Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Favorites 4

I'm linking up with Katie again today to share a few of my favorite things from this week!

I bought a few prints from Recipe for Crazy during a flash sale this spring, and finally got them ready to go up in the girls' rooms this week.  The Fierce print is going up in Baby C's room, and the Brave print is going in Miss A and Little J's room.

Since the arrival of Baby C, we have been super spoiled by friends.  Often when our friends have come to meet our new little lady, they've also brought some sweet gifts and lots of food.  Seriously, I think the best way to take care of a family with a new baby is with food.  A couple of my former co-workers stopped by this week and brought the sweet sisters frame above.  I can't wait to get a picture of my three girls in there!  They also brought these cool Sticker Doodle books for Miss A and Little J.  The girls think they're awesome (and I agree... they're great for keeping the girls busy with something quiet when I'm feeding the baby).  They also brought lunch, with lots of fresh fruit and veggies, and left the extra with us.  So thankful for those two, and everyone else who has kept us fed over the past few weeks!

Baby C's announcements also came this week.  In the digital world I know it is a little silly to send out birth announcements, but I love sending (and receiving) real mail.  I ordered these postcard style birth announcements through Pear Tree Greetings, and I am really happy with how they turned out!

Baby C and I also got a night out at the Minnesota Children's Museum this week.  The museum hosted a happy hour for the Smart Play Ambassadors, and it was really nice to sit and chat with other adults, while enjoying some good food and my first glass of wine since late November.  The MCM has so many fun things going on, and the staff is so great to work with.  I'm so thankful I've been able to be a part of the Smart Play Ambassadors program this year!  Baby C and I have another night out planned for tonight, this time heading to Cafe Latte with a friend.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The H Family

It's hard for me to believe that Mr. G turned 3 last month (maybe because I'm in denial that my own Little J is getting close to that age) but I was really excited when his mom asked me to take pictures of him and the rest of the family recently.  I was even more excited when I found an old frame being thrown away by some neighbors.  A quick coat of spray paint, and it made such a fun prop for pictures!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Baby C's 1st 2 Weeks

41 Weeks with Mommy
Our first week as a family of 5 was... crazy!  As I mentioned in my post about Baby C's arrival, I did something to my neck while I was in labor.  Not cool.  My neck felt sore right after Baby C was born, and was terribly painful for my entire hospital stay.  The nurses were really great about trying to find something to provide me with some pain relief, but nothing worked very well.  We came home from the hospital on Monday, and my neck started to feel a lot better Monday afternoon.  But as soon as I went to bed Monday night it was super painful again.  And that pretty much lasted for the next week.  Standing up or even sitting up without leaning my head on something for more than a few minutes was super painful.  As the pain diminished a bit over the week I started getting these really intense head rushes when I would stand up, or after I had been up for too long.  Not ideal when you're caring for a newborn, much less have two older kids to take care of.  Luckily my mom was here with us for most of the first week, and E has been working shorter days for most of the past two weeks, so I have had help.

41 Weeks with Daddy
It also helps that (so far) Baby C has been such a sweet girl.  I feel like she had a big cry for a newborn, but she doesn't cry all that often.  As I write this, the two of us are hanging out on the deck (she's sleeping).  E took the big girls to the pool, so we're enjoying some quiet time.  Our first night home from the hospital was a little rough (our neighbors mentioned they could hear her crying... sorry neighbors!).  Baby C was up a lot.  I think my milk came in that night, and it threw her off a little bit.  Other than that night, Baby C has been a great sleeper!  She's sleeping 3-5 hour stretches at night which has been amazing for me.  She wakes up, eats and goes right back to sleep.  Her big sisters weren't terrible sleepers, but Baby C has been so easy.  I know it could change any time, but I'm SO thankful that she was sleeping well at night when I was having my neck issues.  I have been feeling pretty well rested these first two weeks which has helped a lot during the days with all three girls.  

Baby C has also taken to nursing really well.  I was a little worried that I had forgotten what to do with a newborn, but it all came back pretty quickly once Baby C was here.  During the day she eats every 2-3 hours, more frequently in the morning and at night, but I think that's to make up for the longer stretches at night.  E has been watching The Walking Dead on Netflix, and has taken to calling Baby C a zombie because she tries to eat him when she gets hungry.  Other than that she hasn't really gotten any nicknames yet.    

1 Week Old!
Big sisters have been pretty excited to have Baby C here.  My mom helped the girls decorate the house and pick out some presents for Baby C when we got home.  So cute!  Our dining room was decorated with lots and lots of pink! Miss A had initially wanted a baby brother (I already have a sister, I don't need another one she told us) but for the past few months she's been hoping for another sister.  Little J would pretty much agree with whatever Miss A said.  So they were both happy to find out we had a girl.  Both girls like to hold her, though Little J is usually done after about 10 seconds.  Little J also likes to help find baby's "nuga" (pacifier... not sure where she came up with "nuga" but we're going with it).

