Monday, November 21, 2011

My big girl turned 3!

Saturday, November 19th our sweet Caroline turned 3 years old!! I cannot believe how grown up she is and how quickly she is becoming more and more "grown up". She is such an amazing little girl- I am a bit biased but she truly amazes me each day with her precious personality and mind. I will blog more mushy stuff about her and what she is like at age 3 later...but I wanted to get pictures from her birthday celebrations up before TOO much time passed.
We started her celebration early by having cupcakes with her Mother's Day Out class at church. Thursday I dropped the big girls off, took Hannah grocery shopping, and we made it back in time to have cupcakes during her lunch time. We sang to her and she got to blow a candle out...and she acted super silly. I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see how she always acted with her teachers/friends. This made me feel have a child in "school" and bring cupcakes to the class??

 I got Emily out of her class to come celebrate with us...she blended right in with the big kids and sang Happy Birthday to her big sis. She enjoyed the cupcake too:)

The night before her birthday I surprised her with some Dora PJ's that she was thrilled about. Since her party was going to be Dora themed this worked out perfectly. This is her right before bed with her beloved pink blankets.
 Saturday morning the girls woke up bright and EARLY! Brad was off work so we greeted her with the birthday song and brought her into the living room that I had decorated with balloons, a banner, and some presents. She was SO excited. She kept saying, "I'm 3! I'm 3~ I LOVE being 3!" A tradition I had growing up was to have a birthday breakfast date with my dad...not sure when we started this, but I remember doing it as long as I can remember. So, we decided that a birthday breakfast with daddy would be our tradition too. Brad and Caroline left around 8 for a super special breakfast at  IHOP. She had  a special smiley face pancake and came back glowing. I know it was nice for Brad to get some 1 on 1 time with his sweetie.
 She had to take her new Dora purse and cell phone- thanks Aunt Cara, Uncle Chris, and Charlie!

After a trip to the park, lunch, and nap time it was time to get ready for the MAIN EVENT...her birthday party!! We had it at The Little Gym- a children's gym full of tumbling mats, balance beams, bars, swings, and bouncy things-exactly what Caroline would love! So, for ease of planning  on my part (they set up, clean up,  instruct all the children in about 1.5 hours of play, dance, games, dancing, etc.) we chose to do her party away from home this year. I was so glad- it was perfect! About 12 of her friends joined her for the big celebration and the entire gym was hopping the whole time.Here are a few pictures- not the best, but hopefully it will document a little of the BIG fun we had that evening. The video footage does it much more justice and is much more fun to watch. Caroline had a blast and we all enjoyed seeing her play her little heart out.

LOVE how determined Caroline looks in this picture! She has the candle blowing down pat now. She did a great job...and her sweet sisters watched the action from the sidelines.

Just a side-note- I DO actually take the time, several times a day, to get Caroline's hair up and brushed and styled. Her hair just doesn't seem to like to stay put...especially after lots of tumbling and rolling around in a gym. So, don't judge :) The blue cupcake frosting and lemonade on her shirt add a nice twist to her look too...but regardless of what she is sporting- she's the most beautiful 3 year old EVER. That sweet girl has my heart!
Oh yeah...we were early to the party so we hung out at a smoothie place next door for a few minutes. Here are the girlies while we were waiting on our smoothies.

All in all it her 3rd birthday was so much fun! We didn't get home until 7ish that evening and still had to do dinner, present opening, and baths. We were all exhausted. Despite a few "toddler moments" the day was a success. These years, days, months need to SLOW down. On our way home from the party Brad reminded me, "You only have 3 months to plan Emily's birthday." Oh boy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let the good times roll!!

