Monday, December 23, 2013

Joy

Oh the joy of Christmas is so evident this year as I see the celebrations through Jackson's eyes.  After about 10 days of being house-bound with RSV, we've embarked on our Christmas festivities, and I'm not sure I've ever looked more forward to the get-together we hosted with my mom's side of the family.  I was so ready for company and to be with people and celebrate (after canceling two Christmas dinners we were suppose to host for friends and a Bible study).  Tonight I've reflected on the joy I've witnessed the last 3 days, and here are a few snapshots:
  • My father in law's impatience and excitement for Jackson to open his last gift tonight: a tricycle "lowrider" and hearing Jackson's giggles and "wee" as he was pushed on it through their house;
  • Our quick visit to see my great aunt and how incredibly proud she was to hold Ella Kate (as I helped) and to see Jackson.  One of my prayers was that she would live long enough to meet my children, and at 93, she's done just that and has enjoyed every minute of knowing them;
  • Jackson's sheer joy at having 16 people in our house Friday night--half of whom were children--and how much he adores my mother;
  • how my Dad's sister couldn't wait to give Jackson a ball when she arrived at our Christmas lunch yesterday and how his face lit up as he pronounced it "ball";
  • how loved Blake and I felt by our friend and babysitter Bess' gifts to our family which included a "gift certificate" for an overnight baby-sitting date;
  • how excited I am by the North Face sweater pullover my in-laws got me (silly I know, but we're on a budget these days, and I've really wanted this top!);
  • seeing my step sister-in-law 8 months pregnant tonight after their years of trying to have their second child; and
  • how my friend Chasie wanted to serve and love Blake and me by keeping our children this morning, so we could have a child-free breakfast together.
What an incredible season this is for so many reasons. I just cannot get over how much fun this Christmas has already been simply because of our son's joy as he sees friends and family, opens boxes and bags with toys, tries new foods and treats, and stays up past his bedtime to play.  I love our sweet little family of 4 and that next year Ella Kate will be almost Jackson's age and getting to have this same experience.  What a good God we celebrate!


p.s. I'm thankful for the two boxes of forgotten cookies my mom made for me (that I've already consumed:) and for my bright-eyed baby girl.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: RSV


p.s. I'm thankful that we seem to be over the worst of RSV. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Favorite Things

I have so many random ideas for a post, but none are particularly compelling. So here are a few of my favorite things right now:

  • the fig preserves, arugula, gouda, and prosciutto pizza at Community Pie;
  • how Jackson's vocabulary is expanding so quickly and never knowing when he'll blurt out a new word (recent additions include shark, football, Nanee, book);
  • our Christmas tree;
  • that my husband is currently making pink origami stars for our daughter's bedroom;
  • having holiday traditions and time with family to look forward to and knowing that Jackson will enjoy it all so much more this year;
  • the incredible way God continues to bless us and our friends, especially the long-awaited answered prayers;
  • that we have already sleep trained our daughter and I'm getting at least 3-4 hour stretches between feedings;
  • how much Jackson and Blake enjoyed their recent "boy day" together while Ella Kate and I visited my home town;
  • how excited Jackson gets when he gets to play with play dough, gets his twice daily milk, or any other treat that isn't permitted all day long;
  • friends and their sweet children who brought my sick kiddos toys and cards today;
  • that Ella Kate doesn't cry for what seems like no reason any more & is so sweet and pleasant;
  • that more days than not both children sleep until 7-7:30;
  • that Jackson currently loves praying (although he has no idea what we're doing but will continue to sign for more as soon as we say amen);
  • a surprise visit from my friend Chasie and her new beau;
  • Tootsie Roll pops; &
  • how thoughtful and generous my mom is.
p.s. I'm thankful for a season dedicated to celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Four Months of Ella Kate

Our sweet baby girl is four months old, and I love having a daughter.  Ella Kate is a mama's girl, and her eyes (which are still blue like mine) are often glued on me.  She's gotten a lot of mama time too because she's refused a bottle for most of the last three months, which means I've never been away from her for more than 3 hours.  It seems like she may be particular like me.

