Monday, January 14, 2008

Random mix of things

1) We had a big night on Saturday at church. It was C's first time to go to church. I was so excited for him to meet so many people who have been praying for him. It also did my soul good to be there and worship. Also, KJ "graduated" from the nursery and had his first night in "big boy bible class" (aka the Toddler hall). I decided that I really did not care what anyone else thought and I took my camera to take his picture. I mostly got pictures of his back, though, since he ran right in to class before I had time to catch him. Its so sad that he struggles so much with separation anxiety.

2) MY MOM IS HERE!!!!!!!!!! With both boys I prayed from early days of pregnancy that my mom would be here when they were born. The Lord answered that prayer with KJ by bringing him right on his due date so that we could plan. With C he answered that prayer a little differently. My family was already in town to celebrate Christmas when C was born. However, because no one was PLANNING on his arrival my mom was only able to stay a few days after his birth. The only way I could let her leave was her promise to return. And now she is back- the sun is shining again, the birds are singing again, and I think I'm going to make it!

3) Every night RRL and I look forward to our "date". A good friend of the family made us some of her famous chocolate chip cake. This cake is absolutely amazing. Way too amazing to be shared with our toddler. So we wait until after he goes to bed and sit on the couch eating cake and relaxing (and usually holding and/or feeding C). Not sure what we will do when the cake is gone!

4) KJ really loves to sing songs and I love that he is finally able to sing along. He fills in words or sings parts he knows. A recent favorite is the days of creation song. He is like broken record, though, singing "day two, day two, day two, day two" over and over until someone helps him move on. He also really like to sing "The Lord's army". I'm not sure how to explain to him, though, that "shoot the artillery" is NOT a basketball move. To him there is only one way to "shoot" and I'm ok with that.

5) We just got a new washing machine and dryer. They are super duper amazing. RRL and I even fight over who gets to do the laundry.

6) As I look back on the days before C's birth, I wonder if any of the following activities could have induced early labor: Climbing stairs to the nosebleed section at the hockey game (4 days before); walking forever to get free parking and climbing bleachers multiple times at the football game (2 days before); climbing in the two story playscape at church with my toddler (day before...see picture below)

7) I have rediscovered a long lost friend... my FAT JEANS. I bought them after I had KJ and I was sick of wearing maternity jeans. When I finally came to the realization that I may never wear my pre-pregnancy jeans again I bought a pair in a slightly bigger size that still made me feel good about myself. I have rediscovered them post-C's birth and I may wear them every day (at least when I come out of sweats and PJs).

8) C is already stealing the hearts of many. Here is a slideshow of some of his earliest introductions.

That's about it for our little world right now. We continue on in "survival mode" but are so thankful to have two healthy boys.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Welcome home baby brother!

KJ refuses to call his baby brother by name. He calls him "babies" (yes, with an 's') or occasionally "brother," but he will not even repeat his name when we say it. Guess he was voting for a different name? These boys certainly do love each other. Here are a few pictures of C coming home.

The last one is my favorite because I asked KJ to hold C's hand and he started teaching C how to pray (completely unprompted). He held his tiny hand, bowed his head and said "Amen". Now saying prayers is one of his favorite things to do with "babies". I love these boys!


Monday, January 7, 2008

The BIG arrival

WARNING- If you (or your wife) have had particularly difficult labor stories and are prone to jealousy, this post is not for you.

I really wanted to write out some of the details about C's arrival just to remember the day/night. I am still a little in shock that he is REALLY already here (3 weeks early).

On Wednesday afternoon (the 2nd) RRL and I went to my ob/gyn for our weekly office visit. As she has for the last several weeks, Dr. E warned us not to wait around to prepare for our little boy. We all laughed that he could arrive still unnamed, without his room prepared and earlier than his Mommy was ready for. But we've had these same conversations SEVERAL times so I really did not give it much thought- I guess I was in denial. When she said "I doubt I will see you next week," that caught my attention, but still did not bring any real sense of urgency. I did think that maybe I needed to pack so I went to Target, ran other errands and made a list of things to do the next day (Thursday). Before I went to bed I packed and made several other lists for RRL (things to put in the car, people to call when BL2 arrived, instructions for contacting my work, etc). I felt pretty prepared, especially thinking "Now I'll have less to do this weekend to get ready for BL2"...haha!

