Sunday, February 28, 2010

husband

These past few days have been some of my hardest since becoming a mother to two little ones and poor Keith has taken on the brunt of my near lunacy pretty well. Between multiple middle of the night feedings, being vomited on several times, severely lacking in the sleep department, and dealing with anxiety issues in there too, I haven't been the most pleasant person to get whiny and panicky phone calls from in the middle of the day. I know that he wishes he could do more, but when he can't produce milk like I can, it pretty much limits his capacity to assist.

Today he got creative and tried to do things that he thought would help. I was able to take a two hour uninterrupted nap. Glorious. I didn't have to do all of the dishes. Amazing. He brought me home a box of Girl Scout cookies-Thin Mint!-from his trip to Sam's Club. Hallelujah!

Today I was reminded of what a thoughtful and generous husband I have. Although they were all just little things that probably wouldn't mean a lot to other people, they meant the world to me today. I am so blessed that I get to keep him for the rest of my life.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

{heart} day

A little love from my love bugs.

storage

So Luke acclimated to life as a big brother really well. Actually, way better than we had ever hoped for. He still runs to find Reagan every morning when he wakes up and loves to check on "baby." Although he still hasn't figured out that she has a name other than baby, he loves her none the less, and loves to be around her and help out with her as much as he can.

We do, however, think that he has started to miss some of the attention he used to get. Don't get me wrong, the boy still gets plenty of hugs and kisses and one-on-one time with Mom and Dad, but it isn't his time all the time. There is one distinct way we've come to think he likes to get attention.

He's decided to stick food up his nose.

The first time it happened was a few days after Reagan was born. He had corn on his tray with the rest of his dinner. I looked over at him and he had the strangest look on his face. He started to put his finger in his nose, but that part didn't strike me as odd because he's a nearly-two year old boy. Fingers in the nose are a common occurrence around here as much as it drives me crazy. The look sent alarms ringing in my head. Sure enough, there was corn lodged in his nose. Thinking I wanted to avoid another hospital bill, seeing as how we were racking them up for Reagan and her drama-filled birth, I decided to see if I could remove the corn on my own.

Probably not the best idea, but I had Keith hold his back and still as I removed it with tweezers (obviously not before I took pictures!). I was able to get it out safely and Luke received a very strict talk about where food goes. Since the initial instance with the corn, he has also experimented with peas and cookies. The peas were slightly more challenging to remove because he jammed it up there further and because of its rounded shape. I've learned that peas are not as easy to remove from the nose as corn is. The cookie he shoved up there actually flew out when he sneezed moments later. I hadn't even realized he could fit something that large in there.

Its been about a week since our last incident, but I'm just waiting to see what I'm going to have to fish out next. Crazy kid.

my girl

This is when I first was able to hold Reagan and get to spend some time with her after she'd been cleaned up. I love this girl.

video

smile

I have a list of other things to post about that should come before this, but I have to write it now before I forget about it.

Today was the day I've been waiting for since Reagan was born; the day that first precious smile happens. Now I know that she's smiled plenty of times while she was sleeping, but I credit that to some awesome dreams or some awesome gas. Last night she even smiled at the ceiling while she was awake, but still not a smile directed at a person. For the last five-ish weeks, Reagan's face has either been peaceful or squished in some not-too-happy screaming faces, and with her tummy issues, it has been more often than not the screaming face.

I've been trying to get her to smile at me this whole time. I feel I deserve the first smile. I'm the one up with her at 2am and 4am and 6am for all of those fabulous feedings. I'm the one protecting her from the overbearing, but loving arms of her crazed brother. I'm the one supplying her with the nourishment she needs to continue to maintain her chubby figure (seriously-she's lost her neck behind her extra chins).

And today she smiled. A real full, mouth open beam. Was I the recipient of her first show of real positive emotion? No, and I'm okay with that. Her first smile was at her brother. Reagan usually will try to follow Luke with her eyes, but he goes at such a fast, she has a hard time keeping up. Today he was sitting next to me watching "snow" (the Olympics). She was so excited that he was near her.

