Wednesday, December 2, 2009

jude's 2nd birthday on november 1

Jude's birthday was just a few days after Josie was born. He arrived on his great grandma Josie Dykstra's birthday. And now he has a little sister who inherited that very name!

Grandpa Dykstra and Grandpa and Grandma Stutzman came to help celebrate along with Uncle Mike and Aunt Megan. We started our morning off with a trek to Stillwater for our final chance to scope out our favorite apple orchard before it would close for the season. They may as well have already shut their gates. We got there to find the hayrides parked and the petting zoo empty. The wine shop was open and they had a few caramel apples left for sale...not much to excite a two year old.

Two apple orchard's later we found the perfect place. The most commercialized one in Stillwater. The one I have always thought looked obnoxious and far from the quaint picturesque apple orchards us Minnesotan's all envision. Well, for the sake of the two year old, we stayed and had a most enjoyable time. There was a hayride AND a petting zoo. Oh, and there was our nice warm toasty van for my mom and I and baby Josie to reside in while the others galavanted around in the cold.

Looking a bit wind blown. It wasn't exactly a nice November day.

We've begun a cake decorating tradition with Jude. Last year Michael deocrated Jude's cake. This year it was Steve. We decided to go with an "interactive" cake with toppings he could reuse and play with! I decided that instead of feeling like I'm a bad mom because I do not enjoy creating beautiful elaborate cakes for my children's birthday's, I would delegate the honors to other family members. Less stress for me = happier children.

The happy party-goers....minus the photographer.

So I officially have a two year old son. I always tell Steve that if I could be guaranteed boys as sweet as Jude, I'd take 10 more. We just love him to pieces! We are blessed, indeed.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

josie's arrival

Josie is 6 weeks and we've fallen head over heels. I still can't believe she's here! I felt as if I would be pregnant forever. I am certainly enjoying being the smaller me!

Here's how it all went...

On the evening of October 19 I began to feel slightly uncomfortable contractions. We were having dinner and I told Steve that this definitely could be it. I didn't really believe though that it would be because our due date was Oct. 22 and I was sure I would go late....certainly not early.

We went about our evening routine of dinner, family devotions, bedtime, etc. We even went for a little drive. After putting the kids to bed around 8:00, they lessened a little bit, but by 10:30 when Steve and I went to bed, they became increasingly uncomfortable and I was unable to sleep. They were still 15 minutes apart, so I knew that I had time and they weren't overly painful yet.

Steve went to bed and I stayed up. I called our friend, Erin, who lives just a few blocks away and told her that tonight could be the night and to keep her phone by her bed. She was planning to come and sleep at our house with the kids while we went to the hospital. at about 11:30, I called my midwife. She told us she would meet us at the hospital. I called Erin again and she was at our place in about 3 minutes. She's good!

We only live 2 miles from the hospital, so we arrived and checked in shortly after midnight. My totally awesome midwife, Amy, arrived soon after we did. I labored for a few hours in the hot tub which was amazing! I had decided that since I had a great labor coach, I would try and go without the epidural. Had Steve and Amy not been there to convince me otherwise, there were several points during the night that I could easily have changed my mind. I knew how totally awesome having an epidural felt and almost called for the anestesiologist several times.

At 5:00, Amy broke my water at 5:00. Josie Grace was born at 5:33am with a perfectly shaped head (unlike the other two kids) and the right amount of fingers (remember, Jude had a couple of extra digits!)

We adore her. We are thankful. The name Josie means "He will enlarge or make great" I think the name Grace speaks for itself.

We named her Josie because we love the name. It is also the name of Steve's Grandma. If she were alive today, she would be over 100 years old! The "J" theme is not intentional. You can read about Jeneva and Jude's names here.