Sunday, September 22, 2013

Paisley is TWO-riffic

Our sweet 2 yr old

    Birth Stats                 24 Month Stats

                       6lbs. 5.9oz                 26lbs. 8oz (30% for weight)   

                           19 inches long           36 inches long (90% for height)

Less then a week from our return home from the hospital it was time to celebrate 2 years of life with our baby boy.  Last year we had a fairly big party but this year celebrating a week and 1 day after having a baby I decided to scale down on the festivities.  I don't think Paisley noticed.

He is really into trains and tractors right now so we went with a tractor theme.  We had both sets of grandparents, Scott's brother and sister-in-law and their 2 kids over for the party.  My sister was out of town so we had to celebrate with her prior to his birthday.
The cake (chocolate and delicious!)
We had talked up his party all week so the day of his birthday he knew everyone was coming over for his birthday celebration.  We had decorated the kitchen and living room the night before with John Deere balloons, blue streamers, and a "Happy Birthday" banner.  When he first saw the decor he said "oh Wow!" and immediately started playing with the balloons.  We started the day with a birthday breakfast of cherry turnovers, bacon and fruit.  We spent the morning doing whatever he wanted...playing with his toys, watching Thomas, sitting in his teepee and playing chase.
Birthday Lunch
He was still napping as his guests began showing up but we let him sleep until it was time to eat lunch (nobody wants a grouchy birthday boy).  He woke up very happy to see (almost) all his favorites in one place.  Even though burgers are his favorite food, he hardly ate a bite because he was so interested in watching what everyone else was doing.
Time to open gifts!
He enjoyed opening gifts and wanted to play with whatever he opened before opening his next gift.  By the time we got to the cake, he didn't eat a single bite because he wanted to play with his new toys (he did end up eating some cake the following day). It was a great party and Paisley continued to talk about it for weeks.
Playing with his train table

It's been a busy past 6 months for this boy as we have moved and welcomed his baby sister to the family.  Overall he has handled these adjustments pretty well.

He wakes in the morning around 6:30.  He is still in his crib so he will call for Mommy or Daddy to come get him.  He typically asks for a "huggy" (hug) and wants his "blankie" (blanket) to follow him out of his crib.  He instantly wants to eat and will usually get toast/bagel, yogurt, fruit and scrambled eggs.  He loves to have bites of whatever Scott and I are eating, especially if we are eating cereal.

He loves to play with his toys and often asks Scott and I to "pay" (play) with him.  For his birthday we got him a Thomas train table and he'll say "Table, Go?"  This is his way of asking someone to come play at his table with him.  He also got a TeePee for his birthday which he loves to show anyone that comes to our house.
He wants to go outside any chance he gets and if his dad is mowing or on the four wheeler, Paisley wants to be right there with them.  He asks for snacks throughout the day and typically gets raisins or goldfish crackers.  He also drinks like a camel.  He loves ice water and alternates between that and milk.  He gets juice maybe once a week.

He takes 1 nap a day and it usually happens around noon.  He'll want me to sing to him just for a bit, then he'll go lay in his crib.  He will sleep about 1 and a 1/2  to 2 hours.

He loves routines and his nighttime routine consists of brushing his teeth, giving daddy a kiss good night, taking a couple big drinks of water, getting rocked and sang to for about 5 minutes, saying his prayers and down he goes.  I pull his blanket around him and make sure his 2 stuffed monkeys are in bed with him.  He doesn't make a peep when I leave.  He will then sleep the entire night.
He LOVES his table
-He loves to have his stuffed animals "watch" him eat, take a bath, etc
-He has really gotten attached to his blanket, pillow, and stuffed monkey's.  It's pretty much a disaster if he realizes they are not near him throughout the day.  Luckily, he knows they don't leave the house with him unless he is spending the night at Nana's.
-He talks constantly and can and will say any word he hears.  He just recently started saying 2 or more words together.  Scott was getting a little nervous that he was only saying 1 word, but then suddenly he started using 2-3 words at a time.
-He uses the potty 90% of the time.  The other 10% I'm cleaning dirty diapers.  When he is in the bathroom he asks to have the fan on and door shut.  He likes his privacy
-He has started enjoying television.  His favorite shows are Noodle and Doodle, Thomas the Train, and The Chica Show.  I usually let him watch those 3 shows once a day.  They only last about 10 minutes (without commercials) so he is actively watching about 30 minutes of television a day
-He flirts with girls like no 2 year old boy should
-He just recently started voicing opinion about what he wants to wear, asking to wear bear (GAP) or pony (Polo) shirts
-He is polite and uses "please" and "thank you"
-He has an incredible memory and brings up things that happened weeks ago
-He will eat anything, but loves fruit, pizza and tacos.  He's not big on sweets (which makes me wonder where he came from)
-He recently learned that we all have names besides "mommy" "daddy" etc.  He thinks it's hilarious when he calls me "Kare-wa" or Scott "Fee-sha" (Fisher)
-Recently started saying "no" when I ask him to do something (this is promptly followed by a corrective behavior)
-He loves books and wants to be read to constantly.  He favors books about trucks and interactive books about matching and/or finding objects
-He finds his daddy most fun to play with but comes to me for hugs, kisses, snuggles, and lullabies
-He has a little lisp when he says "Yeth" (yes)
-He pronounces his name Pay-zee and his sisters name Li-Wa
Long and Lanky
Little guy surprises with how smart and sweet he can be.  He also has moments that leave me shaking my head and wondering if he has been possessed.  He has a time-out chair that he visits at least once a day for un-kind behavior or throwing a tantrum.  Sometimes I forget that he is only 2 and dealing with some fairly huge life adjustments as he screams blood curdling screams at me because I won't get in his teepee "now."  I'm learning to have more patience and enjoying my time watching my boy figure out his role as big brother.  He's a pretty two-riffice two year old and we love him so much!
His "I'm not listening face"
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Post Pregnancy = Lullabies and Hormones

