Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mother Hen

We finally got to go home from the hospital today with baby Gretchen, and Reese immediately showed that she is ready for her role as big sister. As soon as daddy pulled up to the doors of the hospital, Reese grabbed up the carseat and started to carry her little sister to the car. Though she seemed to have a hold of the carseat pretty well, I broke it to her gently that she could not carry the carseat. We got Gretchen into her seat and then quickly loaded all of our bags and belongings into the trunk. When I returned to the car to buckle the kids into their seats, I found Reese situated in the middle of the backseat, so that she could keep an eye on her baby sister. As we drove away, Reese kept me informed of everything that Gretchen was doing. At one point Gretchen started crying and Reese began to sing a song that she made up as she went. I was so proud listening to her singing about her sister being a beautiful girl and telling her to go to sleep. When we got home, she wanted to immediately get Gretchen out of her seat and into her bed. I convinced her to leave her be since she was already sleeping and asked her to help me get some things organized around the house. She gladly helped me to go through all of her old baby clothes and sort them by type (onesies, dresses, pajamas, outfits). When we were finished with that, she also helped me to get out and clean all of the bottles and feeding items. We finally left the house the other day to get a few groceries. All three kids were sitting in the backseat and again Reese was more than happy to help out. She started again by giving me a report of every move that Gretchen made. Then she decided that Gretchen was too warm with her blanket covering her. Two minutes later, she was cold and needed the blanket back. Then she started to cry, so I gave Reese the bottle and asked her if she could feed her. Aidan was devastated that he did not get to help, but was satisfied that he could give her the binky when she finished her bottle. Gretchen did not eat the bottle very well, so Reese gave it back. Then she started to cry again and Reese wanted to try the bottle again. She just had to be doing something with Gretchen the entire ride into town. Randy and I have been wondering what to expect of the car trip we have planned to Indiana (6 hours away) to see family in a few weeks. I'm almost thinking that we could go without any of our usual road trip paraphernalia (video games, movies, crayons, books and toys) because the kids will be so busy watching, playing with and helping with taking care of Gretchen.

Sister's Day

With Mother's Day already past and Father's Day coming up quickly, Reese had a valid question, "Mommy, when will it be Sister's Day and everybody can buy me presents?" My answer, "There is no such thing as Sister's Day, but your birthday is coming and I bet that you will get lots of nice things for your birthday."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Reese's 5th Birthday Bash

Our oldest daughter Reese turned 5 last week, and we had several celebrations planned to mark the event. First, we planned on going out to lunch at Happy Joe's on her actual birthday, June 7th, when my husband had a work conflict. I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that afternoon and began to think that if my midwife induced labor, I was five days from my due date, I would not be very comfortable or willing to go out to dinner. As a result, we decided to celebrate her birthday with a family dinner the night before. We went to Happy Joe's per Reeses' request and the kids had a blast playing all of the games and collecting tickets for their prizes. After eating too much pizza, they delivered a birthday sundae to our table and the entire restaurant joined in singing, "Happy Birthday!" to Reese.
The very next day, I went into labor with our third child! Besides getting a "Happy Birthday", the poor girl did not get the celebration that this much anticipated birthday deserved! She did get to go out to dinner at the restuarant of her choosing (Chik-Fil-A) and go shopping with her grammy, which made her feel pretty special!

We had planned to hold a birthday party with my in-laws that weekend, so after getting home from the hospital, we went into full party prep! Actually, most of the preparations had been done long in advance, so it was just organizing the house after bringing home a truckload of stuff with us from the hospital!

Reese absolutely loves the movie "Tangled", so we decided on a Rapunzel themed party. I started with the invitations several weeks ago. Being pregnant, crafting invitations was a perfect activity to keep me busy while spending the evenings with my feet propped up. I combined 2 different invitation ideas that I found on Pinterest to create our own unique invitation.

Another project that I worked on while propping my feet up, was the banner. I used a cut out of the sun motiff and attached it to a piece of purple cardstock. I then strung the cards together with yarn and hung them throughout the house. We also had several different types of purple paper lanterns hanging in different areas of the house.

My banner was inspired by this one on Pinterest.

Finally, we put together a cupcake "cake" inspired by a cake I also found on Pinterest.

I baked a batch of cupcakes and frosted them all in green frosting and arranged them all on a platter. I then frosted the edge of an ice cream cone and placed another one on top. I added the cone castle to the cupcakes by using a toothpick inserted into the cone and cupcake. While I rolled out a few pieces of banana laffy taffy to make the hair, I gave my daughter a package of edible flowers to add to the cupcakes and tower. Finally, using some frosting, I attached the laffy taffy braid to the tower and draped it through the cupcakes.

The birthday girl was completely spoiled by our wonderful families. Though she ended up having to share the birthday spotlight with her new baby sister, I think that she ended up having a perfect birthday!

