Monday, April 30, 2018

Emily | One Month

Y'all, it has already been a month (and a few days) since we welcomed Emily into the world.  While I don't feel like it necessarily flew by, it is definitely going much quicker than I want it to.  I find myself soaking up the newborn cuddles and watching her discover the world more than I ever did with her sisters.  This is the last time we will experience this... and I want to remember all of it for years to come.

Emily at one month...

.You are 8 pounds, 13 ounces (38th percentile) and 21 inches tall (44th percentile).  You gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks on breast milk alone.

.You are wearing newborn size clothing still... but are starting to outgrow them length wise.  It has been so fun wearing the outfits your sisters didn't get to wear because it was too hot in Georgia and Tennessee or they were too chunky to wear them any amount of time.

.You are wearing size 1 diapers. We just used up the last of the newborn diapers.  But actually had to go buy 2 boxes on top of the ones we got at the diaper shower.  Also a first for us since your sisters didn't stay in newborn sized diapers for too long.

.You currently have a stuffy, congested nose that is LOADS of fun when you first wake up.  It doesn't seem to be bothering you too much.  You still nurse like a champ, but you hate the nose sucker ball.

.You have about a half second wake up time before you are demanding milk.  There is no slow leisurely wake up.

.You are still fairly sleepy but are spending more time awake and taking in the world.  Which we all love.

.You have handed out a few smiles, but not a whole lot as of yet.

.You are constantly trying to suck on stuff when you are awake, but aren't sure yet if the binky is the chosen item.

.You are still keeping us guessing on your hair color, but we are fairly certain you'll be a redhead or it will have a strawberry tint to it.

.You are fair skinned and mama thinks you look a lot like her.  Mom win.

.You have a belly button hernia.  Also a new thing we haven't yet experienced.  The doctors believe it will heal on its own over the next year without the need for surgery.

.You have dark blue/gray eyes.  Leaving us guessing on what color those will end up as well.

.You love to cuddle to sleep and your witching hour means you want to be held and nothing else.

.You sleep in 3-5 hour stretches at night, I can't really complain.

.You are not a huge fan of your carseat... but manage to mostly sleep while in it.

.You are a little furnace, just like Brooklyn.  You are almost always warm to the touch but especially when you are in daddy's arms.  Which mommy just laughs at since you couldn't maintain your body temperature in the hospital.

.You are still fawned over by everyone but especially your big sisters.  We call them the hovercrafts because if you are awake, they are right there next to you making sure you know you are loved.

You are so very sweet, and absolutely complete our family.  We needed an Emily.  I am so excited to see what the next month is going to bring us in regards to your growth and changes.  Mommy loves you sweet girl.

To read about Grace at one month, click here.
To read about Brooklyn at one month, click here.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Slice of Life - April 2018

It is FINALLY feeling like spring around these parts.  Like most of the country, Kansas was majorly fighting with mother nature to achieve a normal Spring.  But this week we have beautiful, sunny temperatures and it could not be more welcome.

April thus far has been full of adjustments, holidays, Emily meeting tons of new people and very little sleep.

We kicked off the month with Easter.  A very cold Easter that ended icy and snowy.  Because why not.  We had good intentions of getting up, getting all these kids ready and getting to church with my parents... but after Brooke's birthday party the night before, it didn't happen.  Instead we went to brunch and then headed to my parents house.  After some family pictures in their cute little dresses they changed, we ate lunch and spent the better part of the afternoon wishing away an ice storm as it quickly came through, left its damage and moved on.  Luckily our trek home was not too hazardous and we considered it an overall success.

Another success?  Getting to catch up with an old friend after 6 years.  Derek was in town for a friends wedding and was able to stop in for a few hours to finally meet my girls and see our house.  I'm lucky to still have friends that I don't have to talk to everyday, but can still spend hours sitting around and chatting with.

Speaking of good friends. Thanks to Grace going to preschool, she made a cute little best friend that translated into a pretty good mama friend for me too and she's getting a special shout out because she brought us an amazing home cooked meal a few weeks back.. and I am still thinking about it.  Thanks Tricia, you are the real MVP.

On the topic of preschool... how cute are these kids?! They presented their last bible story of the year this month.  It was Jonah and the Whale.  Even Rob was able to join us for this one as it fell during paternity leave.  I can't even begin to express how much I love Grace's preschool, her teachers and that she has been learning this year.  Putting her in preschool was definitely the right call.

We celebrated Emily's due date on April 12th.  That also happens to be my mom's birthday.  I knew months ago that this little lady was not going to make it to her due date.  I was expecting to be induced during my 39th week... a certain little lady decided 37 weeks, 5 days sounded better.  She just wanted to celebrate Grandma's birthday on the couch instead of in a hospital room.

