Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry, Merry Chirstmas!

My two sweet kiddos the night before Christmas, dressed all fancy and ready to celebrate the birth of Christ.
I absolutely love this time of year, especially now that I get to relive the magic of Christmas through my kids. Watching Isaiah learn about baby Jesus, Christmas trees, and presents was so fun!
And I have to admit, dressing her up was a blast. Cindy Lou-hoo!

All four of us in one picture! Merry Christmas!

Happy Birthday, Jesus, cake! The kids got to frost it and "eat" it. We all sang happy birthday and blew out the candles. It's such an easy and fun way to teach young kids the meaning of Christmas.

We spent Christmas Eve with my family. My mom got my nephews scooters so they were ecstatic! Wyatt kept saying, "oh my gosh! Awesome!" Isaiah quickly picked up on this...
"Oh my gosh!" He loves his play, Velcro pretend cut food!
Gavin and his scooter. Such a sweet boy full of joy.
Darren with his niece and daughter.
My sisters and brother-in-law.
Having too much fun with Nena.
We even got snow a few days before Christmas...what a treat!


And Christmas morning presents. I know it's not what Christmas is about but it's so fun to bring so much joy to young kids. It was a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to the next!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Maci is 3 Months Old



Our sweet girl is 3 months old and growing so big. She's quite the chunk and I'm in love with every sweet roll. :) She has a very sweet temperament but has her dramatic moments. She very rarely all-out cries. She started giggling last week and it's getting easier and easier to get her to laugh. I love it! My children laughing is probably my favorite noise of all time.

Nursing has been going really well. She only nurses about 5 minutes or so every 3 hours. And...dun da dah! I no longer have to use the nipple shield. While the shield is way more convenient than bottles, not using the shield is even more convenient! I never knew! I wasn't planning on not using it since I used it for a year with Isaiah. But one day I thought, why not see if she'll latch? She did and we've been shieldless since! Can I get a, "woot! woot!"

While we're on the topic of nursing, a friend of mine posted an article a while back about making sure you're eating right while nursing and I pay way more attention to what I eat this time. Every Christmas cookie was consumed with a little more guilt and regret. :) I also discovered that I'm allergic (or extremely sensitive) to eggs now. Such a bummer! I love eggs but they have given me the craziest stomach cramps since having Maci. [sigh] Life goes on...

Maci is a decent sleeper, I suppose. Some nights she wakes up just once, others 3 or 4 times. Luckily, it's just a brief wake up and she goes back to sleep within a few minutes. She's still in our room in the rock and play sleeper and then our bed (for usually half the night). I'm getting ready to do sleep training but haven't gotten around to it. Plus, I'm such a sucker when it comes to my kiddos and I savor every moment when they just need their mama. ;) One thing that makes Maci very different than Isaiah is that she doesn't nurse to sleep. Almost ever. She prefers a pacifier or to simply be rocked. She also will fall asleep on her floor gym or if she's just laying down. Isaiah NEVER fell asleep playing. Silly girl!

Isaiah is still doing really well. He always wants to hold Maci but still gets a little rough at times. And if he needs me or wants me while I'm nursing he says, "Close your nurse, mama." It's pretty cute! We've recently moved his nap time up to 12:30 which changes our schedule a bit but it's working well for us so far.

Until next month...

My whole heart. Isn't this just to die for?



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two Months Gone By...


11 lbs. 13 oz., 22 inches!

The Family Comedian!

As I sip on my afternoon coffee, listen to Christmas music, and start decorating for the season, I can't help but feel like I'm living in a dream. Both my babies are sound asleep and the rain is softly tapping on the windows. Now if only if I got a shower and my makeup done, this would be a scene straight from an ABC Family Christmas movie. :)

But really, who cares? I know Isaiah and Maci don't. Isaiah just wants me to play and kiss his boo-boo's all better and Maci just wants to nurse and cuddle. I still can't believe they're both mine. So sweet, so innocent...so mischievous, at times. I love all the moments, all the moods, all the messes...all of it. Maybe not all the time but once I get a chance to reflect on the chaos that has become my life, I can't help but feel overjoyed. There's a sense of calmness in my heart and my home that I've never felt...even when Isaiah colors on the floor and Maci just wants to be held and dinner is burning on the stove and Darren will be home late...again. This is my life. And I love it.

I can hardly believe two months have passed since my sweet Maci was born. It flew by but I can hardly imagine how we lived a lifetime without her. She's so sweet, peaceful, mellow, and at times, a drama queen. Darren thinks she's a little fussier than Isaiah and wants to be held more, but really I think it's just that we put her down more. We can't always hold her the way we did Isaiah. It's good that she fusses for us to hold her though. It reminds me to not "forget" about her while I play with her big brother.

Maci seems to love everybody and is smiling a ton! She laughs in her sleep and likes to roll to her side. She sleeps at least 5 hours straight at night then gives me another 2 or 3 hours before Isaiah is up. She has slept 7 hours straight a few times already and I can't even believe how GOOD that felt! I've been blessed with two good sleepers...they must take after me. I love my sleep!

