Friday, May 30, 2008

Our Mastercard Commerical

Huggies Size 1 diapers: $10

Graduation outfits for me and the kids: $150

6 hours of uninterrupted sleep: PRICELESS

You read it right, folks. Alayna slept for 6 hours straight last night....I'm really hoping that it's not a fluke. Josiah didn't start sleeping 6 hours straight consistently until he was 6 weeks, and Alayna will only be 4 weeks on Sunday. Now it could have been because she was soooo tired last night from all of the activity (my sisters and BIL are here for the weekend), but I'll take it. Aside from the headache I awoke with (I'm hosting my very first yard sale tomorrow and I'm stressing about setting up and wondering if we'll get rid of most everything), I'm feeling pretty great! It's simply amazing what UNINTERRUPTED sleep can do for the body and mind. However, there is a downside to infants who suddenly decide to extend their nightly dreams.....if you have ever breastfed, then you know what I'm about to body just wasn't ready to be ignored for 2 more extra hours and produced milk expecting the usual I not only woke up with a headache but with a very wet shirt. Breastfeeding sure does give a whole new meaning to "wet t-shirt contest". LOL! But in reflecting back to all of the trouble and stress that nursing Josiah was, I'll gladly take this problem anyday!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here's to Good Friends

This past weekend, 2 of my very best girlfriends, from OH and IN, came to visit. They moved away last year after their "students" graduated. It was so special that they made the trip down. They were in my hospital room within a couple of hours after Josiah was born and would have been right there for Alayna had it not been for 5-10 hours of travel time....but just that they chose to spend their Memorial Day Weekend with me and my kids was so special.

We didn't do too much....we had a lot of catching up to do. So we spent a good portion of the weekend inside, just chit chatting (and a lot of laughing). I can't express how much I appreciated the extra two sets of hands. Since Randy spent the whole weekend helping our dear Cowles family prep their house in order for a quick sale, Carrie and Charla helped snuggle Alayna, change diapers, and dress Josiah...all so that I could take a shower or a quick nap. :-)
If you've been keeping track of my posts, you've read about the tears associated with Sara and Gina moving to begin their new life in FL and CA, respectively. Carrie and Charla are two more friends that I deeply miss. When we get together, it's like no time has passed since our last crazy conversation. I don't think that I laugh nearly as much as when we're all together....and that's priceless, it's so therapeutic. And it saddens me even more that we're moving so far away. Between me, Carrie, Charla, Gina and Sara, we've got the East Coast, West Coast, midwest, and Deep South (as south as you can go in TX without crossing into Mexico) covered....can we be any further apart? Thank goodness for hear that, girls?

Oh, and Carrie also took some pictures of the kids. It was finally warm enough to put Alayna in her first dress, compliments of MaGa (this is what Josiah is calling my mom instead of Grandma).

My little girl (3 weeks old)

My little man (21 months old)
My boys

The Girls
(please excuse all of my baby fat--I obviously still have a ways to go to reach pre-baby weight)

This is one of my favorite moments that Carrie was able to capture. And to think that Randy didn't want a girl.....I think his heart has changed. What do you think? :-)

Underlying lesson of this post: surround yourself with good friends and savor the time spent with them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Few More Tears

This post is long overdue, but I figure it's better late than never. I shared earlier that one of two of my good friends moved to FL for her husband's residency. Well, the second of my two girls, Gina, moved a couple of weeks ago. :-( She and her family moved to CA for her husband's residency. Randy and I have truly been blessed by their friendship, and we are very sad that they have moved soooo far away. Again, I knew that 4 years ago we would be saying "good-bye" to our friends, but it still doesn't make it any easier.

I met Gina three years ago at a Student/Family Potluck, when she was a mother of only two (she's now a mother of four). :-) Gina is a wonderful woman, super-mom, and godly wife. I can't begin to explain what her friendship means to me. In addition to sharing recipes, inviting us over for dinner, handing down clothes, and getting me even closer to giving up disposable diapers and going cloth (if you are interested in cloth diapering, please check out Little Lions next month--she's taking a break until they get settled in their new place), Gina has been there when I needed someone to listen to me gripe about medical school issues, she has shared insight as to what has worked for her and husband staying connected, and provided confirmation that staying at home with the kids is a great job and it's not a waste of your education (she was a Nurse Practitioner prior to becoming a mommy).