After all of that it was pretty late before I went to bed- about 12. I was asleep maybe one hour before my water broke (1 am- remember this time). I remember laying there thinking "Oh, this is not happening. Maybe it is something else. If I just lay really still maybe he will wait" (as if it could be anything else). I finally convinced myself to get up and get R (who was still up playing Wii with my brother and my bro's girfriend), but still wasn't moving really quickly. I was just being my planner-self: passing out jobs, making sure KJ was taken care of, getting things packed, making sure someone took my picture (see below), etc. It was RRL who encouraged me toward the car and on toward the hospital. I called a few people (in each 3-4 minute break between contractions), he called a few people and somewhere on the ride we thought "maybe we should call the dr/hospital" (again, maybe we were still in denial).

Once contractions really started (in the car) they were already about 3-4 minutes apart and INTENSE. At the hospital there was a flurry of activity getting us into a room. The nurse started asking registration type questions and I answered as best I could while another nurse started putting in an IV. As the nurse was still registering me and asking what kind of pain medication I wanted, I felt a serious need to push. I asked her (between screams) if it was possible that I already needed to push. It didn't seem possible to me since I was not even fully dilated when we first got there (about 15 minutes before). But she checked and sure enough, our baby boy was on his way. We were in the room about 30 minutes before he was laying on the scale. CCL was born at 2:16am (only 1 hour and 16 minutes start to finish).

No time to get a doctor, no time to get drugs, there wasn't even enough time to finish connecting my I.V. CRAZY! I would have been totally freaked out except that we had an amazing nurse named Tommie. She was completely laid back, totally in control, gave amazing instructions, was perfectly patient with me and just made the whole experience better. When my doctor came in (a little late), she told us that Tommie has probably delivered more babies than all of the other nurses at the hospital put together. It was obvious. The thought never crossed my mind that I should be concerned that there wasn't a doctor present. What an amazing blessing that Tommie was there that night!

Quick shout-out to my nursing friends/readers: You guys are WAY under appreciated. I've had great nurses and pretty terrible ones and really believe that a great nurse really is key to the healing process.

We are home now and adjusting to life as a family of 4 (with LOTS of help from my parents). KJ is the sweetest big brother ever, C is eating and sleeping like a pro (although, just like his delivery, not necessarily at "convenient times").

This post was mostly just so I could have these details documented. In the next one, I'll be sure to give you more of what you really want- pictures of my adorable munchkins. Here are a couple of pics of us right before we left for the hospital (gorgeous, I know).

Thanks again for your prayers!


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Change of plans

I wrote the post immediately following this one at approximately 9pm yesterday. I did not post it then because I was going to go back today and add some pictures. I did not ever get that opportunity or the opportunity to do several other things on my check-list in preparation for BL2 because he decided to make a fast and furious appearance early this morning. I wanted to go ahead and post the updates, though, from Christmas and the updates about BL2 which are quite amusing now knowing that I was already in labor but clueless that he was on his way to us so soon. Despite the fact that the little man drastically changed our plans for the next few weeks, we couldn't be happier. The Lord is good and faithful and His timing is so perfect. I am thankful that He does not listen to me when I think I know what is best and instead orchestrates all of the happenings of the universe to perfection. What a cool thought that the arrival of CCL was a small part of that today.

Soon I'll post more details about C's bday, but I think I will wait until I come out of shock and sleepless stupor to put my thoughts together. In the meantime, thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this special time for our family.

Without further ado, please join KJ in welcoming his new brother.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

In other news...

I wanted to give a Christmas/early 2008 update, but it was important to me to wait until after I blogged about our special anniversary day. I know that all 4 of my readers have been on the edge of their seats waiting for pictures of KJ's Christmas and other happenings. Here are a few updates on our lives over the last week or so:

1) We had an amazing Christmas. It actually started on the 21st and just finished last night. More than a week of crazy Christmas fun! We celebrated with about 50 people from RRL's extended family on the 21st, spent Christmas eve and Christmas morning celebrating as a family of 3 for one last time, spent Christmas day with RRL's family, and we celebrated with my family last night. KJ has loved Christmas. Mostly he loves all of the attention and like to perform for the camera. He says "cheese" and makes the funniest little face (look at his picture from a couple of posts ago). All of his favorite things that he received for Christmas cost less than $5. He loved pulling goldfish crackers and teddy grahams out of his stocking and he LOVES his nurf basketball goal that is hanging in his room.

2) I love that it REALLY wasn't all about the presents for KJ. His innocence and excitement made this year so much fun. Being a parent of a young one also really helped keep everything in perspective for me. I thought a lot about Mary as I watched his face light up and also as I felt the baby move inside of me. I love and am so proud of my children. She must have had those moments as she watched Jesus learn to talk, walk and play. I've never really thought about her as a mommy to a toddler.

