Friday, September 30, 2011

The 9 month journey

Here it is....what might have been the longest pregnancy known to man. And I made it! Little did I know in that Week 37 picture, that I was about to give birth the very next day. I gotta say, I was a little bummed that she was 1 stinkin' oz. away from being 8 lbs since the boys were both 8 pounders. We were supposed to go to a Labor Day party and I'm telling ya, I'm thinking I would have consumed enough goodies to push her over the line. Guess she didn't want to outweigh her brothers, don't blame her.

I don't want to make the pregnancy sound all horrible. There were things that I really did cherish about it. I loved that the boys were really into having a baby sister growing in my belly. They would pray every night for her and sometimes kiss my belly. It melted my heart. And feeling her move and kick was that subtle reminder telling me "I'm in here Mommy just growing away" in her own little baby language. They were sweet minus at the very end when she was doing her best kickboxing moves inside my belly.

I'm not sure if it was people feeling sorry for me or that I looked so insanely miserable large but everyone was so wonderful to me this pregnancy. My team at work was always looking out for me. They were constantly taking kids off my hands that were trying my patience, going out to recess for me on mega hot days, and watching the boys for me so I could make doctor appointments.

And don't even get me started on the load that my husband had to carry.

I think he's got to be the happiest of everyone that I'm not pregnant about stepping up his game. Countless dinners were cooked, boys were bathed and put to bed and swollen feet were rubbed. He deserves a medal as much as I do for enduring this pregnancy.

In some ways, I'm so relieved that I won't be pregnant anymore. I mean in a I-want-to-burn-my-maternity-clothes kind of way. But in another way, it makes me sad knowing that there won't be any more kicks or flutters felt and the thrill of delivery and all the excitement that it holds won't be experienced anymore. 

But then I look at what we have, and how can I be sad? I'm so thankful for three healthy babies/pregnancies and especially when we didn't know if we would ever be parents at all. What a journey it's been.

My grandmother gave me a book signed by the author called Let me Hold you Longer by Karen Kingsbury. If you're ever in the mood to cry buckets, get this book. CRYFEST! It's a book that reminds parents to not only celebrate all the "firsts" but also the lasts. Don't miss out on the last days of kindergarten, the last drawing that your child makes for you...told ya, cry fest. Whenever I read it to the boys, it's one of those nights that I snuggle them in bed longer than normal. So here I am a mess knowing that it's our last baby. So Landry is being rocked longer when I have loads of laundry to do but I just look at it as celebrating our last. I think we're all holding on longer...

LOVE this pic...yes, my talented husband started painting these of the boys. He's not done yet but don't they look amazing?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

First bath

Oh what started out as something boring....

sure did wake someone up.

In fact, I'd say she got downright mad at us. Let's just say she didn't exactly see it as a spa day.

We saw a little temper side of Miss Laid Back Landry we'd never seen before. 


But luckily the pacifier came into save the day.

***SIDENOTE: we are pacifier challenged in our family. Nolan calls it a "firepasser" and Campbell calls it "a piece of fire" and I'm just in the middle rolling on the floor thinking of all the things we can call this darn thing!

She did get a little miffed again after we took the towel off her.

It was a family affair for sure.

PhotobucketBut I'd say some of my favorite memories of my kids are when they are freshly bathed and the snuggle time afterwards. Yep, nothing beats it.

Except for maybe seeing your husband love it as much as you do. Yes, that tiny little finger has a 6'4" man wrapped around it already. Mush, people, I tell you he's putty in her hands. And I find it adorable.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Nolan

I'm not sure if it's knowing that Landry is our last one or if it's knowing that Nolan is turning six but I'm having this freak out moment with how insanely fast life passes you by. How is it just 6 years ago he was this tiny?

Seeing the similarities of Landry and Nolan is blowing me away. It's like I've stepped into this tripped out time machine that shows me what my child looks like at birth and at 6 but in live action. 

