Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Tucker - 6 Months!

I don't know where these six months went, but they went fast!  Like his older sisters, we waited until he was six months to start giving him solid food.  He first tried sweet potatoes...

He wasn't so sure about that, he was setting his sights higher, like on the bratwursts we were enjoying...

Then he tried banana...

He's also had avocado, but we didn't get a picture of that.  So far, he loves bananas, and is eating about 1/4 of one in one sitting.

We finally put the baby swing up and got the high chair out of the attic.  He looks like such a small fry guy in it.

He's such a happy little guy, and we all love having him around.  The girls absolutely love having a baby brother, and they're such big helpers!

He scoots all over the house - sometimes he thinks about crawling, but then he realizes that scooting gets him where he wants to go faster.  He loves to try to sneak in the girl's room when I'm not looking, and if I find him as he's about to get in their room, he scoots faster to try to get away.  He's fast, but not that fast.  Their room is not exactly baby proofed, so I try to keep him out of there unless someone's with him.

In other big news, Cami is potty trained!  This is such a big deal in our house, and we're all so proud of her!  She also gets herself dressed in the mornings, which is so nice.

Kendall starts K4 next week, and I think I'm in denial!  She's only going for half-day, but it's going to be a big change around here.  The other day, I was telling her how much I'll miss her while she's gone, and Kendall just kept saying, "It's okay mom.  I'll be back soon and you won't have to miss me anymore!  I'll miss you, too, but I'll be back."  As much as I'll have to adjust to it, I think Cami will have the hardest time with this change.  They're best friends and play pals, so Cami's really going to miss her.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Kendall Speak - Part 12

Both of these incidents just happened, while she's helping Grant do yard work.  She's on a roll tonight!

Grant has been pulling weeds from this section of our yard every night this week.  And every night, Kendall and Cami go "help" him.  Actually, Kendall does a really good job pulling weeds, and Cami pulls weeds for about a minute, then she's off to play in her own little world.  Tonight, while Cami was in her own world, Kendall was telling Grant how Cami was so lazy, because she wasn't helping them work.  Grant explained that she's not lazy, she's just two!  Then Cami came walking back towards them, and Kendall said:

"Oh, uh, hi Cami (humming).  No, we're not talkin' about you.  We're just workin'.  Not talkin' about you at all! (more humming)"

A few minutes later, I came outside with Tucker, and a lady was walking her dog named Snickers, and talking to Grant.  From a distance, when I heard this lady talk, I could tell she was from Boston or somewhere around there, because she had a pretty thick accent.  As she walked away, Kendall said:

"Mom, that lady is from Boston, and her dog's name is Snickers.  Do you know how she said Snickers?  'Snickas'."

And then she starts laughing.  All of this was well within earshot of the nice lady from Boston.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cami Speak: Part 3

So pretty much everything that comes out of Cami's mouth these days is funny.  She's just a creative, funny, imaginative little girl that happens to have great timing!

The other night, I was getting dressed for bed.  I usually wear shorts and a tank top, but this particular night, I wore a nightgown.  Cami said, "Ooooh, I like your nightgown!  Do a twirl for me!" (she's obsessed with twirling)

Yesterday, Kendall and Cami were playing pretend.  Cami was the mom and Kendall was trying to go to sleep, but she was scared.  So she asked "Mom" to tell her a story.  Cami said, "This is a twue story.  A story about a shoe.  Once there was a shoe, and it was layin' on the ground.  Shoes don't lay on grounds!  Then the shoe got thirsty.  The end."

This morning she put a tank top of mine on, and started dancing around the room saying, "I'm a mom, just like my mom!  I'm a mom, just like my mom!"

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Cami Speak: Part 2

We're in the middle of potty training Cami, so we're doing a lot of asking "Do you have to pee?  Do you have to poop?"  The other night, this is how it went.

Me:  Cami, do you have to poop?  Do you want to sit on the potty?
Cami:  Mermaids don't poop on the potty!
Me:  Are you a mermaid?
Cami:  Yes!
Me:  Okay, where do mermaids poop?
Cami:  They don't poop anywhere!

This morning, the girls came in our room when they woke up.  Watley was laying on the floor on a pile of pillows, and Kendall got him up and started hitting him with pillows.  I told her that wasn't nice.  This is what Cami had to say...