With the exception of some hysterical times in the evening, Ella is really pleasant. She's already rolling both ways and get so frustrated that she can't crawl yet.  Her neck and head control are awesome, and this last week she tried prunes, rice cereal, and sweet potatoes and liked them all.  I decided to start solids a little earlier because she won't take a bottle, and I wanted to figure out a way to get food in her since a close friend is getting married next Saturday and I'm anxious about leaving her with someone with no effective means to feed her.  Thankfully it's working, and she's taken a bottle the last two nights as part of her "dinner."  I can't believe she finally took a bottle, and she took it from me! She was in the bouncy seat, so I think that helped because it's nothing like how I normally feed her.

It's funny that lately things have been a little harder with two children than in the earlier months. I think the sleep changes that come around this age have been part of it.  She's recently added back in a feeding at night, and I haven't adjusted that well to having to get up twice to feed (and often additional times for crying/paci, etc.).  We went through some tough napping days, and it's so hard to try to help an overtired baby fall asleep when a 21 month old year also needs you and/or is being extremely loud.  I continue to be thankful for the Ergo as taking a walk is an easy way to get a nap (or at least a calm baby).  Baby girl loves snuggling and looking around the neighborhood. 

Ella loves watching her brother, and he likes bouncing her in her bouncy seat, taking her paci (and bringing it to me like he's helping:), and hugging her.  Pretty much any time I leave them alone I come back to him hugging her.  It's really sweet.

p.s. I'm thankful for gorgeous fall days.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

So Much Easier

Ella Kate has been with us for almost three weeks, and for the first two weeks, we just couldn't quit saying how much easier things are this go round.  Of course, part of the reason a newborn is easier is because we have some experience under our belt.  We know how to swaddle, soothe a baby, install car seats, and generally know that we can keep another human alive.  I think the other single biggest reason things are so much easier this time is that breastfeeding is totally different this time.  Stop reading right now if that is way too much information for you because it's only going to get worse!

I had skin to skin with Ella Kate for over an hour after delivery, and she nursed right away with a perfect latch.  A lactation consultant stopped by, observed Ella nursing, and said she couldn't improve on it.  Jackson was too exhausted to nurse for hours after birth and had a terrible latch for weeks (and even after months I often had to correct his latch).  We had numerous visits with lactation consultants, and we had an awful night nurse who stressed us out more about Jackson's inability to nurse.  He had trouble breathing for several hours along with dilated kidneys, and I believe all of the testing/exams wore him out so much that when he was returned to me he was always too tired to eat. As a result I had to pump in the hospital and at home in an effort to stimulate my milk production.  It was extremely stressful and painful. I really wish someone had recommended finger feeding him formula to get his energy up, so that he could nurse; my new pediatrician said that this method leads to a more successful nursing experience in instances like Jackson's.  At the end of our hospital stay a lactation consultant finally told us about finger feeding, and we did that for several days.  Jackson had jaundice, and we had to return to the hospital our first 3 days home to have his bilirubin levels tested.  We also had several weight checks and appointments with the pediatrician. 

Jackson also nursed very frequently in those first few months and for a very long time.  Every other hour for an hour was not unusual, and I felt extremely confined by his feeding pace.  I shed tears more than once about it all, and I thought about quitting breastfeeding frequently (like every time he latched the first two months because it was so painful; after two months we finally got a better latch going most of the time).  I later realized that he had a lazy suck (for lack of a better term), and when I switched to pumping and bottle feeding he gained a pound in ten days and was so much happier.  Pumping was exhausting, however, and I quit around Jackson's seventh month.

