Monday, June 24, 2013

Wrapping up in Arizona

Safari Night at the Zoo.  One of our last family outings in Tucson, Arizona.

Hanging out at Brandi Fenton's splash park.

Ryzen in full potato mode. This is how he spends 90% of his time.

Ryzen's was doing a good job of holding up his head, but by the time I started videoing him, he was spent.  The video also showcases Zade's current obsession: punching daddy. We have no idea why he's so violent. I've never hit him, yet just about whenever he sees me, he runs up and begins punching me for fun.  

More cute photos of little Ryzen.

We see this expression a lot.

Right now Ryzen has blue eyes with the same crystal design that Tara has.  We'll see if it lasts, like it did for Aria, or if they go hazel, like what happened to Zade.

This picture of Ryzen reminded us of photos we've taken of the older kids when they were babies. Ryzen is roughly 2 weeks old.  

Here's Aria at 7 weeks old (remember she came 3 weeks early, and Ryzen came 5 days late, so their age difference at the time of the photo isn't as drastic as it seems.)

Here's a picture of Zade at 5 weeks old (he was born 1 week early).

Each child is clearly unique, but they sure do share a lot of common traits.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Family of 5

We celebrated Dane's birthday a few days early so that his special day wouldn't get overlooked because of the new baby.  I made Dane's favorite food: yellow thai curry, then we covered a cake with whipped cream and berries because Dane loves fresh fruit.  Afterwards Dane went and played softball while I put the kids to bed.   It ended up being good timing because the next night we were at the hospital delivering Ryzen.

You never know what Zade is going to get into next.  On this particular night we found Zade covering Mira with toilet paper.

The past few months I've been teaching the kids a couple letters a week.  We would color the letters, then look up pictures on the internet of objects that start with that letter, print the pictures and glue them onto the sheet of paper.  Zade made excellent progress and now knows his entire alphabet.  It was also a good review for Aria, who not only knows the letters, but also all the sounds.  Aria also loves to write the letters, and frequently asks me how to spell words so that she can write messages.

 This is our first attempt at a full family outing, two kids on bikes and baby in the stroller.

Unfortunately, we didn't get very far before both kids gave up on the biking idea, and all three were in the stroller.  We need to build up their leg muscles and their endurance level.

Ryzen is so fun to cuddle with.  He is so sweet, and an excellent nurser.  

Aria loves to hold her baby brother.

We love it when Ryzen's eyes are open.  He has such an innocent and open expression as he views the world and those around him for the first time.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Now that things are starting to settle down, I found some time to post the good news.  After going 5 days after his due date, little Ryzen has finally joined our family.  

Birth Story
After weeks of contractions coming on and off, Tara finally began feeling strong contractions around 3pm in the afternoon.  They persisted for hours at around 5 minutes apart, so we got the kids down to bed around 8pm, and around 8:30pm Tara called Michelle Burrola, a friend from our ward, to come over to stay at our house for the night with the kids. By 9pm we arrived at Tucson Medical Center, where Tara and I began doing laps around the hospital to help the contractions progress. Shortly after 10pm Tara called the Birth Center, and Sandy, one of the midwives, came and met us at the hospital.  

Upon admittance to the hospital around 10:30pm, she was 5cm dilated, and 80% effaced.  However, shortly after being admitted, Tara's contractions slowed down substantially.  This really got her disappointed, since she began to worry that she might have to pace around the halls for hours, potentially in vain.  She began tearing up, and the midwife suggested breaking her water to help them pick back up.  Tara was a little hesitant, since she wanted to give birth naturally (i.e. no epidural or medication) and remembered how intense the contractions became when they broke her water with Zade. During his birth, they became so intense that she opted near the end of labor to get an epidural.  The midwife assured her that breaking the water would not make the contractions any more intense than they would ultimately end up being anyway in labor, so Tara agreed.  As far as getting an epidural, she decided to play it by ear.

At around 11:30pm the midwife broke her water, and as expected the contractions become much more frequent, intense, and lasted longer.  As the contraction became more intense, she began leaning forward and clinging to the bed.  By around 2am, I was so tired that I started feeling kind of like Peter watching Christ suffer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26: 36-46).  [My spirit was willing to stay awake, but my flesh was weak.] :) Fortunately I managed to keep from falling asleep, and it's a good thing too. By around 2:35am, Tara began letting out what I can describe as primal moans (due to no epidural). She was bent over clinging to the bed, head down, on one knee, but she was not screaming.  After only about 5 minutes of active pushing, she gave birth to Ryzen at ~2:40am.  He looked pretty good, and Tara had accomplished her goal of having natural child birth.  

Overall, from the time Tara was admitted to the hospital to when she gave birth, only 4 hours and 10 minutes had elapsed.  This was by far the fastest birth experience she's had, which caught us both by surprise.  I had expected something more like what we'd experienced with Aria (~12 hours) and Zade (~10 hours).  Such a quick birth was a great blessing from heaven. 

Little Ryzen came out 8 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long. Seconds after he came out they handed him to Tara, who was practically in shock from the intense experience.  

Here's the little guy later that afternoon.  If you look at Tara's eyes, you can see the effects of not getting any sleep are starting to show up. She's a trooper!

The swelling in Ryzen's face is starting to go down, however his nose appears to be slightly crooked (from the birth process). Hopefully it will heal soon too.

On a few occasions he's slightly opened his eyes, and his face looks different depending on how we hold his head.

Honestly, it'll take a long time before we really have a clue what he'll look like.  Who would've thought Zade would've turned out looking like this after seeing his swollen little purple face after birth?

Aria's particularly excited about having a baby now that he's here, and loves to spend time with him. Zade is relatively indifferent, and prefers not to be bothered with requests to pose with him.  

Now that it's consistently over 100 degrees, we're trying to keep the older kids busy playing in the pool.  I wonder if Ryzen will end up as wild and crazy as his older siblings?