My babies
Paisley arrived home a few hours after we got home from the hospital.  He was happy to be reunited with his toys and thrilled to have his daddy's undivided attention while I nursed Lila.  Every so often he walked over to me and asked for a "huggy" while scoping out the newest member of the family.  I loved having both of them in my arms.

While Paisley was at his grammies, I couldn't go in his room.  It felt to empty and quiet.  Dang hormones.  Once he was home I felt better going into his room but I didn't like being in the back of the house.  It felt dark and far away from everything.  I wanted the 4 of us in the living room with the TV on and sun streaming in the windows.  As long as this scenario was happening, I (my hormones) was fine.
Getting familiar with her new home

As night fell and it was time for Paisley to go to bed, this is where I started to lose my composure.  Scott took Lila (I think it was the first time she was out of my arms since we arrived home) while I brushed Paisley's teeth and dressed him in his dinosaur jammies.  He seemed so much bigger and stronger than what I remembered.  No longer was he a tiny baby in my mind, but suddenly this boy.  This realization stung as my baby suddenly seemed so grown up.

He asked me to rock him which I happily agreed to.  I wrapped him in his blanket and started singing him Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.  My heart was so happy that I was holding our boy, but I couldn't help the emotions that started escaping from my tear ducts.  I felt guilty.  I felt as though I had some how hurt our boy by not allowing him to be an only sibling (*Note, this is hormones and I could recognize that my hormones were making me think this.  Still, it sucked).  I felt that he would think he wasn't good enough so we had to have another child (see, hormones make you crazy).  It was such an overwhelming sense of guilt that I probably squeezed and kissed him so much that he was relieved when I put him in his crib.
My big boy

Scott could tell I had been crying and immediately became concerned.  I had to laugh because I knew my feelings were ridiculous, but it did feel good talking about it.  He assured me giving Paisley a sibling was one of the best things we could ever do for him. It felt great crawling into our own bed that night and I had forgotten how sweet the sounds of a sleeping infant are.  Lila was asleep in the pak-n-play next to my side of the bed.  She woke up 3 times throughout the night to eat which was expected.  I had forgotten how difficult it is to change a dirty diaper in a dimly lit room while half asleep, but we managed.

Nights were the hardest as even though Scott was next to me in bed, sitting up and feeding our daughter while half asleep, it was so quiet and I was alone with my thoughts and a very hungry infant.  I missed the hospital staff, I missed having visitors pop in to say "hi" and meet our daughter, I missed my family.  As crazy as it sounds, I wanted to be back in the hospital with the hustle and bustle of it all. I didn't experience the crazy dreams of losing Lila in the sheets of our bed like I did with Paisley, but I would wake to the sound of her crying and find myself covered in sweat and damp clothing.  That was an awful to way to wake up and only made my desire of normalcy even stronger.
Success can some days be described as having both children in clean clothes with full tummies

It took about 5 or so days for my hormones to allow the box of tissues to go back into the hall closet and for me to be able to sing Paisley to sleep without showering him in tears.   My last surge of tears came the night before Scott returned to work.  After having a little over a week off, I had gotten used to having him around.  In a joking manner he said, "I bet you are ready for me to go back to work tomorrow."  I immediately burst into tears (of course, why wouldn't I) and went into a dialog about how much I've loved having him around and that I just loved spending time with him and our kids and I was going to miss him so much.  Needless to say, he didn't make any more comments about returning to work and he was happy when non-emotional Kara was back for good.

