Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fitting it all in

I distinctively remember a particular Saturday about 6 months ago when the thought of, How am I going to do this with three kids? popped into my head. The soccer games, the birthday parties, grocery shopping, and laundry fill up our Saturdays and weekends to the point of feeling like I need another weekend just to recoup from the weekend!

And this particular weekend was just like that. First off, Nolan's soccer game. I went sporting my soccer mom shirt (compliments of my husband) to be the loudest cheerleader for my Nolie Polie.
I absolutely love that he looks over to the sideline after making a goal and I make sure to show my biggest you-are-a-total-soccer-rock-star-and-I-am-so-proud-of-you face.

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I'm pretty amazed at Campbell's ability as a three year old to sit and watch a game for an hour. As long as we bring some snacks, the boy just acts like he's watching a movie. Having his Daddy on the sidelines doesn't hurt to keep him entertained during half-time.


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And as for Landry...well, she seems a little bored at the games.


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Soccer game...check! Next up, a birthday party that we're already running late for. But this is one that we can't miss. It's for some close friends of ours who have been so wonderful helping us with getting the boys to and from school while I'm on maternity leave. Plus, it's was a build-a-bear party!

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Nolan since the time he was a baby, has been a very tactile child. He loves soft things and discovers things by touching them. So while stuffed animals are on my list of disgustingly dirty toys, we have a ton of them because he plays with them constantly and giving away one of them would be like giving away a family member.


Let me mention that while this party was going on, I was discreetly nursing Landry out in the mall. So I missed all the fun but glad that Justin was there to document it. And might I also add that Nolan, on his own accord, picked the TCU t-shirt for his bear and appropriately named him Froggie. GO FROGS!


Campbell must have had a premonition that the Rangers were going to the World Series. He named his bear Ranger, although he calls it "Tekas Rangers".


And whoever invented Build-a-Bear is a genius. Seriously, the possibilities are endless with these outfits and accessories.


It was a blast of a party and I'm feeling really cheap that we gave away Lego crayons and a coloring sheet for our party favors now.

Birthday party...check!

Next up, a quick nap and the pumpkin patch.

That's when we realize that the pumpkin patch is just not going to happen that day. After two big events, and waking up with a newborn baby in the middle of the night, this mommy and daddy are running on fumes.

So when I look back to that Saturday 6 months ago wondering how I was going to fit it all in, I had an epiphany, I'm not! I'm going to do what I can while still being sane and then call it a day. So far, my sanity is still in tact. Ask me again though on Halloween weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We keep ourselves entertained

I think I might have the funniest children ever. There are numerous times that they get me laughing so hard every day. Here are some really short clips that I was lucky enough to catch on the camera.

If there's one thing our family LOVES to do, it's dance. We break into dance at the dinner table (I know it's not the best example we're setting), in the grocery store, just about anywhere we feel the need to bust a move. So I'm happy to see my 6 week old daughter at the time can fit in perfectly with our family. Who cares if she's bobble head beat boxin', sister has some rhythm!

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Both boys are extremely protective of Landry and seeing them into her just melts my heart. All those boyfriends better watch out for two older brothers and one tall daddy!

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And here's my Campbelloni just loving on his sister. I just love his eyes. They help him get away with A LOT!My favorite part are those platypus lips of his puckering up for his sister.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Our new normal

Adjusting. That seems to be the best word to describe the last 6 weeks of our lives. You'd think with it being our third that we wouldn't even blink an eye when it comes to sleep deprivation but I think even when it's your 5th or 6th (not that we'll EVER know), it still stings.

But seriously how can you hold it against her?  Especially when you get this greatness and cuteness all wrapped up in one tiny little girl.


Houston, we have smiles and we are loving them. You should see how obnoxious we can be and how high we can both talk to get one of these toothless grins flashed back at us. 


 Hi, I'm Andrea and I'm addicted to dressing my baby girl up like she's a doll. Yes, it is an addiction. Yes, I need help. Yes, I will go bankrupt. 

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 I'm in disbelief how much my boys love this little girl. I know, I know things will change will she starts grabbing their toys but for now, I'm enjoying every single non-fighting loving snuggle moment.


 Campbell calls her "Landry girl" and runs to give her a pacifier (or "piece of fire" as he calls it) or pat her on the head when she's crying. He will not let her fuss.


And everyday day when I pick up Nolan, he asks how Landry's day was. Actually he asks how "Princess Poopy Pants" was. I'm sure she'll love that one when she grows up. 