I know at some point in the very near future, I will probably want to rip my hair out as they fight with each other. In those moments, I'll be able to remember today. She loved him as much as he loves her.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

the story of her

I find it funnily ironic that after everything that I went through with the early labor and trying to keep Reagan in until we hit the magical 36 week mark, I still had to be induced to get her to actually come out. From the time that I left the hospital in December, I contracted consistently every 5-20 minutes until the day that she was born. I remember laying in the hospital bed the morning after they had stopped my labor thinking of multiple goal dates that we had to make it to. I had to make it to January 4th when my doctor returned from vacation. I had to make it to January 6th for the first day back to school so the district would cover my insurance payment for January. I had to make it to January 9th for the baby shower. I was so nervous that I wasn't even going to make it that far that by the time January 10th came, I was convinced she was going to come out that day. Needless to say, that was obviously not her plan.

After the 10th came and went, life returned basically back to normal, or as normal as it can be 9 months pregnant and contracting. I went to work, Keith went to work, and Luke went to daycare. I cooked, graded papers, prepared for my long term sub. I attended my routine doctor appointments. About a week before she was born at my usual check-up, my Dr. kind-of smiled and laughed about how she was going to be a big baby. In fact, he thought she'd be 8.5 lbs. Umm, no. She's supposed to be my teeny baby. I was prepared for a tiny one; I had panicked after the initial labor scare and prepared with newborn clothing. He told me at that point that when I was 39 weeks, he would induce me. An end date....sort of. On the day that I was officially 39 weeks, then he could contact the hospital and schedule me for the next available opening for an induction at the hospital.

Being as how this pregnancy wasn't the easiest and things didn't typically go the way that I expected or hoped, when I was getting ready for my appointment on Thursday, January 21st, I was fully expecting to go to work after and be induced sometime the next week. Just in case though, I took a quick picture of my two boys as we were getting ready that morning.

As soon as the Dr. walked into the office, his first words to me were, "Are you ready to have a baby today?" Let me think...YES! He actually told me to go straight to the hospital from his office, but I had to tell him that I had to get Keith home from work first. Dr. and I both thought it was funny that this was the first appointment that Keith had missed and this was probably one of the most exciting.

We arrived at the hospital around 11am and I was already 5cm dilated. (Half way! I told you I was contracting!) Dr. came and broke my water at 12noon and by 1:45, I was getting the epidural. For my epidural with Luke, I couldn't feel a thing. I actually liked this one better because I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but none of the pain. I felt like I had a more active role in my labor this time.

At 4:20 when I was checked, I was at 7cm. At 4:25, Corbin King, one of our good friends who happens to be an EMT was at the hospital and came to visit. Poor guy wasn't in the room 5 minutes when it started to feel like I was trying to hold a full-sized beach ball between my legs. I turned to my mom and asked her to go get the nurse. Now. Turns out I had gone from 7cm to 10cm in 5 minutes. Dang! By the time Dr. arrived 15 minutes later, I was so ready to push. It really felt like she might just come out on her own at this point. I was doing everything I could just to keep her in. His first question to me when he walked in was whether I had been pushing already or not. When we let him know that I hadn't, he did that same half-laugh and waited to robe up until after he checked me. He was really surprised that her head was right there and moved possibly the fastest I have ever seen in the years its been since I started seeing him.

With Luke, I pushed for two solid hours. For Reagan, I pushed for two solid pushes. And then my sweet baby girl that I had worried about for so many months was here. Perfect, healthy, beautiful, and huge. I thought back to the time when we thought we'd lost her at the very beginning. I thought back to just a few weeks earlier when we thought she was going to have to be taken to a different hospital because of complications from being born prematurely. I thought of all the times I'd been up in the middle of the night counting her kicks and rubbing my belly fiercely because I thought she'd passed. And now she was here with me and her dad. Finally, perfectly.

