16 Reasons to be Thankful

I've a lot to be thankful for this week.

1. My four children. I have to say that over and over. Mother of four.  Responsible for 16 limbs, 80 fingernails and toes. Snuggling requires taking turns rotating into ideal position next to me.
2. The Giants!  The giants have been our family team for time immemorial.  I watch games when I'm around Pam or when they make it to the post season.  There have been a lot of sports in my home this month which I find a bit disorienting.
3. My inherited Utah family.  This week we went to the wedding of the last of his close buddies.  The guy on the left is Hush's cousin DJ and then his wife GoKart. On my right are the Jaylies.
4. I love this picture.  DJ, Hush and Jay in their baller suits solving the problems of the world as we wait outside the Salt Lake Temple for Chids to come out.  These good men are three of the reasons I married Hush.  I judge people by the company they keep.
5. Cousins and second cousins.
6. So thankful for this new little family.  It's interesting to have a blended family because I have to make special effort to spend time with just Hush and Bettylou in order to develop our bond as child and parents. The six of us feel like a normal family, totally assimilated with no separation between siblings. But this baby also deserves undivided time and love.
7.  Dancing! We haven't had much dancing time this summer but they played our song "Oh What a Night" and BL danced with her daddy for the first time.
8. These guys and how they support my husband.  Out of the four of them he was self-nominated as the least likely to have a wife and family, but here he is after a successful year of fatherhood kicking ass at it.  Interestingly, his buddy Chids married a woman with three young sons which I interpret as a nod to Hush's and my happiness in our marriage and family.  
9.  Mimi's enthusiasm for all events at school.  She's a party person and fearless in her crazy hair creation.
10. Cubby who wore this cereal box hat all day at kindergarten.  

11.  I'm thankful that Silas is hilarious.  He's pretty much a disaster.  He's messy and surly and throws his long limbs around near my baby. He is everything a displaced four year old could be when getting a new sister.
12. I'm thankful Hush is teaching Jude about sports.  BYU is Hush's team and this weekend he took Jude and Grandpa Jim to the football game.  Never was a little boy more excited.  
13. I'm thankful that my friends (especially Rebekah and Jessica) love my baby and have baby fever.

14.  I'm only kind of thankful for church. I went to the women's meeting at the huge conference center last week.  We had church all weekend this week. I'm churched out.
15. Meals! One of the major perks of church attendance is that they bring you meals when you have a baby.  Of course you inevitably end up with a surplus of food.  In order to get my kids to polish off the huge salad we received the other day I made one dinner a no forks salad eating contest.  It was messy and really funny, inspired by the mom in Christmas Story.  "How do little piggies eat?"
Hush won.

16. Mostly I'm thankful I have a healthy perfect baby who is finally gaining a little bit of weight after struggling to grow the first few weeks.  We have a hard time nursing, but she is a good sleeper and snuggler.


Assimilating BOB

Baby Betty is quickly becoming part of our lives. 
I have so many people. 16 limbs among them.
Jude and Silas are big helpers and are very interested in Betty's bodily functions.
We've been enjoying spending a lot of time with Kara's family.  This is a highly intense game of rock band.
Jude walks Si to school twice a week and begs to bring Bettylou along.
She's not quit regained her 7lbs 13oz and she doesn't poop, like, ever. We're working on it. She's a pretty good sleeper and would sleep for hours but I wake her up to eat every three-four.  I've been supplementing with formula because she gets impatient for the milk to let down.  Betty has angry fussing time every other evening for a few hours around ten.  It's frustrating.  But she also has a lot of quiet alert time and is starting to gaze at faces.  
There are few things I enjoy more than having people I love fawn over my baby.  I'm so glad Cicily lives nearby!
Hush's sister Kimberly has been around for the last few months.  She earned a lot of cuddle time with Bettylou by helping us every time I had to go into the stupid hospital.
My hair dye influence has taken hold with Hush's family. Four more unicorns to add to our pack!
Little scrawny looking chubby for a change.

Jude's special lady friend Finley and cousin.