For the last ten days I've had an Ella on a pretty consistent 3 hour day-time eating schedule, and she never takes longer than 30-40 minutes to eat--and frequently eats in 20 minutes.  What a difference! I often have to wake her to eat, and for the most part she just intuitively knows how to latch.  Not having to latch and re-latch makes this so much easier and means I can nurse her in the dark and in bed, and while I felt some pain the first week or so, breastfeeding is now already pain free! All of this means I don't dread every feeding session and because she's eating well, I can often put off a feeding for a bit if I'm in the middle of something.  I've definitely wished a few times that someone else could handle the night feedings because the lack of sleep is so hard, but all in all this has been such a positive, redemptive experience.  And today Ella Kate weighed in at almost a pound more than her birth weight.  Ella Kate cries a lot less and must just know that she has to be easy, so her mommy doesn't have a nervous breakdown :)  Of course, one of the major upsides of things being easier this time is that I still have a lot of time to spend with Jackson.  Since Ella is only up every third hour or so during the day he gets a lot of "normal" time for now. 

p.s. I'm thankful things have gone so well this week now that Blake is back at work.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: My Boys, My Girl



p.s. I'm thankful for my neighbor who came up and took some photographs for us. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Daddy do we really get to keep her?



p.s. I'm thankful for my husband and how helpful he's been the last 13 days. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Jackson Visits the Zoo



p.s. I am so thankful for the help we are receiving--meals, fun field trips for Jackson, etc. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ella Kate is Here!


Our baby girl made her entrance into the world Friday morning at 9:31. Ella Kate weighed 6 lbs and 14 ounces and is 19 and 1/2 inches long. She has a head full of dark hair, sweet full red lips, and her eyes appear blue for now. She seems so tiny. Thankfully she's perfectly healthy, which has made the last few days so much easier than they were with her brother (he had some breathing issues, significant trouble breastfeeding, jaundice, and kidney dilation).

Birth story: Our room was right outside the nurses' station which was really loud, so we didn't sleep much. I got up at 3:00 to shower and then rested until our nurse came back around 4:00 to start the required fluids for the administration of the epidural and to give me a dose of Clindamycin. The fluids left me cold and shaking for hours. Around 4:30 the epidural was placed, and at 5:00 my water was broken.  Before they checked my water I was 4 1/2 cm, and after Pitocin was given I progressed to 5 cm.  I started to feel a little nauseous, so my nurse gave me Phinergen.  Wow IV Phenergan is no joke and left me barely able to talk and exhausted for over an hour.  My mom and sister arrived around 6:00, but I was pretty out of it and feeling grouchy from the Phenergan (and because my husband and mother would only give me one red hot each time I requested it as if giving me several would somehow be a big deal).  I think the IV gave me the worse taste in my mouth. 

The nurse had me lay on my side with one leg in a stirrup so that Ella's head would put pressure on my cervix; but when she checked me at 8:38 I was still 5 cm.  She called my OB after that and let him know it would probably be a few hours.  Over the next 10 minutes I felt incredible pressure to the point it was painful and assumed my epidural was wearing off already, which surprised me; it wore off during my labor with Jackson as well but after a much longer time.  I called my nurse, and she requested that my epidural be re-upped.  She also did another cervical check.  And somehow in 14 minutes I had progressed from 5 cm to complete! My nurse could see the head and immediately called my doctor.  His office is on the other side of town, but he somehow still managed to arrive in 15 minutes.  I pushed off and on for 10 minutes, and at 9:31 a.m. our daughter arrived.  We thought my delivery with Jackson was really easy, but this one was incredible! I am so grateful it was quick, uneventful, and that a C-section wasn't necessary.

Thankfully our hospital's policy had changed, and I was able to have skin to skin with Ella Kate for an hour before any testing, bathing, etc. was done.  And a major prayer was answered, and Ella Kate successfully breastfed almost right away.  Such a relief since it took major efforts to get Jackson to nurse the first week or so because he was so drowsy. 

