Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meeting the big sisters

Our three little girls

The morning after Ava Jean was born,
Grammy and Big Sisters were the very first to come visit.
Alathea & Abigail have been waiting for weeks and week to finally meet "Baby Sister"

They were surprisingly hesitant when they first arrived.
They were not quite ready to hold baby sister.
In fact it took them a good 20 minutes of just staring at her (notice Abi's face above), and Alathea asking over and over exactly how she got out of my tummy, before they were ready to hold her themselves!

Surprisingly, Abigail was the first to want to hold her.
Her first moment as a Big Sister...

She was pretty mesmerized by little Ava.
It was a precious moment.

We got a picture of our new family of five.

And Grammy got to snuggle with her 6th Grandbaby.

All before Alathea was "ready" to hold her newest little sister...

This is the face (above) that she had all morning.
She's my emotional girl, probably flooded with all kinds of thoughts in this moment.

But almost instantly she was smitten with baby Ava herself...

All better now. And a very proud Big Sister.

Before they left, Abigail wanted one more time to hold Ava, whom she calls,
"My baby sister Ava Jean"

Overnight Abigail looks like such a big girl now. Amazing how that happens.

Our big girls are adjusting to life with a new baby sister wonderfully.
Not without an extra dose of crying and misbehaving mixed in...but overall the sweet times are dominating the challenging ones. Having Daddy home has helped a TON! He's been taking them on special dates every day.

Ava isn't fond of sleeping at night without being all snuggled up to one of us, so we're dealing with some real sleepless nights. But we're grateful for our precious newborn and know how sweet and fleeting these days are. So we're enjoying them!

Ava Jean

Ava Jean Lechner

June 21st, 2010

8lbs 1oz, 21 inches

We are totally in love with this little girl already.

And overwhelmed with gratefulness to God for this precious blessing.

Three precious blessings.

More pictures and stories to come soon...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Heading to the Hospital

Just wanted to post a little update saying that we're heading to the hospital now, around Noon on Monday. I went to the DR this morning and my fluids looked a tad low, so she felt better with me heading today, rather than waiting until the morning! Even though we're 8 days late, I still feel a bit unprepared! Had to pack my bags the past 30 minutes. Anyways, we're dropping the kiddo's off at a friends and heading to CMC Main. Keep us in your prayers and we'll try and keep you posted!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baby Girl Update

Baby girl is now 5 days past her due date! It's funny to think how Alathea & Abigail were both induced on the 5th day after makes it seem like this one should be born today. I'd love for this sweet girl to come on her own, so we're just waiting, hoping to not have to be induced. She's not showing many signs of wanting out though! For three weeks now I've been at 1cm. Each time I go in for my OB appointment, they tell me..."we'll maybe you're now just barely more than 1cm". I think they just tell me that to make me feel better! Today I went in to do a routine stress-test and fluid check since I'm almost a week past due. Everything looked great. As if she could stay in there happily a few more weeks :) I go again on Monday for another one. And if she's not born by then, my doctor (and Joe) would like me to be induced on Tuesday, June 22nd. I'd love for her to come on Fathers Day...but my gut feeling is that she'll wait until the 22nd. While we're not sure when she's coming, one thing the sonogram was load and clear about is that this is definitely another girlie! Not that we questioned that at all, but its always nice to have clear confirmation. So now we're just waiting and praying and preparing (and still working on a name)! And we're very excited to meet her!

My Big Girls





.Very Much.

I'm cherishing every minute I get with these little ones before another baby girl enters my life. (Well, its hard to cherish the moments of whining and crying...but I'm loving the rest :)
I love how having a baby makes you pause and evaluate what is really important in life. Its so easy to get wrapped up in "doing things" and forget about investing in and enjoying the people you love...especially little ones who require constant work!

My awesome friend Liz took the girls out back one night and took some sweet shots of them. They turned out great considering we were attacked by swarms of mosquito's!

These pretty girls are growing so fast...

Lately I've thought a lot about this...

"I hope my child looks back on today
and remembers a Mum who had time to play
There will be years for cleaning and cooking
But children grow up when we are not looking
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
Because babies grow fast, we learn to our sorrow
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I'm cuddling my baby, and babies don't keep"

(abbreviated "Song for a 5th Child" by Ruth Hamilton)

I only wish I knew a way
to keep them from growing up
so, so quickly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Love!

Can't believe it was almost 10 years ago when I met him...
and fell for him instantly.
I feel so blessed to have literally spent my entire adult life by his side!!
When I first fell for him I, I knew he was incredibly handsome, loved God with every bit of his heart and would be a total blast to live the rest of my life with. I knew he'd be one amazing husband who loved me passionately, led me in humility and cared for me tenderly.

But one thing I never imagined he'd be...
one incredible dad to these little girls!