Can I just take a moment and talk about our dog? He's been with us for almost 2 years and he's still keeping me on my toes and learning new "tricks" everyday.  He's Rob's hunting companion and smart as a whip when it comes to retrieving.  But he's also a typical lab... ornery as can be.  He gives Brooke a run for her money when it comes to who can drive mama craziest.  His newest trick is digging under the fence to go hang out with the neighbors lab.  Which he always seems to do when I am trying to get the gang out the door to get somewhere on time.  So far this has led to one rescheduled speech session, a fence repair to an entire panel we didn't know was loose and a lot of crazy person phone calls and text messages.  When I say dogs are harder than newborns, I mean it.

This last weekend we took a small trip about two hours west.  The circumstances of this unexpected day trip have left us asking for prayers for our family.  One of our dear family members on my mom's side is in the ICU fighting for her life after a heart attack.  We went to visit with her and other family but were also able to see my best friend that lives there.  Her entire family has been battling some gunk so she had not gotten a chance to meet Emily.  So we had the good and the bad.  Along with trying out a new brewery and picking up some of the "best burgers in Kansas" for mom.  It was a long day but we are all super glad we were able to make the trip out and visit too.

That's April, so far, in a nutshell.  It's been a busy month being out numbered by the little people and fur child.  But somehow we are getting by.

And I will leave you with these gems of my sweets...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

All the answers

Emily has been with us for three weeks now.  There is absolutely no routine to our life.  Although I am working HARD to establish a new one.  We all thrive off of routine around these parts.  Something else that has become routine around these parts?  Answering all the questions.

How are the big girls liking their new little sister?

They LOVE her.  I call them hovercrafts because if Emily is awake, she's got a big sister hovering over her trying to hold her hand, spread kisses across her forehead and coo at her.  I'm interested to see how long this will last... but for now they are very obsessed.

Are you getting any sleep?

That's a hard question to answer.  Last night Emily slept like a champ in 4 hour stretches.  The night before that she had a bit of a witching hour from 11 to 2 and the only way I got her to sleep was to lay her on my chest, where she stayed most of the night.  It really depends.  I am missing nap time (Brooke gave hers up the day she turned 2, just like Grace... it is VERY sad.) and wishing I had an opportunity to rest in the afternoon still, but somehow we are making it.

Is she going to be a redhead?

Emily doesn't look like her sisters in that she is very fair skinned and has lighter hair.  Both Brooke and Grace were born with dark, almost black hair and dark skin (my husband is 1/4 Puerto Rican).  Not Emily girl.  The OB that delivered her announced she was going to be a redhead and in certain light it definitely has red tints to it, but honestly I don't know... maybe.  They say they lose the hair on their head in the first 6 months and it can grow back in any color, so only time will tell.

How do you manage?

I have no choice.  I had to get back up and get going because Rob went back to work 2 weeks after I gave birth and I've got a 4 year old with a very busy preschool, speech, other activities schedule and someone has to get her from point A to point B.  Honestly though, with each pregnancy I just had to dive right back in.  While I'd love to spend the first month being spoiled, like I was when I gave birth to Grace... it is not realistic when you are now the mother of three kids.  So while I will take all of the credit for somehow making it to an appointment on time with all three kids dressed and fed, this is my life and I just gotta do it.

How are you feeling?

Back to myself.  I can bend.  I can paint my toenails.  I was given the all clear to lift my babies and laundry hampers again.  I have been off my pain medicine for about a week and a half now.  I'm surviving off of coffee, but I really do feel good.  I'm lucky in that my physical recovery was pretty swift.  I have been feeling a bit extra anxious, and I am hyper aware of all that after dealing with postpartum anxiety after I gave birth to Brooklyn.  But I am able to recognize and beat it off most of the time.  Newborns are extra hard on anxiety as it is, let alone when you are an overly anxious person to begin with.

Are you going to try for a boy?

That's a HARD no.  We are done.  After Brooke, Rob was okay with being done and I was still iffy.  I could have went either way.  Then Emily happened.  After giving birth to her, I really do feel like our family is complete.  In a little over three weeks I will go in to permanently complete our family.  Our family will forever be complete at mom, dad and three baby girls.  My husband will find his boys in the furry hunting companion version.

I am still thankful that people care enough to ask the questions.  We really are surrounded by a great little community of friends and family that this time around get to experience the newborn life with us and soak up all the extra snuggles.  It is a great extra dose of happiness to experience a life changing event near family.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

And she's two!

The day after we welcomed Emily into the world... we celebrated Brooklyn.  Our girls will forever share March as a birth month and were just under 11 hours away from sharing the exact same day.

This year we celebrated Brooke's 2nd birthday in a room on the third floor of the hospital.  My parents saved the day with cake and a balloon and both my sister and parents brought presents for our sweet birthday girl.  I had planned to do all that, and more, on Tuesday... but instead spent the day at the hospital rather than tackling my birthday to do list.

Luckily she's 2 and isn't at an age yet where she realizes it was not the birthday mommy planned for her to have.

For a split second we cancelled her birthday party that weekend, but Rob really came through and we were able to celebrate our birthday girl again on Saturday, just 2 days after getting home from the hospital.  We had family and a few friends over for some snacks and an ice cream bar.  Our girl was spoiled rotten and wiped out by 6:30 that evening.  A win for all of us.

