Sunday, February 22, 2015

First Family Pictures with Tuff

We were able to find a day to take our family picture on December 3rd. We set up the camera on a tripod and set it on self timer mode and we tried a whole bunch of different positions. Dada told every to "laugh" or "look at Eben" or "hold someones hand" or "go upside-down". He kept it fun and secretly set up a time lapse video of the whole production, which he showed us when we were done. The kids were very impressed and loved watching everyone run around like crazy.

We tried getting a cute "all of the kids in order" picture, but they were a little warn out by this point, especially Tuff.

Discovery Bay, Baby!

On the evening of December 3rd, we headed out of town. Peter had booked this time at Discovery Bay a while back and when we realized we'd have a new newborn at the time, it actually sounded peaceful to go to have a get-a-way as a family. And it was! That first night, we were excited to find that we were staying in the suite above the game room right next to the pool! It was way bigger than the condos we had stayed in before and the kids ran all around exploring the new place and choosing their beds.Tuff got the dresser drawer in the master suite. Which was so huge! It even had it's own fireplace.

Ahhhhhh, soaking in the jet tub with a sweet, sleepy baby by the fire watching the Duggars. It was a good night.

The next day we had our traditional "Backwards Vaction Day" where we eat our meals in reverse order. For breakfast we had pumpkin pie and then the most delicious leftover meal of pork roast and mashed potatoes and honey veggies that Miss Monica made for us. Everyone who made us meals were so sweet and made us so much food! Probably because we have lots of people in our family, but we're made up mostly of little people who don't actually eat very much. That was great though because we had lots of yummy leftovers!

After breakfast and a movie we went to our favorite Goodwill and let the kids pick out a $5 item each to play with while we were there, another great tradition - sometimes the toys don't even make it back to our house! 
After lunch, we visited the Olympic Game Farm and a blast petting and feeding all sorts of interesting animals that came right up to our window to eat our bread. The buffalo had the stringiest, gooiest slobber and it got all over the car and Peter's arm. He loved it. The kids took turns coming up to the front to sit on our laps and feed the animals, but most of them were too afraid to have them eat out of their hands and ended up just throwing it out the window.

During nap time the I took the all the non-nappers (which was actually everyone except Pella and Dada) to the pool for a swim. Then we had a delicious dinner (breakfast) of fried grits with maple syrup that Dada made. I'd never had it before and it was yummy! Then Dada read us all a bedtime story.

The next day while we were preparing lunch we got a call from the management asking if we were ready to check out yet! We had thought we reserved three nights but it turns out we only booked two - oops! So we packed up and were outta there lightening fast. Good thing we had crammed a lot into our one day at Discovery Bay, Baby.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cold 2014 Christmas Tree Hunt

The weekend after Thanksgiving we went to cut down our Christmas tree with a fun group of friends. We went to the same farm we went to last year, The Family Farm in Graham, a family run farm that you give a donation for your tree which goes to buy food for 3rd world countries. They have a fun hay slide in the cow barn that the big kids slid down while the little ones enjoyed the free hot cocoa and cookies.

Soon it was time to load onto the wagon and head out to the trees and it was COLD.

Good thing we got the group photo before we all went our separate directions to find our trees, because by the end of our short time, the little ones were all melting down from being so cold.

Tuff slept through most of his first Christmas Tree Hunting Day. He was all bundled up and kept me warm!

The kids took off in search of the perfect tree and the girls ended up by the bonfire and the boys went on a quest for clean snow for their snow ball.

Every tree looked amazing covered in snow so we picked one that ended up being the right hight, gathered everyone from the far parts of the forest and took our tree picture. Not everyone could manage a smile because of freezing hands and feet. But no one is actively crying in this picture which is what actually happened from this point on for a couple little ones.

Berg and Pella had a rough go and realized they would not last long if left out in nature alone, although they practiced their survival crying so I'm sure they'd be heard and rescued if that ever actually happened.  I'm kidding. They weren't that horrible, but they were glad to be back in the hot cocoa room with heaters and a couch and candies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pella's Pumpkin, Wormie, Leaf Party!

Pella turned three on the 23rd of November and her party was all scheduled and invitations were sent to have her party on Saturday the 22nd. Little did we know she would be having a baby brother on the 21st. (Tuff was due on the 27th so we thought we had all this time.) We decided to change the party to Wednesday the 26th since there was no Awana the night before Thanksgiving.

Pella had been talking about having a "Wormie" birthday party for most of the year before she turned three but her party started morphing into many more ideas the closer we got to the actual event. The worm part is because she found out that she was our Baby Wormie in my belly and then leaves were added to the mix. Later on she kept saying we needed to have pumpkins at her party too, probably because they're all over the place in fall - I don't really know the thought process. She kept adding more and more themes. At some point it was going to be a worm, leaf, pumpkin, angel, hedgehog party, but I convinced her that the first three were good enough and we could save the angel hedgehog party for when she turned four. I do love letting them come up with their own birthday themes, but working three things instead of five into a cohesive party theme the week after having a baby, the day before Thanksgiving seemed more up my alley. And she was happy.
We did come up with some fun worm and pumpkin games. They made their own worms out of balloons which they found hidden all around the Schock's house. The Schocks let us use their home which was actually Pella's original idea, but I tried to steer her away from that plan thinking it would be too much for Shari so close to Thanksgiving. But Shari was a gracious host let us have it there when we realized our little house would be very cramped.
We played a fun relay where we passed a live worm from person to person on a real leaf. The kids passed with their hands, but the adults had to pass with the leaf in their mouths! It was great fun to watch. The kids played a "see how many real worms you can find with a blindfold on" game. As soon as they picked a fake worm their turn was over. Pella and Emma made up a wiggle like a worm game. 
Pella's #1 request, a pumpkin piƱata which also had a leaf and worm on it, lasted forever! I actually made two of them thinking they'd bust it right open and we'd need another one so all the kids could have a turn. But the paper mache took so long to bust open Peter finally ripped it open with his hands and shook the candy out. 

