Saturday, June 18, 2011

random photos

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We took our kids to hike around on the mountain bike trails by our house. There were a ton of trees down from the storm - kind of cool to see.

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Justin calls this picture the "post-kick picture" or the "pretend our life is perfect picture" because I was so mad at him for some reason so I was chasing him around trying to kick him while holding Taylor. After the picture I resumed trying to kick him. All in good fun, people. Kind of.
The photo of Justin is from a Sunday behind the gas station. There is a back road and a field. The kids rode bikes and Ellie played "farm". When in hillbilly land do as the hillbillies I always say. We've also got our camping chairs on the front porch. It's awesome.

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The only picture I got of my mom and Taylor - but I like it! My mom came when Taylor was just two weeks. She helped me get back on my feet and get the fridge stocked and a plan for meals. We both were literally taking care of the kids, cleaning and cooking non-stop. It made me realize that being a mom isn't just a full-time job, there's enough to be done for two full-time jobs. The other photos are of a sunny morning with Cody and Tay. He likes to give her his "comfy lambie" to lay on.

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These quilts were meant to be Christmas presents for the kids. I got Ellie's done sometime in January and Cody's done a couple weeks ago. They are mink-y on the back and oh so nice to sleep with.

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Usually people hunker down in the winter and do sewing projects but I do mine in the summer. These baby pants are reversible! Shown are the back of the pants with the little bum panel. The options are endless with all the amazing fabrics out now. All the wives are making them even if they don't have kids. I'm excited to take a picture of them all lined up. The pattern is from the book Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

good life

Taylor has been different than my other babies in that I have been able to enjoy it all so much more. I don't know why, it's just been nice. I've been able to soak it all in. Maybe compared to the months of March and April when I was getting final projects for school done early, packing, moving, being pregnant and the emotions that come with it, and Justin was working so much he wasn't around to help much. But this baby thing - I can do this! Kissing, nursing, snuggling, sleeping - I'm really anxious about coming home in the fall and facing real life again.

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6 lbs. 2 oz. - 19 inches


The day before she was born I had an ultrasound per order of the doctor out here as I was measuring small. I almost didn't go because I felt I had too many other things to do and I always measure small. But for whatever reason I went. It was then I found out she was frank breech and I had almost no fluid. I had made the connection with the tech doing the ultrasound that we were in the same ward and she opened up and told me she would not continue care with the doctor she worked for (bold of her!) as the doctor only did c-sections in this case. She told me about versions (turning the baby head down from the outside by pressing on the stomach). She told me there are doctors that specialize in doing this and that if it was successful I could have a vaginal birth. I am so grateful to have met her, I credit her with the way things turned out. Within two hours after the birth I was able to get in the the best high risk doctor in Knoxville who had written the book (literally) on versions. He agreed to try a version the next day, with the warning that because I had no fluid it would probably not work. If it didn't, he would perform the c-section right there.
The rest of that day and night were hard. Justin was working and the kids were horrible. I just wanted a sweet last night with my kids but it wasn't to be. The next day I was still barely holding it together. They finally held got me in did a spinal block in case it didn't work and so I wouldn't feel the pain of someone pushing hard on my stomach. A few minutes later I remember hearing the comment from one of the doctors, "Wow, somebody must be listening to your prayers!" just as I was ending a prayer. And I realized it had worked. I fell apart then and cried with relief. After that we began the waiting game to see if Taylor would calm down enough to start pitocin. After 5 hours, her heart rate was still too low so the doctor tried something else a bit unconventional. He put fluid back in my uterus and she calmed right down. The doctor was very excited. He told me some of the doctors couldn't believe he tried the version in the first place. But from the moment we met him and discussed this plan of attack I felt very good about it. I was induced and about 6 hours later she was born. It was emotionally such a draining day, thinking about it again is making me tired.
I wanted a vaginal birth because I want the option of having a natural birth next time (this time didn't work out) and I want all odds on my side. I believe Taylor was supposed to be born in Tennessee. I'm fairly certain I would never have had that last ultrasound with the midwives clinic in Utah (I never had one that late in pregnancy with the other kids) and who knows how it could have ended up with me having no fluid and breech!? I feel so blessed, so lucky, so overwhelmed with the opportunity to be a mom to three amazing spirits.