Can you believe we did this again?!?

Our sweet baby Reagan Rose weighed in at 8 lbs. 15.4 oz. and measured in at 22 in. long. We had thought that Dr. was exaggerating when he estimated 8.5 lbs. He had guessed nearly 10 lbs. with Luke and he was 8 lbs. 11 oz. We'd figured he'd be about a pound off with her too. Turns out his estimate was a little conservative.

Daddy's little girl

Who had a rough day? Me.

Bonding time with my baby

Although this doesn't really have anything to do with her actual birth, I thought it was fitting as part of the story of her and needed to be documented. The night she was born, we had one of the strongest storms I have seen in Arizona in years. At one point, there was even a tornado warning for our area. The wind was blowing so hard that the hospital and my bed were swaying. The rain was coming down sideways. Apparently, the drama doesn't stop for Miss Reagan.

I wasn't kidding when I said that we prepared for a newborn-sized child. Poor Regan's going-home outfit was so hard to get on her. The sleeves were too short and we weren't even able to button it in back. She was a trooper though and didn't even wake up as we were putting it on her.

I'm glad that my Reagan is finally here. I'm glad that she made it out safely. I'm glad that I'm not pregnant anymore. I'm glad Luke is a big brother and an amazing one, at that. I'm glad that my house didn't fly away while we were in the hospital. I'm glad.

Friday, February 5, 2010

redemption

After the fiasco that yesterday was, I was reminded today why I've wanted to be a mom since I can remember. Keith was nice enough to handle Luke this morning while he was still here and let me sleep in a little extra. Once I was up and had finished feeding Reagan, I got my turn to eat breakfast. As I was standing up to clear my spot, Luke ran up to me and squeezed my legs as hard as he possibly could in a huge bear hug. Then he said the most amazing thing. "Yuv you." Translated, it means I love you. He said it completely unprompted for the first time and as he looked up at me with the most excited face, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Why dwell on the rough days when the days go by so fast as it is?

I can today say the same things that I said yesterday. It will get better and I will have good days and bad days. Yesterday I was saying it as a survival mechanism; today I say it proudly. I do love my family, my kids, my life. Everything isn't always perfect, but days like today remind me that it can come dang close.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

a shower

Should have been posted: January10th

On January 9th, Holly, Danette, and Jeanne hosted a baby shower for myself and Reagan. It was so nice to get together with friends and family to celebrate the impending arrival of Reagan. I have to admit though, I was half-hoping that I wasn't going to make it to the shower because I would either be in labor or she would have already come. I guess when we told her to stay in, she took it to heart. Good thing!

Of course the thing I enjoyed primarily was the food (hello! pregnant woman!), but the games and decorations were amazing too. I am completely blessed and totally grateful for these ladies to do this for me. You are wonderful!

The games were a very serious matter. Some people became very stressed out. :)

My mom, Grandma, and Aunt Scoobie

Aunt Mimi and Aunt Brenda

I always thought this game was so fun at showers until I was the one whose belly got measured. It really puts your size in perspective when you have a physical reminder of the circumference of your belly. And some people have no idea how big someone can really get.

A beautiful blanket my grandma made

A teeny weenie bikini from Mimi

This was from my mom and I was so excited. This was the gown I was baptized in and it was important to me that Reagan be baptized in the same thing. My mom tore apart her garage to search through boxes to find it the morning of the shower. Thank you!

A sweet tutu and matching flower from my sister that she made. So precious!

christmas 2009

Should have been posted: December 26th (if I was feeling ambitious...obviously that was not the case)

I love Christmas. I love getting to spend time with family and friends. I love being able to get things for the people I love that I normally wouldn't be able to. I love attending a Mass that is standing room only even though large crowds aren't my thing. I love celebrating the birth of Jesus. And now I love seeing the way Luke gets to experience Christmas.