Cami:  Oh, Watley.  You have one nice sister, and one not nice sister.
Me:  Oh!  Watley has a nice sister and a not nice sister?  Who's the not nice sister?
Cami points to Kendall
Me:  Who's the nice sister?
Cami points to herself and starts cracking up.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another Video

Sorry for the lack of "real" blog posts lately. I've been trying to take more video of the kids, because I don't want to forget these times - how they act, what they sound like, the funny way they pronounce things, etc. Yesterday morning, I took this video. Let me give it some background... Tucker has been in our room since he was born. He's starting to outgrow the bassinett, and he's still waking up 1-2 times each night (I know, I shouldn't complain, but the girls slept through the night seriously early), so I thought maybe if I move him into the guest/sewing/baby room, he would be more comfortable, and maybe, just maybe, he'd sleep through the night. Well, it worked. So far, at least. That first night, he slept for about 13 hours. He stirred a little in the middle of the night, but only for a couple minutes, and he never cried. So that's where this video comes in. I thought he might wake up on his own, just with us in his room. But when he didn't, I started saying his name. Then Kendall starting talking to him, and then Cami came in, and well, the poor baby was so confused when he finally did wake up. Around 1:30 it gets pretty funny.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Three Kids

Life in our house these days is fun, choatic, busy, hard, confusing, dramatic, funny...

People always ask me if it's different having a boy.  At this point in time, the difference that I'm struggling with is not that I have a boy now (although, I know I'll notice those differences as he gets older), but rather that I have three. 

I've heard that going from 1 to 2 is the hardest, but for me - right now - going from 2 to 3 has been the hardest.  Sure, going from 1 to 2 was hard.  I remember some very difficult situations that I dealt with right after Cami was born.  But I don't know...can't quite put my finger on it, it just seems harder this time.  Some days I wonder why on earth I even chose to be a mom, because I feel like such a failure.  But then I read encouraging blogs of those who have gone through this, are going through this, and I realize that I'm not the only mom that struggles in raising their kids.  That this is normal, even.

The main thing that's hard is the 3:1 ratio.  And even when Grant is home, we're still outnumbered.  I don't have enough hands (or brain cells, it seems like) to do alot of things these days.  I'm pulled in different directions all day long.  Sometimes, I can hardly put a sentence together.  But I love my kids more than anything, and I just tell myself that it won't always be like this.  They won't always be this little.  And there are great moments.  Really precious moments.  And at the end of a hard day, I think about those moments.

For instance, Tucker.  He's a sweet baby.  A very, very sweet baby.  I'm not kidding, this kid will make you want a baby.  When he smiles at you, his whole face lights up, and it's just the sweetest thing.  I can be in a really bad mood, but one smile from him can totally change me.

We did a really good job when Kendall was born about buying mostly gender-neutral stuff.  But we still have one pink thing - the Bumbo.  Apparently, there are covers for them, but I doubt we'll get one.  He'll just have to suffer through sitting in a pink chair.

And Cami.  She's seriously one of the funniest kids I've ever known.  She just has this kind of comedic timing, at the ripe old age of 2.  She's funny, and she knows she is.  A lot of times, she amazes me with the things she comes up with.  She's a little quirky, too, which just adds to her personality.  One of her quirks, she loves to smell things.  Right now, she's holding up a bottle of peppermint oil to her nose and smelling it.  Over and over again.  Last night, Grant was shucking some corn, and while she was "helping" him, she smelled the corn.  Pretty much anything that has a smell, she takes the time to smell it.  She's following in Kendall's footsteps, and is learing to be a helper. 

Speaking of Kendall, I would say that's one of her best traits - she loves to help.  She'll make her bed, without me saying it (maybe I should, but I've never asked her to make her bed, unless someone is coming over), set the table for every meal, get diapers for Tucker, dress herself, and pick out Cami's clothes.  She really, really just loves it.  And she's so sweet and thoughtful.  She loves to draw pictures for me, and when she gives them to me, she'll say, "I just love you so much, so I wanted to draw you this picture."

If those earlier words about having three kids came across as harsh, I really do enjoy it.  I put together this little movie of the three of them.  I think I'll make myself watch it when I'm having a particularly bad day, because it just makes me happy.  The girls are very much in love with their brother, and amazingly, they're already asking when the next baby is coming (apparently, it's a girl).  I keep reminding them that we still have a baby, and if we have another baby, it will be a while.  I'm glad that they love having a baby in the house, though.  It makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Tucker's Baptism (and Happy Easter!)

