Thursday, October 28

Everyday life.

Today was the first day daddy went back to work since Little Dude was born. I wanted to document this day for our memories and give you a sample of our everyday life...

*I didn't get any pictures of our morning, daddy doesn't usually go to work until the afternoon, so I started documenting after he had gone in.

At around 7 am Little Lady wakes up and while he's been off, daddy gets up with her while I am usually nursing Little Dude. Then we go downstairs and join them for breakfast.

Little Lady still likes to have a bottle of warm milk when she first wakes up. {We are working on weaning from this but didn't want to rock her world too much with all the new changes she's dealing with.} She also has yogurt and a banana, sometimes oatmeal or pancakes/waffles. She's a good great eater!

After breakfast is play time! Little Lady likes to go through her toy box and inventory her goods. :) This particular morning daddy took Little Dude to the lab at the hospital to have his second blood draw for his genetic testing. While the boys were gone, us girls watched a Veggie Tales video and snuggled.

When daddy and Little Dude got home it was lunch time! After lunch was served daddy put Little Lady down for a nap. That was around noon. Then it was time for daddy to get ready for work...

Little Lady took a little less than a two hour nap. While Little Lady napped, Little Dude was quite the busy man.
When he's not sleeping, this is pretty much what he can be found doing.

Once Little Lady woke up from her nap, we made plans to go to the park and enjoy some fresh air and the semi-warm weather while we have it! But not before a yummy snack...

Gold fishes and a granola bar.

Little Lady LOVES going to the park {what kid doesn't!} and even starts getting excited and pointing to the equipment when we pull into the parking lot.

She is getting more and more confident on the equipment every time we go!

Untitled from Katie B on Vimeo.
She even goes down the slide, by herself, with out any coaxing!

Little Dude snuggled with mama while big sister had her fun. :)

After the park, it was time to head home and start getting ready for dinner. Daddy usually gets to join us for dinner and we love that we get to see him half way through his day! Today, while mama got dinner ready, Little Lady played with the homemade, pumpkin-spice-smelling, orange play dough mama made her...

*All I have is Christmas cookie cutters, don't judge!

After dinner, which was leftover burritos and daddy's green chili {yummy!}, Little Lady decided to go through the mail. And she got a little bit on the silly while she was at it...

Before we knew it, it was time for a bubble bath and bed time! 

Bed time will probably be my hardest part of the day usually. Maybe we will figure out a routine that helps us out. Tonight was pretty smooth I must say, although I don't anticipate that to be the case every night. With Daddy at work I am juggling two littles who need my full attention. I did think ahead and nurse Little Dude before I even put Little Lady in the tub, that way I knew he wouldn't be screaming for while she was doing her thing. I think we will continue that and hope that we have more easy nights than the rough kind.

And that is a typical day in the life of our Littles! Good night. :)

Two weeks

I can't believe

it's been

two weeks.

Monday, October 25

Life Lately

Life changes so fast. I knew that it would change when we had two kids instead of just one, but I didn't really know, you know? How could I really, until it happened. Of course people would tell me "It's going to be hard" and try to prepare me for what to expect. I truly appreciate all the advice and wisdom I've received!

But there is so much that has to be learned and understood just by going through it. And although it's been challenging, it's been so enjoyable. I keep thinking, Is this my life? Is this really what I get to do every day? Don't get me wrong, I am realistic and there are moments when I just want to call a time out and walk away, have some time to myself or just get away for a refresher. But overall I am truly over joyed right now by the place I am in this life.

I have felt a new motivation for taking care of my family. Being pregnant and taking care of a baby was tiring and drained me pretty much every day. I struggled with feeling like cooking or cleaning or doing anything productive for my household. A lot of days it was all I could do to make sure Little Lady's basic needs were met. But since Little Dude was born, I've had this drive that has surprised me. I'm so grateful for it! I love cleaning up each evening and thinking about the day spent playing on the floor with my almost toddler. And thinking of meals to cook using up food in the fridge so it doesn't go to waste. I've never been a big leftover person and I usually cook just enough for one meal but we have been living off of left overs, of meals I made double batches of and froze, since we came home from the hospital. And it feels good.

It feels good to know that I'm providing healthy meals for my family and saving the valuable dollars my husband works hard to earn for things we need or things we'd like, or just to simply stretch a dollar to see how far it will stretch.

