August 29, 2011

Random Post

Quick update....

I think I'm settling into my new life. Thank goodness I've had so much help!  Hopefully I'll be able to do nice things for other people one day instead of just taking, taking, taking from everyone :)

Cliffie comes to town tomorrow. YEAH! I'm super excited for the help and company.  Ben and I have generated a long list of To Do When Cliffie Comes items.

My mom gave me a gift certificate as a baby present for a cleaning service and they came to clean my house today. How awesome is that?!?!?  It was great.  Too bad it will never happen again.

Sadie fell off a 6 or 7 foot landing last night at the park. She landed squarely on her back and the wind got knocked out of her and she passed out a little and had trouble coming back to. I thought I was going to die! She's fine though and perfectly normal and happy today. Thank goodness!!!

Here are random pictures from our lives lately....

We went with Cricchio to Bishop's farm to feed the horses.  Sadie LOVES animals!

McKay slept in the car and my mom helped with Jax.  Jax HATES animals.
You can't entirely tell in this pictures but he was crying to get away from the horse. 

They also had these fun kid rides to play on.  It was great fun!

The kids and I have had to get creative with all this extra time we have at the house.
One day I traced their cute little bodies and we made this lift size portrait of them.
It looks just like him, huh?

We've been reading a lot of books!  I think we have them all memorized now.

Jax doesn't like to sleep but loves to play with his trucks during his naptime.

This dry pasta, bowls, and spoons kept them occupied for nearly two hours!

These two totally love each other!
Julie, James, and Joseph came up earlier this week to help me out.
I was able to get loads done and the kids had a blast!
Julie also went grocery shopping and made us a delicious dinner.  Thanks Julie ;

Jax so has Ben's personality!

He loves to do his flips!

Cute little McKay with my dad.

Is it time for another one Joe?

James is learning to walk.  Guess how old he is....8 months.  WOW!

Learning the fundamentals of the great game of baseball.

All day long..."Can I hold him?"

Sadie: "Alicia (as she calls me) can you give me that book so I can read to MoeKay" (as she calls him).

Jax saying, "Cheese" as he waits to go to church. 

Yes, I've finally started the repentance process for all those Oreos I ate.  

He's the best dad ever.  The kids can't leave him alone.

She's growing up so quickly!  This was just before her fall.

He loves to go down the slides - Jax that is.

This picture was taken by Ben.  Very nice Ben!

Another Ben picture.  I like the motion of the sand.

I'm plump but this is me after having 3 babies in 4 years.  Will I ever be skinny again?

I am completely 100% in love with this baby!!!

He's lovely wouldn't you say?  If only he slept at night *sigh*.
Okay, that's the end of my randomness.  Life is good, oh so good!  Crazy but good :)

August 22, 2011

Life with 3

It was the best of times, it was the busiest of times, it was the age of giggles, it was the age of tears, it was the epoch of obedience, it was the epoch of rebellion, it was the season of sleepless nights, it was the season of sleepy days, it was the spring of hope, it is now the summer of survival, it will soon be the autumn of hope.

So, people keep asking me how things are going.  Hard to answer that question.  Usually things are going pretty good.  There are two stressful times of the day: 12-1PM and 4-6PM.  But, thankfully, I've had lots of help and the children are still alive and thriving.  

Sadie has good and bad moments all through the day - hence, the introduction.  She is starting to be a little aggressive towards Jax and is not sharing as well as she once had.  I'm trying my best to be patient, but I know she knows how to behave and it's bothering me that she's not always making better choices.  Part of the problem is I'm fiercely protective of Jax and it really upsets me when she is unkind to him, so maybe I make too big a deal of things I just can't tolerate the least bit of unkindness.  And usually she is pretty good.  In the mornings she loves to hold him (see picture below) and they play together nicely in her room.  But, by late afternoon things start to fall apart.  Any advice or tips you have would be welcomed :)

Jax loves Sadie's attention!
Thankfully, Jax is extremely patient and loving with everyone and everything.  He definitely struggles and is more prone to fussiness in the late afternoon but he is usually happy the rest of the day.  He is in a really adorable stage right now and I just can't get enough of his cute personality.  I worry I'm not giving him as much attention as he deserves, but I don't think he minds being a little more independent.    