This week will be my first week flying solo with my 3 precious girls. The grandparents have all gone home. Brad has been back into the swing of work for the past 2 weeks...and now it's me vs them. I'm officially outnumbered. I'm excited to find our routine and get settled into a "normal". We went to church yesterday morning and although getting out of the house will have to be more carefully executed, I think we had a successful morning away from home. Hannah slept the entire service with us in big church. Everyone was anxious to see her and I was proud to show off our little beauty. Today (Monday) I took the big girls to Mother's Day Out and Hannah and I are relaxing at home together...soaking up a little more sleep that we missed last night;) The big girls were reluctant to go to "school" this morning since it has been a month since the last time they went. Hoping for a good days report when I pick them up at 2 pm.

Here are a few pictures from this past week. I love having the girls piled on top of me MOST of the seems they flock together and usually enjoy sitting ON me if possible. I will take the snuggles while I can get them.

 Emily is falling in love with her baby sister...I knew it would happen:)
 Sweet Hannah baby!

 Caroline with her new Build a Bear "Taffy".
 The Richey girls came to meet Hannah for the first time last week. We had a great time playing and even got a picture with everyone looking (almost!)
 Until next time...

Shout Out to the Grandmothers...and the rest of the fam too:)

We are SO blessed to have such amazing parents that took the time out of their busy work schedules to come and help care for us during Hannah's birth. My mom was here for the first 2 weeks after Hannah's birth and wrangled the big girls on her own for a week. Then Deb came back (she flew in for H's birth, then went back home until my mom left)and stayed for a week to take over the big girls for another week. Which means that I was truly able to focus and love on sweet Hannah for 3 weeks as I recovered from surgery and got my strength back. Words cannot say how much I appreciate all your time, energy, and effort that I KNOW it takes to keep up with the Hobbs girls. We are HIGH energy ALL the time and I am so thankful for every minute you spent helping us. I will never forget it, and I know the girls are so grateful for you.
Some pictures of Grammie and Nana in action...notice they NEVER had empty hands:)

 And then there was the rest of our family that made the trip out to LR to welcome sweet Hannah. Thank you for making this such a special "birth"day for her and us. We love and miss you all already.

 My sister Cara...who wrangled her own 2 year old in the midst of our crazy bunch! I know it is hard work, but she did it perfectly! For some reason my batch of pics didn't get a picture of her with Hannah...hoping Chris got some on his camera.

Hannah can't wait to meet her Uncle Andrew, Aunt Sarah and Uncle Ben!! Hopefully soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Halloween Happened

Somewhere in the midst of our first week home Halloween came and went! Actually, the day after Hannah was born, Brad took the big girls to our church Fall Fest with their cousin Charlie, Cara, and my mom. They had a blast and enjoyed playing. The costumes this year- Caroline was a jaguar, Emily was a zebra, and Charlie was their zoo keeper. They were all precious! I didn't get to see them the night of the fall fest because I was in the hospital, but the girls dressed up once again on Halloween night and experienced their first ever trick or treating to a few houses on our street and then enjoyed our annual street/block party our neighbors throw each year. Caroline loved the idea of getting candy and belted out "TRICK OR TREAT!!" as Emily mimicked that phrase. Here are some pics I got of my sweet little zoo animals :) Thanks to the pumpkin that served as our beloved prop.

I will have to get the pics with cousin Charlie off of my phone another time...he was so cute!

Hobbs party of 5!!

It has now been 2 whole weeks since we welcomed sweet Hannah into our family! It is amazing how fast time has already flown by. So many new, exciting, and sweet moments have been shared in our family these past few weeks. Nothing compares to the sweet love and excitement that my two "big" girls feel for there new baby sister. It simply melts my heart each time Caroline squeals "What's she DO-ing?" and requests to hold her. Emily has decided she is interested at last and likes to play with Hannah's hair and identify her eyes, nose, ears, etc. Caroline is a perfect little mommy- always ready with a diaper, passy, blanket, anything at all I could ask for. I know that in the years to come their love for one another will only deepen and fill my heart to even deeper levels. We are so blessed. 3 beautiful girls, all healthy, happy, and loved deeply.