Four years ago on Easter, Kendall was baptised at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Vandalia, Ohio.  Today, Tucker was baptised at Grace Redeember Presbyterian Church in Crestview, Florida!  The best part about today, was that most of our family was close enough to celebrate with us.  My parents, Grant's parents, and my brother and his wife all came over from Pensacola to go to church with us and witness the baptism.  That alone would have been special, but the fact that it was Easter was even more so!  We haven't spent an Easter with any family in 9 years!

For those of you that might be unfamiliar with infant baptism, and wonder why we do it, I found this great explanation.  It's worth a read, and it's pretty short.  Basically, we realize that baptism does not bring salvation; however, we are making a covenant with God to raise up our children in a godly manner - hoping and praying for their recognition of God's grace in their lives as they get older.

In our church, we are asked three questions before the baptism.  They are:
Do you acknowledge your child's need of the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit?
Do you claim God's covenant promises in his behalf, and do you look in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation, as you do for your own? 
Do you now unreservedly give your child to God, and promise, in humble reliance upon devine grace, that you will endeavor to set before him a godly example, that you will pray with and for him that you will teach him the doctrines of our holy religion, and that you will strive, by all the mean's of God's appointment, to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
This is so different than how I was raised, so it took me a while to come around to it.  I even avoided the subject altogether for a while after we were married, because we didn't have kids.  But Grant was raised in a church that practiced infant baptism, so he encouraged me to kind of make up my mind about it before we had kids.  After reading about it alot and listening to a really thorough discussion for it by Greg Bahnsen (called "Biblical Baptism"), I realized that this is something we needed to do for our children.

Again, we were so happy to actually have family partake in this special occasion!

After church, the kids had a little Easter egg hunt, and then it was off to our house. 

While we were preparing food, we had another Easter egg hunt in our backyard.

And we finally got a family picture!  The first one of all of us since Tucker was born.

And I thought this was cute - all three kids in swings.

As far as the rest of our Easter...Grant recently read the book Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright.  Here's an excerpt of that:
Easter ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems. Is it any wonder people find it hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don’t do it exube...rantly in our liturgies? Is it any wonder the world doesn’t take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simply the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom? It’s long overdue that we took a hard look at how we keep Easter in church, at home, in our personal lives, right through the system. And if it means rethinking some cherished habits, well, maybe it’s time to wake up.
And that makes sense. If you think about it, the thing that gives us hope is that we serve a risen Savior - not one who's dead and in the ground. He's risen! And that's a pretty awesome thing! It's easy to kind of forget about the reason for Easter, and just go through the motions. But it does need to be more of a celebration. We even changed our tactic with the Easter candy this year, and told the girls that the reason we have candy is to celebrate the resurrection (we don't have candy a lot, so I think they actually understood that).

We had a pretty awesome celebration!  We had champagne, and food...lots and lots of food!  I should have gotten a picture of our FEAST, but I didn't.  Here's a picture of everyone around the table, though.

I hope everyone reading this had a great Easter celebration, too.  He is risen...He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Very Pinteresting!

Pinterest.  If you haven't heard about it by now, get out from that rock you're living under!  I got an invitation for Pinterest probably about a year ago.  But I didn't want to sign up.  I spend too much time online as it is, I didn't need one more thing to distract me.  Then I got another invitation, so I joined, but I didn't really get into it for a couple more months.  When I finally did get into it, I didn't really "get it."  Then I got it, and fell in love!  It hasn't become too much of a time suck for me, either, although it easily could. 
For a while now, I've been wanting to post about all the pinteresty things that I've done...there have been a lot of recipes made, and some cool organizational things that I've done thanks to Pinterest.  Some of the things, I wasn't even looking for - I just came across them.  Like this one...

When I saw this idea I knew I needed to use it for my laundry room.  Our laundry room is T-I-N-Y.  There's only one shelf, and not really room for another one.  On that shelf is some storage things, and it's also where we keep extra light bulbs, batteries, etc.  That shelf was has plenty of things on it, leaving no room for any of the laundry/cleaning stuff.  So they were just piled up on top of the dryer.  This over-the-door shoe holder was the perfect solution for such a tiny space!  And I'm so happy with it!