 Their curiosity of her just melts my heart. Nolan in particular is fascinated with how he looked as a baby. So you know what that means...scrapbooks! For years I've been wondering why I'm doing this to myself trying to keep up with their books. I keep thinking, I just spent three hours on this spread and no one even looks at it and boys could care less about scrapbooks. Some days it's so much fun to scrapbook and other days it seems like torture and I'm just slapping pictures down not even caring, but seeing Nolan study each page intently makes me realize all those hours were worth every second. He even studies Campbell's scrapbooks...


I'm glad that Nolan looks at his because Campbell will take a two second peek and then take a break for a good game of bowling. The interest from Campbell hasn't quite gotten there yet...maybe one day.

One thing that's coming easy and requires no adjustment is the snuggling. The only adjustment required is the time lost to other things because of all the cuddles and staring. So my laundry is piling up, my scrapbooks are a year behind, and the dust looks like snow falling in my house but I can say that we're soaking it up, baby. 

 I look back at Nolan's years when all I had was my little point and shoot camera and I wish I would have taken more pictures. Although the kid has thousand more photos than me, it still doesn't seem like enough to remember how little he was and how fast it goes. So let's just say, that I'm making up for it now. 

 In the midst of all the adjustment, we're trying to find time for the normal things we used to do. I almost laugh when I say normal because I can't remember the last time we played outside because it's been so blistering hot this summer. You know it's bad when your oldest says, "I think our playground's feelings are hurt because we never play on it anymore." 


Let's just say that our playground has felt the love lately.


And I'm determined to teach this boy to ride his bike without training wheels. One way or another, it's going to happen. 

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While I'm at it, I better get Campbell's feet to reach the pedals on this tricycle because my back is going to go out if I keep this up...
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Some days our new normal seems like a piece of cake and I hardly notice the difference. Other days, I think I need three of myself to get it all done. It's a constant ebb and flow trying to figure out our new life. While there are hair-pulling days, the heart-wearming days far outweigh them.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Word of the Day : Mastitis

Thursday night, Landry went a 6 hour stretch without feeding. Normally when I hit this milestone as with the boys, I'm doing a happy dance and singing Hallelujah Jesus! like I'm in the church choir because this mama loves her sleep. Well, not so much this time. My breasts were engorged so I nursed Landry and put her back down to sleep.

When I went back to bed, I started uncontrollably shaking for over an hour. Sweatshirt, t-shirt, pajama pants on with two blankets on shivering like it was 20 degrees in my room. Now looking back, it's apparent that I was running a fever but I didn't know at the time. After shaking and being tense for that hour, my back and head were starting to hurt. I woke Justin up and told him something was up and what was going on.

He got me a hydrocodone that I had left over after delivery. After a little bit, I fell asleep and he went to work because I was fine. I woke up at 8 a.m to feed Landry again, with no problems. I still wasn't feeling great so I went back to sleep again with Landry next to me in bed. When I woke up at 11, my back was hurting so before I could take another pain pill, I knew I needed to eat something or I would be dizzy.

Too late.

As I was pouring my cereal, I had to catch myself on the kitchen counter because I felt like I was going to pass out. I was home by myself with the baby, so I ran to the bedroom so that in case anything happened to me that I was next to her and not in the other room. I called Justin immediately and told him he needed to come home because something was really wrong and was crying. As I'm talking to him the pain in my back goes through the roof and feels like someone is stabbing me and twisting a knife in my back and I'm screaming on the phone. He asks if he should call 911, but I told him that I couldn't let them in the door even if they came. Unfortunately, Justin's work is a good 30-40 minutes away. He hurries home.

I called my sister to make sure that I'm talking to someone in case something happens to me and I'm screaming like a total lunatic because of the pain. I can't tell you how scary it was being by myself with her and being unable to take care of her. I'm sure that she felt so helpless, she was almost an hour from me and her phone was about to die.

When I called to check where Justin is, he's still a good 15-20 minutes away and I told him I didn't think I could make it. So he calls 911 whether I wanted him to or not.

Meanwhile, I was supposed to feed Landry right when I woke up but the pain was so intense that I couldn't. I knew as soon as 911 got there, they were going to want to take me in so I'm cried on the bed in pain trying to nurse Landry while lying down. I swear four minutes later, they're knocking on my door. I didn't want them to kick in the door so I'm literally trying to do a walk/crawl to the door and screaming, "I'm coming!"

When the EMT and firemen got to the house, I told them there's a newborn baby in my room and one of the firemen goes to get her and all these big, tough firemen and EMT men are oohing and aahing over my baby girl. It was priceless, but can you blame them? She has a way of making grown men turn into mush.

Exhibit A:


Moving on...

At this point we're all thinking that it's some epidural complication b/c of the severe back pain and the migraine (never had a migraine before but I'm pretty darn sure that was one). Justin comes home and has Landry.

