March 14, 2016

Number Five

We didn't get around to sending out a family Christmas card last year, (or even took any family photos at all) but we did send out something even better...


Backing up a bit...with Tessa coming a whole month early, we were all set and ready to welcome baby number five clear back in October...only SHE wasn't quite ready.  After plenty of false alarms, November 18th was finally the big day.  

My mom had been here for a week already, my due date had come and gone and I was getting a little anxious to say the least.  School had been cancelled due to the biggest blizzard of the year and I was certain she would choose to be born in the car, stuck in a snowbank on some lone Colorado road...but she held out. The day after our 14" snow storm, I had a restless night filled with contractions (which really was no different than any other night up to that point). I wasn't sure if it was the real deal and sent John off to work in the morning.  It soon became apparent that things were progressing as I struggled to get the kids ready for school.  A few phone calls later and Dad was on his way back home, school was cancelled for the McCoy children and we were on our way to the hospital.

When we arrived I was already well into labor and our sweet little girl joined us a few hours later...  
Despite 4 failed IV attempts, an infiltrated IV and an epidural that only partially worked...everything went relatively smoothly and rather quickly.  I remember asking John if he thought I was in labor over and over (I'm not sure why).  It finally sunk in that it was really happening when he said, "Melissa, you have your epidural, you're at an 8, we are staying!"
The umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around baby girls neck two times, making me extra glad she didn't choose the night of the blizzard to make her way into this world. John and I were in awe at the doctors swift ability to unravel the cord in seconds. 

Luckily, John's Dad was in town for work and was able to stop by the hospital that night while the kids were at home with Grandma Lisa, who stopped by the next morning to meet our little Jean...
I only stayed in the hospital for roughly 24 hours, so we decided we'd let the big kids meet their new sister at home.  Tess however, accompanied Grandma to the hospital and I will NEVER forget the look on her face when she first saw baby Jean.  She literally gasped and her jaw dropped as she looked from my flat tummy (okay, it wasn't and still isn't even remotely flat) to the bundle in my arms and back again.  The realization and delight in her eyes were so SO sweet.
 She definitely has had moments of jealousy and been a lot more needy these past few months, but overall she has been so sweet to "her baby Jeanie".  She tells me multiple times a day how much Jean loves her.
The kids were very anxious for us to get home, mostly because they were worried about Mama. 
(Yes, they are my angels.)
Side Note: I wanted to cut the boys hair before the baby was born, but waited til I was well into labor to do so...hence the horrific haircuts pictured above.  I was so out of it that I started cutting Wyatt's hair with an open blade (basically bald) and did all I could to salvage the rest of his hair once I realized what I had done.  Poor thing.  He was a trooper and we had a very good laugh about the whole thing, though he did call me in the hospital concerned Grandma wouldn't be able to style the fiasco of a hair-do.

Side Note #2: 
Cole was schedule to have braces put on the morning of November 18th, so while I was in labor my mom was sending me pics of our first kiddo in braces.  He was (and still is) so very proud to do something before Wyatt, it's made the whole braces thing a lot more fun and exciting than it certainly ever was for me...or probably anyone ever. Cole's just that kind of kid, a mouth full of metal can't get him down...
Back to the babe...
When I was pregnant with Macie, I KNEW I was having a boy. We would name him Henry.  When I was pregnant with Tessa I just KNEW that THIS time I was having another boy, our Henry.  So needless to say when I found out I was pregnant with number five, John and I both felt that this time was FOR SURE our third son. The kids knew, we all knew. 