I internally freaked out a little bit the following day as Scott drove down the driveway and I realized I was alone with 2 kids for the first time ever.  I had never even babysat a toddler and infant before, so this was literally my first rodeo.  I was a little nervous at first, then figured I could handle it.  Naturally the day went fine and we all survived.
Loves of my life
I had put off unpacking my hospital bag because I didn't want to admit that phase of my life (the birth-giving/hospital-staying phase) was over.  As my mental state returned to normal, I unpacked the bag and got caught up on laundry.  Although I do admit I put my hospital pajamas on as soon as they were clean and dry.

A few other things I want to take note of;
-I was extremely happy to learn that it is possible to love your second born as much as you love your first
-A shower and clean clothes can make any day better
-Two babies and zero stretch marks  (Thank the LORD)
-It took 4 weeks post delivery for the swelling in my fingers to go down and my wedding ring to fit
-Having an infant and a toddler, someone is always hungry, going to the bathroom, or just needing a hug
-Cleaning the maternity clothes out of my closet and making room for my normal clothes felt good
-Being a mom to these two little people is the most tiring, hard, messy and most rewarding thing I've ever experienced.  While every second is not easy or always enjoyable, I am thankful for each one of them.
Finding my new normal

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Our Family of Four

"Are you ok to hold her" the nurse asked.  I anxiously shook my head "yes" as I was beyond ready to hold our daughter.  Scott told me she was ready to start eating as she attempted to nurse from him the moment he first held her.  I was happy to hear her instincts had already kicked in and baby girl was hungry!
The father of two
Lila was tucked under a blanket on my chest as they pushed my bed back to my room.  I couldn't believe I was getting to hold our daughter and return to my room so quickly.  This was so different then my delivery with Paisley.  Scott was by my side as we exited the OR and made our way down the hall.  I was anxious to see our son and have our family of 4 together.

I was so relieved to see my mom, sister and sweet Paisley waiting in the hallway.  Paisley had a concerned look on his face but also relief to see his mom and dad.  Despite Scott looking very un-
Scott like, dressed as a surgeon, Paisley quickly    
                                                                                   made his way into his dads arms.

Back in our room, Paisley anxiously looked at me holding "Lila."  If I could've read his mind, I would guess he was thinking "So this is Lila...."  We had talked her up so much in the past couple months that it's hard telling what exactly he was expecting.
"So that's Lila..." thinks Paisley
Scott gave Paisley the "big brother" gifts that Lila had brought for him.  While Paisley was happy to see the new book/trucks/snacks/etc., you could see the gears in his brain turning as he tried figuring out what exactly was happening.  
Gift time!
We were told that Lila had only 1 artery and 1 vein in her umbilical cord at birth and that her cord had been loosely wrapped around her neck once.  Our nurse went on to tell us there was absolutely nothing wrong with her and this news did not mean anything at this point, she just wanted us to know.  Scott and I discussed this information later and he remembered during our anatomy scan, they specifically checked the cord and at the time there was not a concern.  After an extensive search of Google, Scott learned that sometimes one of the veins/arteries (I don't remember which one) can dissolve if the other vein/artery is an over-achiever.  This happens every so often and does not present a risk to the baby.  They said Lila's heart sounded perfect and her wet diapers that she promptly began making reassured us that her kidneys were fine.  As for the cord being wrapped around her neck, that didn't present any problems either.  Had I not been on drugs from surgery at this point, the news probably would have freaked me out more then it did.  Since we found out when we did, I digested the information and moved on.  
She is perfect
As the day wore on, our families were there to meet our daughter.  There is nothing that compares to seeing your mom/dad/sister lay eyes on your newborn baby for the first time.  I am so glad I was more coherent after this birth and was able to witness our families falling in love with our daughter.  Maybe in my mind I knew I needed to be as present as possible to love on our little boy who wondered why mom was laying in bed while the rest of the family was standing around her.  My mind, while focused on our newborn, was also very aware of Paisley and taking care of his needs as best as I could from the confines of a hospital bed and a catheter.  

As my morphine slowly began wearing off, the itching began.  I was warned that this would happen, and it was awful.  My back itched, my face itched, everything on me itched.  It reminded me of a Little House on the Prairie episode where Albert gets addicted to morphine and goes through withdrawal.  I felt like Albert. 
My family
My family spent most the day with us and I was sad when it was time for them to leave.  I loved having everyone in my room loving on my children.  Paisley headed home with Scott's parents.  He had been well behaved and didn't have any problem saying good-bye to us and heading out the door.   I wasn't moved to a postpartum room for a couple hours because my temperature was lurking on the low side (despite me sweating profusely).  This was the worst part of the entire experience because I was hot, sweaty, itchy, and blankets were being piled on me to raise my temp.  I would scratch my back the best I could while being hooked up to the monitors.  I later realized I had broken the skin on my upper and lower back from scratching so hard.  I thought to myself "the next time I do this, I'm bringing a back scratcher."  I quickly realized that unless God is a comedian, this would be the last child I birthed.  
Little Lila
Luckily my sister and Scott were the only ones left when my stomach decided to toss itself into the little pink plastic kidney shaped bowl sitting beside my bed.  Not only did it happen once, but 3 more times as the evening wore on.  While they wheeled me from my old room to my post-partum room (my temperature finally got to 96), I told them they better hurry because I was about to throw up again.  They got me a trash can without a second to spare.  I was happy when the nauseousness stopped and Scott and I ordered dinner from the cafeteria.  He ate pizza, I stomached some yogurt and fruit.  