During our first week home Miss A and Little J figured out pretty quickly that when Mommy is feeding the baby they can get away with a lot more.  For example, one day I found Little J dumping water all over the floor in her room while Miss A watched.  Of course there were also toys all over the floor.  I've been letting them watch cartoons with me while I feed Baby C sometimes, which keeps them busy and not making a mess.  Overall Little J seems to be having a harder time with the transition, but it hasn't been too bad.  I'm trying to fit in some extra time to snuggle her in the mornings or at night, and that seems to help.  This second week we also managed trips to the grocery store, park and library on different days, and that helped all of us a lot!  Just an hour break from the house during the day makes such a big difference.  The big girls have also gotten to do a few fun trips with Daddy which they enjoyed.  E and Miss A went to a Vikings game last week, and E took both girls to see Despicable Me 2 at Target Field with a couple of friends and their daughters, and Como Zoo with their cousins this week.  Last night we managed to go out for dinner (Baby C slept through the whole thing) and this morning we hiked around Minnehaha Falls.  Looks like Baby C will be

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baby C's Arrival

Our baby is here and we are settling in as a family of 5!  This may be more information than most people need about Baby C's arrival, but I know if I don't write it down now I'll completely forget.

On Friday, August 1st I had my last scheduled appointment with my doctor.  I had been feeling tired, uncomfortable and like I might be pregnant forever before the appointment.  Thankfully, my doctor had good news.  She told me I was already dilated, and that when my contractions started things would probably go fast.  She also told me that she was on call Friday and Sunday, and my other doctor was on call Saturday and Monday, so I was hopeful that one of my doctors would actually be there when I delivered. 

I woke up Saturday morning, and had a few contractions about 15 minutes apart, but then they stopped completely.  My mom decided to come up Saturday morning anyway, hoping that I would have the baby sometime over the weekend.  I was a little cranky about still being pregnant on Saturday, but we had a slow day at our house... waiting.  While the girls had rest time, E and I decided to go for a walk, hoping that would get something started.  When we got home I did a little work on the computer and E decided to go for a run.  

Just before 5pm I felt my first contraction.  I didn't tell E or my mom because I didn't want them to get too excited.  I thought it might be for real, but it might just be a result of the walk, so I quietly started timing the contractions on my phone.  The contractions continued about 8 minutes apart, but not super strong.  Then they got a little more sporadic but still strong.  By this time I had told E and my mom that I was having contractions, and E convinced me to call my doctor around 6pm.  I called in to the nurse line and got a few last minute things ready for the hospital while I waited for a call back.

When my doctor called back, she told me to come in and she'd be in soon.  At this point I pretty much lose track of time for the night.  I stopped timing my contractions because I was going to the hospital, and I knew I was going to have the baby soon.  By the time we got checked in to the hospital and set up in our room, the nurse checked and told me I was dilated to 6.  She got me started on an IV so I would be able to get an epidural after my doctor got there.  

My doctor arrived, and by then my contractions were really intense.  She had the nurse call for the anesthesiologist, then went to get ready.  Thankfully the anesthesiologist got there fairly quickly (though I know I sent E to find out if someone was ever coming) and my doctor recommended a walking epidural.  Her thought was that I would deliver before feeling much relief from a regular epidural.  I went with her suggestion, and I was really happy with the results.  I could still feel and move my legs, but got a lot of relief from contractions.  

After getting the epidural my doctor asked if I wanted a break or if I wanted her to break my water and deliver quickly.  I opted to take a little break, so everyone left for a bit and let E and I relax.  Not too long after that my water broke on it's own, and apparently my bag of water was really big.  E says he could hear it pop.  When my water broke, E went to get the nurses, and everyone came pretty quickly.  

I don't remember perfectly what happened after that, but the doctor told me that baby's heart rate was dropping during my contractions.  She tried massaging baby's head to get the heart rate up, but pretty quickly told me I needed to start pushing.  I pushed on my side for a few contractions, then moved to my back.  During this time my doctor had me put on an oxygen mask to try to help with baby's heart rate (E told me later that it was dropping really low during my contractions... just a little scary).  I did not like the oxygen mask.  It made me feel really uncomfortable, not really sure why.

I'm not sure how long I pushed for, but I know that it wasn't long.  Baby came out "sunny side up
 at 9:48pm, and E told me I was right, it was a girl!  I was so relieved to have our baby with us, and to have had my labor and delivery go so quickly!  It was just under 5 hours from my first contraction to holding my baby girl, which was awesome.  Add in a positive experience with the walking epidural, and this was by far the most positive delivery experience of the three.  Baby girl (as we were calling her at the time) took to nursing right away, which was awesome.  I had some worries before delivery that I had forgotten what to do with a newborn, but no such problems.    