The six of us were all there in the cramped little room when the ultrasound tech informed us that our next babe was indeed, another little girl.  Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled beyond belief to be the mother of three little girls...it's just that I had strongly felt that I was having a boy.  Apparently my mother's intuition is somewhat lacking!
During the rest of my ultrasound, I felt confused and unsure.  We knew we would be naming the baby Henry if he was a boy. I remember thinking how we didn't have a single girl name picked out.  In that moment I had a thought come clearly to my mind: "Her name is Jean."  I loved it instantly and knew that Jean would be the name of our sweet number five.  However, explaining to John how I had come to decide on the name of our child without his input at all had me worried.  As we sat in the waiting room (waiting for a second ultrasound) I decided to just get it out in the open.  I told him I knew what I wanted to name her, it just came to me and I really really felt strongly about it.  When I told him, he said "I agree."  Just like that.  My strongly opinionated husband agreed.  So that was that.  
Our Jean Carmenza, named for both of her great grandmothers, is just as sweet and lovely as her namesakes...
 Okay, okay, she is our fussiest baby.  BUT, she's stinkin adorable, smiley as can be (when she's not screaming) and at already three months old is sleeping through the night.
I never ever imagined that I would be a mother of five!  Though I do remember telling John as newlyweds that I wanted six.  However once reality set in, that seemed much too hard for someone as uptight as I am to handle.
Well, five IS hard.  It's very hard.  Some days I feel close to insane, or maybe I have passed right on by insanity long ago.  It is hard, but it's so so good.  We are so blessed.  Our children are our world.  They are amazing little people and I can't believe we are lucky enough to have one more sweet person belong to us.
Jean Carmenza, we adore you.

March 11, 2016

'Staches and Patches

Wow, 5 months since my last post...and 4 before that.  So I'm not going to make excuses, I'm just back.  After my Dad mentioned the other day that he used to read our blog when he lived in Rock Springs, I decided I really need to start up again.  I enjoy blogging and we all enjoy looking back on past posts, so I've decided to make it a priority.  Cleaning the house can totally wait, right? 

I am so crazy behind I'm not even going to try to post things in order, but eventually one day I might catch up.  Or not.  For now, I'll start with a fun day last Spring when our Coley Moley turned eight!!

You know it isn't a birthday at our house if Mama doesn't get out lots and lots of old pictures and shed a few tears.  Cole made it particularly emotional for me as he chose a pirate-themed party and basically reenacted my all time favorite Coley-Costume...

Somehow our 8-year-old Cole was able to squeeze into some of our 2-year-old Cole's pirate attire.  I almost died at the level of cuteness, then and now. 

After Macie's over-the-top fairy party (I've yet to blog about) a few weeks prior, I decided to keep things simple for Coley's special day...
Apparently I just can't do simple.  I tried. I really did.
This wasn't our first rodeo, with one pirate party under our belt already...
...I thought we were right on track with the "simple" theme when we recycled our old pirate party invites.
Things quickly escalated and before I knew it I was begging John to build a mast.
He complied.

So I kinda love parties. I've accepted it and won't pretend otherwise ever again.  
Captain Cole was pretty happy as well...
The kids arrived and quickly transformed into buccaneers and scallywags, complete with 'staches and patches.  John insisted on pirate lingo, though I believe he is the only one who walked the walk AND talked the talk.
As Wyatt has a slight obsession with showing off origami, he was thrilled to show Cole's crew how to make ships...
 
...which were immediately put to the test by a barrage of water balloon bombs.
 Still in full embarrassing-dad mode (Okay Cole LOVED John's pirate accent, Macie and I were mortified) John next taught the boys the true art of sword fighting...

The kids then walked the plank, er, I mean fought on a bridge-like plank thing in our backyard.
No one cried, so that was good.
Then we played water-balloon/pirate sword baseball because that's totally what pirates do at birthday parties. Duh.
I hope Coley had fun.  I was overwhelmed with morning sickness and pretty much turned the party over to John.  We all know he is the fun one anyway, so that worked out just fine.
After presents from friends...
...the little scurvy dogs followed clues to discover their buried treasure...
After divvying up the booty, the party then took a dramatic turn for the worse.  However, the kiddos probably disagree with me in that regard, as they seemed to enjoy being soaked to the bone on a moderately cold Colorado Spring day...
Lesson learned:  When water balloons and a filled inflatable pool are within sight of a large group of unsavory pirates, a mass water fight WILL break out.  At this point, it is always best to return the dripping wet children to their own loving parents, especially those driving brand new cars with leather seats. (Yes, that happened.)

Lesson #2: Paper-crafted masts on top of cupcakes WILL catch on fire when in close proximity to 8 burning candles...
You may notice the top of the flag aflame in the above pic...unfortunately at this point my camera was tossed aside as that baby burst into full on flames rather quickly and I needed both hands to prevent the entire table turning to ash.
It was the highlight of the party and of course totally planned.

