Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Count Down to Christmas

Who knows what the heck is up with our count down counter downer??? Maybe it's hosted in Kiribati! It's getting way ahead of itself, & way too ahead of me! Hope you all are enjoying your count down to Christmas.
We enjoyed the Christmas program in our ward this past Sunday. The Primary sang, and what a wonderful job those little ones did! The ward choir also sang along with scripture readings of course and they were also quite good. At the end of the service we were moved by a piano/organ duet that just made the meeting. It is such a wonderful time of year, too bad it is so short lived. Next year I am determined to begin celebrating Christmas the week after Thanksgiving! It is just too nice to pass up.
The girls & I have been enjoying the lights and decorations of our beautiful Christmas tree and tuning into the traditional holiday tunes on the t.v. with senic backgrounds of winter wonderlands (isn't it cool that you can listen to music on the t.v.?) it is quite relaxing.
Sorry, no pictures in this post. Maybe tomorrow I'll get the girls all dolled up in their Christmas dresses so you can see how beautiful they looked on Sunday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Michael Anne Turns 5!

Happy Birthday Michael Anne!

Saturday was our baby's 5th birthday! Can you believe how quickly time has passed???

It was such a fun day reminiscing about her birth & the fun and excitement leading up to it. I am so happy to be her mother, she is such a great kid. Since she was born before my time as a blogger I think I'll do a little review for the record book...

Derek & I found out we were going to be parents back in March of 2003. After we decided to go ahead and have a baby I was nothing less than anxious. I must have spent a bundle on pregnancy tests! Finally, one day the little stick turned up positive and I could hardly contain myself. Derek was still at work & I had to be somewhere before he was to arrive home so I left a maternity catalog from JCPenny's on the bed with the little stick resting on it (I had grabbed the catalog while shopping for church clothes for the boys one day, in hopes of needing such attire soon). I wrote a little note to Derek on the cover of the catalog, something like "Congratulations, you're going to be a Daddy!" Later, we were on the phone together from wherever I had to be and he was home but he hadn't mentioned his surprise yet. We kept talking and the whole time I thought I was going to explode with suppressed joy. Finally he walked into our room and found the note. It was a fun time for us both!

As the months passed we got even more excited. I was getting ready to go on a short family trip and I just couldn't wait the extra week until my return to find out if the little bundle I was carrying was a boy or a girl. I felt like I wanted to stop calling it "it." So I convinced Derek to take me to the mall to Gender Ultrasounds. Let it be known that I didn't have to do much convincing...he was pretty excited too! While I was lying there the tech that was performing the ultrasound said something to the effect of "congratulations, it's a girl." We were so thrilled. Then she said something to the effect of "boy she sure is happy to show you that she's a girl. You can close your legs now baby!" I'm sure she thought she was being funny but I was surprised at my reaction which was something to the effect of "hey lady, that's my baby you're talking about, watch what you say about her!" The motherly instinct had set in.

As December drew nearer I was excited for the possibility of Michael being born on her daddy's birthday (Dec. 6). I had shared (& still do) my birthday with my dad and I thought that was pretty cool so when Dr. Wold said it was possible she could be born then I thought that would be neat. Well, Dec. 6th came and went and there was no sign of Michael Anne. That week drug on by and eventually Dec. 13th came. The Dr. said I could come in to have her that day and by that time I was really ready to hold my baby in my arms rather than on my hips!

So we arrived at the hospital, got all hooked up and even more excited, if that was possible. When Dr. Wold came in a while later he checked how things were going and it turns out they weren't going at all even with the little help of the ever dripping i.v. So he said he'd advise that we go home and wait a little longer. He said that if we kept pushing it without response from my body we'd end up with a C-section and it wasn't really necessary...just a little more patience. Ugh, met me lately??? Patience is not something I've got a lot of and at 40 weeks of pregnancy I didn't have much if any then either! But I knew he was right so we got all unhooked and headed home. I was so sad. I really wanted to hold my baby! Derek took me to Cafe Rio for lunch to settle my aching heart, it helped (when doesn't a Cafe Rio salad make one happy?).

Sooo, another week passed ever so slowly. At my appointment sometime that week the good doctor said we'd better get that little girl out of there soon one way or another. So he scheduled me for Saturday the 20th. When Saturday and 41 weeks of pregnancy finally arrived I was so ready to have this baby but nothing was happening...still. (The night before we went in for a progesterone treatment & then went to the movies to give it some time to work & then went back for another treatment & then home for the night, arriving back at the hospital around 6am). The nurse on my watch was named Carolyn. She joked as she hooked me up to the i.v. and monitors that her shift ended at 6pm so make sure you have your baby by then! I laughed and said okay (like this baby had any care for our anticipation! Dr. Wold mentioned at some point that she was just lounging in her cozy, warm hot tub and would be out whenever she felt like it)!

The day wound on just like all the other days before. Nothing seemed to be happening. Then at 5pm the nurse came in and asked how things were going. They weren't, but I had felt some pretty good contractions which didn't seem to produce any progress but they were doozies! I had been planning to have an epidural ever since working at Gorgas Army Hospital in high school. One night my friend,Candy,& I were allowed to work a night shift as her mom was a nurse in Labor & Delivery and the Newborn Nursery (top floor).

