Saturday, June 28, 2008


Finally an update- (Just for you Chels, since you so politely asked)

What have we been up to in the past 2 weeks? This:

John came home with this the other day telling the kids he had caught a monster. Unluckily, they believed him.

Ava wasn't actually traumatized by the turtle. It was the other way around. She had just thrown a ball at it and hit it in the head and we got onto her about being mean to the turtle. She bawled, we realized she probably didn't have that good of aim to actually mean to hit it, and besides, the thing had just been run over by a baling machine in the field- did we really think a neon pink soft football was gonna hurt it?

Nathan obviously didn't think so. For those of you that may be wondering what this really is, it's some sort of snapping turtle. I'd never seen one up close, let alone this big, but John definitely had. He grew up not only in the country but also in Florida, where he wrestled gators and such.

The turtle wasn't too impressed with us though. He had had a rough life since his back was all gouged with marks and he had scars all over. John figured he was pretty old since they don't usually get this big. We finally let him go, but not before Ava asked repeatedly if we were going to eat him. Where does she get these things? (oh yeah, I forgot that that guy I married has told her many stories of eating turtles. yuck.) The turtle was lucky to get away with only a football to the head.

And that night when we tried to put Nathan to bed he kept talking about the "mun-store" that Dada caught. We finally convinced him that we got rid of it but when you live out here, you may really find something like this under your bed.....

Or if not that, then definitely something like this:

We found a hatching of these down the road the other day on a walk and they were quickly adopted by Ava.

Toads seemed a nice reptile after the turtle so we let them stick around for a little while. And besides, they do cute things like this:

And little girls who play with them do not so cute things like this:

We found her like this about 15 minutes after she had come in and after she had attempted to wash her feet off in the bathroom sink. I didn't take a picture of the sink but it looked worse than the feet. And my kitchen rugs didn't fair much better. I think I'm done with turtle and toads and messy little girls. And I still have 2 more boys to deal with. Oh yeah, and her:

Who isn't allowed inside but still finds ways to make my house messy somehow. Lovely.

But for now, this little boy isn't too messy and is just getting cute and fat enough to try to photograph.

A few shots from my failed photo shoot to try to get a birth announcement.

Ok, so I did wake him up 10 billion times to try to get him in the right spot and it was over 90 degrees outside but really.....

I did get a cute one of his dimple that's popping up. He's also dimpling in quite a few other places since he's plumped up to over 12 lbs in 3 weeks.

He's actually a really good baby, but he doesn't like to sleep anywhere but in arms, which really doesn't fit into life with 3 kids. Life is settling into a rhythm but it's not there yet and we're still not out of bed before around 10 in the morning. Give us a few weeks......

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Home Again, Home Again Jiggetty Jig

I can't believe we've been home a whole week and still I haven't gotten anything posted yet. Every day I think maybe I'll get a chance but then life hits again and I have to go nurse a baby. But slowly and surely things are getting back to normal (although your old normal never returns after a new baby) and we're getting into the swing of things. Here's a quick run down of the last week.

Elias McKean Genho decided to honor us with his presence at 3:59am (why are babies never born in the daytime?) on June 6, 2008 - three days late and obviously well cooked since he came out a whopping 9.6 lbs and 20 inches. Elias is after John's great-grandfather, Elias Asad Alid Genho from Lebanon. We decided not to go with the Asas Alid part so he didn't randomly get checked at every airport screening. McKean was my grandmother's maiden name and somewhere back there we're related to Thomas McKean, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Nathan has been calling him "baby Lias" so we've all started leaving off the E. Ava likes to remind him that his name is Lias McKean. We thought maybe we'd call him Eli but so far that hasn't taken. Who knows what will stick.

We made it to the hospital in Culpeper, which is about 25 minutes away, with only about 25 minutes to spare and he was born in the Labor/Delivery triage room, where they take you to decide if you really are in labor or not. Luckily, they decided pretty quickly that I could stay and were even nice enough to call in the doctor (and it was the doctor I wanted to deliver me-yeah!). She made it for the last 5 minutes of labor, caught the baby, fixed me up and was back in bed within an hour. Not bad, if you ask me.