Maci is growing so fast. She nurses about 6-8 times each day and she's fast. Only about 5 minutes and she's done. She's chunking out quickly so clearly she's getting what she needs. It must be the "cream" I make. ;) It's kind of nice that she finishes quickly so I can get back to playing with my little guy.

Speaking of Isaiah, he is doing AMAZING. I really, really, truly could not have asked for a better transition. He's had his moments with sharing (especially with younger kids) which could be related to age just as much as getting a new sister. I wanted to share a few things I make sure I do with Isaiah that I believe have helped make the transition:

1. Go on "dates" - just me and him...like old times. We go to the library and ice cream or simply run errands together. It's sweet because while we're driving he asks, "Where Maci?" or tells me where she usually would be. We do this about once each week.

2. 30 minutes of undivided attention every day. This sounds like very little (at least it did to me when I read about it) but 30 minutes without distractions can be difficult. It means no phone, no TV, no diaper changing, no soothing a crying baby, no nursing, no answering the door, no cooking, no cleaning. Nothing but 30 minutes of straight play, reading, singing with Isaiah.

3. Nursing toy basket. These are suppose to be special toys for when mama is nursing the baby only. We ended up putting puzzles and games on the ipad for Isaiah and that's what we used. He snuggled up next to me while he played. It also satisfied his curiosity about nursing. Now he's oblivious except when I'm using the cover...then he thinks it's a game.

4. Keep busy and keep a routine. This so helpful for me too! I used to rock Isaiah to sleep for nap time or go for a stroller ride, but my arms aren't always available and the weather doesn't always permit so I just started laying him down, saying a prayer, and telling him, "Have a good rest, buddy. I love you." Now he just smiles back at me and says, "Have a good rest mama!" He usually sleeps (or at least stays in bed) for 1-2 hrs. We've also kept morning time, our outing time - play dates, errands, etc. Back by 2 to nap up by 4, dinner, play, get ready for bed, snuggle with a show, in bed by 8. Up by 7:30 to do it all again.

It hasn't been smooth every day. We all have our moments. But these things have made a difference and I've quickly reached a point where I feel like, "I got this," when I wake up. Unless Darren's home...then it's like, "Honey, you got that and I got this." ;)

Helping with the Christmas tree.

Tummy time!

One of our dates!

Getting used to the bumbo! She seriously has great head control. :)

Isaiah loves to play with her. Sometimes he loves a little too hard, but he's learning. :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Two Kids and a Dream.

Have you ever heard the song, "I am" by Nicole Nordeman? If you haven't I highly recommend it. The lyrics are a narrative of life and how God is always there for you. From the time when you believe in super heroes and fairy tales to the time when you need reassurance that you will get through the day...or night. The verse I've found myself in for the last 6 weeks is this:

"You saw me wear white by pale candle light
I said, "forever" to what lies ahead.
Two kids and a dream, with kids that can scream
Too much it might seem when it's 2 a.m.
But when I am weak, unable to speak
Still I can call you by name
Oh Shepard, Savior, Pasture-maker
Hold on to my hand
And you said, I am"

We've already had a few nights with both kids awake in the wee hours of the morning and I know it's only just begun. I couldn't help but giggle to myself thinking of this song. Even though I'm pretty tired these days, I'm loving every second of my babies. Isaiah, my sweet, energetic comedian, fills this house with so much laughter and squeals of joy. And Maci, my sweet little love, made this family even more complete. I am so thankful God gives us enough love for all our children. And that we are able to love them exactly the same. Fully and completely. Even when we're exhausted. Even when the chaos drives us crazy.

I've been told by a few people recently I was designed to have kids. Partially because my labor/delivery was so fast and smooth, but also because the transition from one to two kids has been so easy. Yes, really. I think a big part of that is Isaiah is too young to fully understand. He already doesn't remember life without her. When I ask him if wants to go somewhere he says, "ok!" then turns to his sister and says, "Come on Maci!" He talks to her, sings to her, and always wants to know where she is. Maci will just smile at him like he is the coolest. That's not to say he hasn't had his moments but those are few and far between. There's NOTHING like seeing your children develop a bond before they can even speak in complete sentences. It's such a blessing.

I also feel like having two is easier than one. Partially because I knew what to expect - what to do when, how things feel, how things go, how things heal. With the first it's slightly crippling because everything is so new. This time I feel so at ease and confident in my parenting. We've already started to get on a schedule. Some days I'm down right impressed with myself.

I could continue to brag and toot my own horn and act like I'm such a professional mother. But that wouldn't be truthful. Because really I've done nothing but give up everything to God. Every worry, every sleepless night or napless day, every hint of anxiety. All I do is pray and somehow, by the grace of God, I gain the strength to make it through the day...successfully. What a sense of relief. Maybe I am meant to have children so that I can teach them how to love Jesus in the same way He loves us, to show them His mercy and grace so that they may be gracious to others. Maybe I'll be able to light a fire in them so that one day they can light up the world. This may not be all I'm meant for but right now it is and I've never felt so fulfilled. Two kids and a dream...

Oh Shepard, Savior, Pasture-maker...thank you for holding on to my hand.

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22


Here are a few pictures from the month....