Then there's McKay.  Why have I not appreciated newborns until now?  With Sadie and Jax I felt so stressed during those early weeks.  It felt like a time to endure and get through.  This time around I am loving it!  I just want to sit and rock him all day long.  He is a fabulous nurser, but not a fabulous sleeper.  I jokingly say to Ben, "We spent way too much time praying for a nursing child and not nearly enough time praying for a sleepy child."  I don't mind much, though.  I just sit and rock and nurse and think, "Please don't grow up, please don't grow up."  Although, he has just developed a skin infection with little blisters on his abdomen which reminds me how fragile newborns are and now I'm thinking it would be nice to have him older and stronger so I won't worry so much about his health.  

Anyways, he's a really good baby and quite handsome.  He came out looking like the other two but has a completely unique look to him now.  He cluster feeds all afternoon from 4 - 8PM, but other than during that time he is quite content.  He definitely loves to be held but I don't mind holding him.  Every morning he looks different and bigger.  As of Friday, when we has two and a half weeks old, he was up to 9 lbs. and 3 ozs.  He's growing quickly but I'm trying my best to enjoy him as much as possible while he's so sweet and tiny.  

August 12, 2011

People are so nice!

I have been totally overwhelmed by the amount of people that have offered to help since the baby has been born.  There are so many really good people in the world.  I'm not always on the needy/receiving end of assistance, so I've been really touched by the generosity and kindness of others in my 'time of need'.  I was very worried about how this newborn period would go, but so far, it's been amazingly wonderful thanks to the support of everyone.

McKay has been a been a wonderful newborn, although, he does wake up frequently at night to eat.  We had his check up today and they said his growth was off the charts.  He's been gaining 2 - 3 ounces a day.    Apparently I produce very rich milk, and I guess all those night feedings are paying off.  He's a sweet, happy little guy.  And I know we just had a newborn a year ago, but it really is fun to have a newborn in the house again.

Sadie and Jax are doing great!  Sadie still adores the baby and Jax has been loving having Ben home to play with so much.  Ben's working two more half days next week and then I'm flying solo.  But, again, so many people have offered to help that I don't feel alone at all.  Let me see if I can list all the nice things that people have offered to do for us.  Hopefully I can remember it all.

  • My parents have helped in countless ways!  Here's a sampling: when we arrived home they had the house all clean, dinner ready, laundry done, pantry full, and kids happy.  My mom has been coming up to help with the kids and let me rest while Ben is at work.  She took Sadie on a little date on Wednesday to shop and get her hair cut.  They bring us food or send us home with leftovers.  Bought us a $50 giftcard for an Italian restaurant so we can get take out on the nights dinner is too stressful to make.  Etc., etc., etc.!  They are always doing something to help.  I'm so grateful for them!!
  • Marie Enfante is bringing us dessert tonight and coming over to socialize.  I love to socialize!
  • Dinners are being brought in my Sisters Ernest, Blank, and Martinez.  What a great help that is and this is my first time accepting the meals and I'm quite excited.
  • Cricchio is always doing something helpful whether it's jumping my car battery, babysitting my children at midnight so I could go to the hospital, or taking Sadie on play dates.  This morning she picked up Sadie and took her to the pool.  Sadie had a blast and is taking a great nap because of it!
  • Katie Tickner has also offered to watch Sadie and has helped answer nursing questions.  We're going there on Tuesday so Sadie and Jax can run off some energy.
  • Dawn Hodges has also offered her boys babysitting services and to watch Sadie and Jax so I can nap!  I've also appreciated her advice and supportive messages.
  • Bishop Smith who has been so flexible and understanding about Ben missing church lately.  He has so much on his plate and Ben always feels bad he can't do more to help him.
  • Sherry Wood gave us a donation of clothes, shoes, and baby supplies.  Jax is sporting some adorable little shoes now thanks to her.
  • Jenny Andersen has offered numerous times to babysit the kids so I could take a nap. 
  • Lori Emery who provided most of Jax's wardrobe which will now be McKay's wardrobe.  The clothes are adorable and still in excellent condition.  Did I mention they are adorable?  They are the cutest little clothes.  I'm so excited to have another boy so I can dress him up in all those great outfits again.
  • Sarah who took pictures at the hospital and is coming up on Monday to take newborn pictures.  Is there anything greater than a great picture of the ones you love?  I think not!  She has also offered to come up and take Sadie to the park.
  • Natalie, Ben's sister, has offered to fly out to help with the kids.  She is absolutely amazing with newborns and always fun to be with.  Do you think you'll still be able to come Natalie?
  • Julie, who has over an hours commute, is also going to come up and entertain the kids one day and has offered to make a meal.  Sadie always enjoys playing with Joseph!
  • Cliffie is coming from August 30th through September 9th  to help with the kids!  I can't wait.  I already have a list of things I want to get done while she's here.  She's a tremendous help and very easy to have around. 
  • Christy who came during those final weeks of the pregnancy to help out.  I seriously would have opted to be induced had she not come and provided a much needed distraction and some much needed rest!
  • All the kind comments, letters, and messages from people - Shannon, Raven, Sharla, Melanie, Becky, Grandma Johnson, Cliffie, and other friends and family.  They really were such a boost to me in those final weeks of pregnancy!
Anyways, I'm sure I could go on and will be thinking of more things all afternoon and kicking myself for forgetting to list it, but do you get the idea?  People are SO, SO, SO nice!!  It's really quite touching.  Hopefully I'll be able to return the favors one day or at least pay it forward.