Another challenge that has been fun to tackle is finding activities for Little Lady to do. With the winter months coming up and now having two in tow I know we will be spending a lot more time at home then we did last winter. With an extremely active toddler I really want to have lots of different activities for her to do and learn from. I'm planning on limiting her 't.v.' time {really it's video's because we don't have cable} to no more than an hour a day, if we even have that. So I need activities that she can do herself and others that we can do together. {In fact, if you have any suggestions PLEASE leave them in the comments!!}

I've gathered a few ideas so far and they are working great!

  • Sensory tub: using beans, dry noodles, oatmeal or corn meal with cups and spoons.
  • Homemade play dough: We are going to make some tomorrow with orange food coloring and pumpkin pie spice for a festive effect!
  • Bean bags: I made these today using some of the beans we have for her sensory tub! I'll have her practice tossing them into bowls of different sizes and distances.
  • Coloring: I found a giant coloring book with big pictures and some fat crayons that she can practice holding. We've already been working on master pieces together!
  • Making pudding: I've let her 'help' cook and bake lately but letting her do it all is so much fun for her and fun to watch! Instant pudding and she gets to mix it on her own and then 'play' in the results :)
  • Puzzles and shape fitting toys: She has an alphabet puzzle that we usually play with at least once a day. It's her favorite!
  • Letting her do things for herself: Just simply letting her do more on her own, like eating with silverware and feeding herself. She is loving eating yogurt out of the cup!!
* Please leave any other suggestions in the comments! Thanks :D

Something else we discovered and plan on making a regular activity on Monday's as a family, an indoor play place! It's called Little Monkey Bizness and it is so awesome! We only pay for Little Lady but parents are encouraged to play along with the kids and the age cut off is 7 years old, so there aren't 'big' kids running over the little ones. They have play equipment for little littles and stuff for the bigger littles too, as well as a crawler area for the itty bitty littles! We practically had the place to ourselves and Little Lady had a blast!! We loved that it wore her out as well as gave her a great day of fun and entertainment. 

We've made frequent trips to the park while daddy's been home with us and that pretty much makes her day as well. She just loves being outside and I know it's hard for her to be home and inside several days in a row. But it's becoming difficult to go out places with her lately, not just because we have two now, but because she is going through a "I'm going to test all the limits mommy and daddy have set and then some" phase and it's about all I can do to make it to the car with out breaking down crying sometimes. I hope she out grows this phase quickly, I am really missing my sweetheart baby girl.

But she really enjoys going to the park, almost as much as she loves going to the park with mommy AND daddy and getting DOUBLE the attention! There's no doubt she has been needing that extra attention lately to reassure her insecurity. We are doing our best to give her that extra attention she needs right now. It must be hard to have such a big change and not be able to fully express yourself or to completely understand what's happening. But she is doing great, all things considered!

So that's a little bit of life lately. It's crazy, but it's real. Wouldn't change it for the world. :)

'Getting to know you'

Already time is flying and I can't believe it's been 11 days since we welcomed you onto our arms, Little Dude.

Since time goes by so quickly, I wanted to note what we've learned about you so far:

~ You are laid back {way back, just like daddy!}
  - Even starting with labor! Unlike your sisters labor, you took it nice and slow, even decided to hang       out for several hours with no progress. Little Lady on the other hand was opposite and just kept moving, no breaks. She knew she had places to be! {She still does...}
   - Nursing has been so much easier. Partly because I know what I'm doing this time but also because you are not as eager and aggressive at latching on as your sister was.
   - I just love how easily you have fit into our family and home! Your sister can be loud and she doesnt quite understand how to be gentle with you, but you don't complain, you just hang out and soak it all in, or sleep right through it all!!!

~ You are a great eater but your eyes must be bigger than your tummy cause you over eat often which results in a lot of spit up, even full on vomiting your whole feeding. Burping has been a challenge.Your sister didn't have that problem and she burped with out much effort on our part. It's been an adjustment for mommy and daddy.

~You don't really care to be swaddled very much, like sissy did, but when we do swaddle you at night for warmth you like your hands up by your face and the swaddle lose.

~You are a champ at bf, we have had little issues with nursing and we are going to wait til your 3-4wks to intro a bottle. I think this very thing has helped your transition into our home to be much easier.

