Monday, April 14, 2014

Double Digits

Daulton turned 10 last month and is officially in double digits.  I asked him on his birthday if he felt older and he said no, but a few days later I asked him again and he said he did feel older.  I guess it takes a few days for it to sink in that he is now 10.

In the weeks leading up to his birthday, I found myself thinking back to the first time I met Daulton.  I had met Matt through my roommate Alison and had heard he had a son.  Alison and her parents ran a youth puppet ministry and invited us out to watch their Easter performance.  Daulton was 3 at the time and like he is today, a mini Matt.  Midway through the performance, I looked down the row to see if he was enjoying the puppets.  What I found was Daulton staring directly at me and studying me.  Now I know he just likes to people watch, but another part of me wonders why he was staring at just me.  There were other strangers he could have stared at, but he picked me.

People have asked me how Daulton is doing with being a big brother.  There has never been a better big brother in the history of big brothers than Daulton.  He plays with Cole, helps with feedings, consoles him when he's upset, let's him play Xbox (he gives him the extra controller to play with), and he can't go by Cole without giving him a hug or kiss.  They are just as enamored with each other now as ever.

I've said it before and I will say it again, I hit the jackpot with Daulton.  He is my stepson and I will never be his mom, but he is the one who made me a mom.  He teaches me how to be patient and kind, even when I don't want to be.  He reminds me to share and to put others first.  He teaches me to see the good in people and to not overthink things.  He reminds me to be in the moment and to enjoy the now.  He is smart, funny, patient, and kind.  I could go on and on about how wonderful he is, but that would probably just embarrass him. 

I can't believe he is 10 and I am so grateful I get to be a part of his life!





















































Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cole at 6 Months

I know I said it at 3 months, but I can't believe Cole is 6 months old and will be 7 months soon.  Cole is able to sit up on his own for a few minutes before falling over.  He's starting to babble more and will talk/yell at Dixie and Daulton if they aren't paying attention to him and really lets you know when he's hungry and isn't being fed enough (he gets that from me!).  He is pushing up but hasn't figured out how to get his knees under him to start crawling yet.  Cole can roll and scoot wherever he wants to go.

























The biggest change we've seen at 6 months is he has started eating foods.  He loves applesauce, sweet potatoes, prunes, and bananas.  He is not a fan of green beans as you can see in the video below.  I know babies and kids need to try a food several times, so I tried giving him green beans again last night.  It did not go well.  I've never seen someone so mad about green beans.  As a kid I hated green beans and I can remember sitting alone at the dinner table crying because my parents made me finish my green beans.  I can see Cole repeating my past.



Despite the faces he's making, he does like bananas.

 



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Activity Mat Time

Typical kid, you give him a toy and he would rather play with the box. For Cole, he would rather play with the tags on his activity mat than the actual activities on the mat.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Reindeer Games

Dixie is so happy to not have to wear the antlers this year.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Fun In The Snow

Daulton hit the jackpot with a snow day last Friday.  After spending the morning lounging around and drinking hot chocolate, he and Matt went outside to shovel snow.  Its amazing the difference a year makes!


























Cole enjoyed his few minutes of being outside in the snow.  He looked all around and didn't seem to mind being bundled up like Ralphy from A Christmas Story in his snowsuit.























I know next year these two will be busy exploring in the snow together!







































Saturday, November 16, 2013

Snap Pajamas Rant

Cole is my first experience with having an infant.  When Matt and I got together, Daulton was 3 so with him, I skipped all the "baby" stages.  So I had no experience with baby pajamas, until now.

I would challenge the idiot who decided to put snaps on baby pajamas instead of a zipper to be the one to change a diaper at 3 AM with a crying infant who is constantly kicking his legs to put those damn pajamas back together again.  Its like trying to solve a Rubik's cube when you've just been woken up from a dead sleep and you are trying to make sure the rest of the house stays asleep.  You aren't exactly on your A-game and it never fails, you think you are done and there is that one snap that isn't snapped and you have to start all over again.

Also, this happens.




















On the other hand, how cute are those pudgy feet?

  

Monday, November 11, 2013

3 Months In

I can't believe Cole is 3 months old.  The last 3 months have gone by so quickly and so much has changed with our family.  We are adjusting to life as a family of four, a family of five if you count Dixie.  Cole has changed so much since we brought him home.  He is a happy baby, unless he is hungry or tired and then he lets you know he is unhappy.  We all agree he gets his attitude from me.

He is interacting with us on a daily basis and has discovered his hands and feet.  He loves to be tickled and its not hard to coax a smile and laugh out of him.  Cole lights up when Daulton comes out of his room in the morning and is so happy to see his big brother.  Daulton is such a good helper and is so quick to jump up and lend a hand or pick up his baby brother.

People ask us who he looks like and I think he is a blend of both of us.  He has my forehead and eyes and has Matt's nose.  His hair was light like mine was as a baby, but is starting to darken.  His eyes are still bright blue.

For those who are interested, nursing is going well and I'm happy to nurse as long as its working for both of us.  I have my own thoughts and feelings about breastfeeding but will save those for another time.

Blogging with a baby, 9 year old, and full time job is tough.  I enjoy writing but struggle to find a time to blog (and exercise, but again, that's another blog post).  I would like to blog on a regular schedule if nothing more than to document our family as we grow together.

Here are some recent pictures as I know that's what most of you really want.

Cole would like to say thanks to his Aunt Laura and Uncle Mike for the shirt and for Sam and Cathy Bridegroom for the awesome Halloween socks.  He has no pants on because I got lazy and sometimes I don't feel like wrestling him into his pants.

