Now, a few pictures of little McKay.....

2 days old

4 days old, first time at the dock

5 days old

First time at the park, look how tiny he is.

1 week old

Then you have the big brother.....

He seems to have grown up over night!

He's as happy and pleasant as ever!

August 05, 2011

McKay's Birth Story

It happened.  It finally happened.  I'm so happy it happened!  We have our happy, healthy little baby.  He's perfect.  He's adorable.  He was so worth the wait!  Here's how it all went down....

Background information: The day before McKay was born had been a difficult one.  Jax had been teething and had been awake and uncomfortable much of the night before.  Consequently he couldn't make it through the day without two naps, which is very unusual for him.  Ben started bedtime routine with him around 8:00PM while I took Sadie on a nice relaxing walk.  However, Jax wasn't the least bit sleepy.  So, the kids ended up getting each other all hyper and played chase and tackled Ben and rough housed until about 9:30PM.  At that time I took Sadie and started getting her ready for bed and Ben took Jax and put him down for the night.  I emerged from Sadie's room at exactly 10:09PM and announced to Ben, "Victory"!  We both laughed and commented how pathetic is it that the kids are so off their schedule and talked about how it will be nice to have this baby and get regulated again.  Little did we know that we would be holding our newborn in exactly 4 hours from that conversation.

So, we were in the bedroom a few minutes later.  Ben was flipping through a baby name book and I was working on a blog post.  During the post I had one really strong contraction which I mentioned to Ben.  I had been having braxton hicks throughout the evening but that's been really normal for me lately and I really don't even notice them anymore.

11:39PM - Ben falls asleep within 30 seconds of laying down.  I even tapped on his face to be sure, and yup -  he was out immediately.

11:41PM - So, I was laying there and felt another really strong contraction.  During it I felt a pop and I knew!  I knew my water my broken.  There wasn't an immediate gush of fluid, but as soon as the contraction let up - sure enough, wetness!  For about 2 minutes I laid there just thinking and preparing and praying.  Thoughts included: I'm so excited, I'm scared, thank you, help the baby to be healthy, help me handle the pain, and more excitement!  So then I got up to use the restroom and was relieved to see the fluid was clear.

11:44PM - I woke Ben up and happily announced, "My water just broke!"  Ben says I was grinning from ear to ear.  He jumped up out of bed quickly and was just as excited as I was.  I called my parents and told them to leave right away.  Then I jumped in the shower to freshen up.  Ben started gathering last minute items and called the midwife.  The midwife felt that I shouldn't wait for my parents to arrive but find someone to watch the kids so we could leave immediately.  By this point my contractions were starting to get more regular and more intense.  We debated whether or not we should wait until my parents arrived, but in the end we decided to call to our good friend Cricchio, who lives in our neighborhood and asked her to stay with the kids until my parents arrived.  Thankfully, she was happy to do so, and she arrived in a flash.

12:15AM - With the last few items packed in the car we headed for hospital.  When we left for the hospital contractions had just started getting regular and were about 5 - 6 minutes apart.  The drive to the hospital was fun.  We called my parents again, Ben's mom, and texted the family to let them know it was finally time.  Ben enjoyed running all the red lights, and consequently, we made excellent time.