There's also been a couple of ideas for keeping a air fresheners using essential oils.  I started out doing this one, making use of my old Bath and Body Wallflower containers.  But I found that the essential oil/water mixture evaporated too quickly.  So I needed another idea.  Again, not even looking for it, I saw this one which uses baking soda and essential oils in a jar, and I've been so much happier with it.

There's also been an all-natural body scrub (that I love), this great idea for having pre-scooped ice cream at parties, and don't even get me started on recipes!  I've made many in the recent months - that pretty much deserves it's own post.

The most recent "pinteresting" thing I've made is this Easter flower arrangement, using tulips, Peeps, and jelly beans.  I just had to make it!  So here's my version.

The other thing I've loved about Pinterest is not even the stuff you find on Pinterest, itself.  But pinning things you find on your own.  I've made a few boards for stuff I wanted to remember.  Like this Amy Butler bag that I want to make.  I wanted to remember the fabrics I liked and the blogs that have tips for making it.  So I made a board for it.  I also made a board for recipes I wanted to make for Easter dinner.  It's so nice to find a recipe or an idea, pin it, and not have to worry about finding it again!

I've made and done quite a few things found on Pinterest, but there's still so many I need to do!  So basically, what I'm saying...if you're not on it, you should be!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cami Speak: Part 1

I figured Cami needed her own post, because she's pretty funny these days.

This conversation took place a couple of weeks ago at the dinner table:

Grant: Girls, do you know what tomorrow is? March 1st, which means it's the beginning of Mustache March for the Air Force!

Kendall: Ugh, your mustache is gonna be ridiculous. Is it gonna be ridiculous, Mama?

Me: Yes, it's going to be ridiculous.

Cami: Elephants drink water!


Kendall told on Cami to me for something, and when Kendall went back in her room, where Cami was, Cami said, "Listen to me, don't say that to Mama!" 

I quietly laughed from the other room, and told Grant she said that.  He quietly laughed, but then called Cami in to talk to him.  He said, "Cami, come here.  I need to talk to you."  Cami said, "What are you gonna say?"


Grant does a great job of teaching the girls Catechism questions as part of their going-to-bed routine.  He was going through them with Cami to show me how much she knows and when they got to the question, "Who wrote the Bible?" she said, "Holy men who fought the Holy Spirit." (It's supposed to be "Holy men who were taught by the Holy Spirit")

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Almost One Month

So I totally meant to blog at one week, two weeks, and three weeks after Tucker was born, but, well...I guess I'm not that great at blogging with three kids!  So now that he's almost a month (how is that even possible?), I guess I should post some pictures!

The first month has been overall, great!  There have been some trying times, but really, Tucker is a pretty awesome baby and the girls love him, so that's all that really matters!  Grant went back to work last week, but I had an easy transition, because my mom came the day he went back to work, and his mom came a couple of days after that.  So this has really been my first week on my own, and it's gone better than I expected! 

We made it out to the library and post office on Monday, and then the library again on Wednesday.  I've done my little version of "school" with the girls one day, and I plan on doing it again today.  Just because I've hit these high points, doesn't mean there haven't been low points.  I'm just choosing to focus on the positives, though.

Even though I still feel like we haven't totally gotten settled here in Crestview, we have come across some very generous people - Grant's parent's church (the church he grew up in) provided us with a meal, and so did a friend from my quilt guildMichelle, even though she's all the way out in California, provided us with a meal via my mom, which I thought was not only thoughtful, but clever.  And our church made up several crock pot meals for us to freeze and use whenever we need.  The only time I've made something so far is this past weekend, when Grant and I made pizzas for us and my parents.  It's been pretty amazing!

I mentioned it earlier, but the girls really do love having a brother.  They each tell me at least once a day, "I love our brother" or, "I love having a little brother."  That makes me so happy!  I hear horror stories of older siblings telling their moms that they want the baby to go away or go back in their mama's bellies, but we haven't had any of that.

Okay, enough jibber jabber, onto some pictures!

Grandma Betty, Aunt Mere and Uncle Tony, and Papa David meeting Tucker for the first time, a few hours after he was born.

Uncle Tony and Kendall holding Tucker

Our first trip to the hospital, for his newborn checkup.  Grant made the comment that usually, this would be the "going home from the hospital" picture, but it's the opposite for us.

