream place in San Francisco recently and we decided to go there instead. Except, driving to San Francisco just for ice cream seemed a little bit wasteful. So, I started searching for something fun to do. We have done tons of Bay Area activities over the years, so I was kind of looking for something we hadn't done yet. That's when I stumbled across the Pacific Pinball Museum

To be honest, I wasn't sure how much the kids would like the outing. They always seem rather bah humbug about leaving the house. But they were actually on board...even though I'm not sure they were fully aware what pinball was. When we got there, they were totally excited. You pay a flat fee to get in, then all the pinball machines are free play. They start with the oldest machines, then get newer as you wind through the museum. The old ones are pretty neat because they are wood and you actually have to load your own balls. They also apparently used to have some gambling involved as well and say "minors not permitted" on them. The last room with the newest pinball machines in it was just crazy busy. Too busy for me, even though I did want to try my hand at the Monopoly and Back to the Future machines. But the added chaos (my kids were enough for me already!) just wasn't worth it. So we stuck to the other machines. And to be honest, I was plenty entertained by all the other machines and so were the kids. 

We stayed at the pinball museum for a couple hours before heading to get ice cream. But I could totally see going for a couple hours, then leaving and getting lunch or something, then going back in, as they have in and out privileges. It was a fun stop, one I am sure we will hit up again sometime, as the kids really enjoyed it. 

^^ My kids are total and complete suckers for those souvenir penny machines and of course walked away with a couple. 

^^ Callum was by far the most animated about the pinball machines. Which the museum had step stools for the kids, which was awesome. 

^^ Callum was very serious until the ball went in at the bottom, then would get super excited. 

^^ Loading the ball in one of the old machines.

If you are looking for something unique and entertaining to do with your kids, I highly recommend the pinball museum. 

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