Sunday, May 29, 2016

March 2016 - Easter, Buxta, and baby blessings

We had a wonderful Easter at Peggy's house.  The kids loved hunting for eggs with their cousins.  I made the boys matching bowties and sewed the kids some new Easter bags to collect their eggs.

We blessed Tad on March 31 while Brendan and Whitney and Mom and Dad were still here, and right as Marmie and Grandpa came into town.  Here's the link to his sweet blessing.  It was so wonderful to be surrounded by so many we love.

Tad's blessing given by Kyle:
Tad, we want you to know the hope that we have for your future.  Your mother and I are very excited to have you join our family and excited to help you learn and to grow and to come to love the gospel.  We bless you at this time that your knowledge and stature in the gospel will grow as you do.  We bless you that you might be able to have a sound doctrinal foundation, especially as you serve a mission.  We bless you that you will be able to follow the spirit and to speak even as it is said in the scriptures that when you open your mouth the words will be filled.  We bless you that as you remain righteous and faithful to the covenants that you will make throughout life that you will have the protection to combat the adversary's attempts to lead you away.  We are so very, very grateful for you and we bless you with these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

We made personal-sized sugar cookie fruit pizzas for dessert.  Thanks to Whitney for making dozens and dozens of cookies!

It has been WONDERFUL to have so much family around.  We had an absolute blast with Brendan and Whitney & Co.  Our kids love, love, love their cousins.  We were thrilled to meet smiley, chubby Erik.  See picture below of lurpy 4-week old Tad next to 10-week old Erik.

This was our last big trip from Mom and Dad for a while.  They came out to meet Tad and clear out Grandma Sweeny's house.  Marmie and Grandpa came straight from Great-Grandma and Grandpa's in Arizona.  Marmie and poor, crippled Grandpa (tore his Achille's tendon) were helping Great-Grandma bounce back from hip surgery.

Alexa and Tyler have been on a bike-riding craze and it's been really fun.  They want us to go outside with them and ride first-thing in the morning.  We've had beautiful spring weather, which has helped.  They have gotten longer reigns lately with the new baby and have taken great care of each other playing at the park next door and in our yard.  I love that they enjoy playing outside and are such great buddies.

They have also really taken off as little readers this month.  Ever since our Christmas trip to Indiana where they watched Carra learning to read during family scripture study, Alexa has taken a big interest in reading and is catching on fast with Tyler right on her heels.  They have both learned several three and four-letter words and Alexa is doing really, really well at sounding things out.

We are loving our baby Tad and can't believe he's already a month old!  The kids like to make sure he's included in family fun and dress him up if you can't tell by these photos...

March 2016 - it's a boy!

Since both Alexa and Tyler were early, we were surprised to make it to my due date with #3.  I tried to get him out February 29th so he would be a Leap Day baby, but he was not a fan of being forced out.  Kyle was not in love with the idea of a Leap Day birthday, so I think he and Tad had some kind of deal.  After a 15 hour labor, baby Tad arrived just before 3am on Tuesday, March 1.  He came in at 8lb 5oz, 22in.  As soon as his head was out he started screaming--just hanging there upside down letting us know that he was not happy to be forced out.  Tad Benjamin Swingle was named after our mission president, Tad Callister--who we both look up to and also to commemorate how we met--and Benjamin after my brother.  I knew that our next boy would be Benjamin way before we got pregnant.  And ever since Alexa was born I've been planning on our next girl being an Audrey after my Grandma Sweeny.  We couldn't agree on a full girls name, so Kyle was confident we were having a boy since we had a full name we agreed on.

Our family went on lots of walks over the weekend, I had a breakfast burrito smothered in hot sauce, walked 3 miles (partially up a ginormous hill) that morning, did some curb walking, had them strip my membranes at my appointment at 10am, and then downed 6 ounces of disgusting castor oil at 2pm.  The castor oil tasted like eating a glass of chapstick and was hard to get down, but it started kicking in after 6pm.

We decided to do an *intentional* home birth, so our midwife kept tabs on us and came over just before midnight.  Though the labor was long, painful, and exhausting, I was glad to be at home.  The midwife thinks the labor was longer because his cord was wrapped around his arm and needed to stretch quite a lot for him to get low enough to come out, so it took several hours for it to slowly stretch and allow him to get in position.  When it was time to push, we discovered that he had his hand balled up on the side of his cheek, so his head was also stuck for a while.  It felt lovely.  

We were so glad to meet baby Tad!  I am wondering if he is here to help teach me patience.  It took us a while to get pregnant and then the long delivery was unexpected, so he has reminded us that we're not in control.  But it's the most wonderful feeling when a new baby is placed up against you.  It's suddenly worth all of that pain and exhaustion.  And he melted my heart right away.

We were glad to be able to go lie down in our own bed and rest some--better than constant interruptions in the hospital!  The midwife and her 2 students stayed for a couple hours after Tad was born to clean up, check his vitals, and make sure I was ok.  Our cute baby cuddled up on daddy and started snoring as soon as we laid down.

Alexa and Tyler had a sleepover at Sara and Jason's and then came home to a new brother.  They were so excited to meet him.  Alexa would hold him all day and all night if we let her.  And we have to place a limit on the amount of kisses she can give him every day.  The new vocabulary word we taught her is "smother."  Tyler loves Tad and comes running when he cries and loves to hold him, but he's usually done after a minute or two and runs back to playing.  The first time Tyler held Tad he immediately started singing rock a bye baby and gently rocking him in his lap.  Such sweetness.