Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The New Normal

Now that I've (finally) updated that we had the baby, the next logical post is how we are all adjusting. We're 8 weeks in at this point, and while I feel that we all have adjusted well, I can't really say for sure just yet! We've had so much going on since Nathaniel's birth that we still haven't really settled in to the "new normal" yet. We had family staying with us when Nathaniel was 10 days old. Then Josh went back to work when he was 3 weeks old. He planned to take 4 off, but went back early because I felt like I had a good handle on things. So I had a week at home with all three by myself and we stayed pretty busy seeing friends and doing different things. Then Lexi and Tiernan came to visit for a week so I had a lot of help there. Three days after they left, Josh's Dad and stepmom came to visit. So again I had help! Then 4 days after they left, the "big kids" Audrey and JJ left to spend a week at their grandma's in New Jersey! So in all those eight weeks, I think I've had a total of 2.5 weeks alone with the kids. I've been very lucky to have all the help, because I think I would have lost it by now without everyone!
However, in those weeks that I've been alone with the kids, I've learned A LOT:
1. Don't ever take 3 kids under 4 years old to Chuck-e-Cheese by yourself. Everyone will leave in tears.

2. Also the playground. It is a challenge.

3. Frozen meals and places that deliver dinner are a lifesaver (thanks to EVERYONE who made and brought us meals!!).

4. The third baby doesn't really need to be bathed that much. ;)

5. Baby wearing is key to survival with three little ones.

6. Two kids in diapers = changing a diaper every hour, at least.

7. Preparing to go anywhere takes 2 hours.
That's the tough stuff. Audrey is pretty easy, except that I have to get out of the house with her because of her energy level. She can't stay inside all day. This is hard because, as I said above, going fun places with all three of them is really hard. JJ runs in one direction, Audrey in the other, and then the baby starts crying. Always. And then Audrey realizes she has to use the bathroom (a PUBLIC bathroom, while holding JJs hand and wearing the baby on my chest), and then JJ needs a diaper change. OVERWHELMING.
JJ is the hardest one right now of the three. He's at the BEST age - my favorite. But part of this age is that they are so interested in everything and so curious, yet they aren't mature enough to realize danger. They still can't control impulses. Which means when something catches his eye, he pursues it immediately. This is why people put leashes on their kids. Not saying I'm there (YET) but I can see why they do it.
Nathaniel is easy in some ways because he still sleeps a lot. Unfortunately, he doesn't like to sleep in the car seat, which means that our outings are often set to a soundtrack of screaming baby. What was that, Target cashier? I can't hear you just take my credit card its fine. I realize now that the only way to make this better is to start wearing him in the carrier more when we go out. I don't prefer it, but both at home and when we're out, it seems to make the most sense and keep him happy, so that's where we are.
Now for the fun stuff! The big kids LOVE their baby. I knew Audrey would. She liked talking to him in my belly, kissing him, etc. So when he was born and she got over her disappointment that he wasn't a girl (poor thing), she started loving on him right away. "Isn't he so cute? Look at his cute little toesies, and fingers. Hi Baby, I'm your big sister". She is such a little mommy and I love it. She takes to it naturally as though she understands that sometimes babies just cry and need extra love and attention. I was cutting chicken for dinner one night while Audrey and JJ watched TV. Nathaniel started crying and before I could get to him, Audrey came over and popped the pacifier in his mouth and held it there while she rocked him in the swing. She didn't say a word about it, just did what needed to be done. I just stared at her, taking in that moment. She is simply amazing. She also learned how to open the gate to the stairs which I was initially stressed about. But then the other morning when I was cooking breakfast, we heard Nathaniel start fussing in my bed. I tried to finish up what I was doing, but before I could, I heard Audrey open the gate and run upstairs saying, "Ok Nathaniel I'm coming!". When she got up there I heard her on the monitor, "I'm here little buddy. I'm here for you, you're ok". She was rubbing his head and talking so sweet to him when I got up there. She just has the sweetest heart and I love how much she loves her brothers.
I was very surprised at how Joshua Jr has taken to the baby. I was worried about him. I thought, because he is only 18 months, that he wouldn't understand what's going on and would have a hard time with the baby crying, the attention the baby gets, and the overall changes in our home. BUT. From the first moment he met his baby brother, JJ has blown me away with the amount of love he has for Nathaniel. He ran into the hospital room right to the bassinet (how did he know baby was there?) and tried kissing and caressing the baby. It really has been like that ever since. He tries to climb into the baby's seat with him and give him hugs and kisses, he touches his head gently, smiles at Nathaniel, and tries to tickle him. Of course I have to be careful that he doesn't accidentally get too rough, but for the most part he seems to know to be careful. There have been a few times where JJ has gotten angry with me (because I told him no or lack of attention) and he's pulled his arm back as though he is going to hit the baby. He also tries to sit on my lap when I'm nursing, which is tough but I'm trying to make it work. Just have to rearrange some things. :) I will say one of the frustrating things is that JJ doesn't understand that when the baby is sleeping, we need to be quiet and leave him alone. Oh no. JJ still wants to scream loud and see what the baby is doing. He's always bumping into Nathaniel's swing and often wakes him up. I've been starting to put Nathaniel upstairs more for his naps to avoid this altogether.

So that's it! We've been taking each day as it comes, and sometimes that means watching more TV than I would like, but we're still in survival mode. Whatever it takes to get through the day...