Checking out his mama.

Just being handsome...

Valentine's Day

Daddy reading to all three of his kiddos

Tucker is a great sleeper!

First bath

Here's a little video of what has become a nightly tradition for us.  Every evening, after dinner, and after we read the Bible, Grant dances Tucker around.  The girls love it, and crack up every night like it was their first time seeing it.

And here's another funny little video.  The background - several months ago, when we were still living with my parents before we bought our house, Grant was about to brush Cami's teeth.  He had her standing up on the sink, and she randomly started doing this little dance and saying, "Ah ah tay, ah ah tay!"  We don't understand it, but it's pretty cute.  She still does it, along with Kendall, and the other night before bed, they were pretty hyper, and started doing it topless (don't ask me why).  They're funny little girls and they make us laugh.  Before I had kids, I would always hear about other people's kids putting on shows for the family, and I always hoped my kids would do that.  I'm glad they're more than happy to perform for us.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tucker Williams Spear - A Home Birth Story

Most of the people who read my blog already know this, but I'm very happy to announce that our Baby Boy was born on Saturday, February 4th at 6:01 am, weighing in at 9 lbs, 8 oz, and measuring 21 1/4" long.  I think I mentioned here before that we were going to do a home birth, so I thought I'd start out by talking about why we chose that.

Let me first say that I have nothing against hospitals, or having babies in the hospital.  However, what I do have a problem with is how alot of hospitals treat women who are in labor, especially women who choose to labor naturally, with no drugs, and no intervention (unless necessary, of course).  I feel that if a woman has a low risk pregnancy, and there are no signs that anything is going wrong during delivery, she should be able to labor the way she wants to, without having to fight for it. 

With Kendall's birth, I had a hospital birth, but used the midwife that was on staff.  Overall, everything was fine, but they did end up using a vacuum to get her out.  At the time, I thought that was a necessary intervention, but now I'm not so sure.  I just can't help but wonder if I had her in a birthing center or at home if everything would have been fine.  Yes, I had a midwife, but she was a hospital employee, and I'm sure she had to follow hospital protocol.  Of course, I'll never know for sure, but I do wonder.

Cami's birth was something entirely different.  I didn't have a midwife, but my doctor was supposedly "natural friendly" (although she did a couple of things during the late stages of my pregnancy that weren't so natural), and when I showed her my birth plan, she was fine with everything on it.  She did suggest that I take it to the hospital before the birth, to give the nurses a head's up on everything I expected.  I went in for a non-stress test and took the birth plan, and the nurses there said they were fine with everything.  However, when I went to the hospital during very hard labor, the nurse I had wasn't fine with my birth plan, and we literally had to fight with her to not hook me up to the IV, not have me strapped to the monitor, etc.  The last thing you want to do during hard labor is fight for something you thought would be fine.  For what it's worth, this particular nurse had a bad reputation, so if I had a different nurse, my whole experience would have been different.  But I had her, so I really look back at Cami's birth with not so pleasant thoughts.

As far as home birth goes, I never wanted to do one.  I didn't think there was anything wrong with them - I just didn't feel that home birth was for me.  It wasn't until I was complaining to Megan about Cami's birth that I even considered doing a home birth.  And that was because Megan (who loves her epidurals!) suggested I do one.  She said that if she didn't want the epidural, she wouldn't go to the hospital.  That really got me thinking - Why do I go to the hospital?

I still wasn't necessarily leaning towards home birth.  I was thinking more of going to a birthing center.

When I found out I was pregnant in California, I started looking up midwives in Florida, and if there were any birthing centers near where we would be moving.  I found a midwife, but couldn't really figure out if there was a birthing center.

Once we moved here, we talked with the midwife and found out that she was opening a birthing center, hopefully in January of 2012.  That would mean that we could birth there if we wanted to, but I was unsure if the birthing center would be up and running by then.  So we just decided to go ahead and plan for the home birth.

So that's the background.  Now let's get to the actual birth story...

