Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Home and Family
(in Mandarin!)

 Finally, our sweet little Luke August is home and doing well! It is divine to just hold him and cuddle him without tubes and monitors beeping and nurses hovering! He is a dream baby and only cries when he really needs something (hopefully that will last... as Mom's attention has been in hot demand since returning home from the hospital!). Macie, Reid, Davis, and Danny J were adorable when we let them hold Luke for the first time -- they've been so excited for this sweet fellow to join our family! It was torture for all of us to have him in the NICU, where none of the kids could see or hold the little guy. Thank goodness Grams has been here to take care of us all and hold down the fort while Danny and I camped out at the hospital all week. She has been an angel on earth  -- what will we ever do when she leaves?

Daddy love before leaving the NICU

See ya later, hospital. No love lost here... If only we didn't have to come back for blood tests!

After many sleepless nights, I can finally take this sweet thing home!

Snuggling with his one and only sister

Squawk! Luke voiced excitement at meeting his biggest brother, Reid...

That's more like it :)

Can you tell which of the kids was the MOST EXCITED to hold Luke? Davis is an adorable big brother!

Poor Danny J was sick and has been off limits to baby Luke ever since this photo. His little heart breaks each time we tell him he can't hold the baby. Thank goodness he's finally over it and can snuggle his little bro!
Macie can't get enough snuggle time in! She's a natural little mommy...
 Thanks to everyone for all of your prayers and well wishes! We are so grateful to finally be together as a family, home at last!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh Happy Day!

LUKE AUGUST (yes, we finally filled out his birth certificate form!) is coming home today.
He is finishing up his "car seat test" (really! He has to sit in his car seat for an hour and a half while we monitor his vital signs, to make sure he can "tolerate" it. Please!), and then we have some forms to sign with the doctor, and then they will FINALLY release him from the NICU. Our little captive is coming home!
The sweet guy sleeping in his "car seat test"
Luke is breathing well, eating well, sleeping well, voiding well, and is just as sweet as the minute he was born. His bilirubin levels are still being monitored, but we can manage that from home with frequent doctor and hospital lab visits this week. We've been given strict instructions not to take him out of the house (anywhere -- grocery store, library, church -- you name it -- until spring), have our kids change clothes when they get home from school and wash their hands vigorously, no face or hand kisses, antibacterial hand gel like crazy, etc., etc., etc.  Pretty much, I was asked to be a complete germ Nazi. Which I will be, if that means I get to take my munchkin home. But it is silly that he has to be able to "tolerate" his car seat for 1 1/2 hours, when they tell me that I am not allowed to take him anywhere -- don't you think?
I am oh-so-tired (I left the hospital for the first time after midnight last night, and then had to drive back three times in the middle of the night to feed him -- so I got a grand total of 3 hours of sleep), but I'd do anything for this sweetie-pie. I'm so grateful that my prayers have been answered and he will be coming home. We really love little Luke and are super excited for him to join our family.
Thanks for all of your love and prayers! What a blessing it is to have Luke August in our family!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ready or Not...

Here he is! 

Luke August
August Luke
Born 2-22-12
3:15 AM
7 lbs 10 ounces
19.5 inches
Very Sweet!

Well hello. It is Danny blogging and this is actually a historic moment as it is my first blog ever! So Mary called me on Tuesday and told me that she had either just wet her pants or her water had broken in Target. When I got home she met me at the door and showed me her pants... either a very big accident or broken water. Water continued to gush each time she coughed and so we headed for the hospital. No contractions -- even though she was on pitocin -- allowed for naps and a movie during "labor". Finally, hard contractions came and we were on the races. The nurse came in, checked Mary, and gave these instructions, "don't cough and keep your legs together -- I am calling the doctor now!" Seven minutes after Dr. Savage arrived the baby had been delivered. I got to help again... he was very very slippery... and the gloves seem to make the slipperyness worse. My secret to success is as soon as the head is out -- grab on tight to the neck and then grab a leg! 
Macie came out grumpy. Reid came out starving hungry. Davis came out sleepy. And Danny was just chillin. I would call this little guy "the snuggler."
Here are some pictures of the little guy minutes after birth:
Call me "Dr" Danny!

Happy family!

Mom holds him right after he came out - still goopy and slippery!

We love our doctor, Shelly Savage!

Hooray, he's here!

Sweet little guy, snuggling right away
Unfortunately, this little fella was breathing too fast (according to our nurses), and when they went to "take him for a few tests" to figure out why his resps were so high, they sneakily admitted him to the NICU without telling us. Where he has gotten an IV, been put on antibiotics, was getting positive air flow with a nasal cannula, is hooked up to a million monitors, and been away from us. It has not been the best situation. That being said, he is improving and hopefully he will be able to come home on Saturday. His lungs are clearing up. Although all of his cultures and bloodwork came back negative for bacterial infection, and his RSV tests were also negative, this morning we did get a positive Coombs test. This basically means that he is super high risk for jaundice. So far all of his bilirubin tests have been great, but his numbers have really been helped out by the IV fluids. So we are weaning him from the fluids and seeing how he tolerates breastfeeding -- and hopefully he will transition with flying colors. This afternoon we took him off the air flow, and he has been breathing wonderfully -- so that is the first good news. Now we are just watching and waiting and weaning him from the IV. The kids have been with "Grams" (Mary's mom) and are so excited for their newest little brother. They were able to see him from the window for the first time this afternoon, and they can't wait until they are able to really hold him and love him and kiss him.

