Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Birthday....

to the sweetest....

most ornery....
{oh, can't you just see it in his little smirk?}

and most lovable....

THREE-year old boy I know!


Mommy and Daddy love you so much. You hold such a special place in our heart as our youngest son. You are a chatterbox (who would have thought that a year ago?!), a snuggler, so gentle but yet so feisty all at the same time. You bless our lives everyday with your presence, and we are so thankful God entrusted you to us.

Happy Birthday, Buddy! (And {click the link for E's birth story and pictures, if you'd like} thank you for giving this Mommy the most special birthday present EVER three years ago--yourself!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My one-week-old* beauty

{*How is this possible already?}

Catching some sleep in the bouncy seat....

Catching some sleep on Mommy's chest....

My bright-eyed girl lasted for about four minutes.....

....and then it was time for some more sleep. *grin*

Oh my goodness....seriously....I am so in love with this kid....

Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome Home

We were so fortunate that, while Shane, Lola and I were all in the hospital, Shane's mom and dad were able to stay at our house with our boys. The boys had a blast with Grandma 'Nette and Grandpa! And we are so appreciative of them coming and taking such good care of our little men while we were gone.

Monday, when we got home, we were greeted by a very special sign that
everyone had helped make for us!

The boys were in absolute awe of Lola as soon as they saw her.

After giving lots and lots (and lots and lots) of hugs and kisses to our boys, we decided it was time for everyone to get acquainted!

While Mommy was still giving boys kisses, the boys began greeting their little sis!

Everyone got their turn to hold her. E started off....he was so excited!

Cameron could stand it no longer and climbed up to get a closer look....
....and then Colin joined the group!
{Oh, my first shot of my whole gang!}
We paused for a minute to get our very first family shots of the six of us

Then, it was Cameron's turn to love on his sister.
{He still wants to hold her every second...he loves it!}

The boys shared a giggle over how teeny Lola was....

Such a proud big brother!

After waiting very patiently, Colin finally got his turn.

Both Grandmas were salivating while the boys took their turns--
but they eventually got theirs, too!

Grandma MJ with the gang

Grandma 'Nette and Lola

It was a wonderful homecoming. We missed the boys so much, and it was so great to see them interact with their sister!

So far, we have not had any jealousy issues. Ethan (who I was most worried about because of Lola taking his place as 'the baby') just seems to think that he is one of the big boys, and therefore, his place in the family is still secure. Which is certainly true!

Everyone is loving her tremendously....we are so, so blessed!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hospital Days.....alternately titled Hospital Daze

We are so happy to be HOME with our little girl. Ahhhhhhh!

The hospital stay was, to tell the truth,
far from restful and peaceful. Between feeding, changing, and loving on Lola, taking care of my medical needs, eating, and the million and one members of the hospital staff that constantly seemed to be checking in on the both of us, it really felt like there wasn't a moment's peace. Daze is a great word for it, for sure. We really were thrilled to be able to get home, for so many reasons!

We were welcomed home early afternoon on Monday--and had been gone since Friday morning at 6:30 a.m. In reality, that is a long time to be away--but it felt like much longer than three days.

The main reason it seemed like an eternity was because we hadn't been able to see the boys the entire time we were gone. Due to the H1N1 scare, no one under the age of 18 was allowed in the postpartum wing of the hospital--which meant the boys were not able to come up and see us. It was really, really difficult for me, and it was very emotional to come home to those little guys who I had missed so very much!

It feels
so great to be a family of six. We truly are loving {almost} every minute--those 1:30, 3:30, and 5:30 feedings would perhaps be excluded *grin*--but mostly, everything is going very well, and we are making the transition from three to four children pretty smoothly!

I don't have a lot of time to write all about Lola's birth story, but here are a few pictures of our hospital stay. More as I get time....I promise!

One last happy shot before hard labor started

"Does this gown make my belly look fat?"
Seriously, could they make these things any uglier? Yikes.
After about 12 hours, at 3:26 a.m., little Miss Lola Claire finally made her debut.
Ummmm....can you say this Mommy was relieved? Whew.

6 pounds, 12.8 ounces!

Dr. Shepherd with his first Merritt girl!

Meeting Lola on the outside

So happy that was over and she was here!

Proud Papa....

....and Mama!

We noticed how long her tongue was *grin*

I seriously was so in love--there is just no feeling to describe holding your newborn child!!

And, yes folks--she has HAIR!
Not much, but the most of any of our children so far.
{Jury is still out on the color....}

After a couple of hours in delivery/recovery, they moved us to the postpartum room. The next morning, we spent lots and lots of hours getting to know the little miss!

Later that morning, Grandma 'Nette and Grandpa (Shane's Mom and Dad)
came up for a few hours to meet Lola! She looked so teensy tiny in Grandpa's arms!
Very proud Grandparents!

Grandma MJ (my mom) got in her fair share of cuddle time too!

Grandma MJ and I most certainly did NOT spend quite some
time trying on hats, hair bows, and headbands.

The next day, we got to see my cousin Haley.
The funniest thing I heard that entire day came from Haley, and I shall now share it with you:
"Oh, my goodness....she's so tiny! Her head is the size of the orange Mason ate for breakfast this morning!"

All wrapped up =)

More cuddle time

Shane--King of Swaddling.
He can make a baby burrito like no one's business.

{He's not at all smitten.}

Finally, on Monday morning, we were able to go home.
Lola was crying to get out of there! *giggle*

I just love her so much. Have I said that?

So much more to tell about our welcome home party. Soon....