This go-round I also talked to the nurses about interruptions during the night and how we really needed to rest (should be a no-brainer), and they were able to consolidate the checks so that we were only bothered 2 times during the night the first night (and at nursing times instead of random times) and 1 time during the second night (when I called to let them know we were up nursing).  This made a huge difference and allowed us to at least get some sleep before heading home.  We were able to leave Sunday morning and were definitely ready to get home to Jackson and be in a more relaxed environment with Ella.

p.s. I'm so grateful that Ella Kate is healthy and eating so well.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Last Day as a Family of Three

We are at the hospital! Thankfully our doctor wanted to go ahead and induce to ensure I received my eight hours of antibiotics, so we just checked in. I'll get my first dose soon with the second dose to follow at 4 am, then my water will be broken. If I don't contract on my own, I'll get Pitocin at 5 am. My doctor seemed to think she might be here before his office hours begin. We will see! 

It's been a really busy day and a little bittersweet as I've spent my last day just Jackson and me. He's such a joy, and I pray this transition will go well for him. Thankfully he's asleep at his grandparents and in good hands. 

Can't wait to meet my sweet Ella Kate

p.s. I'm thankful for modern medicine. 


Saturday, July 06, 2013

38 Weeks

My belly is huge! People are starting to ask me when I'm due and look a little nervous around me :)  I look a bit like I swallowed a watermelon whole, and I'm feeling a bit over being pregnant.  I had my weekly appointment last Wednesday, and I'm between 3 & 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  We went ahead and scheduled an induction for July 15, but Blake and I both suspect (and hope) I'll have progressed enough by my next appointment that we'll move the date up a few days.  Neither of us are crazy about the idea of my water breaking and rushing to the hospital and just hoping I'll receive the recommended 8 hours between doses of antibiotics before delivery to prevent Ella from contracting group B strep.  I know transmission is unlikely, but a friend's friend's baby contracted it this spring during labor and almost died so I'd rather not take chances.

I packed Jackson's suitcase yesterday and wrote out his schedule for Blake's dad and step-mom along with a list of last minute items to be added to his bag.  Thankfully Jackson enjoys being with all of his grandparents including overnight stays.  In fact, he's spent the night with Blake's mom once a week for the last 3 weeks! It's been one of the big reasons we've been able to get so much done in these weeks leading up to Ella's birth and has been a huge blessing to me as I've been able to rest a lot more.  Other preparations have included a pedicure and haircut/color :)

I'm continuing to feel pretty tired, but thankfully most days I'm able to nap and rest during Jackson's nap. I definitely feel more swollen and uncomfortable on the days I don't rest during his nap, especially since he's been waking at 5:30 some days.  Ella is continuing to be really active, and her heartbeat sounds good.  I've gained another pound for a total of about 30 pounds, and while I can still wear all of my maternity clothes I've been sporting Blake's boxers and tee shirts more the last few days.  The last 24 hours I've had a lot of back pain.  Have I mentioned that I feel really pregnant?

Jackson has been much more clingy this last week and wanting me to hold him more.  I left him with sitters twice on Monday, and he cried both times.  He usually loves being left with cute, young women, but he was just wanting his mommy to hold him. I'm wondering if he's sensing something is up.  We've been praying a lot for his transition to being a big brother and our transition to a family of 4, but I haven't thought about it all that much.  I figure we'll just take it one day at a time.

p.s. I'm thankful for our friends. We had 16 friends & their children over for a sort of last minute dinner Wednesday night, and it was so much fun.  Blake smoked two Boston butts, and it was delicious!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Jackson's Big Boy Room

We moved Jackson upstairs to his "big boy room" two weeks ago, and he hasn't skipped a beat.  I think he enjoys the new play space since we rarely spent time upstairs before this transition, so he's having fun exploring (and pulling out his bath toys every time we leave the door open).  It's definitely been a lot of work to get it ready since Blake wanted to build the furniture for this room, which means we had to find plans, stain, etc. that we both liked.  Thankfully I had chosen to have this room painted gray before Jackson was born because it's such a great gender neutral color, and we both still love gray so no wall painting was necessary.