You may have noticed that all of these pictures were taken at home. And they are wearing jammies in most. Yeah. That should explain what its like around here!

Baby Nathaniel

I'm only a wee little bit behind on the blog, huh? Some big things have happened since I've been away.

Our sweet baby BOY Nathaniel was born Wednesday, June 4 2014 at 2:44pm. He weighed 8lbs 5oz and was 20.5" long. He was a week early! Let me back up a bit....

The Sunday before he was born, my aunt Cheryle took Audrey and JJ out for the day so that I could work on cleaning and organizing before the C - Section that was scheduled for Friday. I worked my butt off for 6 hours cleaning every nook and cranny upstairs and down and when the day was over I was exhausted. I started having very light contractions the next day, and by Tuesday afternoon they were timeable and were coming every 20 minutes or so. I called my doctor and they said that if the contractions became more intense and closer than 15 minutes together, that I should head to the hospital for my repeat C-Section. The contractions did get closer over night but I decided to wait until the following day to go in. So Wednesday morning we dropped Audrey off at school and JJ off at my dad's, and headed to the hospital. I was surprised when we got to the hospital though. They put me on the contraction monitor and after a bit determined that because I wasn't in active labor (my contractions were about 10 mins apart) that they weren't going to do the C-Section at that time. I did NOT like that! I didn't want to go home and endure who knows how long of contractions, only to be back again the next day and get the same end result - a c-section. If they were going to let me be in labor, then couldn't I have just done a VBAC. A VBAC wasn't actually what I wanted after my last experience, but their logic wasn't making sense to me. After some back and forth, I told the doctor I wasn't leaving without a baby in my arms (haha!) and she agreed to do the section after office hours that day. So Josh left to grab a bite to eat and I tried to relax...and a half hour later my doc walked in and said lets do this! Suddenly everyone was scurrying around and I was signing paperwork while calling Josh to get his butt back to the hospital quick!

Thirty minutes later we were listening to the first wails of our newest baby boy! Neither of us were surprised it was a boy, but still we didn't have a name! We just couldn't agree on anything, and so he was "Baby Boy Falcon" for the first 24 hours of life. Nathan was a name I liked a lot but Josh felt it was too common and wanted something a little stronger and more "dignified", as he put it, and that is how we came to Nathaniel. Everyone has asked about nicknames. I call him Nathaniel most of the time and Josh calls him Thane. Audrey calls him both. You can call him whatever you like!

He is a good baby. He's a great eater and he sleeps about as much as most newborns sleep. He's smiling and engaging with us and making those little baby coo's. He doesn't like to sit by himself much (can't blame him!) so I really am holding him or wearing him in the carrier a lot. He HATES the car seat which makes it hard to run errands or go anywhere. Not only does he cry in the car during the ride, but he also will cry the whole time we are in the store. I think I'm going to start wearing him in the carrier when I'm out, otherwise we'd never leave the house!

He LOVES to be outside. Whenever he's fussy or having a hard time falling asleep, I'll take him outside for a few minutes and almost immediately he's relaxed and drifting off. I even have been taking his rocking seat outside with us sometimes so he can sleep in the fresh air while the kids and I play in the yard. I don't know if its the sounds of nature or the warm breeze, but whatever it is - he likes it. And it makes me really love having a summer baby!
This little boy has been such a blessing on our family. The kids adore him, and we finally feel Complete!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


So we are at the end of July. I came on to write some updates (like, umm...I had a baby!? Haven't written it down yet...) and realized that I have this post in my draft folder. Apparently I wrote it in May and forgot to publish it. So here you go...keep in mind it is more than two months old.

Some things about Audrey:
She has had a huuuuuge growth spurt over the past 5 months. Not physically necessarily, but emotionally and mentally. She has matured suddenly and sometimes it still takes me by surprise how "big" she is. She is obsessed with the movie Frozen. She talks about it all day long, makes me play Frozen (quote lines and act them out with her), sings the songs, and I bet she probably dreams about it in her sleep. It is cute and also kind of a nice break from her obsession with her Christmas house, which she still talks about, but not as much.

She's still saying cute and funny things every day, of course! Some recent ones that I've shared on facebook are:
On a rainy day: "Mama, Do you like jumpin in cuddles too?" and "Oh Dear, now I'm all soapin wet!"
As I came downstairs from getting dressed, and feeling particularly fat, ugly, and very pregnant, she said to me, "Mommy I love you so much. And, oh my! I just love how that dress looks on you!"
When asked why she was pouting: "Because my heart is frozen and only an act of true love can save me".
"Daddy, I can see your hair turnin white."
"Mama, you're my best friend I ever seen in the whole world. Would you like a cookie? It has chocolate in it!" Yes, I love chocolate! "Oh you do?! Well, I better get you two!"
Other than saying a million new things every day....Audrey has been keeping busy with school, gymnastics, and friends. She had her Mother's Day brunch at school on Friday so I took JJ to a friend's house and was able to spend some time one-on-one with Audrey. She gave me a potpourri bag with her hand prints, and a questionnaire that she completed all about me.
Her favorite thing right now is puzzles. She has I think 6 or 7 that she does over and over again. Some are more challenging than others and I love to sit back and watch her calculate in her mind what she sees on the puzzle piece and move it around to see where it could go. I plan to go up to the consignment shop pretty soon and pick her up some new ones. She also likes to play games and there are a few I've read about that I think she would really enjoy that I plan to get for her.