We appreciate all of your well wishes and support and prayers. Mary is exhausted and not up for visits or giving updates right now. If you want to find out how the little guy is doing, please call me instead - 787-7868. We love you all and are excited for when sweet baby #5 is well enough to meet you!
Danny (and Mary)

In the NICU today
Look at all those mean tubes he has!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Too Two

I was going to blog this on TUESday, when it had been TWO weeks since I'd blogged last, but it got TOO busy. So, here is my late "Ode to 2" :)

TWO Weeks
 The baby chain is down to less than TWO weeks! Crazy! Dr. Savage says I'm dialated and effaced and ready to pop, but with my history, that doesn't really mean anything. I looked at my calendar for the next few weeks, and this baby isn't allowed to come until after church on the 26th, no exceptions and no matter how miserable I may feel. I have way too many appointments and things TO-DO until then! Then, PLEASE, come baby come!

TWO Dancers - No TUTUs!
 Macie and Reid performed in their first dance showcase of the year at Thanksgiving Point, and they did fabulously! It was fun to see Reid with his Hip-hop company for the first time, and Macie was the star of the show with her Dance Force company. We loved cheering our TWO dancers on!

Reid, looking tough in his Rio costume

Macie showing off before her I Gotcha dance. I love this one, because she had a great solo finish to the routine!

Check out this hair-do. I can't believe I have to do this fancy thing before EVERY SINGLE COMPETITION! Is her company director trying to kill me? Chelsea is a great choreographer, but this hair really is TOO much!

"TOO"th expert
Just call him "Dr. Davis!"
 Davis had a dentist come and visit his preschool, and he was selected from all of the kids to be the "future dentist." He was so pumped when he came home and showed me his new TOOthbrush and TOOth-brushing chart. We had to go onto the internet and google pictures of plaque and tooth decay. It was actually nice to have a short diversion from looking up gold mines and maps. :) And he has been super good about brushing his teeth lately!

Terrible TWO?
The happy cell phone caller!
Danny J could never really be a "terrible TWO" -- but he is quite precocious, I'll tell you that! As you can see, he is holding my cell phone. Which he loves. And loves. And loves. And loves. And I recently had to have a special tricky password installed on it because he loves to use my phone to call Grams and Grampy and John and Daddy multiple times every day! He had it all figured out, how to unlock my phone and scroll down my contacts and then dial up his favorites. The little stinker!
 Last week I thought he was playing in the playroom while I got Reid and Davis ready for school, when suddenly he walked into the closet, talking to my brother John on my cell phone. Never mind that it was 7:30 in the morning. Never mind that when I talked to John, I found out it was the fourth time Danny J had called him that morning. And never mind that when I checked the phone log, I discovered that he had already called my parents four times that morning TOO. Oops. Sorry to everyone who has gotten TOO many early morning calls from my TWO year old! :)

TOO Many Kids (in the bed!)
Three kids in Mom and Dad's bed, no Mom and Dad!
We have a problem in our house. The boys love to get in bed with Mom. So much so that my bed is invaded EVERY night. I am at the point where I can't sleep much anymore, so I just get up at 5 and start doing stuff. Danny usually endures the squished space until a decent hour. :) But last week, even Dad couldn't take it any longer. There is not enough room in our bed for five people to sleep comfortably! So, he made his way to the boy's room and slept in their beds!
What are we going to do when we have five kids trying to get into our bed?!

The boys have invaded!

Poor Danny. It was such a miserable night (after a string of many squished and cramped nights) that I had to document it with a photo!

TOO Much TO-Do!
I may look happy here, smiling with Danny J at the kids dance show, but behind those smiling eyes there is really hidden panic. Why? Because I have entirely TOO much TO-do before this baby comes, and my list just keeps on getting longer instead of shorter! I am a big planner and perfectionist, and lets just say I am VERY ANXIOUS and NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING PREPARED for this next baby. Pray for me, because I need it!

And that's it for the Gunnell Family update. I was going to put videos of the kids dances on the blog, but then I rethought it and decided to put videos up when the kids are at the end of the performing season and their dances have been perfected and totally cleaned up. Maybe that means you'll never get to see them, if I stop blogging when the baby comes... :) Just try and imagine Reid getting his groove on to "It's a Small World" and "Rio", while Macie gracefully does back walk-overs and splits to "Wild Horses" and get's funky to "I Gotcha" and playful in "She's In Love"... they are TOO cute!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentines wishes from the Gunnell Family!
We had a great day, with heart-shaped Krispy Kreme's for breakfast, school parties, a lunch date and temple sealings for Danny and I (thanks to Melissa for babysitting!), and a scrumptious dinner complete with "hunk-a-hunk-of burning love meatloaf" (cooked in a heart shaped pan), "green eyes of jealousy zucchini", "lovin' from the oven rolls", "love potion #9 punch", and "sweets for the sweet sugar cookies." We plan on celebrating later tonight with a family dance! Hope that you all had a "LOVELY" day, and that you know we LOVE you!