 

Unfortunately the closet door and door frame had to be replaced, so that was Blake's first project.  He decided to put wood on the back of the closet and stain it to match Jackson's bed frame and installed shelves and a rod.  It's a really nice touch. Then Blake built the headboard and footboard and stained them.  I found some cubbies on Pinterest, and he built those too.  They're perfect for toy storage and sound machine placement.  We borrowed a crib from our neighbor, and until Jackson high jumps/crawls or otherwise escapes from it he's sleeping there.  We just wanted to have a bed ready for when we need it.  Once we move the crib out we'll add a dresser and nightstand to match.

Blake's mom added blackout fabric to our existing white curtains, and we moved the rug from our office into the room.  Now all we lack are some decorative accents.  We plan to add some artwork or photographs to the walls and some sort of hooks for his bags, hats, etc.  I also hope to find another light fixture.  The room has  shaped up nicely, and I hope Jackson likes it as much as we do one day.

p.s. I'm thankful for our freedom and a day to be with friends and family.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

37 Weeks

We're full term!  Last Wednesday the doctor said I was 2 cm dilated and 60-70% effaced, which is exactly what I was with Jackson at my 36 week appointment.  He was born when I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant.  I also learned that I'm Strep B positive again and unfortunately allergic to penicillin, so I'll need antibiotics at least 8 hours before delivery.  This resulted in an induction with Jackson because I was 5 cm dilated and fully effaced during an office visit and had never felt a contraction, so my doctor was afraid labor would go too quickly for me to receive the necessary antibiotics.  We're guessing the same thing will happen this go round.

I think my belly has grown exponentially in the last few days, and I'm going through another ravenous phase.  As a result of my birthday and a friend's birthday, I've probably eaten at least half a cookie cake in the last 5 days. So delicious.

I've also begun to experience the discomfort of late pregnancy.  I can't get comfortable a lot of the time. The heartburn is worse and affecting me more throughout the day. My feet hurt after walking about half a mile on Tuesday to the point I haven't wanted to walk since then.  I'm experiencing shortness of breath and am much more tired.  Shaving my legs is starting to feel like a workout :)  And Ella is really making her presence known.  I'm guessing she's feeling a bit cramped, thus pushing out and lurching around with all her might.  At least that's what it feels like.

Speaking of Ella, the ultrasound showed that her lips are still very pouty; her feet are still huge. She has hair and appears very healthy.  I'm already looking forward to my appointment on Wednesday and am thinking about when this little girl will arrive about 25 times a day :)

This last appointment kicked us into gear, and we've accomplished SO much around our house in the last 5 days.  Blake has cleaned our basement out.  We had a deep freezer delivered, which I plan on filling up in the next few days with meat, soups, chili, and fruit (for our daily smoothies) so we'll have a head start on meals for the next few months.  I've scheduled gutter cleaning.  Blake has finished all major components of Jackson's big boy room, and we just lack some decorative touches.  The nursery is also substantially ready less some pink d├ęcor.  Thatcher has been to the groomers.  We bought a used double Bob stroller off Craigslist today.  My mom came in town for 24 hours and was a lot of help too.  It's all coming together, and we're just about ready.

p.s. I'm thankful that our family tried a nearby Latin restaurant for the first time today, and Jackson enjoys fried plantains as much as I do.  I love trying new restaurants!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Slip and Slide Stud





We had such a wonderful weekend, and the highlight was watching Jackson's sheer joy and fearlessness as he experienced the slip and slide for the first time.  Saturday our neighbors put out their son's new slip and slide, and thankfully Kate quickly pulled out her camera after she saw the expressions my son was making. Who knew a 16 month old could/would slip and slide? Not me.
And little man wasn't just timidly sliding.  Blake was turning and twisting him, and Jackson was running back to slide again and again even after face-planting numerous times in the mud at the end of the slip and slide.  He never whimpered, shed a tear, or showed any fear.  I don't think his Daddy has ever been more proud :)  And I don't think there's any way we could have had more fun on our Sunday night.  Some other friends and their three boys came over and joined us, and four of the boys slid down at the same time. They loved it. 
 