Today was your 10 day check up with the doctor. Here's how you measured up:

Weight: 7 lbs 8.5 oz  {25% - 14.5 oz gain from birth weight!}
Height: 20 in  {25% - 1 in growth from birth}
Head: 14.75 in  {50%}

My sweet boy, we are loving having you and look forward to all that we will learn about you in the days, weeks, months and years to come! We love you so much.

Sunday, October 24

Make over

Decided it was time for a change. 
You know, cause we haven't had much of that lately...
Notice the new title. :)

What do you think?

Saturday, October 23

Punkin Patch

We took our Littles to a punkin patch last week. 
It was a beautiful day.
We all enjoyed our selves!

Happy Fall y'all!

Friday, October 22

Siblings today...

...Friends tomorrow

Praying this is a start to a life long friendship.

Thursday, October 21

Wednesday, October 20

First bath.

Little Dude had his first bath ever yesterday.

I LOVE Little Dude's expression.
Normally a newborn is given a bath in the hospital shortly after birth. It's done by the pediatric nurse and when we had Little Lady she had to be placed under a warmer for 45 min afterwards which translates into precious time not being spent in proud new parents arms!

Ok so 45 min of this little persons life may not seem that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but to us those first few hours, days, weeks is sweet bonding time.In our Bradley class we took before Little Lady was born we learned about the benefits of not giving your newborn a bath right away. We really liked the idea of having her first bath at home in a more peaceful setting, rather than with bright lights shining down and rubber gloves handling her.

When we asked the hospital if we could be the ones to bathe her our response was "No, babies are slippery when they are wet." Um... Duh. I understand it's a liability issue, although I don't agree with it. We were told if she wasn't bathed by the staff then they would only touch her with gloves on and in my inexperience I thought human touch would be a far better option. In hindsight I realized they don't even need to touch her but a few times for a few minutes, for example to weigh her, and we held her all the other times. But we went ahead and had her bathed in the hospital.

With Little Dude things turned out a little differently. I'm not sure if it was because he was born at 3:51am and things were slow that the nurses were so much more laid back. The ped nurse we had was really awesome and told us to let her know when we were ready for his bath, that there was no rush.

"This is so much like being in mama's tummy!"

We ended up just not taking him down to the nursery for a bath. It worked perfectly! Of course they still wiped  most of the vernix off of his skin shortly after he was born while he laid on my tummy. :)

Little Dude's cord stump fell off on Monday during the night so he got have his first bath ever in a warm bath tub with his daddy!

He didn't care too much for daddy scrubbing his head but he LOVED just floating in the water, he just looked around and bobbed so peacefully!!

This is definitely the route we will go with all future first baths!

Tuesday, October 19

Check ups

Yesterday Little Dude had his first check up. As I previously posted, he gained 2 oz since his hospital discharge putting him at 6 lbs 8.5 oz. He checked out great and we take him back for his 10 day check up next week.

Little Lady had her check up today:

* Weight: 23 lbs 2 oz  {50%}
* Length: 31.5 in        {75%}
* Head: 17.75 in         {25%}

She is advanced in all of her development for communication, fine motor skills, language, etc. And Dr. G couldn't get over how busy she was! {Tell me about it...} After Little Lady's exam Dr. G let her go through her box with all of her tools and she was impressed with how Little Lady spent so much time studying, she is a thinker no doubt.

Here are both of my 'littles' at their appointments:

In other exciting news, jr lost his umbilical cord last night so he had his first bath today! {Pictures soon to come.}


We have been babymooning at my house.
You see, I have two babies now. And that means double the joy, fun, and love and work!

We brought Little Dude home from the hospital on Friday. We really could have stayed one more night at the hospital. But I was missing my Little Lady so badly I couldn't hardly stand it!

I couldn't wait to introduce her to her new brother and cuddle and play with her, reassuring her she had not been replaced. The couple days we were gone she had been sick and I knew she was missing us.

Although they'd have liked us to stay we were discharged without hesitation. I was feeling pretty good, compared to last time, and Little Dude was doing great too! He was nursing well and had only lost 3.3% of his body weight {they allow for 7-10%}.

When we got home around noon Little Lady was so excited to see us, but she wasn't to sure about our stow away!