Last year, he didn't really have any clue what was happening. His big thing was attacking and/or stealing the tissue paper from other people's gifts. He could not have cared less what was in the packages or why he was getting to tear paper off boxes. This year we were able to try to explain the holiday and why its important to celebrate. He also definitely understood the gift idea a lot better this year too.

Each year, we go to my grandparent's house to start Christmas Eve and we finish off at Keith's Aunt and Uncle's home. With the craziness of having to get to both places while trying not to have consistent contractions, we didn't get many pictures this year. Here is my favorite of our family:

Keith's family has always had the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve and that gift was always a new pair of pajamas. I thought this was a neat thing to carry on, so Luke got Cars pajamas this year. If you know anything about Luke, he is obsessed with all things cars or trucks so he was super excited to get the jammies and wear them.


A tradition that my family always had was having a very yummy breakfast after opening gifts and I thought it would be nice to continue that with both sides of our families before the big events later in the day with the extended family. We ate French toast, a raspberry cream cheese crescent ring, orange coffee cake, and other tasty treats. Great way to start the day!

Luke and Nonna

Luke was ready to go!

Luke's gift from Santa: a basket ball hoop!

Nonna, Aunt Holly, and Uncle Corey know how much Luke loves trucks.

More cars and trucks.

Luke showing Pop Pop some of his cars.

We almost forgot to have Luke open the items in his stocking. We didn't even remember until a few hours after we finished opening gifts in the first place. Oops!

Christmas is such a wonderful time and we feel very blessed that we were able to share it with the amazing people we have in our lives. We are so incredibly thankful for all of the joys and gifts that we have been given!

meeting santa and the mrs.

Should have been posted: December 22nd. I'm impressed with myself for remembering dates at this point!

Last year at Christmas, Luke was just hitting the stranger danger phase and I didn't feel like terrorizing the poor kid so that I could get the standard I'm-upset-to-be-sitting-on-some-random-fat-guy's-lap picture. I was so excited to take him this year. Keith and I had planned to take him to San Tan Mall on Keith's Saturday off and then let him play with the other kids in the play area and take him to lunch. We were going to make a really fun family day of it. Once I battled the food poisoning and had to take it super easy to keep Reagan in my belly and me out of labor, those plans flew out the window. Luckily, Beth's in-laws found a really nice couple (Santa and Mrs. Claus, of course!) to come to their home and Luke was able to meet Santa without waiting in a line and was surrounded by family at the same time.

Mrs. Claus started the presentation by reading us a story comparing Santa and Jesus and reminding us why we really celebrate Christmas. Then each person was given a gift and was able to have their picture taken with Santa-adults included! I don't remember the last time I sat on Santa's lap and I felt sorry for this one because I felt like I was going to break the poor man's leg with all of my added pregnancy weight. Luke still didn't want to sit on Santa's lap by himself, so Keith jumped in to sit with him.

I'm so glad that Mary Ann and David were thoughtful enough to organize an event like this. Luke didn't miss out on meeting Santa (or Ho Ho as he refers to him) and I didn't have to worry about a baby falling out while waiting in a line at a mall.

Mrs. Claus reading the story

Luke couldn't wait to get the phone he received out of the packaging before playing with it.

See Santa's face? He's worried his leg is going to break too...

Luke, Keith, and Santa

tag team

This week has been crazy. Between Luke being really sick (more on that in a later post) and Reagan just being a typical newborn, I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions. I like organization and knowing what happens next and between the two of them, those aren't things that are happening right now. Now I know that with kids you have to expect the unexpected and learn to go with the flow, but I'm having a really hard time doing that. With so much chaos transitioning from one kid to two, I feel like I'm drowning some days.