I'm very thankful for the provides me with the opportunity to stay in contact with my very dear friends, Sara and Gina.

I miss you, girls. And I miss that I'm missing out on the growth of your kiddos....and Josiah misses playing with Grant and "the kids".

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Milestone Morning

Both Alayna and I reached a milestone this morning...I took BOTH kids to the doctor for Alayna's two week well-baby check up....yes, both kids. This was the first time that I had taken both kids someplace by myself. It wasn't my original plan, but I needed to feed baby girl before we headed out the door to the doctor, and I didn't have enough time to take Josiah to school we all went together. Josiah, for the most part, did really well, so I didn't find myself running all over the doctor's office threatening him with spankings. :-)

Alayna is an eating machine and her weight is very reflective of that fact. When weighed this morning, she tipped the scale at 9 lbs. 8 oz. This means that in the last 11 days, she gained 12 oz. WOW! I shouldn't be too surprised since she would prefer to be connected to me ALL DAY, but I'm still shocked at how much she gained and how fast. When I mentioned that Alayna is also sleeping fairly well, the doctor said that usually around the 10 lb mark, babies will tend to sleep in a 5 hour stretch. I'm totally looking forward to that point....and at this rate, that could be next week. Woo Hoo! Josiah didn't reach 6 hours until he was 6 weeks old.

I'll post more pictures later, I'm having a hard time uploading with Blogger this morning.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Two Week Birthday!

I just can't resist posting pics of our newest joy....I can't believe it's been two weeks already.

"is taking my picture really necessary?"

What Can Happen in Two Weeks?

In two weeks...
  • Mom and I were able to pack up quite a bit of stuff...this is now the corner of my kitchen and each of the closets looks like the one pictured below.

  • I was able to sell 4 items on, making a few extra dollars to go towards the purchase of a new couch.

  • Mom organized all of our yard sale materials (I'm not really looking forward to hosting a yard sale...they're a lot of work).

  • I've lost 20 of the 50 pounds gained during my pregnancy. Woo Hoo! (my "Push", Mother's Day, and Birthday Gift arrived on our doorstep the day we came home from the hospital....a 2008 BOB Ironman Duallie Jogging Stroller). I'm super excited to start running with the kids once my body tells me its ready--and once we get unpacked in our new house.

  • Josiah amazed us with his level of conversation comprehension. We sat down for dinner one night and my mom asked him if whatever he was eating was good...and Josiah's response was "I like it". Randy and I looked at each other and just laughed...we had NEVER heard him say that before. Josiah makes us laugh every day and we are enjoying every minute of him (despite our entrance into the "terrible two's").

  • Alayna grew tremendously. It's amazing to me just how quickly newborns grow. She's eating every 2-3 hours, but she would be connected to me all day if she could voice her preference. We are doing well at night, sleeping 3-4 hours at a time. We take her for a well-baby check up on Tuesday....I'll be sure to post just how much she's grown. I'm so excited that breastfeeding seems to be going better this go around. :-)

We're on Our Own

We said "Good-bye" to my mom yesterday after spending the last two weeks with us. I can't even begin to say how much we appreciated all that she did for us. She helped keep Josiah occupied while I nursed Alayna, did at least 2 loads of laundry EVERY day (she was amazed at how much laundry we do), helped prepare meals and think of meals that would utilize everything that we have stored in our freezers, as well as burp Alayna after feedings (Mom has the special touch....and Alayna seems to be much more difficult to burp than Josiah). Mom also made a million trips to WalMart because we could never get our stuff together to come up with just one list. AND then there's all of the packing she helped me with. Mom is known in our family as the "Master Packer". When Dad says that there is just no more room...Mom ALWAYS finds a way to get everything packed. And while I like to think that I did receive that specific "packing gene", Mom can do a much better job.
So now we're on our own. It was equally as hard to say "good-bye" this time around as it was the first time (she spent two weeks with us when Josiah was born). However, I feel much more confident about raising my children now. With Josiah, I remember thinking, "what am I doing? I don't know how to do this." And while there are still times, 21 months later, when I think the same thoughts, I'm not getting too bent out of shape about it, kids are pretty resilient (although the real person to ask is Randy). :-)

Thanks, Mom, for all your help. I would not feel as confident as I do being a mother if I hadn't had you to "show me the ropes". :-) See you in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Randy!