A couple weeks before my due date, Grant had to go out of town for work, two weeks in a row.  The first week he was gone, my mom came and stayed here for a couple of days.  The second week he was gone, the girls and I went to Pensacola to stay with my parents.  That was just to make it easier on me, since I was so close to my due date (February 4).  That second week, while I was in Pensacola, I went to Wal-Mart.  As you know, Wal-Mart is huge, and I felt every step that I took in that store.  After that, I started feeling all sorts of "stuff" that kind of freaked me out.  I did not want to have this baby while Grant was on the other side of the country.  Obviously, it turned out to be nothing, and once he was home, I felt more at ease.  I still felt "stuff" and even started having contractions every now and then, but nothing ever progressed.  This was so different than how it was with either of the girls.  With them, I didn't feel anything until the day I went into labor - and that was past my due date, so I knew that it was the real thing.  All of this stuff that was happening now was before my due date, and I never knew what it all meant.

All day long on Friday, February 3, I sewed.  I could.not.stop.sewing!  Grant's mom was here watching the girls, so I just holed up in my sewing room and sewed, sewed, sewed!  My plan was to make Valentine's Day pillows for our couch, and I was only going to finish what I had started earlier in the week, but I just kept going, making 4 pillows altogether.  I wanted to finish so I could clean up the room, because that was the room we were going to set up the birthing tub in.  Oh, how I wished I would've just stopped at 2 pillows, or even 3!  But it was that fourth pillow that did me in.  When I finally finished with it, I was too exhausted to clean up the room.

We had dinner, and after dinner, Grant randomly got the camera out to take pictures of my ginormous baby!  That ended up being so providential, though.  We've hardly taken any pictures of my belly throughout this pregnancy (sorry, Tucker), so it was cool that he thought to do this, without knowing that I would be going into labor in just a few hours!

After we put the girls to bed, Grant and I watched a movie.  I noticed around 8:15 or 8:30 that I was having contractions, but since I had been having some here and there, I didn't really think too much of them.  Also, they weren't really defined - I couldn't tell when they started and stopped.  But they kept going.  So after about 45 minutes, I told Grant, "By the way, I've been having contractions for the past 45 minutes."  Then I fell asleep on the couch, while Grant kept watching the movie.  Woke up about 30-45 minutes later, and noticed that I was still having those weird, running-all-together contractions.  I decided that if the baby was coming, I should probably go to bed to get some real sleep.  So we both got to bed around 10:30.  I noticed that once I laid down, they were becoming more defined.  I stayed awake for two of them, and told Grant when they started and stopped.  But none of these contractions had been painful, so I still didn't know if this was a false alarm.

Went to sleep, and then woke up around 1:45 am with a painful contraction.  I got up to go to the bathroom, and noticed that there was a little blood.  This was it!  I decided to let Grant get some sleep, and I'd go clean up that stupid sewing room, so we could get the tub set up.  Dumb, dumb, Valentine's pillows!

Well, the contractions were painful enough, and coming very close together that I couldn't really focus on cleaning up the room.  And I didn't wait long to wake Grant up.  I woke him up at 2:00.  When I started telling him how often the contractions were coming, he just kept saying, "What?!  Another one already?!"  So we also didn't wait long to call the midwife.  She lives about an hour away, so we figured the sooner, the better.  We called her around 2:30.

Grant diligently cleaned up the sewing room, and started setting up the tub.  It had to be inflated, and then filled with water.  Right as he was about to hook the hose up to a sink, the midwife and her team of 3 other people arrived.  This was about 3:45 or so, and my contractions were hurting.  The team quickly started filling the tub with water.

At one point Grant asked if I wanted to go walk outside, which I did.  So we walked for a couple minutes, and I apologized for leaving that room for him to clean up.  He just kept telling me to forget about it, because it was done now and the tub was set up.

It wasn't too long before I started getting antsy to get in the tub.  Even though I had never wanted to do a home birth, one thing I was always curious about was laboring in water - even with Kendall's birth - but was never able to do it.  I really just wanted to know if it made a difference in my comfort level.  The tub wasn't filled up yet, but I asked Cindi if I could get in.  She said yes, and they would just continue to fill the tub once I was in it.

I did feel relief when I got in the water.  Not total relief, but more of an overall comfort.  The contractions still hurt, but in between contractions, I was much more comfortable.  It was in the tub that I started to feel the urge to push.  I pushed a couple of times, then told Grant that maybe he should go get the girls up.  Kendall had been insistent on seeing the baby come out.  Given how early in the morning it was, I was hesitant to wake her up, but I knew that she would have been disappointed if she missed it.  I didn't know how she was going to react to seeing me in pain, but I wanted to give her the chance to be there.  So he got the girls up.  This was around 4:45 or 5:00. 

