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.


Monday, June 17, 2013

An Experiment

Daulton and I have figured out that the baby likes Gangman Style and will get really active when we play it in the car.  Yesterday Daulton wanted to experiment to see if there were any other songs that the baby liked.

For the experiment, he pulled out his iPod and put the headphones up to my belly.  I held them in place while he played DJ.  During the experiment, we found out that the baby likes to dance to Gangman Style and Cruise by Florida Georgia Line.  The baby is not a fan of Fallout Boy or Macklemore (my mother will have no idea who these people are).  For both songs the baby liked, it was active enough that Matt could see the movement across the room.

More testing is needed to determine if the baby its mother's love of 80's music.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

7 Months In

Its been over a month since my last post.  Between family, work, and growing a human I've been pretty busy.  I'm 7 months along now and doing well.  I feel good and Baby B is growing and staying active.

My cousins have been asking for a bump picture so here it is.  I've been very lucky and people have been very kind and lavish with their compliments of my new shape.  Hearing the compliments really helps, especially when I'm not feeling great or feel huge.  Please keep them coming!

I went to a consignment sale last week and bought clothes, blankets, and other odds and ends.  I'm glad there were not a huge selection of gender neutral options as I would have spent a lot more money than I did.  And holy crap babies need a lot of stuff!  We've also got the baby's room cleaned out and will start getting the room ready.  My urge to nest is starting to kick in.

Just over 2 months to go and I know it will be here before we know it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Family Photo & NASCAR

I can't explain why, but I've always wanted us to take an old timey photo.  And my awesome husband and stepson made it happen!  (Because an old timey picture by myself would just be awkward.)

I love how it turned out!  Daulton had so much fun dressing up and I know he looks serious in the picture, but he was smiling the entire time from ear to ear.  Matt had no problem with the serious poses and while it wasn't his idea of a good time, he indulged us both and I love, love, love how it turned out!  (Click on the picture to make it larger if you are viewing this post directly on the blog.)

After our family picture, the boys felt the need for speed and we hit the go kart tracks.  My role was that of photographer and spectator.

We tried one track by our hotel but it was pretty crowded. So we stopped at the NASCAR Speedpark on our way out of town.  The park had 8 different tracks, miniature golf, and some carnival type rides.  I couldn't ride any of the rides, but I had fun watching them had fun and enjoyed the spring sunshine.

After NASCAR we started the long ride home.  We had done everything we wanted to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and I was ready to be back in my own bed.  It was great to get out of town for a few days and I think it was something we needed as a family.  Now I'm curious as to where we will go next year as a family of four!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Shopping, Hillbilly Golf, & The Comedy Barn

Day 2 of Spring Break started with some shopping in Gatlinburg.  We only visited a few shops that interested us and we made a stop at the Ole Smoky Distillery.  Matt was the only one who could sample the moonshine but it was interesting to see the shop.  They also had a wine shop where I found a shirt I will need in about 4 more months!

We bought a jar of peanut butter with chocolate and honey mixed in, elk summer sausage, and duck, alligator, kangaroo jerky sticks.  Can you guess who picked out what?

After shopping, we did some Hillbilly Golf.  You go 300 feet up the side of the mountain to play 18 holes of miniature golf and it was a lot of fun!

The final stop for the day was to The Comedy Barn, a live show in Pigeon Forge, TN.  We got there early enough for Daulton to be selected as a helper during the dog act.  He was really excited to be picked and wasn't nervous at all to be up on stage.  The show was good and we have the DVD, which Daulton would be happy to watch with you!

This picture is a little fuzzy but you can see how excited he is!

This was our last night in Tennessee and after the busy day we had, we were exhausted!  Walking, shopping, miniature golfing, and participating in a comedy show deserved some cupcakes for dessert and a last swim in the hotel pool.  There were no pictures of the cupcakes as I was too busy eating mine to remember to take a picture.  But they were very cute and very delicious!

One more Spring Break post and when you are in Hillbilly Vegas, it only makes sense to make a pit stop at NASCAR on your way home!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break 2013 - Aquarium Trip

After we checked into our hotel, we drove to Gatlinburg and decided to check out Ripley's Aquarium.  We bought our tickets and started checking out all the fish.  We really enjoyed the aquarium and checking out the different kinds of fish.  Matt even bought us a souvenir photo, something I really appreciate as I always forget to have us take family pictures!

There was a huge tank filled with sharks, sting rays, and other fish I can't name.  There was a tunnel with a moving walk way so you can see how big the sharks are up close.  The sharks were huge and I couldn't stop staring at the saw sharks, they were just so strange looking.

The tunnel was great to go through but impossible for me to photograph, stare at the fish, and keep my balance on the moving walk way.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Matt and Daulton from the aquarium.  They both had the same fascination with the jelly fish.

The aquarium had great spots for kids to get in the exhibits.  Its hard to see it in this picture but Daulton is making a funny face as the penguins were passing by him.  If you are reading this in the browser, click on the picture to see it larger.

Watch out for the penguin photo bomber!!

Matt was brave enough to pick up a horseshoe crab.  Daulton and I were not.  Matt and Daulton also got to pet the stingrays.  I did not as I was in the bathroom.  (Being five months pregnant and on vacation meant stopping at every bathroom I saw.)

Daulton found Nemo!