I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such handsome men.  I also don't stand a chance as two of them know, and will teach the other one, how to turn on the charm in order to get out of trouble.







































For Halloween, Cole went as a turtle and Daulton was a skeleton zombie.  His costume looks is as scary in real life as it looks in the picture.









































Sunday, September 22, 2013

A New Addition To The Family

I can't believe I started writing about how our son joined our family 4 weeks ago and am just now getting around to finishing the story.  Time is going by so quickly.

I spent most of the day he was born waiting for my labor to progress and trying to rest and nap while I could.  I will spare you the details, but I will share that I pushed for 1 hour and 1 minute (I want credit for every minute!) and our son entered the world at 5:56 PM.

I can't say enough good things about the nursing staff and my doctor, who helped me have the delivery I wanted.  We were told its unusual to labor over 24 hours after your water has broken and I labored for 30 hours.  I cannot thank my doctor enough for being patient with me and letting me labor for as long as I did so I could have the outcome I wanted.  The nurses were  so encouraging, supportive, and excited to see if Baby B was going to be a girl or boy (as most parents already know the gender before delivery).

Our son didn't have a name for the first two days of his life.  Picking out a boy's name and packing the hospital bag were all on the "to do" list we didn't get to because he decided to come two weeks early.  But he was in good company, the Royal Couple also hadn't decided on their son's name for a few days after he was born.

We named him Cole Parker and decided on his name around 10 AM on Thursday morning, the day we were all supposed to be discharged.  Minutes after finally figuring out his name, Cole's doctor came in to tell us that his billirubin levels were still too high and he needed to go to the special care nursery.  It made it hard to celebrate finally naming your son when you have take him down to the special care nursery to spend the rest of the day and night.  But I am forever grateful to his doctor who made sure Cole received the best care possible and also made sure we were taken care of as well.

My heart goes out to every parent who has to deal with their baby having a health complication.  I can look back now and say that jaundice is a treatable problem and I knew his stay in special care was temporary.  But taking him down to the special care nursery, knowing we would have to leave him there, was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  As a mom, I spent 9 months picturing how the first few days of my child's life would go and this wasn't how I pictured it.

On Friday morning, we received the good news that his levels were coming down and that he would be discharged.  It was such a good feeling to have him back in the room with us and know that we could finally go home.  After Matt packed up the car, we were wheeled down and headed home to be a family of four!
























Cole - 1 Day Old























Cole under the billi lights























Getting ready to head home as a family of four!
Daulton showing Cole how to play XBox

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Four Weeks Ago Tonight

Four weeks ago tonight, I was in a hospital bed trying to get some rest knowing that the next day I would get to meet my child.  The day had started out like every other Monday morning.  I went to work, kept busy that morning, and I had just closed the lid to my lunch at 12:30 PM and it felt like I had peed my pants.  I had hoped I had peed my pants since my due date was two weeks away and I thought I had more time to finish up a few more things.  I walked the 10 steps to my doctor's office, a perk of working where you are also a patient, and told the lady working the front desk that either I had peed my pants or my water broke and I needed someone to tell me which one.

After confirming my water had indeed broken and a few tears on my part at the shock that I was in labor, it was time to call Matt and let him know what was going on.  He and Daulton were across town and were very surprised to hear that my water had broken and jumped in the car to meet me at the hospital.  They had to stop at the house to pack a bag, something that was on my list of things to do in the final two weeks before my due date.  They did a pretty good job packing under pressure.

While they were driving and packing, I was getting settled into my hospital room, finishing my patient registration, and starting to walk the first of many laps I would walk around the unit trying to get labor going.  The nurses who checked me in were very excited that we did not know the gender and that my water broke on its own, two things they don't see very often.

For me, one of the more surprising parts of my labor story is that we had new carpet installed the week before and had spent the previous day, Sunday, getting the house put back together and finishing the nursery.  The day after I finally have a nursery ready, I go into labor.  I was obsessed with getting everything done and cleaned.  Daulton and I worked together to put his room back together (with Matt and Daulton doing the heavy lifting) and he also helped me get the baby's room ready as we had just picked up and assembled the baby furniture two days before.  I laughed out loud when I received the 39 week pregnancy email from the Baby Center website that included this tidbit of information.
Why do I feel a burst of energy?   
Energetically scrubbing the bathroom, organizing the baby's room, or clearing away unwanted clutter in the house may be the modern manifestation of an evolutionary instinct to create a safe place for your baby to live, says Sherri Minelli, a childbirth educator in Encinitas, California. "The burst of energy before labor begins is a bit animalistic in nature," she says. "In today's world it translates to cleaning the house or making sure that your baby's room is finished."
I'm not sure animalistic is how I would describe my behavior, but I'm sure the getting up and down from the floor may have gotten labor started.  And if I would have been paying more attention, I would have noticed that I didn't have any more heartburn and would have realized that was because the baby had dropped and wasn't pushing on my stomach any more.

Daulton hung out with us for several hours and watched tv, played on the iPad, and helped me eat jello and icees.  The icees were our favorite and being on a clear liquid diet is not much fun.  I remember him being very calm and walking with Matt and I in the halls.















The contractions picked up that night, but I wasn't making much progress.  The contractions moved to my back which was no fun.  My doctor made the decision to stop increasing the pitocin during the night so I could rest and we would start it again in the morning.  I got an epidural at 6 AM and once they got my blood pressure back to normal (which I'm told can happen after an epidural), I was able to get some sleep.  Matt was able to get some rest too once I was finally comfortable.

As I took the dog and my newborn child out on a walk tonight, I noticed it was a full moon tonight just like it was four weeks ago.  Matt slept in front of the window of the room and the moon was so bright that night, like it is tonight.

I remember sitting in the hospital bed still trying to get used to the idea that I was in labor and would be meeting this tiny human I had been carrying around for the last 37 weeks.  I was also still in shock that I was in the hospital two weeks earlier than I expected to be.

 

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