When the girls came into the room, I was so happy to see them!  And they were so excited, too.  They had huge smiles on their faces, and were just so happy.  Cindi suggested a few weeks ago that if the girls were going to be there during the birth, I should probably prep them by letting them watch some home birth videos.  I did that, and their response was mixed - sometimes they seemed scared, other times they were interested, other times they were I didn't really know how it would go.  They were great the whole time, though!  Excited and happy and ready to meet their baby brother.  They never once got scared - I was so proud of them!  They may have also been excited to be able to color on the lining of the tub.

I stayed in the tub for a while longer, pushing every now and then.  I reached a point where I felt like I had been doing a lot of work, but couldn't really feel the baby moving down, so I got extremely negative.  I started saying outloud that the baby wasn't coming, he was stuck, etc.  I said these things alot.  It was almost like a chant.  Everyone was encouraging me that those things weren't true, but I just knew they were!

At one point during the pushing, Cindi told me she thought my water broke, because there was some blood in the water that came out during a push.  That gave me hope, but again, I couldn't feel him moving down, so it was back to being Negative Nancy!

Because I got so negative, Cindi said that she would give me a few more pushes, but then I would probably need to get out.  I didn't care if I actually gave birth in the tub or not, so I was fine with getting out.  So we moved to the bed that was in that room.  I pushed a few times.  At one point, she pointed out that she could see the head while I was pushing.  I didn't believe her, so I asked Grant if that was true (I'm telling you - Negative Nancy!).  He felt pressured to tell me the right answer, but breathed a sigh of relief during the next push when he actually did see something, so he emphatically said, "Yes!  I can see it!"

While I was pushing on the bed, Cindi told me that I wasn't pushing the right way - I was focusing more in my neck, instead of my bottom.  So she wanted me to sit on the toilet, to get the feel of pushing in the right spot.  So we moved to our bathroom.  I only pushed a few times there before we moved to our bedroom.

Cindi told me to squat, and brought out a stool for me to prop one foot up on.  She said that would encourage the baby to move down more during my pushing. 

A couple of minutes later, my water actually broke.  So it never broke in the water, like she originally thought.  Once the water broke, I definitely could feel him moving down, and I knew it would be soon.  Sure enough, during one of the pushes, I felt his head come out.  We had talked before the birth about who would catch him, and it was decided that Grant would.  So Grant had his hands ready, and once the head was out, he supported it.  With the next push, the rest of him came out, Grant caught him, and then handed him up to me.  It was the most amazing experience!

So of course, all of those negative feelings I had were just a sign that the baby was, in fact, very close - even though I couldn't feel it.  All in all, my labor was just about 4 hours, which isn't long at all, so I really had no reason to be so negative.  But try telling me that when I was in that state!

Grant had called my parents around 3:30 or so, and then again around 5.  They arrived maybe a minute or two after the baby came, which was awesome.  I was still sitting on the floor holding him.

When it came to naming him, we weren't quite sure what it would be.  After he was born, Grant got out the list that we had made up.  I quickly vetoed pretty much everything on the list.  Then he got out a baby name book, and came across Tucker.  It was like a light bulb went off in my head - Tucker!  That was it!  Grant wasn't so sure, though.  He was pretty stuck on Schaeffer.  So for the next couple of days, he was stuck on Schaeffer and I was stuck on Tucker.  Finally, on Monday morning, Grant caved in and we settled on Tucker.  Williams is Grant's dad's middle name, and somewhere down the line, it was the maiden name of someone in the family (that's why there's an "s" on the end).  So there you have it - Tucker Williams Spear.

He's a very content baby - and only cries when he's getting his diaper changed.  He sleeps and eats like a champ, and is just super cute.  The girls are completely taken with him, and can't get enough of him.

As far as the whole home birth experience goes - if you've ever considered it, and you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, I would definitely recommend it!  It was so nice to be in the comfort of our own home, and not have to worry about random people coming in and out of the room, or not listening to beeping machines, or being disrupted while I'm trying to was all worth it.  And if we have a fourth baby, we'll do it again.  Our midwife and the whole team was just fantastic - they were nurturing, encouraging, comforting...but most of all, they allowed us to have the birth we wanted to have.  I can't say enough great things about them or the experience as a whole!