Tally's first week...

Day 7 for Tally! We've had a good first week.
Highlights include:

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson visiting for 2 days.
My mom snuggled Baby Tally, babysat so I could go to the dentist, and helped clean/cook. Dad weeded our crazy backyard, had two massive water gun fights with the big kids, and taught Luna to stand on his hands (did I mention he is turning 70 this year?!?). It was really nice to have them here.

Luna has done really well with the adjustment - she has reverted to "baby talk" but other than that she seems totally A-OK with a new little person sucking up all of mom's time. Her face seems huge - especially those eyes at the moment. Tally and her look a lot alike and I often call the baby Luna.
 My church asked what they could do to help and instead of meals I requested a few hours of "playdates" with friends. Graciously, they gave me both and we have been well fed and the kids well entertained. I feel very blessed for my "village" this week and all that they have done for us. Yesterday, the boys got invited to the Discovery Center and while they were away, the four girls and I braved the mall because a new nursing bra was high priority.

Tally is super sleepy - the double swaddle seems to do the trick at night and she has generously been giving her mom two stretches of 3-5 hours of sleep... it is greatly appreciated.

Tally loves to be talked to and smiles lots.

Yesterday, the crazy was starting to set in (all that oxytocin in my system from the induction must have finally worn off) so it was a nice relief to learn that Blake finished up his big presentation at work and starting today he is taking a week of paternity leave. He kicked it off with a run with 5 kids - two in the stroller, two on bikes, and Paisley running alongside. He is certifiable crazy!

Lots of naps - Blake, me, Luna, Tally, even Paisley (who never naps)… we are all a little narcoleptic around here at the moment.


The deets...

Thursday: Arrived at the hospital by 7:30am. Started Pitocin at 8:30am. Epidural at 11am in hopes of doctor breaking my water at noon. Doctor went missing for a few hours due to surgery and finally came at 3pm to break my water. Slowly progressed to 10cm by 8pm. A couple pushes later Tally slipped her way into the world. It wasn't a "hard" labor just long and slow - I read an entire book and Blake got some much needed work down on his laptop.

Mama meeting Baby Girl (we struggled the longest with her trying to settle on a name).
 Ahhhh, the best feeling in the world.

Proud papa!

I fed Tally while we waited for Grandma to bring in the crew. (This girl is ravenous - all our kids come out knowing how to eat but I think she has been the most hungry.) The kids wanted to come strait away to meet their new little sister so they joined us for awhile in the delivery room. Paisley was all tears coming in - happy tears.

The boys were a little bummed to outnumbered once more but I think they will come around.

Luna had this goofy grin the whole time... she didn't want to hold Tally but I think she was pretty pleased about the whole situation.

Eventually, the nurse came back in and weighed and measured our girl. I don't know if it is just current practices or if it was because of the move but in Arizona the doctors and nurses kind of whisked your kid away and did a million different things but both hospitals here they have always given us plenty of time and space to just get to know our new little person. It's nice.

Friday: The kids took off and they loaded us up to head upstairs to recovery. I was starving and finally at 12:30am they had tracked down my food tray and I chowed down before drifting off to a very not-so-restful sleep. The first week of newborn-hood I dread nighttime just because you have no idea when you close your eyes if you will be able to sleep for 5 minutes or 3 hours... it's the unknown that kills me. I was grateful when the sun came up and handed off Tally to Blake (while he worked) so I could take a nap.

The day was so sluggish... they wouldn't discharge us until 24 hours (and they truly wanted us to stay another 24). I hate hospitals - the beds, the smells, the lights, the sounds... they just kind of grate on me. Luckily I had this chunky thing to take pictures of and made some phone calls to share our happy news.

Blake went home to shower and get the big van. Paisley and Cosie wanted to come hang out at the hospital room so they came and filled up our tiny room. Paisley held and held and held Tally...

While Cosie enjoyed the bed and the Disney Channel. It kind of got long for them - which I knew it would but whatever.

Finally we hit 8pm and the nurse did some final screenings and we were able to bust free. We headed home where Grandma and the Dunkleys came to greet Tally. Grandma gave her this beautiful quilt and the Dunkleys came bearing ice cream and adorable baby paraphernalia that we can't wait to put to good use.

Saturday: Perry and Luna woke up first to the realization that life was all about to change.

 Blake and the 3 oldest went and did the Micron 5k in the morning and about died of heat stroke but besides that we didn't do much of anything else which is nice until you realize that the entire house has paid for it. Kelsey came to meet Tally and we had Rich and Jennette and their crew stop by for a nice visit, dinner showed up from a kind friend, and the Hunts came with more ice cream. I am a weirdo and like people to come visit after baby - I enjoy showing my new scrunchy kiddo off so it was a nice way to spend the day.

Tally and Cousin Cana

Sunday: Blake looking good with Tally and a pink tie for church. Her and I went to sacrament meeting then came home for a nice long nap in a quiet house. The house didn't stay quiet (or clean) for long... luckily Grandma invited the boys to sleepover so we shipped them off in an effort to stay on top of this 6 kid thing - I can't think too much on tomorrow when "real life" hits as Blake returns to work. 

37 days until school starts - I think if we can make it to then then we will be okay... I hope.


It's a girl!!!