The two new siblings had met at the hospital but we kept them a part mostly because of Little Lady being sick. She knows enough about him that he is 'brother' and on her terms she'll come up to him and give him kisses or try to offer her pacifier. The best success we've had introducing them has been if Little Dude is in the swing, not in any of our arms.

All other times it's as if he doesn't exist. But she's warming up to him :)

He had his first check up with the Dr. today and he has gained 2 oz! He's pretty much a champ at nursing... all except that he falls asleep and is a tad bit difficult to wake up. But it just means more precious mommy-son time. :)

He is also a little bit jaundice in the face and chest but the Dr isn't concerned since he is nursing every 2.5-3 hrs and plenty of wet and dirty diapers. He's going to be at his birth weight in no time!

All I can say to sum up life right now is 'So this is love!' And with that, I'm off for more baby mooning with my two precious babies...

Monday, October 18

15 months

My first born {I can say that now that I have a second born :D}, you are 15 months old today.

You have grown so much, even in the last month. But when I saw you after your brother was born I couldn't help but think 'You look huge!' You seem so much older now that we have a newborn in the house.

You are a big sister now and I pray for you every day that God will soften your heart for your new brother and that you will develop a love for and a friendship with him as the years go by. I also pray that God will teach daddy and me how to shepard and nurture  your relationship with each other. I know you will come to cherish the companionship of each other.

I'm pretty confident that you will be a wonderful sister. I know this because of your loving nature towards people and even your toys. You love to give kisses and hug your toys and stuffed animals.

You are communicating better and more often each day. Your words are becoming clearer and you repeat and mimic everything we say and do.

Some of your favorite things to do or you can be found doing and saying on a regular basis are:

* When I open the fridge door you like to touch everything in reach and say "Cooold!"

* You love to sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and you even know the hand motions.

* You 'help' me unload the dishwasher, you love to help with any task that I'll let you help with.

* When mama or daddy tell you we love you, you give us a kiss and say 'I love you'!

* You love to blow kisses and wave bye-bye to any one who's leaving.

* You can say 'shoes' 'fish' 'squishy' and when we ask you if you are hungry or if you want more you can sign to us that you do.

You still take one nap a day, usually it's an hour to 2 hours long. Sometimes in the evenings mama and daddy will take you for a walk to the park and you love to show us how you can go down the slide all by yourself.

You're starting to test the waters more and more and lately you've been wanting to see if screaming will get you some attention... We are working on that!

You are our princess and you always will be. We love you, Little Lady and look forward to the months to come with you and your lil' brother!

Saturday, October 16

Love story.

Our newest addition joined us early Thursday morning!

We were surprised that he would come so soon but we are so excited to have him in our arms and he's quickly worked a permanent place in our hearts.

So what is the story?

Little Lady and I were at home, she had just woken up from a nap and I was getting a few things tidied up around the house. I had been feeling a tugging and tightening feeling in the lower part of my uterus. I was standing in the kitchen when my water broke... and I had an instant rush of a "This is it!" feeling. I called Stud Muffin at work and told him my water broke, he was so excited! I told him to drive safely but hurry! :)

Next I called Nana so she could get on her way out here. Then it was Lolli, a great family friend who is like family to us, to come and take care of our Little Lady. I knew she would be in wonderful hands while we were away, but it was difficult to leave her. Little Lady had a bug that had her throwing up and gave her diarrhea. Later I learned that she'd had a rough night but she was in great care and very well loved. I really missed her though!

Lolli and Auntie Rae came right over and as soon as SM got home we finished packing a few things and headed to the hospital. I had called my dr office before we left and they told me to go straight to labor and delivery and get checked in.

By this time the contractions were very spaced out and fairly mild. I could still carry a conversation and walk through them with out too much trouble. We checked in at the hospital and after an exam I was told I was about 5 cm dilated.

They wanted to put me on the monitor for a little bit and see how baby was doing as well as see where my contractions were at. After about 30 minutes of being on the monitor I decided I wanted to walk around and hopefully get everything going. So we walked... and walked... and we walked. Finally the nurse asked if I would go back on the monitor and the Ob wanted to do an exam to see my progress. 

Talk about frustrating and discouraging when I had only progressed to a "stretchy" 6 cm. And not only that but my contractions had weakened and grown farther apart.