Gretchen's Birth Story

Randy had left early on the morning of Thursday, June 7th, leaving the tv on for the kids to watch so that they would not wake me. I got up around 7 and found both kids in the living watching tv. We snuggled and watched tv for awhile, like we usually do until we are ready to eat. While I was preparing cereal for the kids, I had to stop to catch my breath during a powerful contraction in my stomach. We finished eating without incidence. I was feeling extremely tired, so rather than go outside to play, I convinced the kids to go to the basement toy room to play so that I could rest on the couch. The kids kept trying to ask me questions and show me things, and I answered incoherently and watched with one eye open. I felt another contraction or two, but they were very far apart. Eventually, both kids ended up getting their pillows and blankets and lying next to me just watching cartoons. I felt horrible because it was Reese's birthday and I wanted her to have a special day, but I just could not stay awake! Around 10:30 I decided that I needed to start getting ready for my doctor's appointment. Reese and I took a shower and got dressed. Then I prepared some lunch. When we had finished eating, I packed the kids into the car to drop them off at grammy's while I went to the doctor. I dropped them off a little early so that they would have time to play with their cousins rather than just going straight to nap. I drove into town as I had a little bit of time to run a few errands before my doctor appointment. As I was walking the aisles, I noticed that I was hanging onto the cart more frequently to get through a contraction. Time went entirely too fast and before I had finished my list, it was time to head to the doctor. I checked in and left my urine sample and waited to be called back. When I was called back, I had trouble keeping up with the nurse as I had a contraction walking down the hallway. She took my vitals and asked how I was feeling, and I revealed to her that I had been having contractions. She gave me a gown and told me that the midwife would definitely want to check me. So I put on the gown and waited what seemed like forever for the midwife to come in. When she finally came in, she asked, "Are you ready to have this monster baby?" in reference to the large size baby we were expecting from the previous weeks ultrasound. I said yes and told her that I was having irregular contractions. She checked my belly and listened to the heartbeat and said that she could see the contractions in my belly, which was very reassuring to me. When she checked me, she said that I was dilated to a 4 and about 80% effaced. I asked her when I should call to go to the hospital as I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to get in the antibiotics that I needed for the Strep B which I carry. She said to wait until the contractions were stronger and taking my breath away, because I was able to breathe through them during our visit. She also said that she would warn the midwives on call that I would probably be in in the next day or so. She gave me a check out sheet with instructions to set up an appointment for the next week just in case. While trying to schedule the appointment, there were some difficulties finding a time for an ultrasound, so I called my mom while I waited. I informed her that I was dilated and having contractions and expected to deliver that night. I told her to go ahead and head to the hospital when she was finished with work. When I hung up with her they had finally scheduled a time for an appointment for me the next week. I had planned to stop at a few other stores on my way home, but decided to go straight home to get my things together for the hospital. I called my husband on the way home and informed him that he needed to head home soon or I was likely going to be heading to the hospital by myself. He promised to get home as quickly as he could, he was still 1.5 hours away from home! I called my mother-in-law and asked her if she could drop the kids off at another family members house as I was in labor and headed home to go to the hospital. She agreed and then asked if I needed a ride to the hospital. I told her that her son was headed home to take me, unless I felt that I needed to go before that. When I got home, I finished packing all of the items that I thought I would need for the hospital. Then I gathered a few different things (clothes and swimsuits) to drop off for the kids. I gave the house a final once over to make sure everything was clean and put away. Then I wrapped a gift for a shower we were to attend that weekend. Finally, I sat down to check my email and watch some tv. My husband finally got home around 4:30 and jumped into the shower. By 5 we were in the car and driving to the hospital. I called my mom and she was on her way, she had taken off an hour earlier and was about on pace to beat us there. I called the midwives office and told them that my contractions were 3 minutes apart and much stronger and I was headed to the hospital. The nurse began to question me and made a comment about my previous labor being 10 hours long. I argued back that I needed the antibiotics and barely got them in before my last delivery. She immediately responded that I should get to the hospital and good luck. We pulled into the hospital right behind my mom and entered the emergency room to check in. Though I had pre-registered, they asked me all of the registration questions again and then sent me on to the labor and delivery floor. We made our way to the 5th floor and got stuck behind several visitors before finally making it to the triage room we were assigned. Once I changed the midwife came in to introduce herself. She revealed that they had not been able to find my chart, so she began questioning me about my previous deliveries and hooking me up to the monitors. Finally, a nurse came in and began filling out my information on the computer. Unfortunately there was a glitch and we had to start all over again. We were just about finished when the midwife came in and asked when I was going to tell her about the strep B? They finally moved me to a delivery room and started my IV, stating that they like to have the IV in for four hours before delivery. I was about ready to push and they were talking about making me wait 4 more hours! Then a technician came in to draw blood. He took what seemed like forever! While he was there they talked amongst themselves and realized that the baby would need a heel stick to check blood sugar because of high birth weight anyway, that another stick for Group B strep would not be a big deal. So the midwife said as soon as the technician was done she would break my water. Time seemed to stand still as the technician finished his job and had me check and recheck my name on several vials of blood. He finally left the room and the midwife prepared the hook to break my water. After they broke my water, I shifted to a kneeling position on the bed for a couple of contractions until I felt ready to push. I settled back into a lying position on the bed and began pushing with the very next contraction. After the head came out, they asked my mom if she wanted to catch the baby. She did, so she turned to begin putting on gloves. As she was turned I began to push and she turned back, pulling on her glove just in time to catch the baby and slide it onto my chest. They turned to Randy and asked him if he wanted to announce the sex and he said, "It's a boy!" It was what I expected to hear and then the midwife told him to check again. From his vantage point looking at her from the backside, he mistook the swollen labia as a scrotum and the umbilical cord for the penis, we actually had a girl! Then they wanted to know the name. I looked at Randy to make sure that we were on the same page as we had had second thoughts in the last few weeks, then I announced that she would be Gretchen Lauren. Everybody began to congratulate us and went on and on about what an easy delivery it had been, I only pushed for 12 minutes! I got to hold her while everyone continued their work around us. We got a quick family picture! When they had finished they took her away momentarily to get her measurements, she weighed 9 pounds 8 ounces and was 21 inches long! Finally, everyone left the room and we were alone to just be with our little girl and take in all of the events of the evening. I feel totally blessed with my two guys and my two princesses!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Maternity Fashions

