Saturday, January 23, 2016

Annabelle at 1 Week!

Annabelle has had a pretty uneventful first week of life although she got to meet some very important people!

This week we mostly hung out at home and relaxed, cuddled, and played with the big kids while Annabelle got acclimated to life at our house.

I stayed at the hospital one night and after spending most of it awake cuddling and rocking Annabelle all by myself I decided to come home early. My recovery was pretty good other than a lot of bleeding so they let me check out a day early. We came home late Saturday night.

Our fabulous babysitter Alexa watched the kids while Kevin came and picked me and Annabelle up at the hospital. While we were gone she and the kids made cute posters to welcome us back home. It was so sweet! Catie had to hold Annabelle the minute we got home. She is such a sweet big sister!

On Sunday we relaxed, took naps, cuddled with Annabelle, and got treats dropped off from several friends. Yum!

Annabelle loves snuggling in her new rock n play sleeping contraption. It is so cozy! We have learned that she DOES NOT like being swaddled though, so we've been leaving her blankets more loose and she sleeps much better. The miracle blanket might need to be retired... we'll see.

On Monday the home health nurse visited and checked Annabelle out. She weight about 6 pounds 13 ounces... so getting closer back to her birth weight of 7 pounds 2 ounces.

On Monday afternoon Scott & Cat came and visited with Sophie & Jude and brought us yummy Zachary's pizza. Kevin was IN HEAVEN and we all ate way too much. It was so thoughtful and delicious!

On Wednesday morning Grandma Julie & Grandpa Kim arrived for a quick one day visit! We spent the day cuddling with Annabelle and playing games and building puzzles. We also had a yummy Chipotle lunch. We were so grateful they could come and see us!

On Thursday Annabelle had her 1 week doctor appointment and was basically back to her birthweight. She was pretty cooperative and the doctor said she was perfect!

On Friday we spent the day catching up on house stuff (laundry, cleaning) and we got cookies to celebrate Annabelle's first week! Grandma Shari arrived on Friday evening to spend the weekend with us! HOORAY!

Annabelle at 1 week...

  • is about 7 pounds 2 ounces, 19.5 inches, head is 34
  • is a huge cuddle bug
  • wears newborn clothes (that are a bit too big for her)
  • wears newborn diapers!
  • likes to fill her diapers a lot
  • gets the hiccups constantly
  • hates the swaddle and loves being wrapped loosely in a blanket
  • sleeps best cuddled up with someone
  • loves to eat every two hours... for an hour (sometimes more)
  • sleeps between 2-3 hours at a time (Longest stretch at night has been 3 hours, between 11pm-2am! Loves to wake up a lot between 2-7am. Hoping that changes soon!)
  • will occasionally take a pacifier
  • just started spitting up 
  • loves to be up and looking around (doesn't like when you sit still :))-FOMO!!
  • has charmed everyone in our family... we love her!
  • has a big set of lungs! Ryan is really good at reminding everyone to cover their ears :)

So grateful this little one has joined our family!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Welcome Annabelle!

A week ago on Thursday night I started feeling some contractions around 5pm while I was getting dinner ready. I went into hyper-overdrive when I realized these could finally be THE contractions that bring our little baby's arrival! I cleaned the house even more, set out clothes for kids, packed my bag, and got several things ready.

I was due on Monday, January 11th. By the time the 12th and 13th rolled around I was feeling awesome and was really wondering if the baby would ever come. It just didn't seem realistically possible. She seemed perfectly content to stay inside forever.

After contractions increased I finally told Kevin around 11pm that I was having contractions. Around 11:30 I started trying to find someone to come over to watch the kids. Around midnight my doctor told us to head to the hospital. My contractions were 4-5 minutes apart but nothing intense or painful and my water hadn't broken yet.

Our awesome neighbors Stefanie & Graham manned our kiddos and Stef slept on our couch all night.

We arrived at the hospital at 12:30am and got checked in. I felt like going over paperwork took 2 hours. Contractions were still light but since I had Strep B they hooked me up to an IV for antibiotics and we got the epidural started right when contractions got more intense. I was at about a 4 when we arrived.

Our awesome nurse Rose made both Kevin and I extremely comfortable and by 2:30am we were both able to drift off to sleep a little. My epidural was great on one side and too intense on the other, so half my body was asleep and I hated it! I had them turn it down a bit and that helped.

At around 6:30am the nurse came in and mentioned how intense my contractions were and she checked me and I was at a 10 and ready to have a baby! She told me to hold tight and she'd get the doctor.

My doctor (that delivered both Ryan & Catie) happened to be on call till 7am (hurray) so she arrived at 6:50, I pushed for a few minutes, and the baby was born at 6:59am! It was a very easy delivery, thank goodness!

