Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Water Baby

Lena's favorite thing to do this summer: learn how to swim in her floaty suit. Mummy and Daddy are so proud!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Siblings

The day we got back from the hospital. This was just too cute not to post.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

She's a Natural.

With the time that Mummy and Dada spent in the hospital bringing Oliver home, Alena decided she would improve on a talent she has had for a while - Playing the piano! Whilst her previous talents were mainly of the disorganized polyphonic type, and fortissimo on a quiet day, she has really focused and is showing significant improvement!
She has great form! Elbows out, wrists up, good posture, any one of my piano teachers would be extremely proud. We secretly think that she and Grandma Palmer have been setting up piano lessons via Skype. It's the only thing we can thing of that explains how she learned to read music!
If only we can get her to reach the pedals before she starts in on Rachmaninoff... Prelude no. 23 might be a bit much for the neighbors when Alena really gets into her groove.  

'Til then, practice, practice, practice! 

He's Here!!!

We are pleased to announce the much-anticipated arrival of Oliver Molony Thomas! 

He was born at 8:58 PM August 14, 2008 and weighed in at 8 lbs 8.8 oz, 21 1/2 inches long, big hands and huge feet, and has a full head of straight dark black hair! Other factors aside, this is going to be one lucky kid. As many of you may remember, the 2008 Beijing Olympics were opened on 08/8/2008, because eight is a lucky number. If 8s are lucky, then this kid has it coming! He has 7 eights! 
Mummy is back from the hospital, and recovering well. We are lucky to have had the skilled help of Dr. Sudi Moein, a family friend and extremely talented ob/gyn. The recovery has been (or at least has seemed to this observer,) much easier for Hannah this time around. 
Alena is still growing quicker than we would like her to. One of her new talents is telling off Mummy/Daddy/Grownups. It is hard to keep a straight face when she starts wagging her little finger and delivering a very enthusiastic "No, No, No!" I think she is enjoying being a toddler and seeking to figure out the nuances of social interaction. She is also figuring out just what to do with the new arrival. She varies between attention-seeking tantrums, endearing cuddles, and precious attempts to help with little Oliver. Today, Hannah caught Lena trying to help brush Oliver's teeth with her tiny little toothbrush! We hope that she quickly understands that there is still more than enough love to go around. 

Finally, I don't know exactly how Hannah does it. Being pregnant and taking care of a toddler is tough enough, but now that there are two, she will really have her hands full! I asked a guy at work who has 5 kids, all under 9 years old, just how he and his wife handle it. His response wasn't quite as helpful as I would have hoped... I was hoping for a secret trick or something, but all he had for me was that it was easy, he just went to work! (Hannah, when you read this, I PROMISE that I will not just take off to work and leave you hanging... don't worry)

The most amazing thing of all is just how much Oliver fits in to our little family. He just belongs. I first felt it about 4 hours after he was born when I ran home to pick up some stuff and started uploading pictures to send out. The little guy in the pictures was somebody who I knew! (and loved...) And it sure hasn't taken him long to get me wrapped around his little finger. Being a parent is a great, but ominously responsible thing to do. I love it. 

And now we are four! 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Oliver Update

Oliver has a new game. Hangman.

I went in for an ultrasound on Monday to check his size (to make sure he wasn't to big to do a VBAC), and it turns out that, yes he is big, but he also has a scarf, in the form of his umbilical cord, wrapped around his neck. Twice. Overachiever.

So, I won't really go into all the details, but overall we have decided that the combined risks of the VBAC and the double nuchal cord to both Oliver's and my safety certainly outweigh my desire to give birth naturally. So, we are scheduling a c-section.

To further complicate matters, I went into the hospital to do a non-stress test today (one of the bi-weekly required procedures since the discovery of Oliver's new accessory) and it turns out that I am having contractions. Real ones, making it two for two at me not being able to recognize when I am in early labor. You would think I would learn... Anyway, it certainly puts a tight schedule on when we are able to do this surgery.

, if that wasn't enough, Evan has to take a final tomorrow (Thursday) morning, and can't get to San Diego until the late afternoon. Thrilling stuff, and I hope the rest of our kids do not feel compelled to make such dramatic entrances as their older siblings.