Take this afternoon for instance. Luke usually naps until 3:30-4:00 so I'm able to feed Reagan in relative peace without having to watch some cartoon we've already seen a million times so that Luke will stay still and not terrorize the house while I'm busy. Today he woke up at the exact same time as Reagan. Sweet. Praise the Lord that Andrea called at that time and was able to come distract Luke while I fed his sister. After Andrea left and Reagan was down for her nap, Reagan began to scream like I've never heard before. When I went in to check on her, she was having some trouble breathing because she had some quality boogers in her nose. Of course she didn't like those being removed, but because Luke was running around like a crazy man, I couldn't really soothe her. It was more of a speedy removal than anything else. I thought that this would solve our problem. That was so far from what happened.

At this point, Reagan hasn't pooped in two days. For the first week and a half of her life, she pooped at every diaper change. It was like clockwork. Poop was a staple in her diapers. Two days ago that changed and although she's had really wet diapers since then, no real poo to speak of (there was a shart or two...those don't really count). As the paranoid new mom, I of course researched this on WebMD, only to find out that it can be completely normal for a child of her age to poo only once a week. Once a week?!? Well this afternoon, Reagan's belly exploded. Two whole days of poo came out at once and she screamed even worse than earlier through the whole ordeal. My personal favorite part of the event is when she decided to let the waterfall of pee happen in the middle when I thought she was done, so pee ended up all over her, me, and the changing table. Needless to say, being soaked in her own pee didn't make her any happier.

Where is Luke during this whole debacle? Searching for and finding garbage bags under our sink (note to self: MOVE those!), pulling them out of the box, and spreading them over our kitchen floor. Next, he found the bassinet in our room and pushed it out to where his toys are and then spread his toys out around it.

I can't win. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my children and I wouldn't change being at home with them for anything, but man-I am worn out. I keep telling myself it will get easier.

Man, I can't wait for that day to come.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

tricycle recycle

This tricycle was actually Keith's when he was little. It'd been sitting at his dad's house and I'm not sure who thought to bring it over here, but whoever did was a genius. Luke absolutely adores this thing. Granted, he's not actually big enough to ride it completely independently, but he loves sitting on it and trying. His feet barely reach the pedals and we're trying to help him understand the concept of pedaling without us having to push him.

I love that he's probably as excited about this tricycle as his dad was 25-ish years earlier.


upgrade

Should have been posted: December 19th

In preparation of his sister's arrival, Luke officially gave up his crib/toddler bed in lieu of a grand big boy bed! Its actually been sitting our garage since this summer when we found out we were expecting again. It was such a good deal at the time that we decided to buy it then so we were ready for whenever Luke needed to switch over.

After thinking long and hard about it, I wanted to make sure that Luke was in his bed for awhile before the baby was born so that he didn't feel some extra jealousy towards his sister because she was now in his bed. After the whole food poisoning/labor debacle, we definitely needed to make the transition happen a little bit faster. Because I was basically on bed rest at this point, Andi was nice enough to come help Keith put the bed together. Luke had an awesome time helping too.

So excited to help build his big boy bed!

They had to take apart and reassemble the crib in Reagan's room.

Luke kept thing interesting as they put it together.

How many people and degrees does it take to put together the bed rail? Three people with two Bachelor's degrees and a doctorate of Pharmacy...and we still really struggled. Why was this part harder than the actual bed?

Ta da!

Luke is ready to test it out!

Luke has done really well in his new bed. He thinks its the coolest thing that he gets to use a step stool to get in and that he has different sports balls on his bed. I'm so glad that he enjoys it; one less thing to worry about before the baby gets here!

baby parts



Should have been posted: November 29th.

Our sweet baby girl is already leaving her mark on me. I'm constantly amazed at how much the human body changes and accommodates the new life that is growing. Some of the things are indescribably cool: my swelling belly, feeling her move and knowing that she is actually in there. Some things are not so fabulous; namely my swelling feet and legs. I know that with anything, you have to take the bad with the good, but its hard to rationalize the need for my feet to swell. I just find that disgusting.