Sunday we celebrated my 35th birthday, and I enjoyed a cookie cake breakfast.  So yummy.  Saturday my friend Cindy and I had 2 hours of child-free time at the pool, which was awesome since most of our time together includes our (combined) 4 boys.  After we had lunch on Sunday at Blake's mom's house, I had 90 minutes at the pool during Jackson's nap.  I really enjoyed having so much time in the sun even if it is a little hard to get comfy these days....but I'm still rocking the non-maternity bikini since my husband says it looks better than the alternative....
 
My mom came up late Sunday afternoon and was going to watch Jackson so we could have a child-free dinner, but I ended up wanting take-out and to eat with her too.  We had yummy food on our back porch, talked, and then she helped me organize all of Ella's clothes.  This little girl has SO many clothes--almost all hand-me downs, and we are so blessed to not have had to buy any clothes for her yet have so many nice things. My mom spent the night and helped me get lots of ducks in a row today.  She also played with Jackson, which he enjoyed immensely.  What a wonderful birthday weekend all-around!



p.s. I'm thankful for the delicious sweet potato chips and blue cheese dip I inhaled last night.

Friday, June 21, 2013

36 Weeks

So I'm starting to think about having this little girl A LOT.  It helps that we're making progress on Jackson's big boy room and Ella's nursery, and I'm finally starting to get my energy back from being sick AGAIN.  Last Thursday I woke up with such bad teeth and jaw pain that I thought I had been grinding my teeth all night.  I bought a mouth guard and wore it the next night, but it didn't make a difference and I discovered that a sinus infection could cause that kind of pain too.  I had had a stuffy nose all week and felt some sinus pressure but hadn't realized that could lead to this sort of incredible pain.  I started a Z pack that day, took a double dose the next day, and finished the pack on Sunday.  Not being able to take pain medication (other than Tylenol which is almost worthless) made the ordeal so much worse, and I was grumpy for several days as I just couldn't stop thinking about the pain. It even hurt to chew.  The Z pack helped, but I was still having pressure and headaches and blowing my nose all day long.  I started my second Z pack yesterday and am feeling a lot better.  Hoping our family will be well these last few weeks before Ella Kate arrives.

Other than this sickness I'm physically doing really well.  I can't believe I haven't had back pain with this pregnancy with the exception of isolated occasions.  With my first pregnancy it was a daily occurrence at this point, and I wasn't even picking up a 23 pound little boy all day.  Most nights I'm sleeping decently all things considered, although I'm barely making it until nap time most mornings :)  Of course, that might have as much to do with this two weeks of sickness as being in my last weeks of pregnancy.

I haven't gained any weight since my last update despite not being able to exercise other than two family walks and two walks today.  I'm hoping to start walking daily in an effort to help my body prepare for labor and to keep my energy up.  My OB has been on vacation, so I didn't have an appointment this week.  Last week I was 30% effaced and barely dilated and baby girl was head down (so thankful!), and at my next appointment on Wednesday we'll have an ultrasound. I cannot wait to see our daughter again....love ultrasounds!

Next up...finishing up the nursery, packing the bag for the hospital, and trying to be patient and not constantly wonder when we'll meet our daughter (and what our son will think about her).  So much to look forward to in the coming month!

p.s. I'm thankful for the awesome job my husband has done on Jackson's big boy room...can't wait to finish it up and share photos!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 34.5 Weeks

I'll be 35 weeks pregnant on Friday, and tomorrow I have my Group B Strep test and first check for dilation/effacement.  I know it's silly and many say irrelevant, but I can't wait to see if I'm dilated yet! I was almost 5 centimeters dilated with Jackson without ever feeling a contraction, so I'm anxious to see if my body will prepare similarly for labor with Ella. 

This last week hasn't been the best ever.  I have had a nasty cough (and sinus or allergy issues) the last week and have wondered if it's possible to cough yourself into labor.  I even had to leave during the sermon on Sunday because I couldn't stop coughing, and it's interfered with sleeping too.  Thankfully my last bad coughing fit was Sunday, so I'm hoping the worst is behind me.