I want to document Hannah's birthday story and give a recap of the first few days...and then upload pics by the dozens!  I am going to try and do this while I have a few quiet minutes this week with grandparents around to help with the big girls...after this...there is no telling when my fingers will find the time to type 2 sentences!

Hannah was a scheduled c-section so we were eagerly anticipating Tuesday morning when we got to the hospital at 8:00 a.m. sharp to begin the journey. Note: We had a false alarm the previous Saturday afternoon- I thought my water was breaking, so Brad and I took a trip to check things out that evening once Cara and Chris had arrived in town. It was in fact a false alarm. I felt silly...but better safe than sorry, right? Anyway...Cara came with Brad and I to the hospital Tuesday morning and we got all checked in, IV started (STILL my least favorite part!) and then we waited until it was my turn in the OR. Our family trickled into the waiting room/play room downstairs- mom, dad, Nana Deb, Cara, Chris, Charlie, and the proud big sisters- Caroline and Emily.

Brad and I went to the OR at 11:00 and sweet Hannah was here by 11:27 a.m.! The surgery went perfectly...the spinal terrified me...but it was SO much better than my last experience and everything went fine. No nausea this time, but LOTS of nerves. BUT it was all worth it when Dr. Wendel announced, "Brad, you better get your camera rolling because your daughter is about to come out!" Brad jumped up and once again got to experience the first breaths our sweet little girl took into our world! She screamed immediately with a loud set of lungs (as all of our girls are known for) and they took her over to examine her. All I could wonder was if she was a red head!! I remember feeling like the first minute they were "inspecting" her took forever, I strained my head so hard trying to catch that first glimpse of her...but there were too many people in the way! FINALLY, like maybe after 2 minutes, they brought her over to me and I fell head over heels as I looked at my sweet BROWN headed beauty. I got to give her a few smooches, hear her "quiet down" as I spoke to her- it still amazes me how babies react to their mommy's voice from the first minute they are born- and then she went back over to be evaluated some more.

Official Stats...I was a bit cloudy the day of and they kept changing them on me!
Weight:7 lb 15 oz (the smallest Hobbs girl...daddy guessed the weight perfectly!)
Length: 21 inches long

 About 20 more minutes and I was ready to be rolled into recovery where Brad had escorted sweet Hannah for her first shots, bath, etc. Hannah exercised her vocal chords beautifully as she was poked and prodded...but she was perfect! Mom, dad, and Deb came back quickly and were able to see Hannah in her first few moments of life- Cara and Chris took the troops back home for nap time and would return that afternoon for their first visit. I was feeling fabulous...giddy even. Everything went so well and Hannah was beautiful.The same nurse that took care of Emily last year recognized me and was now taking care of Hannah. That was neat. The only odd thing that I experienced from the anesthesia/drugs was a constant itching...which I remembered happened last time. It really does drive you crazy though! More on that later...just remember...I started itching!

I wanted to nurse her as soon as possible so they gave her too me after she had her footprints done- with ink still left on her little feet. Those precious little feet left footprints on my tummy with the leftover ink that I enjoyed looking at for the next few days.  She nursed perfectly and was amazingly calm in my arms. I didn't want to let her go, but I knew she needed her bath so we could get out of recovery and up to our room. We had to wait for about 2 hours I think until we got up to our room-628:)

Everything went well during our hospital stay and we were just captivated by sweet Hannah and her head full of dark brown hair!! Family came back up that afternoon and I was ready to let the girls meet there sister. I was more than a little terrified of letting my 2 and 1 year old run wild in a hospital room where I was hooked up to IV's and cuffs, and knew they couldn't jump on my tummy, etc. so I made sure that we had "all hands on deck" as they came into the room. Brad held baby Hannah on the couch and the girls gathered around him to check her out. Emily didn't really show much interest and quickly started her exploration of the room. Exactly what you would expect a 20 month old to do. Caroline on the other hand, oohed and awwed over sweet Hannah and everyone could see the amazement she was feeling as she made the connections on what had just happened. "Is she new-born this mornings??" "Is she tiny??" "She is precious!!" "What's she doing??" all in her soft, sweet, high, "mommy voice". All of this was captured on video and I know we will hear it over and over in our minds because it was so sweet. The girls realized I was in a hospital bed and didn't know what to think of it. Caroline asked how I was and I explained my tummy was a little hurt from getting Hannah out. She showed such sweet concern. They all stayed a little longer and then made there departure and left Brad and I with some quiet moments with our new daughter.