So they take me in by ambulance because I'm in a fetal position in a chair right by our front door. And all the while I'm thinking, "OMG, how much is all of this going to cost us?"

When we get to the ER near 12:30, my temp is only 99.5. After I show him where the back pain is, he says that it's not because of an epidural because that's not even where I get an epidural. They run some tests and get my pain under control and the doctor looks at my breasts and says that it's mastitis. Meanwhile, now it's nearly 1:00 and I was supposed to feed Landry at 11:00. So there went another 6 hour stretch that Landry went without eating. I'm pretty much knocked out on the hospital bed and Justin maneuvering her on the bed to nurse on me.

The blood work came back that I had a slight infection but the doctor said I should feel a lot better in a day after being on antibiotics and make sure that I feed, feed, feed Landry but we were free to go. The nurse came to do one last check on my vitals. Everything looked good but my temp was 103.1! The nurse wasn't sure if the doctor would let me go but he said yes, I just needed to get it the antibiotic filled and in my system.

We had friends helping with the boys so we needed to get home to them and plus I had a crazy old lady next to me cursing at the doctors and hitting nurses so I wanted OUT OF THERE!

At 5:00 pm, we filled the prescription immediately and headed home after picking up some much needed food. I hadn't eaten all day! Once I had the hydrocodone in me I felt much better.

The next 48 hours, included fevers 103, 104 and even once 105. As soon as I'd take the hydrocodone, I'd be fine but as soon as it wore off, it would spike right back up. I called my OBGYN on-call doctor since it was the weekend and she said to alternate between ibuprofen and the hydrocodone. I took Advil and it did absolutely nothing so then I went back to the hydrocodone but taking two instead of one and that seemed to do the trick but I had to take it every four hours. I had to use a warm compress before every feeding, feed her for 45 minutes to an hour to make sure she emptied the breast, then put a cabbage leaf (to help with the inflammation), and then start the whole thing over again because it was time to feed her again. It was seriously the worse.weekend.ever.

Finally, it was Monday and I didn't feel any better and then was beginning to see a rash on my right breast. I called my OB and they fit me in. Of course they confirmed that it was mastitis. My two options were to go to the hospital to get IV antibiotics or get a rocephin shot, a high powered antibiotic shot. I chose the shot of course not wanting to bring Landry to a hospital if I could prevent it. She couldn't believe they let me walk out of the ER with a fever, much less 103!

The nurse gave me the shot and warned me it would really hurt and sting. NO KIDDING! I could hardly walk out of that office. I went home immediately and got on a heating pad because it hurt so bad but late that night I felt slight relief. Since that shot, I haven't run a fever. I now feel like an absolutely new person. Besides an epidural, it was the most painful shot I've ever gotten (believe me, I've had a lot of shots the last 10 months of my life) but it was worth the pain!

Right when all this hit, it also affected my milk supply. So now I'm trying to get my milk supply up. I'm the look out for fenugreek, eating oatmeal and drinking lots of water. If you have any other successes getting your milk up, please share.

That was a really expensive stretch of sleep I got from Miss Landry!

So I'm really behind on photos! Sorry! I'll try to catch up! And since I have a ton of pictures to catch you up on before all this went down, here are some of my recent favorites and me and my sweet girl.


She makes me forget all about this painful week. Again, another hardship in our lives but another thing checked off our "worth it" list.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

The girl effect

Embarking on this new journey of motherhood has sparked a lot of emotions. I'm about to experience a newfound relationship with a daughter that I haven't been able to experience with only having boys up until this part in my life. I have so many things that I hope to share in our bond with each other. I have a dream about our relationship that I want so desperately for it to be and I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure it's a healthy, loving one.

There are so many things that I want her to know and I find myself already making mental notes of these to make sure I tell her through the years.

All photography below beautifully captures Landry at exactly one week old and were taken by the very talented Kim Martin. Kim, I will forever treasure these photographs and they will always have a special place in our home and in our hearts. Thank you for these pieces of art of our family and our beautiful daughter.

Here are some bits of random pieces of advice to Landry I want to share and a thing or two I've learned through the years...

1. The happy girls are the prettiest ones.

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2. Don't be afraid to try something new and take a leap of faith even when you're scared. "You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."


3. Expect the best from life and that's what you'll get.

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4. Make snow angels, catch lightning bugs and wish on stars and stay up to watch the sunrise because life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.


5. Do what you love. And if you want to know where you heart is, look to where your mind wanders.


6. Accept what you can't change, change what you can't accept.

7. Know that beauty has everything to do with how you feel about yourself and nothing to do with looks or other people's opinions.

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8. God doesn't give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given.