My emotions also got the best of me last Friday.  Blake and I'd had our second argument of the week and that combined with pregnancy hormones, general feeling of being overwhelmed/behind from all of our sickness and the impending arrival of our daughter (and need to get our son's new bedroom and daughter's nursery finished), and knowing that we had plans four nights in a row including two nights of hosting/cooking = uncontrollable sobbing and physical anxiety.  As I sobbed Friday morning Jackson must have thought I was laughing because he kept looking at me and laughing.  It was really sweet.  Blake came home for the day at lunch, and we were able to talk some and I was able to rest a little. I was also able to get out of the house alone for the first time all week.  Jackson had my cough and a gross runny nose and was grumpy last week (after being sick all last weekend with a fever virus), so we didn't get to have playgroup and I couldn't leave him in the nursery at the gym to exercise either.

Thankfully we had a really good weekend and had an extended break from parenting since Blake's mom and step-dad got Jackson on Saturday at 4:00 and kept him until lunch the next day.  It was wonderful to sleep until I woke up.  Then I attended a friend's baby shower, and Blake and Jackson had dinner with his dad and step-mom. I was able to have 2 & 1/2 hours home alone and made a lot of progress on Ella's room and clothes.  I feel much more calm and prepared now. 

I'm up about 27 pounds, having minimal back pain, experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, and feeling lots of movement from my sweet girl.  We've settled on her middle name--Kate, so the monogramming can begin.  My friends helped celebrate my sweet daughter week before last and threw a shower; I just invited my 8 closest friends in town, and it was fun to rejoice in the goodness of a new child and a daughter. Can't wait to meet her!

p.s. I'm thankful that Jackson had so much fun with his cousins, aunts, and Grandma today.  It did my heart good to see him so happy and cheerful most of the day after all of this sickness and grumpiness.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Resting on Ella


p.s. I am grateful for cuddles from my big boy while we waited to see his peditrician for his well visit (which ended up not being such a well visit since he started acting sick while we were there).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Backyard Fun (who needs clothes?)


p.s. I'm thankful for sunshine, green grass, and 90 minutes at the pool today by myself!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Beach!

Our week at the beach came at just the right time.  While we had recovered from the miserable symptoms of our stomach bug, Jackson's behavior after his illness was radically different from normal.  In fact, we were so worried we took him to the doctor to get checked out, but he was given a clean bill of health.  I guess three days of being held, feeling poorly, drinking Pedialyte, and watching television got him in a funk and spoiled him because he threw tantrums complete with laying on his belly like a toddler, cried to be held 90% of the time, and was just grumpy as could be for 5 days after his last symptom cleared up.  Needless to say it was distressing and exhausting, so the change of environment was the perfect distraction for him and his parents.

This year we vacationed on St. Simons Island, Georgia for the first time.  This was our second year of vacationing with Blake's father, step-mother, step-sister, brother-in-law, and niece (thanks to the parents' generous Christmas gift of paying for the house).  We were in a house this year (instead of a condo), and it gave us more room to spread out and was a lot easier with an active little boy.  I think the beach was initially a bit overwhelming for Jackson with all of the people, sounds, etc., but by the end of the week he was really enjoying it.  His appetite came back in full blast, and he spent much of his time on the beach eating.  He loved wondering around, particularly going up to people and trying to look through their bags and pull out their sunscreen and food.  The pool wasn't a big hit like last summer because he wanted to be exploring the stairs, chairs, etc. around the pool instead of confined inside of it. 

Eating fried shrimp, heavily battered french fries, and hush puppies at the Crab Trap (three times:) was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  I also loved my early morning walks with Blake and Jackson.  I'm thankful to have a tan too--sitting in the sun by a pool is one of my favorite things to do, and fortunately I got several child-free hours to do that.  I'm definitely still adjusting to "vacationing" as a parent because it's so much work and not exactly relaxing like vacations of the past, but of course, some of that adjustment is offset by seeing Jackson have so much fun.

p.s. I'm thankful for a fun evening with friends and my husband's delicious hamburgers.