Monday, October 1, 2012

Maci's Birth Story


I wanted to make sure I documented the story of her birth as soon as I could because it all happened so quickly and I don't want to forget. No really, it was almost a home birth. On Tuesday afternoon I took a nap with Isaiah and woke up still feeling exhausted and super uncomfortable. I then had a very uncomfortable night...back hurt, peeing a ton, couldn't relax and get comfy. I started feeling like the end was close. Wednesday was a somewhat normal day except I had a ton of mucus (icky, I know). I told my mom and Darren and said I bet she'll be here by the weekend. Darren said, "or tonight." Yeah right, I thought since I wasn't having many contractions (just the usual BH). That night we watched a movie and went to bed around 10. Here's how the rest of the night went down....

12:20 AM I woke up with the strongest contraction. I was thinking, this is it. 6 minutes later I got another one and woke up Darren. "Honey, I'm in labor." It was practically like one of those movies where the wife wakes up dramatically, announcing that it was time. 5 minutes later, another contraction. So Darren called my mom and she made her way over.

1:20 AM My mom arrives. (The plan was for her to stay the night with Isaiah and my dad would take over in the morning so she could come to the hospital.) By this time I was laying on the couch, moaning and feeling like such a wimp. I mean, I'd been in labor for only an hour. I told my mom, "Labor is stupid. I want my epidural as soon as I get to the hospital." She prayed for me.

1:30 AM We leave for the hospital. Sitting in the car felt horrible and I couldn't wait to get there but still told Darren to drive safe. He ended up running some red lights in downtown Tacoma. :) At this point my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and I may have even cussed a few times.

2:00 AM We arrive at the hospital. I can't walk inside so we wait for a contraction to pass. Get inside. Another contraction. I'm on all fours on a bench in the hallway. I tell Darren he's not getting four children. We check in at the emergency room. They say, have a seat. Ha! I bend over a chair, trying not to moan too loudly in fear of looking like a wimp. There was another preggo getting wheeled up with me. She wasn't making a peep.

2:15 AM We're directed to our triage room. I immediately went to the bathroom and started taking off my clothes. I think I put the gown on. Maybe just halfway. It's funny how taking your clothes off is one of the having a baby instincts. Anyway, the nurse comes in right away and says, "I need to check you now. You sound ready." She checked me. "You're a 10 but there's a tiny bit of cervix that still needs to open so lay on your side." I do then asked for epidural. "Honey, you don't have time." "What?!" I admit of all the things that can go wrong I never thought I wouldn't get an epidural and a wave of panic rushed over me. I had no time to mentally prepare. Ever see Knocked Up? I swear that was me..."We have time! I'll stop pushing!" :) The doctor arrived. It was time to push. Darren leaned over and prayed for me.

2:28 AM I remember saying I can't. I felt more of an urge to kick and arch my back. My nurse, Jan, grabbed my knee and said, "Does it hurt? If it hurts I want you to push harder." So I did...I mean I PUSHED! Five minutes later my sweet little Maci Abigail was on my chest and in my arms. She has brown hair, blue eyes, and looks a lot like Isaiah but totally like herself. Meeting her was such a beautiful moment. So surreal. Having a baby is like falling in love. You spend your whole lifee without this person and then, in a single moment, you can't picture the rest of your life without them. God is so good.

Maci Abigail
Born September 27, 2012 at 2:33 a.m.
6 lbs. 15 oz. 18.5 inches

So I labored a total of 2 hrs 13 minutes including 5 minutes of pushing. My doctor and all the nurses said if we have a third baby we'll need to get to the hospital even faster or seriously consider a home birth. I think her being a smaller baby was God's kindness and mercy. He knew it'd be an all-natural birth.

Isaiah has been adjusting well so far. He always is asking for her, asking to "hold it," and sits with me while I nurse her. He calls nursing her "fasis" (his word for pacifier) and will say, uh-oh the whole time. I'm sure why. :) I'm recovering well and my milk came in after only two days. Maci is already up from her discharge weight and her pediatrician said I make cream not milk. Hehe! So now we're just busy loving our new family of four and feeling more blessed than we could have ever imagined.









Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Play.

When my husband gets home from work and asks, "What did you guys do today?" My answer always is (no matter what we did in addition), "We played." When we moved into this house we weren't looking for a four bedroom but now that we have one we're so thankful for the space! It's AMAZING how quickly a home can fill up. We left the 4th bedroom pretty empty until recently and we've debated over and over what to turn it into. First we said a media room/man cave. Then an exercise room. Then a guest room. And finally, a play room. This made the most sense and we quickly flipped to drab and empty to fun and colorful this week. Just in time for Maci. (I feel like I'm bribing her to get here now).

It is incredible how many toys you can accumulate for one little person. We've also been very fortunate to receive several hand-me-downs from neighbors and friends.

The process of making the art work for the room. "I painting!" he said the whole time.

Isaiah's masterpieces.

I used scrapbook letters for the words then let him paint all over it.


u
The finished product! We've already spent hours and hours in here. I LOVE having a place for all the big toys. It's the "no clean up" room of the house. Yeah!