After the aquarium, we headed back to the hotel to let Daulton swim for a few hours and then we headed out for pizza for dinner.  By the time we got back to the hotel we were all pretty tired from the drive, aquarium, walking, and swimming.

Speaking of hotel pools, why are they so loud?  Is it the bad acoustics or the fact that every small child in the pool is constantly shrieking with joy?  I mistakenly thought reading by the pool would be relaxing but Daulton thought it was fantastic and that's what counts.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring Break 2013

This week was Daulton's Spring Break and I took the week off from work and we headed out of town for a few days.  We stopped at my sister and brother-in-law's house in Lexington last Sunday for a quick visit and to spend the night.  Some unfortunate packing on my part left Daulton without clean socks, but luckily he and my sister have the same size feet and she loaned us some socks.

The drive to Gatlinburg, TN on Monday morning was a little overcast but we still had a great view of the mountains.  Once we got near Gatlinburg, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.

We were able to check into our hotel early and we had a nice view of the water.  We stayed at The Inn on the River in Pigeon Forge and it was a great hotel for us.  Matt found a good deal on Groupon for our stay and we liked that it was centrally located.  The guys liked to sit on the patio in the mornings (while I slept in) and watch the ducks.

This trip was the boys first trip to Gatlinburg and my second.  Gatlinburg today is nothing like I remembered it as a kid.  The best descriptions of the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is "Kiddie Vegas" and "Hillbilly Vegas".  There are bright lights and billboards everywhere and instead of casinos everywhere, there are miniature golf and go-kart tracks as far as the eye can see.

There are more posts to come with pictures of the rest of our trip!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Daulton is 9

Daulton turned 9 this week and I can't believe he is 9 years old.  I asked him several times before his birthday if he wanted to be 8 again since that was such a good year for him, but he was adamant that he wanted to be 9.  And he is very excited to be 1 year away from "double digits".

We celebrated his birthday by eating at BW3's and eating birthday cheesecake.  Last weekend, he and Matt went to the NCAA games in Lexington, KY as part of his birthday present.  They watched two games and sadly, watched Butler be defeated by Marquette.  They had a great time and I had a great time getting pedicures and shopping with my sister!

Its hard to believe he is 9.  He's so grown up from the little 3 year old I first met when I started to date his dad.  Now he's a sports loving, playing, talking young man who is very smart, kind, and has such a big heart.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pregnancy Observations

I'm officially at the halfway mark with my pregnancy and I've made a few observations after being pregnant for 20 weeks.

Pants - Maternity pants are my friend right now.  I feel like I've been wearing the wrong pants for years!  Elastic waist bands are amazing and so comfortable.  Trying to fit into non-maternity pants was a game of Russian roulette.  Sometimes the pants would fit and sometimes they wouldn't.  I tried the rubber bands and a belly band but neither were very comfortable.

Naps - Let's be honest, I've always loved naps.  So naps while pregnant are even more amazing.

Ginger Ale & Tums - Ginger ale is a magical drink that I survived on during the first trimester.  Now I don't have nausea but I am starting to get heartburn, so Tums are my new magic tricks.

The bump - After we announced that I was pregnant, I felt like everyone started staring at my stomach. I get it, the baby bump is an outward sign that you are pregnant.  But it felt like everyone was waiting for me to get fat.  I could also have been sensitive because I was in the awkward "I just feel pudgy but there's no baby bump" stage.  Which leads me to...

The pregnancy glow - I think the pregnancy glow is Mother Nature's trick to distract you from the nausea, bloating, gas, constipation, fatigue, and overall feeling of chubbiness.  The more you compliment me on my pregnancy glow, the less likely I am to notice you checking out my bump.

Hopefully the next 20 weeks go as well as the first 20!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Almost Halfway & A Bowling Date

I've been pretty quiet on the blog lately.  I'm either busy in the evenings or too tired to think of anything clever to say.  But I also know one day I will want to remember this time, so I had better write it down before I forget it.

I had my 18-20 week appointment last week and Baby B and I are doing well.  The ultrasound went well and everything is where it should be and he/she is growing.  We still don't know the gender and are still very happy with our decision to wait.  I think I'm feeling some movement but its not consistent enough for me to be sure.  I'm sure I will feel more in the next few weeks.

I'm craving grapes right now and I ate almost 3 pounds in 3 days last week.  We picked up more today and I'm putting a pretty good dent in this batch.  In addition to the grapes, I'm craving yogurt and fruit.  I haven't had any strange food cravings or significant increase in appetite.  Matt and I are both a little surprised I haven't had more cravings.  But I also wouldn't turn down a box of Tagalongs (the Girl Scout cookies) if anyone has any extra boxes!

I've also started wearing maternity pants, which are amazing!  Why do we not wear elastic pants all the time?

Matt, Daulton, and I had a great weekend together.  We watched a basketball game on Friday night and went bowling on Saturday night.  The bowling alley was packed so we had to make do with shoes that didn't really fit the guys and whatever bowling balls we could find.

Please take a moment to admire the final score.  I didn't win the first game but I smoked the boys during the second game.

In the picture below, you can see my handiwork with Daulton's shoes on the right.  His laces were too long so I had to get creative.  I think they make bowling shoes that ugly so no one will steal them.

He talked us into putting up the bumpers for the second game.  They definitely helped out my score.

We are ready for some warmer weather and for baseball to start!



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