Introducing Tally Jem Taylor
Born 7/12 at 8:21pm
8lbs 9 ounces
20 inches

There is no literary connection for the birth of my child. No author has done justice to this miracle. There aren't words to describe this day or the magic and power that surround the moment a baby is born. Emerson claims the only eye who can truly observe the beauty of a natural landscape is the poet. And while the natural world may hold its mysteries and miracles, it pales in comparison to the incredible experience of childbirth and the natural landscape of the human body. The best way I can say it is that when a baby is born, the ghosts of the world's greatest poets stand and listen to the cry of a life that just took its first breath and even they can't find the words.
- Natalie Taylor, excerpt from Signs of Life


On boys...

Everyone keeps asking me if I think I "know" the gender of this baby... I don't know but I am suspicious that it is a boy. I had a couple dreams (but that baby had dark hair so probably not my kid but who knows) and a stranger pointed at me the other day and said, "Boy!" She was so sure that I felt like I could not argue. But the main reason I say boy is probably a coping technique so that when it is a boy I feel a tiny bit more prepared that I can handle another.

Boys are hard.

I am by nature a better girl mom than boy mom. Not that I am that great of a girl mom either (hair, nails, make-up... I got nothing) but that my girls tend to be easier on every level possible. I know how to entertain girls... art, crafts, dancing, dress-ups, sensory anything... from day one whatever I have thrown at my girls they have loved. If I am excited about something that is all the motivation that they need to be excited about it too... whereas my boys will usually retort to most of my ideas, "I don't want to do that - that's not fun!" Followed by an exasperated sigh as they melt into an unmovable heap onto the floor. I don't get it... and I find it highly annoying.

Just the other day, I wanted to get some yard work done in the evening. I saw that our apples are coming on and remembered how my girls used to make "apple soup" at our old house with the crab apples. So I grabbed the hose, a bucket, a big stirring stick, and Luna. I set her up under the apple tree and showed her how to make soup. An hour+ later she was still going strong... adding pinecones and grass and sand ("the salt and pepper!"). It was fun to remember one of the simple ways that I used to entertain my girls and that Luna was fully emerged in it. A bit later, I needed to run inside to grab something. I was gone for about 5 minutes, when Luna came whimpering in. When I asked her what was wrong - everything that drives me crazy about boys came out in one sentence;

"Perry peed in my apple soup!"

Why?!? Why is it always potty related? Why couldn't he just walked by without engaging her? Why is their always a destructive element to their play? Why?!?

I picked up two books from the library this week - both deal with the subject of raising boys... I need help with the two I got and maybe, just maybe, the one that is on it's way.*

*Today is my due date... I really thought we would be going in for an induction right about now but the hospital was full. I am on the schedule for Thursday but because it is an "elective induction" I am low man on the priority list and I am so worried I will be bumped again. I feel huge and can't sleep and am contracting like a maniac even though they do nothing but give me a headache from all the blood rushing up and down my body. I was so bummed today - luckily I had glorious friends who kept offering playdates for my kiddos and it was free chick-fil-a day... between the two we survived. 

Now to just make it through tomorrow.


Perry is 5...

Perry had a birthday today! My 5 favorite things about Perry are:

1. His snuggles - he loves hugs and cuddles and curling up on any lap that will let him.

2. His power of observation... nothing slips past this kid. 

3. His love of books - I can't wait for him to hit school and improve his reading skills... books are his love language.

4. He looks like his daddy and thinks like his daddy and occasionally acts like his daddy.

5. His brown skin and blue eyes... I love that he was born mid-summer because he just looks the part!


Fit it all in Fourth...

The 4th - it's my favorite! 

I love it full and hot and red, white, and blue-d to the max! I willed Perry to be born on the 4th (he came the 6th) and this baby too (to no avail) because I think there would be no better day to have a birthday. My favorite moment is the morning when my kids are all coordinated and clean and ready to hit the day HARD - my second favorite moment is the night when we are all mis-matched and disheveled from swimming/sunscreen/naps/treats and are closing the night off as a family to the sights and sounds of fireworks.

Paisley and Blake hit up Melba early to run the fun run. Blake got second at the 10K and Paisley was 2nd female in the 5K. Running... I never knew it would be such a huge part of my life but the look in Paisley's eye when she flashed me her trophy - I can tell this girl is hooked... just like her daddy.

The kids and I headed out a bit later to join the parade party. Kara gave me the best parade bench for my birthday - 6 seats that fold down into the size of a regular folding chair.

After we scored about 10lbs of candy, we headed back into town and to Tim and Jo's. They unfortunately had to miss the parade due to a death in the family but we were glad that we could have the rest of the afternoon to play with them. We enjoyed a delicious BBQ then settled in for some water play turned water fight.

Once everyone was sufficiently soaked, we decided it was a good time to go swim. We drove out to where Rich and Jennette were staying and enjoyed a lovely dip in an awesome pool. The shallow end was huge and it helped my non-swimmers enjoy it so much more and practice their skills - Perry and Luna are coming leaps and bounds with their swimming this summer.

Grandpa and Grandma showed up later with treat. Homemade blackberry ice cream and lemon wafers - tasted like summer to me!

We snagged Cana and Rosa to come join us for fireworks and headed home for a bit. Luna crashed out for the 2nd time that day.

Once home the kids candy sorted for about an hour before my eyes couldn't take it any longer... I swear just the touching of candy releases all kinds of endorphins for kids (and my husband). Eventually they cleaned up the mess, 

did some chalk art, 

then waited for nightfall so we could head downtown for the fireworks.

We finished the night ohhh-ing and awww-ing and completely wiped:

Just how we like it!!!