That evening people made their rounds back to see us and some friends came to visit, as was the pattern the next day. The girls came back to see her once again in their big sister t shirts. All of our nurses and Dr. Wendel got to see our whole crew of girls and swooned over their red hair...and the the fact that Hannah had a head full of dark hair. The dark hair makes much more sense than the red hair of the older two- but it is still so fun to see it- I kept pulling Hannah's little hat off so I could gaze at it. Hannah's face resembled the girls as newborns, but as soon as you saw the hair, it changed her whole appearance. Looking at pictures of myself as a newborn- Hannah looks exactly like me. And I am proud...finally...a baby that may look a little like their mama!

I was able to get up the first night in the hospital at around midnight and walk around and try to maneuver. Day 2 was a killer as far as pain went, but I managed to get myself going as much as possible so that I could get out of the hospital. Brad's a tough coach when it comes to "getting better". He was amazing, but he definitely encouraged me to push through pain whenever it came. to the itching.

I had noticed on my left eyebrow a scratch that I thought was from me scratching uncontrollably from the meds. Well, it continued to itch, and move into my eyebrow, and by Friday started to swell up and my eyelid was starting to swell shut. I knew something was NOT right a day or two before, but no one seemed to be worried about it like I was. So we went home on Thursday, and by Saturday morning Brad realized something was wrong. My eye looked like a monster, hurt unbelievably, and itched at the same time. I described it as "spiders crawling in my eyebrows". REALLY?? As weird as that was, it didn't register to us that it was SHINGLES....which was confirmed after a trip back to the hospital to be checked out.

Shingles. Yes, what older people get. Somehow ended up on my eyebrow. Painful. Ugly. Awful. Those words would describe it accurately. On top of the c section pain, I now had shingles to deal with- and they were stealing the show as far as producing the most pain.
So a new prescription, a trip to the opthomologist (to make sure the shingles weren't going into my eyes and going to cause blindness...comforting thought...yes) and lots of research on the issue put a big rain cloud on my first week of recovery. I felt like a so many ways. So now I am still on the mend, still wondering what this is going to look like. Nerve damage? Hope not. Scars on my eye? Hope not. Still in pain? Yes...not as terrible, but I may feel pain for months...the whole top left side of my head hurts, itches, and tingles. The medicine stopped the outbreak, but it's still clearing up. Thankfully, no one else was infected and all shingle-germs were kept to myself:) That is my shingle story...that I am sure is not over yet. Hopefully it will not resurface again...I did not enjoy it AT ALL.

So that is the story of Hannah's arrival and just a snapshot of the events that took place those few days. It went by so quickly, but was chalk full of memories- mostly good, a few bad. All in all we are SO thankful to be well and on the mend! I am getting better day by day and praise the Lord for my healthy new baby girl. She continues to be a great eater, pretty good sleeper (started with 3-4 hour stretches!) and a very happy little bug when she is awake...which isn't often! It amazes me how much newborns sleep! I'm not complaining- that has been amazing and has allowed me to slowly jump back into "mommy mode".

Dear precious baby Hannah- you have swept us all off of our feet! You are absolutely beautiful and as sweet as they come! We are so thankful for you and your perfect little self. God has blessed you with 2 sisters and 2 parents that are head over heels in love with you. We can't wait to see how much you change and grow in the weeks to come- you are amazing! We love you more than words can say.
And finally, some pictures:) More to come...