Landry sleeps JUST like this. So in an effort to stop time, I become a mamarazzi and take photos of my children like they are celebrities.

And with one blink, he turned a year. I remember that little orange carrot nose like it was yesterday. 


When I had him, he made my love affair with fall only grow. 

Who am I kidding? Let's just be honest...he made my love for all holidays grow. 

And then I blinked twice and he was two. At two is when I began teaching so I could be with him more. Because let's face it, he was and is my world.

I remember crying so hard when I went back to work having the insane mother's guilt that I was leaving him with strangers at school. But I quickly realized that boys love their mamas and it was my first "a-ha" moment as a mother of what quality vs. quantity meant.

I remember loving him so much that I wanted another one just like him, another boy. 

And I remember those last few months when we were just a family of 3 and savoring every last minute of it.

I was so nervous about how would this only child react to having a sibling in the house. He loved it and seeing him be the brother that he is, is one of my favorite things about him.

 And someday it will break my heart when I don't get to coordinate their Halloween costumes (and it looks like a mighty big possibility this year).

His happiness is contagious. You find enough energy to muster, "DO IT AGAIN, MOMMY!" because you don't have the heart to disappoint him.

And his infectious laughter....don't even get me started.

What I'm most proud of him is his demonstration of love. His "I love you, Mommy" on his own accord melts my heart. And as much as they fight, how he  loves his little brother without a doubt.

And I love his ability to make friends so quickly...a trait he no doubt got from his father.

But sometimes I cringe to look at these pictures and wonder if I've done the best for him. Have I given him enough confidence? Have I not spoiled him? Have I taught him to be a good person?

I know I've made mistakes in parenting, some that make me stay up at night....those moments where you think have I scarred my children?

We are all trying the best we can to mold these little people into humans that make not only us proud but others.

But one thing that I think takes care of all of that is...

Is he happy? Is he loved?

 He is most certainly loved. 

And call me crazy, but he seems pretty happy. 

To my one day grown up Nolie Polie: I hope you know how much you are loved. Since you've come into my life, I've never laughed, never worried so much in my life. You are truly a gift of joy and I can never thank God enough that God picked ME as your mother. I am so proud of who you are already you've only started your journey. I will always love you to the moon and back.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

They call me mellow yellow

The first night home from the hospital with a new baby has got to be the most terrifying experience in least for the first one. I distinctly remember thinking I can't believe that they're going to let us take this baby home from the hospital when we have no idea what we're doing when we took our oldest, Nolan, home. That night I remember crying as much as Nolan did because we were literally up all night. Justin's parents were staying with us to help out but I was too proud scared to ask for help the first night home. So we waited til dawn (because technically it's not the first night anymore?!) and then brought Nolan to them in exchange for a few hours of sleep.

For some reason, the first night with Campbell wasn't as memorable but the first week with Campbell was VERY memorable. He had a terrible time the first week latching on during nursing and it was beyond frustrating and exhausting.

I've been cursed lucky enough with all three of my children to endure them having jaundice. While this isn't anything that we couldn't handle, it was enough to make the first week of their lives even harder than normal because they were hooked up to a "tanning bed" that only allowed us to take them within a 5 foot radius. It's my fault really. Apparently, something about my body doesn't produce milk until five days…happened with all three babies.

The Friday after we had Landry we headed to the pediatrician and when you have drawers full of cute clothes that this girl has been given, you get dressed up for the doctor like it's going to church.

I had a feeling she was jaundice even when we were in the hospital but they said her bilirubin levels were fine. By Friday though, she was really yellow to me. They scanned her in the office and poked her heel. She was exactly the level where the "tanning bed" is considered. So my dr. left it up to me. I asked her if that made me a horrible mom if we just tried the old fashioned way of putting her in the window and took her for walks. The vitamin D from the sun helps break down the bilirubin. Landry had lost nearly a pound in five days so until my milk came in, we had to supplement with formula to make sure she didn't lose any more weight.