It was a night full of babies and we were invited to stand in on a few births but not before Dr. Chen schooled us on the art of birthing. We were given a couple packs of smelling salts and told to be ready just in case we were needed. Well, I remember the differences between some of those births... one lady was screaming at the TOP of her lungs in pain and another was like "ooh, ooh honey that kinda hurts" all mellow and calm. I guess you can tell which one stuck with me! Later I spoke to the screamer. I asked her if the pain was really all that bad and her response was "Yes! It felt like I was being hit between the legs with a sledge hammer over and over and over again!" Holy yikes...that wasn't for me! So I wanted the pain free version but I thought the meds would wear off so I kept putting off the nurse's frequent offerings. Finally when I thought I couldn't or didn't want to take it anymore I asked if I could get the epidural. The nurse said she had wondered how long I would wait and that if they did wear off then they would just toss in some more... what? really? well then hook me up!!! I digress...
15 minutes later the nurse came back in and made a joke about my disobedient baby, reminding us that she was to be born by 6:00. Derek & I continued to play cards as she checked me yet again. But this time she looked surprised and asked me if I was ready to have this baby. I said "I don't know, am I?" She decided to go get the doctor. We put our cards away.
Dr. Wold arrived shortly and with 3 short pushes assisted by my dear husband, our great nurse, and a little tug from the good doctor who unbeknown to me quickly slipped the cord, that was wrapped around her neck 2 1/2 times, off and got her breathing, Michael Anne Johnson made her debut into this lovely world and into our waiting arms! I couldn't believe it, she was finally here! All wrinkly and cute.

I kept looking at her and saying to Derek "This is so crazy, we have our baby!"
I got to hold her for about 20 minutes before they took her away to get her cleaned up.

She was born exactly at 6:00pm!

Since Michael's heart rate kept plummeting with every contraction Dr. Wold wanted to get her out quickly (naughty cord) in the process I lost some blood and as a result I passed out a while later as I was moving from my bed to a chair and then again when I was getting up to go to the bathroom. That was weird. Eventually I was okay. When they brought her to me a little later she was adorned with two little bows, red & green. She was our Christmas gift and has been our prize ever since.

Bringing Michael Anne home from the hospital was an amazing feeling! It felt as though life was just what it was supposed to always be. Here's her proud daddy!

Since Michael was born just 5 days before Christmas, Daddy did all of the Christmas shopping & decorating the night before! He even scored us a really nice tree for free!

Brenden & Chase couldn't have been more proud of their new little sister!

Over the years Michael Anne has proven herself to be such a joy. She is funny and witty and incredibly clever. She has a sharp mind and a will to go with it. She can be a handful and a heart full all at the same time.

Now that we have another baby girl she has also proven to be a great helper and friend to me and to her little sis. She is compassionate and curious. She is stubborn yet quick to obey when she feels like it and loves the spotlight, I guess that tech and our nurse had a little something on her, she's a little flashy & loves to obey the letter of the law with exactness! More than anything though, Michael Anne is everything I had hoped for and one of my everythings that I want & love each day. She is our little monkey and she is a precious soul. I feel so close to her and I know she was meant to be ours.

1 Year Old

2 Years Old 3 Years Old

Toothless 3 Year Old 4 Years Old (with Audrey)

5 Years Old (with Addi)

I have a twist on a primary song that I have sung to her since the day our baby girl was born it goes like this, "Michael I love you. Michael I do. Father in Heaven has sent you to me. When I am near you I love to hear you whispering softly that you love me too. Michael I love you, I love you, I do."
Thank you for being our baby girl. We love you Michael Anne 1/4 of a Tree Top Johnson! We love you so much!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Wonders

My Little Snow Angel! Addi & Mommy snuggle to stay warm while Michael plays in the snow.

Addi playing at Church in her make-shift play pen.

& here she is standing up. She's quite good at pulling herself up on things.

Friday, December 12, 2008

9 Months In - 9 Months Out

Addison Nicole Johnson, 9 mos.
As of today our little Addison Nicole is a whopping 9 months old! Can you believe it??? (I've been waiting for the day to borrow Melissa's nifty title to this post. Very clever Melissa!) We have been so blessed to have this sweet little angel baby in our home. She is so happy and makes the funniest scrunchy faces. Every morning she wakes up with a big smile for mommy and loves to snuggle and play with her big sister. She enjoys bath time and eating new foods (which often lead to baths). She likes to wave and smile at everyone. Addi is a busy baby, crawling all over the place. She enjoys playing in her room with Michael Anne and helping mommy sweep the floor with her jammies (oops). She is learning to crawl up the stairs and getting into daddy's cds. She is good at showing us what she needs with her wee little hands. We especially love her "milk hands" and all of her own signs she has for different things. Everyday we find ourselves smiling and laughing with our little one. She is such a good baby and such a joy to each of us.