We hung out with the baby for a few hours in the labor room and then they sent us up to the maternity ward to get cozy in my new room.

We chatted about baby names and finally decided on the name Annabelle Elise Buskirk! Her middle name is after my twin sister Elise. I am lucky to have Elise as my best friend and couldn't think of a better person to have my little baby girl look up to and have as her namesake. The name Annabelle was inspired by Anna Kristine, one of Kevin's ancestors.

Elise flew in Friday morning and helped watch the kiddos after Stefanie had manned the fort for more than enough hours. I was so grateful that she was able to come and help! Later in the day she brought me Mrs. Fields cookies and a big diet coke to celebrate our new little baby! My friend Jaicy also came to visit!

On Friday afternoon while Elise hung out with me and Annabelle, Kevin hung out with the kiddos and took them to Chic-Fil-A and then brought them over for a quick hospital visit to meet their baby sister. They were so cute!! Catie beelined over to the couch immediately and asked to hold Annabelle right away. Andrew sat next to her and wanted a turn next. Ryan was distracted by the fun hospital bed and my computer but was bribed to come over with some chocolate :) (whatever works).

All three kids ate cookies and had fun playing with the hospital bed. We had them stay for about 20 minutes and then sent them home.

Later in the evening Elise brought me dessert from Cheesecake Factory that I INHALED and then Jessie and Ben came up to visit too!!

The night ended with a quick visit from Kevin and then a LONG night with just me and Annabelle at the hospital while she cried, ate, or was just wide awake all night. I was happy when the morning arrived!

All in all I think our first day with Annabelle was a success!! Can't believe we have 4 kids now! Crazy!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve 2015

Christmas Eve was awesome this year. 

It started off with a rare sugar cereal breakfast (that I left out for the kids) along with a note telling them they could have two bowls and watch a show (and let us sleep in!).

I think they ate the whole box... and they also let Kevin and I sleep in until 10:30am. Ryan slept in and then read books in his crib until we got him. He never called out or asked for us to come get him. Amazing!

LOVE these kids and man did all that sleep feel good. We were up until 2am wrapping presents last night so it was needed.

Once we got up I went running and ran an errand or two while Kev played with the kids and got them making his annual candy cane cookies. He made them growing up and LOVES them, so of course the kids love them now too!

Then I had the kids take turns joining me in "Santa's workshop" to wrap the presents they bought for one another the other night. Santa's workshop is awesome because you wrap presents and eat treats. They were all big fans of that activity :) Ryan mostly ate his treat while I wrapped his presents... but he was there for moral support.

I rounded out the afternoon by organizing Catie's room for a few hours. I re-organized Ryan's room last week and Andrew's room yesterday so now everyone's rooms feel prepared for a few new toys tomorrow!

(Here's a sneak peak of Andrew's room from yesterday. I should've taken before photos, but his room was such a disaster I couldn't bear to do it. We also moved his furniture around to make space for a new gift he is getting tomorrow.)

Around 5pm we headed out to dinner at a favorite local Mexican restaurant. The food was so yummy and the kids were so darling. It is so nice to not have to bring any entertainment for them and just sit and chat together and have everyone be well behaved (though goofy). 

I'll blame it on the baby and my 4 mile run earlier today... but I ate every single bite of my two cheese enchiladas. They were so good!

After dinner we did a few cookie deliveries and then we went home.

We kicked off our evening festivities with new Christmas jammies. Catie is looking forward to next year when she'll have a matching buddy to dress up with.

Then we ate candy cane cookies and read a few of our favorite Christmas stories while we drank hot cocoa. The two favorite stories for tonight were The Christmas Train and The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes.

The kiddos also helped us use the many nativities we have around the house to retell the story of the first Christmas. 

After that the kids exchanged their siblings gifts. They were SO CUTE about it. They did a really good job finding gifts for each other that were the "perfect" gifts so there was a lot of jumping and smiling and thanking. I loved watching how excited they were for each other. They got to play with their new toys for a bit and then we got everyone's teeth brushed.

We ended the night doing our scripture advent that we've been slowly doing all month. You are supposed to read different scriptures each night, but we only managed to do it 2-3 nights per week this month so had several to catch up on. Each of the scriptures in the advent teaches about different characteristics of Christ. Andrew is a very enthusiastic scripture reader so we let him read a lot and then Catie would "help" read by repeating different sections. While we read our advent candle burned... which of course is the highlight of the scripture reading time... especially because everyone wants a turn to blow it out.