Ashley beat all my sisters to hold baby girl.  Ash and Josh have been there for me for all four of my babies and I love them. 
Nathan and Betty at my impromptu tea party in Salt Lake.
Mimi and I got our hair done on a Saturday and I texted my girl friends (and Nathan) to meet us for tea. Nearly everybody came! It was very civilized and we wore our tutus.  My hair was incomplete though so I look a mess.
I'm so happy that Kara loves newborns as much as my own family does. I love how she demands time just holding and snuggling.
I feel good about my bow game. I'm on top of it.
Long skinny limbs just waiting to get fattened up.
Is her head growing or her hair thinning? Never can tell.
More dear friends at my tea party: Nathan, Rebekah and Jessica
Amy being instructed about the magic that is clotted cream.
Haylie, Meghan, Claire
Circe and her daughters (all of whom have baby fever) and Jo who makes amazing cookies and brought them to my hospital bed. 

Betty and I have a lot of people around who love her so missing my family is somewhat mitigated.  We've only been in Utah a year and I've met some of the most dear friends I could have hoped to find.  They're filling the role of sisters and family, but I'm still excited to show this baby to my own family.


Betty Week 1

We left the hospital with one name:  Bettylou. 
 Then I had to go back into the hospital for a test and changed the first name to Betty because Bettylou sounded too informal when I was filling out paperwork.  But Hush was unsatisfied and by chance the birth certificate office called me to ask me about something else, so I took it as a sign and changed her official name to Betty Lou Ophelia.  Everybody is happy and the names all suit her.  She can have two middle names, Jude does too.  From henceforth I won't limit myself to just a first and a middle.  My next baby (oh yes, I still have baby fever) will have like seven names.

Going home outfit

Going home from the hospital in my fancy robe.

All of Betty's receiving blankets are fabulous.  When they're this little you rarely see their clothes because they're wrapped up all the time.  I go to the fabric store and buy a yard of whatever fabric I like, hem the edges and wrap up my babies in colors.

Jude 6, Mimi 7 1/2, Silas 4 1/2, BLOB 3 days.

Mimi and her own personal live baby doll.

Obligatory to-die-for yawn shot.

Grandma came to town the day we got home from the hospital.  She was infinitely helpful taking the big stinky germy kids out on activities and to and from school.  Grandma Pamma didn't get quite enough baby time, but I tried to get some quiet holding time for some time each day.

Pam always does our babies' first baths.

Sitting dangerously

Hello Kitty and Cheetah are her favorite colors.

This baby is attached to me 90% of the day and yet I have very few pictures of myself holding her.

Cupcake hat and cheetah.  Having a girl is great.  Hush was observing the other day that he thought when she was born he wouldn't care what she wore and wouldn't mind putting her in blue clothes or whatever, but then since he's had her all he wants to do is surround her with cutesy cupcakes and pink and butterflies.

Mimi gazing and having sister time.

This wrap is our newest baby accouterment.  Pam and I made this imitation moby wrap and it is proving to be the best way to let Mimi and Jude snuggle the baby without me worrying about her head flopping around.

Jude loves to hold her in the mornings while he watches cartoons.  I haven't put her on Silas yet because he rolls around too much.

I love bassinet shots.  All of my babies have slept in this for the first few weeks they're alive.

Jude sneaks out in the evenings to get extra one-on-one snuggles.

Hush and his new baby deserves their own post.  This is the man who had never held a newborn before, for liability and fear purposes.  And now with his own tiny baby snuggled on his chest he looks at me and says, "It feels like our life is just beginning now that she's here."  He marvels at how her fussing evokes concern about her well being rather than annoyance at the cries.  I've watched him execute his first diaper changing, attempting to dress a limp newborn, figuring out what soothes her, bolting awake at her least 3am wail, and just staring into her perfect little face.  In the evenings it's mostly daddy time from the minute he gets home and he misses her when he's at work during the day.  There is nothing like watching a man fall in love with his baby daughter.  This is my favorite part of having this baby.

I'm a firm believer in wrapping babies nice and tight so that they feel safe.  Betty is loving this little baby straitjacket. It has a two way zipper so you can change them without unwrapping.

Babies make the best accessories.  Better than a mink stole.

And Silas with his tiny baby.  He loves to snuggle her and is militant about making sure his hands are well sanitized.  I should buy stock in hand sanitizer.  He is very very careful with her.  It's much easier having kids old enough not to be dangerous.