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proud daddy and the damage to our car that happened just before she was born

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the kids were so quiet and at a loss for words when they saw her for the first time

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our only visitors were Ryan Starks, and Jessica and her kids. I could tell the nurses really felt badly for me, especially when they found out we had arrived in Knoxville only 4 days before!

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A few pictures from the first few days home
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Have I mentioned Ellie is the BEST helper? Now when she gets me something she asks, "Were you thinking that you don't know what you would do without me?" and I answer, "YES!"

Friday, June 10, 2011

shaka!

The majority of our time is spent at the pool now that the dog days of summer are here. With our husbands traveling to sell this week we had a little luau in the evening with all the wives complete slushies from the gas station next door. Who needs Hawaii anyway when you have a pool, the limbo and the Surf's Up soundtrack playing?

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farmers market

Justin's mom came to visit at the end of May. On Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market and the Biscuit Festival in downtown with Jess and her mom. Fun fun.

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On Sunday Justin's dad made it into town and we had a bbq at the park. Jann refused to leave because the baby was just so snugly and sleepy. It was so great to have them here. Jann picked up the 5:00 am shift with the baby among a hundred other things. The only hard thing about having my mom and Jann come is that everything seems a lot harder to manage on my own after they leave!

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

love them

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I hope these two can always be best friends.

pool time

A couple cute pictures Jess took at the pool. When I can't get Taylor to sleep on our bed, I walk over to the pool, strip her down because it's 95 degrees and lay her in the shade. She's out within minutes!

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taylor in a bucket

If anything I think my 3rd child is getting more photos of her than my other kids. Maybe I didn't realize how baby hungry I was because I can't get enough of her. We went strawberry picking again and while the kids picked I took some pictures.

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track star!

I've been trying to find something for the kids to be involved in this summer and I found out about the Knoxville Track Club the day before it started. It was meant to be - it's cheap, practices are at night when it's cooler and it's not dance. Not that I'm against dance, I just want her to see there are other options too! I'm hoping they will let Cody participate even though he's not 5, it seemed to me there were a lot of little kids at the meet.
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Yesterday was the first meet. She was nervous but excited. Her first race was the 4x100. She told me as she was standing in her spot she was thinking, "I'm not glad my mom signed me up for this." But at the end of the day she couldn't wait for next week. Her favorite part is collecting the ribbons after each event.

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This makes me so excited to watch her grow up, find her talents and figure out that she can do hard things!

1 min and 45 seconds of fame

We have a friend, Jeanette Jolly, that we met on the set of Extreme Home Makeover six years ago. She was a producer on the show and through Facebook we've kept in touch. She now is a free lance producer living in Nashville and was assigned to film the footage for a Red Cross fundraiser to be aired on CMT for the tornado victims. She had seen our FB updates the night we had Taylor which was also the night of all the huge tornadoes that ripped across Alabama and the surrounding states, including Tennessee. She called us on Mother's Day and asked if they could come film our new little addition the next day and have us talk about having a baby during the storm. Then they put together a cute little clip about us being in the hospital with no power (the generators were on) and watching the tornadoes come towards us on the TV. They wanted to show good things were still happening during so much destruction. Ellie and Cody were on holding and feeding Tay. It will be so fun to have (if we can figure out how to get it off DVR) as part of Taylor's birth story.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

a new toy

Elle and Code are so cute with their new little sister. I really don't know what I would do without Ellie to help me. A lot of her help is with Cody. Cody is not the most independent kid yet. Ellie is so good with him, she comes up with some great child psychology techniques with him - much better than my old standby threats that never work. Here are some pictures of the morning on the bed (there's something kids love about a bed with no sheets) when Taylor was three days old.

Untitled from courtney bankhead on Vimeo.



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Showing Taylor her ultrasound pictures and one of her many crowns - this one made out of a wet wipe. She has others made of tin foil and twist ties.

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Abandoned by her playmates after about 15 minutes.