Tonight we read several really great stories about Christ and his life and it was fun to sit around together and talk about the miracles he did. Catie and Andrew get goofy and break into song singing their favorite primary song "Jesus is the God of miracles" whenever we read about some of the miracles mentioned in the song. It really brings such a sweet spirit into our home. 

We ended the night by putting everyone to bed... and then getting visited several more times by the big kids... then remembering we forgot to put out cookies & milk & carrots... so we did that... and now we are hopeful everyone is asleep!

We wrapped all of the gifts last night, so tonight we just have a few things to set up. If we manage to get to bed before midnight it might be a Christmas miracle!

Although we have missed spending Christmas Eve with extended family this year we have really enjoyed the time together as just our little family too. 

Merry Christmas Eve!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Buskirk Christmas Card 2015

You won't see a Christmas card from our family in your mailbox this holiday season so we are posting it and sending it online instead! You will however see a Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day card from us (depending on when I get my act together) with a cute photo of a new baby Buskirk. 

In the meantime we just needed to take a moment you wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! The past year has been a bit of a whirlwind and we are eternally grateful for the many blessings that have been showered upon our family. 

We are especially thankful for our family and friends this year along with our Savior, Jesus Christ and his servants here on earth. We have been trying (and failing many days) to focus more on Christ this Christmas and have been blessed by our efforts.

Our prophet President Monson has said, “There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ,”

“Christmas is what we make of it. Despite all the distractions, we can see to it that Christ is at the center of our celebration... ”

“When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit. It will block out all the distractions around us which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning.

“Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.

“Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.

“Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or distress, wherever they may be.

“Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. We will live again because He came.

“Because He came and paid for our sins, we have the opportunity to gain eternal life.” 

(President Thomas S. Monson, 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional).

There is no greater blessing we can think of at this Christmas season than that gift that was given to us by our Savior.  

We love you and are grateful for the many ways that you bless our family! We hope that if we haven't seen you in 2015 that we remedy that in 2016. 

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Kevin, Kristina, Andrew, Caitlin, Ryan, and Baby Buskirk #4 (due around January 11)

2015 UPDATE ON THE BUSKIRKS... (scroll down)


almost 8
loves piano, LEGO, Star Wars, Monopoly (OBSESSED), and Minecraft
is in 2nd grade


just turned 5
loves princesses, dancing, LEGO, all things animals, listening to music, and art
in in Transitional Kindergarten (TK)


just turned 3
loves cars, his "dog dog" stuffed animal, pretend play, Paw Patrol, and running errands with mom
is in preschool (taught by mom with a little group of friends)


just turned 36 :)
still loves chocolate, diet coke, running, hosting parties, and hanging out with friends
is working at Toddler Approved 


is almost 37 :)
loves biking, swimming, baking treats, hosting parties with Kristina, and playing with the kids 
is working at Facebook

Can't wait to see what is ahead in 2016!!

TK Polar Express Party & Gingerbread Party

This week Catie had two big events in TK. On Wednesday her class got to have a Polar Express party followed by Polar Express/snow themed PE stations and on Tuesday we had a Gingerbread party. 

When the kids arrived at school on Wednesday they got a ticket and then it was stamped when they arrived in the classroom. They walked into the classroom to find a train track on the floor and chairs arranged to look like they were going on the train.

The kids watched a short portion of the Polar Express movie and drank hot cocoa! Catie and I got to make our favorite crockpot hot cocoa for over 50 preschoolers. We got to school over 30 minutes early to help set up (around 7:45) and Ryan tagged along too. Our new favorite hot cocoa server decided not to work at first so that made things a bit stressful... but eventually it all worked out and there was warm hot cocoa for the kids! Hooray! She wouldn't let me take any photos on Polar Express Day so you'll have to use your imaginations!

Next up we had a TK Gingerbread Party on Thursday! I got to coordinate the party and was fortunate to have at least 8 or 9 parent volunteers come in and help run different stations.

We had a super simple gingerbread man photo booth where I tried to get a photo of all of the kids.

The kids made gingerbread man shaped sandwiches at the snack station.

They decorated GIANT gingerbread men cookies.

They also made graham cracker gingerbread houses and frosted ice cream cone Christmas trees.

They painted cut out paper gingerbread boys, made gingerbread boy headbands, and played gingerbread boy color bingo. We also did a roll the dice and color the gingerbread boy game and we played pinned the button the gingerbread boy. It was quite a busy party!

The kids seemed to have a lot of fun and I was exhausted when it was done! My voice almost returned completely on Wednesday but went back to being super hoarse and icky on Thursday!

We celebrated the party being done with a diet coke run, lots of chocolate, and an evening of watching Christmas shows and relaxing!