(Let me just take a moment to once again send a LARGE shout out to my husband.  He has been the real MVP in picking up all the slack.  He helped clean the house, birthday party shopped and executed pretty much all my wishes in order for this party to happen.  Cleary it would not have happened without him or my parents who came early and helped with the last minute prep. Thank you SO very much!)

To my Brooklyn,

You are two!  Mommy can't hardly believe it.  You came into our life and have completely rocked it from day one.  You keep us so busy but make up for it in the sweetest hugs and snuggles, ever.  You are an absolute daddy's girl and have really rocked your new role as big sister to Emily.  We knew from the moment you attached yourself to your baby doll that you were meant to be a big sister, and sure enough... you've really come through.  I am so proud of all that you already are - a talker, a REALLY good ball thrower, a lover, confident and assertive.  If we could work on the listening and use of the word "no" in the next year, you'd make my life as your mama so much easier.  You are the perfect opposite to your big sister and I can't wait to see how your personality compares to your little sister.  Mommy just really can't believe you are already 2.

At 2...
-You weigh 30 pounds.  Your sweet rolls are ready to come out for the summer again.
-You are wearing size 24 month/2T and size 6 shoes.
-You have the most beautiful eye lashes to go with your thick brown hair.
-You surprise us everyday with new words, phrases and commands.
-You love baby doll and can't sleep without her.
-You are down to using your binky only at bedtime.
-You have started showing some interest in the toilet, but only when out in public.
-You are constantly falling, tripping and hurting yourself in general.
-You feed yourself and stay relatively clean now.
-You are very independent and love to do things yourself.
-You love blankets.
-You give the BEST hugs that darn near choke a person out.
-You are a lover, but only on your terms.
-You are still sort of indifferent to Diesel.  He prefers your big sister.
-You love the word "no" and balloons.
-You love food and eating, but are starting to become a wee bit picky.
-You remind me so much of your Aunt Erin.
-You love being outside.
-You wave hello to perfect strangers and think you are just the funniest toddler around.

You are our Brooklyn and we couldn't love you more!

Happy birthday sweet girl!

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Monday, April 2, 2018

The Final Birth Story

Almost a week ago we welcomed the final addition to our family (and it has been a whirlwind ever since).

Emily Pauline was born Tuesday, March 27th (the day before her big sister's 2nd birthday) at 1:16 pm.  Weighing in at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long.  Fair skinned and a smattering of light brown hair.  Sleepy and sweet as can be.

We were not expecting this little lady to come into the world a day before her 39 week induction that had not even been put on the books yet.  After all both her sisters waited until their inductions, regardless of how much walking I did (I lost 5 pounds trying to get Brooke to make her arrival!). But this little lady had a mind of her own.  Clocking in at 15 minutes shy of 9 hours, from water breaking to baby arriving.

At 4:30 am Tuesday morning I woke up 37 weeks, 5 days pregnant to my water having broken.  Although at the time I wasn't sure what was going on.  I went to the bathroom, noticed extra fluids but I wasn't necessarily gushing and it was not obvious.  I was feeling anxious though as I tried to go back to sleep.  An hour later at 5:30 I woke up and there was more fluid.

I gently shook Rob awake and said, I'm leaking fluids and calling the doctor now.  I called up to labor and delivery who told me I had to call the on-call OBGYN (which is NOT actually protocol for someone 37 weeks pregnant saying they are leaking fluids...).  My OB happened to be on call and as expected told me she couldn't tell me if it was amniotic fluids or not over the phone, so come on up.

Last picture as a mom of two.

After calling my parents to be on alert, packing a bag (because none were packed...), getting dressed and loading the kids up... we finally got to the hospital around 7.  By 8 they had confirmed my water had broken and I was staying to welcome this girl 2 weeks, 2 days early.  We weren't ready... at all.

My parents got to the hospital by 9, which was about the same time they started me on pitocin.  My water had broke at 4:30 that morning and I was still only dilated to a 2, maybe 3.  My parents and Rob took the girls home to leave the van and pick up a few things.  Not even an hour later Rob was back and things were progressing, thanks to sitting on an exercise ball.

I was feeling strong contractions with lots of pressure that were coming every 2 or so minutes.  I was shaking and in tears, so I finally tapped out at 7 cm dilated and asked for an epidural.  This time around the epidural process wasn't full of complications but I was feeling so much more between the pain and pressure which made inserting the epidural not fun, at all.  But he got it in and I got some relief.

Until my nurse pulled out the dreaded peanut at 9 cm dilated.  I still had a bit of a lip that was keeping the process from progressing.  I think I had the peanut between my legs for 2 contractions and that was all it took.  All of a sudden I knew I was ready to push.  And I told every nurse that came in the room through tears and screams. They weren't moving fast enough in my book.  Haha.

Finally the doctor came in and I was given the go ahead and 2 contractions, 5 pushes later she was placed on my chest and all of a sudden our family was complete!

Thank you to all the well wishes on Facebook and Instagram.  You all are so sweet!

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