Joe grew up with all brothers and was quite the manly man.
But while I never imagined it then, God perfectly crafted him to be the best Dad these little girls could ever ask for.

The best part of his birthday so far has been when Joe told Alathea how old he was and she said, "Wow, Dad! You almost as tall as our house!"
Interpreting the mind of a 4 year old: thats old!
In fact, she's been practicing all week just to count as high as his new age :)
All joking aside, these girls adore him!

(photo credits: Jason Kovacs Photography)

And so do I!
Happy Birthday, Love!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

9 Months...and Happy Due Date!!

Hard to believe little girls due date is actually here!

I guess that makes me 10 months, right? I get confused with all that. But today I am officially 40 weeks. And I'm beyond excited to meet this little one!

I've really had to wait to begin most of the typical preparations for this baby (which was really, really hard for me), with our closing date and move getting pushed back every few days. Its seemed like a move has been just a few days away for the past 4 weeks. At this point, everything is still headed in the direction of our house closing, but we're looking at the end of June, best case scenario. We're praying that everything can get processed before June 30th, our buyers deadline to meet the requirements for the $8,000 1st time home buyer tax credit. If not, our deal may fall apart. But God is in total control of that...and I'm leaving it completely in his hands.

The beautiful thing about this past week has been not thinking about the move and just focusing on the baby coming!! Its been so sweet. And so good for my heart to prepare for her arrival. So all just this week, I've washed and put away little clothes and put out little diapers and assembled her bassinet and searched for our baby items and borrowed and set up a changing table to house all her little pink baby stuff (after three girls, I'm still not tired of seeing pink!). Even in our little house, which is half packed up, we've carved out most of our "office" and set it up like a mini nursery. She doesn't have much...but its amazing what a few pink polka dot canvas boxes on a changing table holding itty-bitty pink baby clothes and diapers can do to a Momma's heart in helping her get excited to meet her little one!

I love how having a baby forces you to slow down and gain such a wonderful perspective on life. I've been enjoying these past few days & weeks with my "big girls". They are at such precious ages, at 2 and 4. I'm sobered at how fast they are growing up too! So I'm trying to savor every drop of this sweet season of motherhood. A grateful heart is so good for the soul! And with all that's been going on in our lives the past few weeks, its been a sweet season of depending on the Lord. I've been desperately needing and relying on his Word! That's a great place to be in!

And for the first time in 3 pregnancies I can say I actually "feel pregnant". I'm beginning to relate to all the discomfort and pain that I've heard others talk about! Fortunately, its summer, and the pool has to be the best place in the world for someone 9 months pregnant. It has brought such relief to be in the water with the feeling of weightlessness. And the huge added bonus is that there is no place my kids would rather be than the pool too! So a huge thanks to all my friends who let me bum at their pools!!

I go to my OB early Monday morning. Last week I was a whopping 1cm dilated (all my close friends know that is quite an accomplishment for me!!), so we'll see if anything else is new! I'm hoping to go into labor on my own this time. We'll see what God has planned. It could be an exciting next two weeks...

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A new Mini-Van Mama

Yesterday I got an unexpected special day with my boy in the midst of this crazy season.
With our third little one on the way, we were forced to bite the bullet and become a mini-van family. This still seems a little weird to me, even though we've been married almost 8 years and have almost 3 children. Maybe its doing college ministry...somehow Joe & I don't see ourselves as old enough to own a mini-van :)

Regardless of how we feel, we do own one now!

And one of the best perks was that we bought one that had to be picked up in Charleston, SC. One of our friends helped us get another incredible deal (he helped us with our last car too), finding one far nicer than we expected to be able to afford. He searched far and wide and fortunately found the best deal in a lovely city!

After we took care of the business side of things and bought the van, we drive the 5 miles into Historic Charleston for a lovely break before the long ride home.
It turned into such an unexpected sweet day together. We had 4 hours in the car just the two of us on the ride down, and then a few hours strolling through this lovely city. It almost felt like a mini-get-a-way before this baby comes.

We swung on the swings at waterfront park and even ran through the kiddie fountains (it was SO hot!!). The we ate an early dinner, followed by a walk to the battery and back to the market. We covered a lot in 2 1/2 hours!

I'm so grateful that with 8 hours of driving and all that walking I felt amazing all day! I think thats the effect that time alone with Joe has on me!

We got home late and walked the kiddos home from Mike & Liz's house...and even in their half-asleep state they were SO excited to see a van! I was surprised they even cared. They spent a good hour this morning playing in it while parked in our driveway. Funny little girls.

Here she is. Our shiny new mini-van.
And despite the fact that I don't feel old enough to have one, I have to admit they are pretty nice to have. And this one is far more than I expected or deserved, but I think it will serve our family very well over the years.
And despite all his joking, Joe really, really likes it too :) Maybe even more than I do!

I'm afraid we may be turning into this!