Hot, Sweaty and Finally Not Pregnant Anymore

Unfortunately, my mom wasn't so lucky and walked in about 5 minutes after the birth. This was the first time that John and I had done it alone (although I do remember about 5 nurses telling me to breathe, not push) so it was a pretty cool experience - even if it only lasted about 30 minutes. If we have another we may have a chance to really do it alone if these babies keep coming as fast as they do. Nathan's labor was only 2 hours, and Elias shaved 45 minute off of that one.

After all the technical details of weighing (9.6 lbs), measuring (20in long and 14.5 inch head), and bathing (lots and lots of fat rolls)........

Meaty Forearms...

Backfat a cattleman could be proud of...

Chunky Thighs

All we wanted to do is sleep......

But lucky Elias - he has older siblings to make life interesting!

Wanna cookie???

Chubby cheeks

Ava's real live doll

Three kids?? Am I crazy??

Stop touching me!!!

Things calmed down after awhile when the kids realized there was a TV in my room that played cartoons. Hence the not looking at the camera shots---

Now that we're home we're having fun just loving him.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Here at last

Here is Elias at last. He was 9 lbs 6 ounces. We walked into the hospital at 3:33 am this morning and he was born at 3:59 am. All that waiting paid off.

Elias is a very calm baby. He's perfectly content to sit and look around at everyone.

Nathan's happy to have a new little brother. He keeps on making a crying noise for Elias then saying "Elias no cry."

Ava was a little disappointed to not get a little sister at the ultrasound, but she's very happy to have a new little brother now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

No End In Sight.....

So here I am, 2 days overdue and no end in sight that I can see. I went to my doctor yesterday, who had a decent prognosis but I think they have to act cheerful. After her exam (and 3 tablespoons of castor oil earlier that morning) I had a good 3 hours of contractions, hard enough that John and I didn't head home. We walked around town and had the contractions coming at a good 3-4 minutes and hurting. There was a huge, awesome thunderstorm so we sat in the parking lot of Lowe's to wait for it to end. When the contractions got down to every 3 minutes we decided to head out to find a phone to let my mom, at home with the kids, know what was up. We quickly realized that the only place in town with power still on was the hospital so we headed there, even though I didn't think I was quite ready to check in. Then I realized everyone I know has a cell phone (we had left ours a home) so I went to a friends instead and used her phone. But as I was talking to my mom I didn't have any contractions and even for an hour after that nothing. So we just went home and went to bed and here I sit still, with nothing happening.

I guess babies just come when they want but those 3 hours of contractions last night made me very aware that I'm not too excited for the real deal, even though I want this kid out. What a choice: be miserable and huge or go through labor. Isn't there some other way? I'll keep you updated........

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Living large.....

Since I've had this attitude from about 7 months along (which is when this picture was taken), I can't imagine I'd be any happier with life now that I look like this:

Technically, I've got 2 days left to go to get this baby out of me, but since the ultrasound date was May 31st I feel like I'm already overdue. I've been trying to ignore every little pain and contraction but it's hard when anytime after the 37th week you think it could happen any day. We've been trying to tempt fate by scheduling all kinds of things. We went 5 hours away to the beach last weekend and happened across a cool U-Pick strawberry patch on the way home. John picked, I ate and the kids played and picked green strawberries.

Ava was into posing and showing off her strawberry and new hairdo. Nathan was into the strawberry picking. He filled up half a bucket by himself.

There was a huge storm a few days before we got to Ocean City and it washed a bunch of the beach out and created a big sandbar a little ways out into the water.

One of the few bad things about the beach: it’s impossible to get all of the sand off your feet.

Ava is feeling a little camera shy and cold. The week before Memorial Day is great for beating the crowds but still a little chilly. There’s our hotel and our classy camo camping chair in the background.

Nathan got a John Deere birthday cake. We didn’t tell him it was a redecorated cake leftover from the baby shower the night before.

Nathan’s new fishing pole. It didn’t take him long to figure out how to crank it.

Here’s the catfish Nathan caught on his birthday. He’s set up for a disappointing life of fishing now since he caught a fish nearly as long as him the first time he went. It’s all down hill from there.