So Little Miss Sunshine got her fill of the sun for a few days and luckily my milk came in the very day we took her to the doctor so we only had to supplement for one day.
Good thing she wasn't on lights because we had our first big wave of visitors that included my grandmother and Landry's great-grandmother…better known as Great Grams, all the way from Amarillo.
 Four generations 
  All of Landry's living mothers and grandmothers (minus Rosie who lives in Kentucky)
After all the visitors left, we had some more time "laying out". Thank goodness the triple digit heat has subsided. Funny how that worked out…never got that break when I was walking around 9 months pregnant. The day I go into labor with Landry? It's 85 degrees and breezy. I just knew that a cold front was coming as soon as I gave birth!

The Catch 22 about jaundice is that it makes babies EXTREMELY lethargic and sleepy but the only way to get them to get over the jaundice is to eat and pee and poop it out but they're too sleepy to even eat. Landry was so sleepy that we were using cold wash rags to wake her up and even that barely made her flinch. One time it even took an ice cube to wake her up!

I felt like such a mean mom using an ice cube but the doctor really stressed how important it was to get her to nurse and eat.

When we took her back to the doctor on Monday, her levels had dropped two points! I was so thrilled and so happy that we were able to do it without being on the lights.

In the meantime, we had lots of sunshine time outside.

 And lots and lots of love. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home

The first day in the hospital was non-stop, to say the least. It seemed like every 10 minutes there was a doctor, nurse, hearing test, someone wanting birth certificate information, newborn photos, lactation consultant, etc. It was hard to get much time to just take her all in. And to be honest, that's really all I wanted to do.

Family and a couple of friends came up to visit and see Landry for the first time. That part was the fun part.

The second day, however, was the complete opposite. No visitors, no doctors just a lot of time to snuggle Landry and just stare at her all day. I gotta say, it was kind of weird and lonely and nice all at the same time.

We found out early that my doctor wouldn't be there to come "dismiss" me until after her office closed. So we knew it would be evening before we were out of there. We asked the nurse if we could get things moving on everything else because we didn't want to get home too late and we wanted to make it home before the boys went to bed.

Well, even after being seen by my doctor, things didn't seem to move fast enough. We were ready to go home long before they were ready for us. So in the meantime, we played dress up. This is a first for me since I'm used to just throwing on t-shirts and shorts on my boys and if they're lucky, brushing their hair.

Finally we got clearance to pack up and go home. It seemed to take eternity. I couldn't wait to get home and get started on our new life as a family of five.

 Landry seemed too tiny to even put in the car seat.
 We almost made it to the elevators and Justin reminded the transport guy that Landry still had her ankle bracelet on. Good thing he reminded him because he said all the hospital alarms would have gone off. Glad we didn't have that be part of our going home adventure.

Just as we get her packed in the car and I'm about to take a sigh of relief that we're finally headed home, our car doesn't start! The battery was dead. We have to call the hospital security to come give us a jump. Really? Of ALL days? Luckily, we were only waiting a total of about 5 minutes and a jump was all we needed. This heat has caused us to buy batteries for both of our cars this summer. 


We made it home just before 8:00 p.m. and the boys came running to meet us. I'm bummed because all the pictures turned out really blurry but they were excited to see Landry. After Campbell's reaction to her in the hospital, I wasn't too sure how he'd act once we brought her home.

Once we walked in, we couldn't find Campbell and Justin finally found him in Landry's nursery waiting for her. He was dying to show her her new room. I just thought that was the sweetest thing. We're all adjusting to adding a baby in the mix. I seem to be the one having the hardest time and that's only because of the sleep deprivation. Even though we just did the newborn thing with Campbell just three years ago, it still is a shock to the system. Everything else seems to be fitting in just fine. The boys are great with her, she's healthy, feeding great and such a good baby. What a blessed life we have.


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