We ate some delicious mazithra pasta (it also looks worm-like!), broccoli, salad (totally a leaf) and bread for dinner and both pumpkin and dirt with worm cakes for dessert.

We sang, Pella blew out her three candles and she opened her gifts, one of which was a a Build-a-Bear fairy outfit that looks really good on 5 day old, Tuff.

Oh Pella, you are such a fun, fun girl! Your personality shines and you make us crack up everyday with your sweet smiles and big eyes. They way you glance up to the side while explaining something or telling a story is the cutest ever. You are super great at helping your brothers and sisters and figuring out how to do more and more on your own. You wash and dry the laundry with Berg and sort and put away everyone's clothes. You are learning more of your letters and numbers and finished your first letter book written by you. You love Jesus and sing us "Away in a Manger" whenever we need a show. I know you will use your amazing personality and gifts to reach people for Christ! We love you, Pelly Lou! Happy 3rd Birthday!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tuff Time

Tuffy has had more newborn pictures taken than any of the kids. So the idea that you take less pictures of the younger kids is not true. Here he is with Dada the day after he was born, hanging out and being cute.

Grandma and Grandpa and aunts and uncles and cousins came to meet the new little man!

Dodie helped me try to take a fall picture on the 23rd of Tuff in a drawer with pumpkins next to the fireplace, but he didn't cooperate very well.

Opal cashed in her Special Helper Rockets to go out to ice cream with Mama and Dada and Tuffy and bought him a new outfit. She also bought Kivi a teapot and plate. What a sweet sister!

More cutie pics of our new man on the 24th:

Here's the first one we got of all the brothers and sisters together:

He looks so tiny!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Rest of Tuff's "Birth" Day

Dada introduced Tuff to all the kids outside of the tub after he cut the cord. 

Then the kids all waited patiently on our bed while they took turns holding their new little brother.

They all LOVE him!

Our midwives Dawn and Sarah checked Tuff and got all of his vitals, weight and head size and checked his man parts. He was all good.

Kivi was so careful and ecstatic that she got to put on his first outfit.

 The girls were able to have a fascinating hands on science lesson about the placenta too! Thanks, Dawn. Wow - come to think of it this was quite the homeschooling day!

While they had their lesson, he latched on for the first time like a champ.

Tuff's very first "Kissing Picture"!

Kivi got all the baby boy clothes washed and laid out (all over the living room floor). 

Later in the day Tuff had his first visitors, the Schocks. Kivi and Grace gave Tuff his first present, an owl family, that they sewed themselves!

Look at how much he's changed in just 12 hours! He almost looks like he's smiling! So alert and happy.

Even though they missed the birth as they were driving up from CA, Poppie and Nonnie did get to be there to say, "Happy Birthday" to baby Tuff later on in the evening.

Oh Tuff, we already all love you so much! You are such a blessing and we thank God for giving you to us. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Meet Tuff Jobe Johnson

Here's the birth story of Baby Bear, our seventh little Johnson. 

On Nov. 20th I lost my mucus plug and went to the bathroom about 19 times so I knew it was going to happen soon, but no contractions had happened yet. When Peter got home from work I told him and the kids, "I think we're going to have a baby tonight!" Peter was lying on the living room floor and shot up all of a sudden, "Right now?" I laughed and said not yet, but told him what was going on and that I thought tonight would be the night, although I had really wanted to wait until December to have the baby because we didn't have a Dec. birthday yet. Oh well. That didn't happen. 
We tucked the kids in and went to bed, still no contractions. I slept on and off because I had lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, but no real ones. Around 5am I had a contraction and told Peter it was time to wake up the big kids and call the midwives. I started the bath and got my suit on. Eben and Kivi were so excited to get to be a part of the birth. Kivi video taped and Eben took lots of great pictures. Peter also hung a camera from above.

The birth was amazing. God is so good! Fast, easy, calm, lots of pressure, but not painful and joyful. It was basically one huge contraction that started right after Kivi started filming. Peter told Kivi to go unlock the door for when the midwife came and all of a sudden I felt a big contraction and the head started to move down. I said no, she needs to film now. The contraction didn't stop until he was out.

 Here's the birth video, it has no showing parts, it's a very fast and G rated birth:

Here are the great pictures that Eben took, I love how he just kept taking picture and got the whole birth. They are really clear too. All of these pictures happened in less than a minute.

He came out and cried right away and then stopped. He opened his eyes and looked around. He was so cute and alert, and a BOY! Tuff was born around 5:30am. He weighed 7lbs. 6oz. and was 19 1/2 inches long.

So here we are, our little birth crew, and the new little Baby Bear, Tuff Jobe Johnson.

About 20 minutes after he was born, Opal and Pella, whose room is right next to the bathroom woke up and came to meet him and feel the still attached umbilical cord. 

And then our midwife came! Sarah had gotten a little lost, but we all knew she wouldn't make it anyway. We have very fast little Johnson babies. We had to wait for our other midwife, Dawn, to come with the cord clamps and scissors, so I stayed attached to the little man in the tub for 27 minutes! (I just looked at the time stamp on the photos and realized that.)