Monday, June 22, 2009

How does Owen like June?

For those who have asked how Owen is adjusting to his new sister, this video is for you.

Short transcript:
"I get to touch her" song
"Pillow" song
"Gummi Bear" song

Not had the "Gummi Bear" song in your head yet? Count your blessings. Listen at your own risk.

"Chub Chub" and "O", the Big Bro

Owen's nickname for June: "Chub-chub". What she lacks in hair, she makes up for in delicious cheek fat!

Cheeky little monkey!

Mom got this shirt for Owen and he refused to wear it while she was here. But now that she's gone, he wears it with a big grin. It's like he could sense how much joy it would bring her and he took pleasure in denying her. Why do we (and by we I mean Owen and I) do that to people?

Owen gearing up for our Father's Day walk 'n' ride.

(Much time elapsed since leaving for our walk)

Michael and Owen on our Father's Day walk. I have taken this picture from the rear for several reasons:

#1 It was the world's longest walk and I was bringing up the rear. Where's the bike, you ask? see #2

#2 Owen was beet red and sobbing because he was exhausted (long abandoning his bike because his tushie hurt from such a long ride). I had the bike balanced on top of the stroller, pushing June while Michael tried to be Coach to Owen's Rocky. After that encouragement failed, Owen ended up riding the very narrow foot rest on the front of the stroller for the last mile home. And, yes, for the record, I did lobby for the sit-n-stand stroller for 2, but someone (who shall remain nameless) said that Owen was old enough not to need a stroller. "We never walk for long enough for him to NEED to ride in the stroller, Natalie. He can always ride his bike."

#3 I had forgotten how much Michael's and Owen's noggins look the same. Amazing that Owen might ever actually be even near how tall his daddy is. On many fronts, if he's half the man Michael is, I'll be pleased.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Snapshots of the Week

Neglected first-born needed a we're happy. :)

Michael and Owen at Sequoia (poor child had an accident on the way up and had to walk the park commando in 50 degree weather and then threw up on the S-curves on the way down the mountain...came home looking like a ragamuffin)

Grammie and June

Yes, I love my grandparents

Pee-Paw and June

Worn out (actually, this is what she looks like for 20 hours a day)

First frilly outfit...just wait 'til your Sushi comes back, little sister!

Owen picked out the skirt for her. So odd to me to see a newborn in a skirt (like a boy baby in a tie), but I better get used to it, no?

My kiddos. Of the 4 hours she's awake, 3.5 of them are spent being kissed on, held, and talked to by Owen. The other 30 minutes are usually Owen in a time-out for practically jumping on top of her or dive bombing me while I'm nursing her. Hey, he's still a rowdy preschooler, so I'm trying to be patient.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's Official (or photographic proof for my mother)

Here we are: Dr. and Mrs. Arnold!!

Thank you to all who have prayed us through the past 7 years! (Playing the theme song of "The Neverending Story" in my head)

This is Michael and his dissertation chair, Dr. Gorsuch, at the hooding ceremony. This is where the doctoral candidates from the school of psychology are acknowledged. They each go up one by one, are hooded by their chair, and then present their "thank yous" to people who got them this far. It was super-emotional, but fabulous!!

Michael's cheerleaders: Grammie and June

Daddy and his little girl.

Michael's parents and his brother.

The tired family of FOUR!!!!

This was taken right before we went out to the parking lot to find the dead car. But hey, it was great while it lasted!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Momma said...

Momma said there'd be days like this...

First, let me say, graduation was amazing, and I will be posting pictures ASAP (Michael's brother with the fancy pants camera was named "historian" for the event, and he has to email them to me when he gets back to Texas). But yes, my husband has completed the education required of him to pursue his vocational calling as a psychologist. Yea, Mikey! I couldn't be more proud. Just wait for the pictures because he looked so handsome...the best looking listener I know.

Now, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story":

After Michael's graduation, the PLAN was to hang out at Paseo Colorado (an outdoor mall in Pasadena) for the afternoon, where friends could come and go, Owen could run his nap-less self 'til he drops, and I could sit in a chair, eating Coldstone, relaxing with friends who pass the baby back and forth among them. Well, it was not meant to be...