It was 35 years ago today that Randy entered the world, two months early. He weighed just a mere 5 pounds--just small enough to fit in the palm of his daddy's hand. In looking at him, you never would know that he was premature.

We don't have too much planned today. Randy and Dad took Josiah to our hospital's Kids Health and Safety Day where Josiah had opportunity to see our "bird" up close (we drive by it everyday before heading in to school).

And LifeGuard gave out these really cool tattoos.

and I was busy in the kitchen all morning (inbetween feeding the baby and getting Josiah out of the shower and dressed) making a couple of Randy's favorites--his mom's famous carrot cake and relleno.

Happy Birthday, Randy. I love you.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy One Week Birthday

It's hard to believe that Alayna is a week old already (my little girl is growing up so fast--her umbilical stump fell off last night)'s been so much fun getting to know her (and how her personality differs from Josiah's).

Just thought I would share what we think we've figured out already (more or less for my own record keeping):

  • Alayna is quite laid back. This surprises me since she seemed to move so much more inside than Josiah did. She also tolerates her older brother's more abrupt affection (Josiah loves to kiss, hug, and hold her).
  • She's not a big fan of the pacifier. If she could only figure out how to get her finger or thumb in her mouth, she'd be a happy camper.

  • Alayna is a pretty good eater, making breastfeeding this second go-around a lot easier (although part of it may be that I'm not as uptight about it as I was with Josiah). I've only supplemented with formula while we were in the hospital and that was so that she would have the volume needed to rid her body of the excess bilirubin (here's a picture of the "tanning bed" that Alayna had to spend a night in. We took her to the doctor's office for a 5 day weight check on Friday, and she'd gained a good 10 oz. since leaving the hospital on Wednesday (up to 8 lbs. 12 oz.). We were shocked (and excited that she was back up to her birthweight before the end of the week)!

  • She doesn't mind having her diaper changed (most of the time)...and will continue sleeping if she's in a deep sleep.

  • She would sleep all night if she could sleep on her belly. Although the sleeping at night is going fairly well...only waking every 3-4 hours to eat.

  • She prefers to be warm and snuggled up but prefers to her legs free to kick around.

Now, I can't forget about Josiah....he's been doing remarkably well with the transition. As I mentioned above, he LOVES to hold her all by himself like a big boy. He'll also help her with her "ba-ba" whenever she starts crying. We've not yet seen any negative attention-seeking behavior....however, Randy's been home a lot and my mom is here helping out, so I'm bracing myself for the worse when Mom leaves, we move cross-country, Randy starts Residency, and it's just the three of us during the days.

Things have definitely changed around here...but we're lovin' it. :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Our Table For Four

I am excited to share that our "Table For Four" became complete on Sunday, May 4 at 11:58 a.m. The Lord blessed our family with a little girl, Alayna Joy. Alayna weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and measured 21 inches long.
Big Brother Josiah seems to have taken a liking to her. He loves to kiss on her, put lotion on her legs and feet, and most recently, hold her like a big boy. As you can imagine, things are a little bit I'll try to post more over the weekend.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hello & Good-bye my due date, that is. I just can't believe that this little one wants to hang out like s/he is doing. I never thought that I would ever reach my due date, so I must admit that I'm a little disappointed.

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday because I was "leaking". Okay, I know, TMI...but unfortunately, it wasn't amniotic fluid. The doctor did go ahead and "check" me, though....nothing. My cervix is soft but there is no dilation going on. UGH! This is exactly the reason why I didn't want to be checked at my last 2 appointments....I didn't want to be disappointed--even though I know that dilation/effacement is no indicator that labor is imminent. I just wanted to know that my body is making progress. But I say again....there is NOTHING!

I've got another appointment scheduled for next Thursday, and hopefully, I won't need it. I'm going to patiently wait until Saturday, May 3 since that is the date that the 20-week ultrasound gave way-back-when. I really don't want to be induced, especially if my body is not ready. If yesterday, I had been 3cm and 100%, I might have really considered it. But inducing from the start increases my chances for a C-section as well as making my labor harder. Neither of which are very appealing.

So we continue to wait......