9. People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.

10. Happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather recognizing what we do have.
  
11. Golden Rule: Would you like you, if YOU met you?

12.  Apologizing does not always mean that you're wrong and the other person is right. It just means you value your relationship more than your ego.


13. Be thankful for what you have and you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.

14.  Just because today is a terrible day doesn't mean that tomorrow won't be the best day of your life, you just have to get there.


15. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.  - Dr. Seuss

The journey of being a mom of a girl is exhilarating and frightening all at the same time. There's something about knowing that I'm about to mold this little human and I want so much for her to be happy, self confident and compassionate toward others. Making sure that I have the right "recipe" to mold that human, so to speak, is a lot of pressure. While the pressure may be intense, the love just comes so easily, so I'm hoping that is the main ingredient.

And in honor of celebrating having a daughter, I want to share a video of the power of girls and all that the strength and power they possess. It's for a cause I feel strongly about...The Girl Effect. Just another reason to show that girls really do rock.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nolan's 6th Lego party

Something really really bad has happened. I mean really bad. I've had friends tell me over and over again that I need to check out Pinterest. First of all, I wasn't even sure how to say it. How was I going to find time to add something between being a mom of three, working full time, scrapbooking, photography, and blogging. I'm having a hard enough time finding time to use the restroom, frankly.

But sadly, I fell for one of those c'mon-everyone's-doing-it-mom-pressure moments.  And I gotta say, you people are evil. I'm completely hooked and I don't have time for this!

But on the positive side, it streamlines what I was already doing by searching online for ideas when it comes to scrapbooking, photography, and the kids' parties. So REALLY, it's saving me time, right?

Hey, stop snickering.

Oh and it's been a little guilty pleasure of mine looking at my Pinterest app while I'm nursing at 3:00 a.m. and I've found myself staying up long after Landry has hit her milk drunk state of mind still looking at the darn thing!

Follow Me on Pinterest

All that to say, I have enough ideas for the kids' birthday parties until they're 21. Justin recently found the website called Let's Build it Again, that gives Lego instructions from the 80s and even further back. I think my husband has every single toy he ever possessed as a child in our attic. Can you say toy hoarder? So the boys have been going nuts building Legos with Daddy.

So I already knew I wanted to do a Lego party for him and then finding bags that looked similar to this got the whole thing going.

Figuring out party favors that weren't going to cost a fortune by buying every kid a Lego set was a dilemma until I found this cute mold on Ebay. Not only did it solve the problem of party favors. It helped solve the problem of what to do with the cake since our infamous cake lady isn't doing birthday cakes anymore. 

Don't worry we did the Lego candies BEFORE we did the Lego crayons. My mother-in-law, Julie, unwrapped probably 100 crayons and we sorted them into like colors and broke them up.  Poor thing is always put on duty when it comes to Nolan's party. Last year, she was rolling out cookies for me while I was at work.

Note to self: DO NOT microwave crayons for 10 minutes like the directions online said.  There WILL be a crayon explosion in your microwave. It was more like five minutes. I microwaved them and then put them in the freezer to help turn them solid.
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They turned out SO cool!


Justin took the Lego minifigure he created from the invite and made it into a coloring page. 

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And we slapped on a tag that said Thanks for "building" memories with Nolan. We also reminded parents that these were crayons since we had Lego candies on our cupcakes and didn't want any kids munching on crayons.

We packed up our goodies and headed to Let's Jump and the kids were loving it.




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Campbell is going through this crazy phase right now with his hair. We discovered that he looked like a mix between Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber and Julius Caesar when he got his hair cut. So we're in a trial and error phase with his hair and we're growing it out. We'll see how it goes. 


So they may not be cake lady worthy but there was a lot of labor and love that went into making these Lego candies for the cupcake toppers.
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And I blinked again and just like that, my oldest blew out candles for his 6th birthday. 

Nolan was completely spoiled with enough Legos to keep him preoccupied for the coming months. This boys is really good at following "constructions" (instructions) to put these things together. Wish he would follow my directions as well. 

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The kids were all so great and hopefully we gave parents the gift of nap time or at least down time after such an energetic party.

Landry didn't make an appearance to Nolan's party since she was not even 3 weeks old at the time. My mom and sister watched her for us. Bounce house places aren't exactly on the Top 10 of the most sanitary places on the planet. Good thing, because one whole family of five came down with strep along with Nolan for the second time in a month. I'm pretty sure that I might have it too. 

Guess we're building up Landry's immunities REALLY early!
So it's another year come and gone in Nolan's circles of the sun and I'm in disbelief as he launches into his 7th lap. 
Happy Birthday Nolie Polie!

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