We went out to the rented mini-van after the ceremony on Saturday, and the vehicle wouldn't start. Friends were going to meet us at 1 pm and it was 12:45. Didn't want Mr. Big to miss anyone, so I sent the boys on their way, and since the car was rented in my name, I stayed with the car to call the rental people. That meant June stayed with me, and Big Mike (Michael's dad) stayed too. Then Glynda (Michael's mom) stayed also to "help with Mike". Her words, not mine. :) Thankfully, Bryan (Michael's brother) had rented a compact car as well, so he took Michael and Owen to Paseo Colorado...where they spent the next 5 HOURS. Yes, hours.

So, where was I for those 5 HOURS????? Not at Paseo Colorado, that's for sure.

*45 minutes waiting for a tow truck and talking on the phone with a rent car company in Fresno (who, of course, didn't have any cars in LA)...oh, and nursing a 1.5 week old

*45 minutes to load the car on the tow truck because the car wouldn't go into neutral (problem with car never is still sitting at a shop in LA)

*30 minutes to drive to EL MONTE. LA people know that is NOT the closest mechanic shop to Pasadena, but that's what you get on a Saturday afternoon

*2 hours and 15 minutes in the waiting room of SuperTech Auto (great people, by the way). You know you've been there too long when you watch an ENTIRE movie on their TV. No, I didn't originally plan on ever watching Liam Neeson's "Taken", but when you're tired and exhausted (and nursing the 1.5 week old again), you'll watch anything. Still talking on phone with rental car people, finally ate lunch at 4:30 pm, all rental car places in El Monte closed early on Saturday, call a friend to drive us to the Burbank airport where we rented a car (to be reimbursed later) from good ol' Hertz.

*45 minute drive from El Monte to Burbank airport (thank you Rae for driving us across LA and to Ashley for being smushed in the back seat with June and me)

(then of course the 3.75 hours drvive back to Fresno. But it should only take 3 you say...again, nursing the 1.5 week old)

I won't go into the run-around I was given, but I will NOT be recommending Payless Car Rental to anyone in the Fresno area. (For the record, all other major chains did not have a car big enough for the family, so that's why we didn't use Hertz or Enterprise in the first place.)

Michael and Owen were troopers! They held court at Paseo for SO LONG, but the benefits to them were that they had lunch AND ice cream before 2 pm and that they saw:

Joel and Emily
Rae, Bert, and Ashley
Chad, Meredith, Abby, Sophie, and Liam
Ali and Lisa
Mark and Sherry

Which of course, means that I did not. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And did I remember to send the camera with the boys? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And since we all know that they really came to see June and not to congratulate Michael on his 7 year in the making degree, I appreciate them being gracious and not turning around the second they realized she wasn't there. Ha ha!

Now a July trip to LA is a definite must.

Thank you to Mike, Glynda, and Bryan for their patience as well. It was a cool day, it happened on the trip home and not the trip there, and June was the perfect baby the whole time, so thank God for small blessings and helpful friends and family.

We arrived back in Fresno past midnight. I knew it would be a busy weekend, but I had promised Michael to do as little as possible. So much for that. Thankfully, the Arnolds took Owen to Sequoia for the day so June and I have been resting a lot.

Lessons learned:
#1: I am not in control (you all know I have to relearn this lesson often)

#2: when renting a car, remember to ask "and what is your practice for if the car has an issue on the road? how quickly will I have a functioning car?"

#3: if you've made it to the end of this post (without pictures to keep you going, no less), you deserve some Coldstone too. Which reminds me, I still haven't had any.

Add that to my "PLAN" for tomorrow, eh? Famous last words...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First (and last??) Day Out

Friday was a big day at the Arnold house.