3) KJ is now sleeping in his big boy bed. It is the cutest bed, thanks to the "choo-choo train" bedding that Nonna gave KJ for Christmas, but it just looks huge when he is curled up on it. Even though it doesn't really fit, we attached his fisherprice acquarium to make it feel like "home" which seems to help. We did have a couple of nights of rough transition (waking up scared in the middle of the night), and going to bed is still taking a little longer than it did when he was in a crib. However, considering we've only been at it about 4 nights and he is already adjusting, I would call it a success.

4) BL2 still does not have an official name. We have narrowed it down to a top two- Colter and Hudson. Most people vote Hudson which makes me think I might pick Hudson, but then I'm a little disappointed about not naming him Colter which makes me think we'll choose Colter. See where I get stuck?

5) Also on BL2...he seems determined to make an early appearance. I suppose most pregnant women would be thrilled at this prospect, but my over-analytical/ need-to-plan self would really prefer he stick to the date that the doctor gave him. I've tried communicating this to our little guy and obviously do not know yet whether he will listen, but the doctor is pesimistic that he will cooperate with Mommy's plans. Without going into any uncomfortable details, lets just say things are "progressing" enough to make her think he'll be here in the next week or so. Unfortunately, the doctor (nor I) have a crystal ball, so...we wait. I do LOVE knowing, though, that the God who created our little man is in complete control of all the details of his arrival.

6) Is it sad that I am very proud that my wedding rings still fit (most of the time, night is a little different). I'm thankful I haven't had to take them off yet. With KJ I had to quit wearing them around 7 months I think. Maybe the cold weather counteracts the swelling?

7) In not so fun pregnancy news, I have serious heartburn. I did not experience this with KJ and it is DISGUSTING, usually in the middle of the night or right as I am trying to go to sleep. I am addicted to Tums. Who knew they could taste like chocolate?

8) Back to real news...My family is here for the whole week. YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! As part of their visit we went to a Bowl game on New Year's Eve day. My brothers jump team did the skydiving performance, bringing the American flag into the stadium, which was SO COOL. Since KJ wasn't going to the actual game, we took him to see the practice jump the day before. He loved the airplanes and of course he loves his favorite C1C, Uncle D.

9) We spent New Year's eve with some of our favorite people. It was a laid back night of playing games, eating bbq and I wish I had pictures of the fun group that so graciously came to our house so that I would not have to go out anywhere and KJ could be home to go to bed. I am blessed to call them friends.

10) It is truly amazing to me how much happened in 2007. Just thinking about how much KJ has grown and changed is enough to shock me. RRL has had some serious job transitions, we found out about the upcoming arrival of baby boy #2, we've walked with friends through some tough trials and we've celebrated many answered prayers. I cannot wait to see what 2008 holds in store for us and you- keep us updated!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

This weekend RRL and I celebrated the end of our 6th year of marriage. Compared to some of our "heroes" who are in their 30th, 40th and 50th years of marriage, this milestone may seem a bit small and insignificant. However, when I look back over those six years and all that has filled them I am both proud and humbled. God has been more than good to us and that is humbling. We have worked hard through some tough times to grow our little family in the ways of the Lord and in that I take pride. I am proud to call RRL my husband. I am humbled by the fact that the Lord blessed me with someone who is an amazing daddy, an incredible minister, the most fun friend, an inspiring man of God and just my very favorite. I love you, Babe, and I'm glad I get to call you mine!

One of the things I have always loved most about my relationship with RRL is that over the last 6 years we haven't had to spend a lot of money to have fun together. It seems like each anniversary that comes around there is always something more pressing that requires any extra money we might have than doing lavish celebrations. But looking back over the last 6 years I wouldn't trade any of those memories for all the money in the world. Somehow, we have always made our anniversary day one to remember. It is always a day that we treasure as we look back and remember where we've been and as we take time to stop and celebrate the relationship that we have. As a result, I can tell you exactly how we have celebrated each of anniversaries, the memories of each are forever engraved on my heart.

This year was no different. As we are only a few weeks away from welcoming baby boy #2, traveling was definitely not an option for us. Really anything involving much more than just "hanging out" did not appeal to me. Thanks to KJ's Grammy, though, we had more than 24 hours of uninterrupted "us" time and it was amazing. We found a great deal on a hotel in town so that we could escape some of the draw toward responsibility that always traps us at home, had a great dinner laughing and talking, and spent the day visiting some of our hometown's historic sites then going to a hockey game. Nothing very exciting in itself, but because we did it together it was the MOST fun day. Another successful anniversary celebration!!

Here are a couple of pictures of our fun day (and as side bonus- a view of my GROWING belly)

I am excited about many more years with this man!