That first night with your new child is indescribable.  As tired as you are, you hear every squeak and peep the infant makes.  Scott did an excellent job jumping out of bed and bringing Lila to me when she was hungry.  Our room was fairly small so Scott had to sleep on the pull out sofa while I was in the hospital bed.  Following surgery I had to stay in the hospital bed for 24 hours.  I was secretly happy that Scott had to change those first few diapers that contain the tar-like poop.  Don't tell him that though...The nurse popped in every few hours to check my vitals and the nursery nurse popped in to check on Lila.  We let the nursery take her when they needed to do various tests or when the pediatrician was in the nursery, but the rest of the time we wanted her with us.

Overall, I felt great.  So great that after 24 hours of not taking any pain medicine, the nurses strongly recommended that I take 1/2 a pill as I would begin moving around on day 2 and they worried the pain would hit me full force.  Lila was nursing like a champ and the lactation consultant said she was beyond impressed with the number of feedings that Lila was having.  She was also cluster feeding within 24 hours of birth which doesn't happen often.  Little did we know we had quite the eater on our hands already!

Day 2 of our stay and I was unhooked from all the tubes and cords.  I never felt to free!  First on my to-do list was shower as I felt so sweaty from my hot flashes the day before.  I loved putting on clean clothes and brushing my teeth and hair.  I felt human again as I freely roamed the hospital room.  The nurses assisted me the first few times I got out of bed, but soon enough I felt comfortable moving on my own.  I had the absolute best daytime nurse,  she was super personable and enjoyable to have around! 

The pain wasn't bad, but I was a little stiff when I walked around.  The nurse was impressed with my level of mobility and told me I needed to take it easy.  I was determined to get back to normal as quick as possible...I have babies to raise! 

I was happy when all our family arrived and was super happy to see our little guy stroll through the door.  He got in bed with me and happily sat by my side for half an hour.  I had previously worried about his interaction with me after seeing me hold his sister.  Luckily he just acted happy to see me!

She wasn't happy she didn't get to eat any of her cake
Paisley loved all the attention he was getting from both sets of grandparents as well as his aunt and Greg.  He was spoiled with big brother gifts from everyone.  Mom brought me Starbucks so I was a little spoiled too.  The hospital brought in a "birthday" cake for Lila so we had a little party!  I loved having everyone there celebrating our girl.

We moved to a bigger room that had a king size bed.  Scott and I were both happy about that.  After everyone had gone home and it was just the 3 of us, Scott ran to get take out from Hooters.  We were both tired of hospital food and we hadn't ate at Hooters since we were in the hospital with Paisley.     
Big brother passing the time by playing
While we ate we watched our infant daughter sleeping on the Boppy between us.  We wondered what our favorite almost 2 year old was doing.  We were happy to have our daughter and ready to get home and be a family of 4.  We tucked Lila into her baby bed and curled up in an attempt to get some sleep.  Lila didn't cluster feed nearly as much as she had the night before, but she also didn't have any desire to let Momma sleep.  
Lets go home!!
Sunday morning when our wonderful day nurse appeared I asked if we could go home today instead of the following day.  Scott and I were ready to start this new chapter.  A part of me dreaded the first night home without the busyness of the nurses and the constant action of the hospital.  The other part of me knew I would have to face that first lonely night at some point.  (Even though Scott is there, being up at 3:30 am with an infant, in a quiet house, feels very lonely.  That was the hardest part of returning home with Paisley.)  She didn't hide her disappointment of our early departure saying her next parents would probably be bad patients and she loved having us.  She said she would start working on our release paperwork.

We had a couple visitors, Lila had her hearing test (which she passed with flying colors), her newborn pictures were taken, the nursery nurse gave us the run down of taking an infant home, an OB looked at my incision and gave her release, our day nurse went over the final list of do's and don'ts, and we were officially released.  

Scott pulled the car around and carried Lila down while I rode in a wheelchair.  It was actually a bittersweet moment because I was so happy to be going home, but I was sad that I had birthed my last child and this was my final stay in the maternity area of the hospital.  

The sun was out and a blue sky greeted us.  The day looked identical to the day we brought Paisley home.  He was still at Scott's parents house and they would bring him home later.  Just like our drive home with Paisley, we got Subway sandwiches for lunch.  

We pulled in the drive and we were home.  Home with our daughter.  We were home and ready to start the rest of our lives.

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