With any luck we will be able to have the c-section about 5/6pm tomorrow, and if not then Oliver will definitely be here by Friday afternoon. We will keep you posted!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Mt. Maunganui - NZ Trip

While we were taking mini tiki-tour around Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty we decided to drop into Mt. Maunganui. Just up the road from where Dad spent his formative years on the farm, the last time I had visited was when I was about 8/9 years old. And it also happened to be in the middle of summer... Christmas Eve? I am open to corrections.

Anyway, the things I remember from '94:
- The beach being very shelly, to the point where I distinctly remember turning my nose up at anything other than walking in my shoes, or walking very delicately so as to protect my feet. not quite the "kiwi kid" thing to do.
- The water was cold. Well... it is the Pacific Ocean, and, as alluded to above, I think I was being a pansy.
- The Mount. Not really a mountain in the strictest Utah sense... or really any sense for that matter. More a big head of land that sticks out into the Ocean. But when the only thing you have is rolling hills all around you, it does look like a mountain.
- Climbing the other (smaller) point to go and see the blow-hole that my dad raved about from his childhood. I remember being mildly impressed, although in typical fashion I think I conveyed more that everything was extremely dull, and I was bored.

This time around it happened to be winter. A NZ winter it is true, but winter nonetheless. That didn't stop us from going to the beach, though. Evan, having been deprived of surfing for almost a year being in Utah, was desperate to catch some waves. In fact, the previous evening he had insisted on jumping out of the car as we were driving along the coast and running into the ocean to go body surfing... Even though it was freezing and there was definitely a huge rain front coming in right at us. The rest of us stayed in the cars where it was warm and dry. The fact that he wanted to go surfing was further exacerbated by the fact that we spent the night at a lovely apartment with an ocean view. So, the next day, we rented Evan a wet-suit and a board and sat on the beach with windbreakers on watching him get pounded by the choppy waves.

He had fun though.

I can't speak for everyone else (I know Sarah was pretty cold...) but Lena certainly had fun, too. When she wasn't eating sand she was trying to run into the ocean, just like she had seen her Daddy do. It took the combined efforts of the grandparents, two aunts, and an adopted aunt to make sure she didn't drown. (I was taking a break, and watching my husband in case he drowned.)

We were still seeing that sand about three days after Lena ate it!

When Evan was done being beaten up by the waves we all headed up to the blow-hole. It wasn't quite the trek I remembered it being, and the blow-hole wasn't as big either, but it was still pretty cool. I didn't take pictures of it though because I was too paranoid that in my pregnant, and therefore highly precarious, state I would topple over the edge. Oh well. I did get a picture of the mount though, and some cute pictures of Lena on our way back to the cars.

Mt. Maunganui from the Blow-Hole Peninsula.

The Blow-Hole Peninsula behind Lena. The Blow-Hole is around the other side.

Baby Foot Prints.

Lena and Daddy. Those tiny specks on the beach further up ahead are people, just for wave comparison size.

Evan at the top of Mt. Maunganui after hiking it with Dad at some ungodly hour of the morning.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lena's Smoothie Experience

Today was oh-so-hot-and-muggy. I was terribly uncomfortable, which was only perpetuated by the fact that I am heavily pregnant (3 weeks left!!). Evan collected me and Lena from the "Baby Sprinkle" that Chelsea threw for me (thank you to all who came!) and we unanimously decided that big, cold drinks from Sonic were in order to save our family from dehydration and over-heating.

We got Lena a small smoothie, and were half-way home when Evan realized that her cup was leaking. The lid was on right... she hadn't tipped it upside-down... and then we realized she had punched a hole through the cup with her straw.

I call it smoothie-on-a-stick.

We thought it was pretty funny and quickly confiscated the cup for the rest of the way home to ensure that smoothie stickiness did not become a permanent feature of Lena's carseat. She, however, did not find that very funny at all. In fact, she was rather put out that we were not letting her enjoy her masterpiece, and that she was essentially strapped to the car and had no way of getting out!

All was resolved when we got home, though. And Lena even enjoyed that smoothie so much that finishing it wasn't enough: she licked the lid clean and then started to eat the cup when she was done.

At least we know she likes strawberry and banana smoothies.