Unfortunately, while delivery went really well, this has been the most difficult post partum experience.  As soon as I got up to move from the delivery room to my recovery room, I could feel that my neck was really sore.  I didn't realize quite how bad my neck hurt until the next day, but it has been an ongoing issue (I'm better now, but it took 9 days).  

It was after midnight before we got settled in our room, and by that time we were exhausted.  E stayed with us for a couple hours, but choosing a name when we were so tired just wasn't happening.  We talked more Sunday  morning, and were pretty much settled on a name, but gave it the rest of Sunday before we decided on a name for sure.  

My mom brought the girls to visit their new baby sister on Sunday morning, and they were really excited to meet and hold her.  Here are a few of her first photos from the hospital.  I feel a little guilty that their aren't very many pictures of her from the first week, but holding my camera was out of the question for most of the time because of my neck pain.  I'm sure I'll make up for it in the coming weeks and months.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Introducing Catherine Erica

I'm so excited to share that Catherine Erica joined our family on August 2nd at 9:48pm!  She was 8 pounds, 10 ounces, 20 inches long and just as sweet as can be!

Catherine is named after my grandma (Katherine was her middle name, we just prefer the C spelling) and Erica after Daddy.

The picture above is from just before we left the hospital.  My grandma made the top for her first child (my mom) to wear home from the hospital, and every baby in the family has continued to wear it home from the hospital.  I think Baby C is baby number 18 to wear the outfit.  It feels good to have something so special to bring baby home in, especially since my grandma passed away just after Little J was born.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Baby #3: Final Weeks

39 Weeks
40 Weeks
I wrote most of this post at 39 weeks, and added to it throughout the week.

Due date: August 2nd.

What I'm loving:  Feeling baby move, and watching baby move my whole stomach.  It's SO crazy to watch!

What I'm looking forward to:  Baby being here!  It's so close!

What I'm missing:  Being able to move normally and sleep comfortably (especially on my stomach).

How I'm feeling:  Ready to be done, but overall pretty good.  The girls sleep until 8 most mornings, so I'm still feeling rested even though my night time sleep isn't great.  Update as of Thursday: I have never been more uncomfortable.

Exercise: Trying to keep walking, but not much more than my daily activity right now.

Cravings/Aversions:  Craving ice cream (seeing this article about the 10 best milkshakes in the Twin Cities happened at the perfect time... and 2 are within walking distance of my house!)  Also, such a weird aversion for me, but I am having a really hard time eating chicken.  With both Miss A and Little J I couldn't handle red meat.  Now, I love red meat, can't handle more than a few bites of chicken.

Differences between pregnancies:  Here's 39 and 40 weeks with Miss A, and 39 to 40 weeks with Little J (which actually includes her birth story).  Miss A was born the day after her due date, and Little J 3 days early.  We'll see what Baby #3 decides.  I was hoping for July 25th, but as we've passed that date, I'm feeling like baby is going to stay put until at least my due date.

Other Thoughts: See how nice any shiny the deck is in the picture?  I stripped the old stain off the deck and put new stain on over the weekend.  There are lots of house projects being worked on right now.  Cleaning out the basement, painting (shutters, flower boxes, front door, side door, back hallway/stairway), scrubbing floors... I'm going to chalk it up to nesting.  And keeping myself busy so I don't go crazy waiting for baby.  Update as of Thursday: I may have overdone it with all of those projects, and I'm paying for it now.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer 2014 DITL

I was going to skip the summer DITL post because right now our days have very little routine, but at the last minute I thought it might be fun to be able to look back at a snapshot of our summer before we add another baby to the mix.  I forgot to take pictures for parts of the day, and didn't take any notes, so it might be a little off, but it's basically our day on July 29, 2014.  Miss A is 4 years, 4 months, Little J is 2 years, 8 months and I am 39 weeks, 3 days pregnant with Baby #3.  

7:15ish:  E wakes up and I get up to iron a shirt.  I have a hard time getting myself going in the morning, so it helps to get up and help E get ready for work.  E leaves a little after 7:30 and I spend some time checking in on social media.

8:00am:  The girls wake up and come snuggle with me on the couch for a bit.  I feel REALLY lucky that they have adjusted to summer and sleep in most days.  I haven't been sleeping very well at night, so it's nice to have slow mornings.  I turn on Sofia the First, their current favorite cartoon, so I can take a shower in peace.

8:45am:  Out of the shower and getting ready for the day.  I just discovered a non maternity maxi skirt that fits.  Score!  I'm sick of most of my maternity clothes, so this was a pleasant surprise.  We're meeting up with some friends, so I do my hair and put on some make up.