I can't believe our sweet boy is already eight (actually, almost nine now!).  He is such a fun boy and brings so much happiness to our family.  He still loves playing pretend games with Wyatt and Macie and LOVES giving piggy back rides to Tess,  He loves jumping on the trampoline, dribbling a basketball around the house for hours on end, playing x-box and has a new found love of mystery books.  He is getting better and better at the piano, is still as funny and silly as ever, and can NOT refrain from busting a move if there is music of any kind in earshot.  He recently has developed a goal to do "the windmill" and can often be seen practicing in his room late at night when everyone else is in bed.  
I am so grateful to be his Mama, we love you Captain Cole.

October 24, 2015

A Day to Remember

Well, I suck at blogging.  That's the bottom line.  BUT I do have a few excuses up my sleeve, the main one being that I am once again preggo and about to pop.  We are due to welcome another sweet little girl into our family in exactly 24 days (but who's counting?).
 This pregnancy has been my hardest by far.  From extreme morning sickness for over 5 months to a placenta previa scare, let's just say we've been surviving and little else.  I feel like I've said that exact phrase on this blog many a time...anyway, we are getting very excited to meet our little girl.  I am in full-fledged nesting mode (hence the attempt to blog, I guess).  Besides organizing random drawers and cupboards, I am crafting up a storm and am currently working on a carseat cover and quilt for our new addition.  Yesterday some of my sweet friends here in Colorado threw me a little surprise shower which only increased my excitement to finally meet this little thing that has been keeping me up all night, every night.  

On top of my complete lack of energy the past few months, our computer took a tumble and was out of commission for some time.  In addition, most of my pictures from the past 10 months or so are missing.  I believe we will recover them eventually, I just haven't gotten around to doing so.  After looking at some old blog posts the other day, I've been inspired to give it a go once more, especially since our sweet little Tess is growing up so fast and I've hardly mentioned her at all here (instagram is another story). 

Though we've had a number of holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc that I've yet to blog about (most of those pics are missing anyway) I'll start back up with a special day from last June when our big-eight-year-old Coley decided to be baptized... 
Cole had been looking forward to this day for some time, probably since the day Wyatt was baptized.  He was very excited to become a member of the church, to be washed free from sin and to receive the Holy Ghost.  However for some reason, he was especially excited to be able to raise his hand and officially participate in the ward sustainings/vote of thanks.  

We snapped a few pre-baptism pictures of Cole in our front yard looking pretty darn dapper...
He begged me to end the photo-torture with that one short session and I begrudgingly complied.  Looking back I really wish I would have made him let me snap some more, but at least I captured that adorable grin...
We were so grateful to have some of our family members come from so far away to support our special boy on his special day. Of course I totally spaced taking pictures of those who came, but we did have most of them write a sweet message to our Coley...
Grandma Lisa and Grandpa Monte, Aunt Montell and Aunt Caity, and little cousin Mak flew in that morning.  Aunt Lisa with her two girls, Ellie and Scarlett, drove all the way from Kansas City and Grandpa Lynn, Grandma Patty, and Uncle Mikey drove in from Utah.  Cole was thrilled.

His baptism day was such a great day.  Cole was baptized by his Dad, whom everyone decided looked quite a bit like the original John the Baptist.
 Cole adores John to a fault and I could see the love and pride in his sweet little gaze all throughout the day.  I am so grateful to have a husband worthy of all that admiration, whom our children love and respect...
Aunt Lisa gave a wonderful talk on the Holy Ghost and Wyatt spoke on the Baptismal covenants.  Both talks were SO SO wonderful.  After everyone had filed out of the church and only Cole and I remained, he looked up at me and said, "Mom, I feel really really special."  I am so grateful for the love and support of our family, friends, and ward members who helped make his day so memorable.

After snapping a few more family pics (none of which everyone present was actually aware of the camera)...
...we headed home for more pics, a BBQ, presents for Cole, and lots of visiting with family.
Everyone was so impressed with and proud of Cole.  His testimony is simple, yet so very sweet.  He knows he is a child of God and has no doubt that God loves him and answers his prayers.  Whenever anything goes array, he is always quick to kneel and ask for help with perfect faith that his prayer will be answered.  He is a great source of joy to everyone who knows him and I am so very proud to be his mother.  We love you Cole and are so happy you are ours.