^Start the Day with Cuddles with a Sleepy Dad^

^Load Up in the Sling...almost the same position she was in-utero^

^June in Her Sling^

^Daddy and His Girls^

^At Kaiser's Lab Getting Newborn Blood Screening^

^Back at the House with the Midwife for Our Post-Partum Visit...still over 8 pounds^

^Sushi and June at our Picnic at Owen's School Grounds Before His Promotion^

^June and her Biggest Fan^
^Pre-School Promotion...Why, why why???^

^Owen and His Crew^

^Good Thing I Heard Him Practice at Home Because He Goofed Off the Whole Time on Stage^

Seriously, I did WAAAAY too much for one day. Doctor's visit, home visit, and preschool'll notice there are no pictures of me from later in the day. Heh, heh. And, thus, I've been holed up in the house ever since. Sent the boys to church (Michael joked that he was taking half the kids with him) and Owen went to the movies with Sushi this afternoon. "Up" got two thumbs up from them both. One more full day with Sushi, then a day off, and then the Arnolds arrive for Michael's graduation and to spoil Owen and June. Busy times, but we are so happy.

^Hey, When Are We Going Out Again??^

Thursday, June 4, 2009

All in a Name

Why "Lightfoot"? Lightfoot is my mom's maiden name, and in honor of my grandparents, who are no longer with us and had a great impact on my life, we chose to keep the name in the family (since they had two girls, the name hasn't continued on our side as a surname).

What if she had been born in May? No, her name would not have been May. Michael suggested June early on, but I told him that I didn't want to get attached to it and then have a baby come early. So, I'd been thinking of another name the whole time, and I thought we were 90% in agreement. After bonding with her and fawning over her the first hours, Michael brought the idea back up (he's always been a patient man). I had to let it gel to see if it could overtake the other name, and sure enough, it fits her well.

And no matter how much time you take to pick a beautiful name (in your mind, anyway), you have to laugh when your son introduces the baby to all the neighbors as "my new baby, June Foot".

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

She's Here

The quick facts:

June Lightfoot Arnold
8 pounds, 7 ounces
21 inches
6:20 pm, June 2nd

The quick story:

After a busy morning of chiropractor's and doctor's appointments, I was beginning to think those random Braxton Hicks contractions weren't so random after all. At 3 pm, I called our midwife and told her to come on over, for the contractions were now 3 to 4 minutes apart. We also called in another midwife from Bakersfield who has a lot of experience with vaginal delivery of breech babies (June was her 60-something breech baby; by contrast, our very capable and kind doctor has delivered only 3). Yep, June never did decide to turn down.

The plan was if labor progressed smoothly, we would continue our plan for a home birth; if I was not progressing, we would transfer to my doctor's hospital and then have the Caesarean (the only option offered by my doctor).

Not only did labor progress smoothly, it also went very quickly. By 6 pm, I was ready to push, but the Bakersfield midwife had not yet arrived in Fresno...or so we thought. The apprentice midwife opened the apartment door to walk to the street to see if Miss Brenda needed help, and she was on the doorstep about to knock. She walked in, gloved up, checked me, and said, "whenever you're ready honey." And I was. So, at 6:20, little miss declared that upside down is the new right side up, and was born.

She was pink and perfect; no suctioning or interventions were required for her at all. Everything was delivered, evaluated, and cleaned up and the AMAZING midwifery team was back on the road to their homes in the Valley by 8:30 pm. Michael and I enjoyed the evening at home, and Owen returned after staying with dear friends in the morning.

He is loving on her and singing to her (from Jingle Bells to Jesus Loves Me); he is a proud big brother. Michael was a great birthing help, and I am once again reminded how much he loves little babies and what a helpmate he is to me. Mom came today around noon, and I am so thankful for extra hands to help with Owen and give me time to catch up you poor, deprived people on pictures and news. Sorry to keep you waiting so long, and feel free to email me anytime. I might not be quick to return a call, but I'll log on when I can.

Thank you for all the love, prayers, and support you continue to send our way. Our God is faithful and, once again, He showers us with blessings beyond our imaginations!

Here are the pictures:

The mandatory "did she get hit by a bus?" picture:

Detrah doing the newborn assessment.

Michael "I once caught a baby THIS big!" (weighing June)With Detrah and her amazing apprentice Alex.
Sushi and June:
My boys and June:

More pictures as we get to know one another.