That was at 5:30. Because walking seemed to have the counter effect on my contractions I decided to stay in my room and try different positions and such. I agreed to stay hooked to the monitor as long as it didn't interfere with how I was wanting to labor.

Another couple hours went by and still not regular or gaining intensity... After a quick check by the OB - still 6 cm. I was really feeling bummed. My Ob decided it was time to start talking options for progression. She explained pitocin and how I could start out on the lowest level and see if we could just get me over the hump I seemed to be at. 

She explained it to me this way:  I could keep doing what I was doing and end up stretching out the time I'm in labor and pain. Or we could use this to get moving and if my body picked up on it's own then we could turn it off and let it do it's thing, hence shortening the amount of time in pain even though the intensity of pain would no doubt increase. 

I was really stalling in making the call simply because I know I'm a wimp when it comes to pain and I figured if I started pitocin the chances I would given and get an epidural were much higher. That's just me.

But in the end the anxiousness to meet my baby and get things going won out. She had the nurse start the pitocin at a low level. It wasn't long before it kicked in. And pretty soon I was having several contractions back to back.

The nurse came in and bumped it up a level a couple times. By the time it was up to a level 6, around 12:30a, I thought I was going to die. I had dilated to 7cm finally but the pain was awful, I knew I wouldn't be able to take it much longer, especially when they were back to back with no break sometimes.

I decided I wither needed to turn it down or I needed to have some pain relief, most likely an epidural. I waited through a few more contractions. I had the pitocin bumped down a notch, to a level 5.

Somewhere between 1 and 1:30a I began throwing up during and after several contractions. I decided I didn't want to slow down the labor anymore but I had to get an epidural to make it through to the end. 

I went through my whole pregnancy desiring to have an all natural, no pain management medicine, labor a delivery. I understand and know the risks of getting an epidural and I know the benefits of having a baby all naturally. I had gotten one when I had Little Lady and everything went smoothly. But I really beat myself up. I felt guilty and like I had failed my daughter and my husband, even God. It might sound extreme but I really struggled with it for a long time. 

God has shown me that it wasn't that I have weakness or that I set out to do something and wasn't strong enough to accomplish it. It was really my pride that I was struggling with. And I decided to surrender it to Him. He is capable when I am not. He takes care of us and has our best interest in mind. 

So although I won't be able to say that I had my daughter and my son with out an epidural, I can say that they were born healthy and happy, I am healthy and really how could I ask for more. 

Don't get me wrong, I truly admire each of those who have delivered without pain medication. I have gone as far as I possibly could handle in labor and I commend them for going all the way!

If we decide to have any more babies I will continue to strive for that goal. But I know there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Praise God!

The anesthesiologist came in and some time around 2:00a I was finding some relief. I could still feel the contractions but it really took the edge off.  I was fully dilated to 10cm by 3:30 and my OB came in to prep and deliver our baby. 

I started getting really nervous about pushing. The dr was ready and thru rolled me to my back. I told them I was feeling really light headed and that I needed to throw up. I couldn't hold my head up anymore. I was trying to breath deep. Later I learned my blood pressure had dropped to 70/40.

I got oxygen put on and finally regained my awareness. The nurse pulled my leg back and told me to push, I started groaning and she said don't make any noise, just push. So I did and the babies head was right there so I gave one last umph he was out. 

Stud Muffin said 'It's a boy!!' and he was so excited!! I was thinking 'I knew it!!'

They laid him right on my chest and wiped him while I held him. We wanted to delay the cord cutting until it stopped pulsing and then daddy cut the cord!

I was able to get him latched and nurse almost immediately and we just spent the next few hours in baby heaven!

Caleb Brandon, from here on out known as Little Dude, was born at 3:51am and weighed 6lbs 10oz and was 19 in long. He is absolutely perfect and he has his daddy's laid back temperament and his feet! 

He is one handsome dude!

- My mama was able to make it from KS in time to see Little Dude born.

- I didn't tear and my recovery has been so quick because of it.

- So far nursing has gone so smoothly and we are so grateful after so much hardship at the beginning with Little Lady.

- I am finally home with my TWO babies and life is good!

A few more photos of our Little Dude.

*I never expected to have a 6 lb baby so I didn't bother even buying newborn size clothes, since Little Lady was 8lbs 6oz and only wore her newborn stuff for a week. He was swimming in everything I brought for him!


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