9:00am:  Time for breakfast.  We're in a cereal routine, but the girls aren't complaining, so I'll stick with it.  Little J and I have Honey Nut Cheerios while Miss A has her favorite, Raisin Bran.  Both girls are upset that their preferred color bowls are not clean.  We'll have to make sure the dishes get done later.

9:15am:  I pack lunches for the three of us while the girls finish breakfast.  Today we're having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, strawberries, string cheese and carrots.  I also pack juice boxes for us (the Wild Harvest juice boxes are my favorite right now!).  After our lunches are packed, I try to get the girls dressed and ready for the day.

10:15am:  We're finally out of the house and on our way to our play date.  We head to a park about 15 minutes away.

10:45am:  After getting a little lost (even though we've been to the park many times before) we finally make it to the park.  I like this park because the play structure is a nice size for the girls to explore on their own... nothing too high.  Miss A is starting to grow out of it, but it still works for this summer and our friends are there.  The family we meet up with has a very similar family to ours, 2 girls, each a couple months younger than ours and also expecting baby #3 soon.  It's so fun to watch the kids grow up together!

11:45am:  Our friends have to leave for a service call at their house, but we stay for a picnic.  The girls love our summer picnics (and so do I).

12:00pm:  After lunch the girls head back to the playground for more climbing, running and sliding.  A school group comes, and both girls make some new friends to run around with.

12:20pm:  We leave the park and load up for a quick stop at Target on our way home.

1:00pm:  We leave Target after an amazingly short trip for us.  We didn't actually need much, but we were going to drive by on our way home, and I feel compelled to keep the house stocked with everything I can think of this week, just in case baby decides to come.  I was the lady with 4 gallons of milk at the grocery store on Monday.

1:15pm:  We get home and I realize that Little J fell asleep in her car seat.  Grrr.   She used to be easy to transfer to bed, but it hasn't been going as well lately.  I try to move her, and she wakes up.  She wasn't sleeping long, so I still insist on some quiet time in her bed.

1:20pm:  Miss A gets to stay up a little longer before her rest time.  She wants to finish her lunch, then helps me with some cleaning.  I decide the trash can and recycling bin really need to be cleaned.  I put away the things we pick up at Target, then decide to do a little cleaning.  Vacuuming the couch cushions seems necessary and I quickly go over the floors with the Swiffer (last week I was scrubbing all the floors, I've lost some steam since then).

2:30ish:  Time for Miss A to rest.  I grab the computer and some Oreos to get a little work done.  I took family pictures for a friend last week, and I'm hoping to have them done for her before baby arrives, so I spend some time editing, and a little time on the blog too.

3:15pm:  The girls get up from their rest time.  Little J brings me my bison (that she has taken possession of recently) to keep me company.  I let the girls watch another cartoon (more Sofia) so I can finish up a little more work.

3:45pm:  Snack time.  I've been loving apples this week, so I have an apple and the girls each have a banana.  I unpack and clean up our lunch boxes, load the dishwasher and do a little light work in the kitchen.  After their snack the girls play in the basement and their bedroom for a bit before E gets home.

I stopped taking pictures for a long stretch, and kind of forgot exactly what happened for the next few hours.  I know that E got home and played with the girls while I rested a little, the girls cleaned up their room, we made dinner (salads and steak), and ate dinner around 6:00pm (which is quite a long process here lately).

7:00pm:  After we clean up from dinner, E takes the girls outside to play in the backyard.  Little J is still addicted to the swing, and we all take turns playing softball.  Miss A is starting to get pretty good at hitting the ball.

7:30pm:  We head to the front yard to check and water the garden, and the neighbors have their sprinkler on, so both girls decide to play in the sprinkler.  E and I decide not to fight it, and pretty soon they're soaking wet.  Good thing our neighbors don't mind our kids playing in their yard (they're selling their house to move to Arizona, and we're really going to miss them!).

8:00pm:  Time to start getting ready for bed.  We get the girls inside, out of their wet clothes and in to pajamas.  The girls brush their teeth and pick out stories.  E reads a few stories to the girls in their room, then it's lights out.

8:40pm: Now we can relax a little.  Again, I can't remember exactly what we did after the girls were in bed, but our typical night goes something like this.  Little J comes out of her bed several times, Miss A a couple times too, so we take their "guys."  Eventually they stay in bed quietly and get their guys back.  E and I watch an episode or two of Breaking Bad and I eat ice cream.

10:15pm:  Bedtime for the grown ups.  I can't really fall asleep right now, so I end up awake until 11 or 11:30 most nights, even if I try to fall asleep earlier.  I end up checking in on the internet and watching TV while trying to fall asleep.