1:15AM - Finally arrived at the hospital.  By this point my contractions were getting more intense and were coming every 3 minutes and lasting for a solid minute.  I was still rather comfortable for the most part.  When a contraction would come on I would just say to Ben, "Time for a moment of silence." And then it would pass and we would continue our conversation.  However, what I didn't enjoy was sitting in my wet shorts!  My fluids were definitely running and were more than I could contain.  So, when we arrived the midwife, Debbie, was there to meet us and after completing some paper work took us to our room.  At this point we also met our nurse Angie.  While Angie was a very nice older lady, we were not overly impressed with her work.  One of the first things I asked for was a simple drink of water.  She said she would get one for me.  About 20 minutes later I finally got my drink of water, after Debbie realized it probably was never going to happen and took it upon herself to get me one.  Anyways, I'm sure she's a lovely person, but she was more of a bystander in the room rather than a helpful assistant.

1:25AM - They hooked me up to the monitor, said the baby looked good, and measured my contractions at 3 minutes apart.  Debbie checked me and reported I was 7 cm dilated, fully effaced and -1 station.  At this point contractions were very strong and all I wanted was calm silence.  Angie didn't seem to catch on and she kept trying to ask me questions right in the middle of contractions, or she insisted on getting some last minute signatures.  So the next 20 minutes were spent with my asking for silence and Angie drawing blood, having me sign paper work, putting in an IV line, yada yada.  It was a long 20 minutes!

1:45PM - I started to feel more intense pressure and I knew the time would be soon at hand which I told to everyone in the room.  Ben told Angie to get the mid-wife.  After some prodding, Angie finally called for Debbie.  When Debbie came in she checked me and I was 9cm dilated.  She started to make the final preparations.  At this point I started getting nervous which I told to Ben and Debbie.  I knew it was almost time and I was starting to get really uncomfortable and I was dreading what was about to happen.  They told me it would be fine and I was doing great and things were going quickly but I was still dreading all the pain that I knew I was about to feel.

1:55PM - Again I said that it wasn't time to push yet but I was getting close.  In fact I even said, "It's not time yet, but I'm about two contractions away from needing to push."

2:01PM - Sure enough, true to my word, I was ready to push.  Debbie said not to push because she still wasn't ready.  I hate it when they say that! In her defense, she was trying to do her job and Angie's job and get the pediatric nurse to arrive.  Ben kept trying to help with preparations while Debbie continually asked him not to help because she needed to  keep the area sterile.  At one point she turned to me and said, "Geez, is he this helpful at home?"  I was in la-la-pain-land and didn't know what they were talking about and just replied, "Yes, he's a very involved parent."  Ben and I laughed about that afterwards.  Anyways, I needed to push and finally couldn't not push.

2:03PM - Ben overruled Debbie's orders and told me I could just let it come and to push if I felt like I needed to push.  So, push I did!  After 4 very long and very painful minutes the head emerged.  Debbie told me to hang-on until she could clear the mouth and nose.  One more push and the rest of the body was delivered!  Oh excruciating happiness!!

Can you feel my happy pain?

No wonder it hurt so much to push him out!

2:07AM - Debbie excitedly announced "It's a boy!"  It was a moment of total shock, relief, happiness, and excitement!!!   I was so exhausted I couldn't move and just lay there babbling, "Oh thank you.  It's a boy?  It's a boy! I'm so happy.  I'm so happy it's over.  Thank you it's over.  It's a boy? I can't believe it's a boy!"  McKay was perfect and healthy and pink.  I held him for quite some time and soaked up the joy of finally being able to hold this baby I had waited so long for.  My happiness knew no bounds!

He's been a perfectly happy and well mannered baby since then.  He is an amazing combination of what Sadie and Jax looked like as newborns.  They love him.  We love him.  We're home and happy and settling in and so grateful to finally be a family.  I'm nervous for the weeks and months ahead but so looking forward to them also!  Let the journey begin!

During his bath, 5 hours old.

Sadie absolutely loves him and wants to hold him all of the time!

He looks just like Sadie did as a newborn.

Here he looks just like Jax did as a newborn.

He is yawning in the picture above, not crying.

Love that little baby face!