January 2012- 22 weeks
Spring Break- March 2012- 29 weeks
May 2012- 36 weeks

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nesting Overdrive

I have been off of work for a full week and I was determined to keep active rather than relaxing with my feet propped up. Now that I am at 38 weeks, my thoughts are that keeping active will encourage the baby to make his or her appearance sooner rather than later!
Monday was Memorial Day and we spent most of the day hanging out at my in-laws pool. It was great to be able to play with the kids, but be able to relax and stay cool at the same time.
While the kids napped on Tuesday, I started going around the house gathering items that I plan to sell at a garage sale later this summer. During the cleanout of my craft room, I came across 2 scrap pieces of fleece that were perfect for a project I pinned on Pinterest. I pinned this tutorial for car seat pillows several months ago and with a lot of travelling planned this summer, I really wanted to complete this project. The instructions were very easy to follow and I would have had both pillows done in one naptime, but I did not have velcro on hand.
Wednesday, my husband was out of town, so I tried to take it easy, I didn't want to go into labor when he was several hours away. I worked on school work for my summer class while the kids played outside. That evening we went to town and ran a few errands, to purchase supplies to work on a few projects on my to do list. We also purchased and put together a few deck boxes to store our patio cushions in.
Thursday was rainy and gray. Rather than sit around the house watching movies and tv, I pulled out the gallon of oops paint that I finally purchased for my son's room and got to work. You can see a before of the room here. I took time off that afternoon to go to the doctor and received the disappointing news that I was not even close to going into labor. That renewed my energy to finish the painting that evening after dinner!
Friday, I finished painting my son's room and then took the kids to walk around the zoo. We walked for at least 2 hours before heading home for lunch. While the kids napped that afternoon, I worked on cleaning the house. That evening we went out to dinner and a party to celebrate my father-in-law's 15 years of service.
Saturday we attended my daughter's last soccer practice/game and then spent several hours running errands and getting groceries. That evening I spent several hours in the kitchen preparing 5 loves of stromboli. We planned to take some out on the boat with us the next day and then I figured that we would have a few loaves prepared for meals while I was in the hospital or soon after I got home.
Sunday morning I woke up before Randy and the kids and decided to take advantage of the time to work on another Pinterest project. I pinned this nursing cover project several weeks ago and decided to go ahead and complete one with a blue checkered fabric that I had on hand. Though we are not sure what we are having, I think that the pattern is kind of feminine even though the colors may be more masculine. The cotton fabric that I had was light and see through and therefore not so well suited for a nursing cover, so I ended up lining the whole cover with a white cotton fabric. We then spent the rest of the afternoon on the boat at the beach. Thankfully, the kids were happy to splash and play in the sand while I sat back and relaxed. After eating a quick dinner and bathing both kids, we were all in bed by 9pm. It was a crazy busy week, but with our third child due in about a week, things are only going to get crazier!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Make room for baby

This pregnancy has been totally different from the other two in that I had both Aidan and Reese's room furnished and decorated within weeks of finding out what we were having. Since I do not know whether we are having a boy or a girl, and the baby will be sharing a room with Reese or Aidan, I have been unable to set up a room. Though I have been itching to finish off the kids rooms, it would not be practical, because baby will not even be in the room for several weeks. My plan is to keep the baby in a pack and play in our living room so that it will be close to our room, yet hopefully far enough away that Randy will still be able to get some sleep. Also, I do not want the baby to be sharing a room with one of the other kids and keeping them up all night or interrupting their much needed sleep. Hopefully by the end of summer, the baby will be sleeping well enough that we could then move TB into a crib in one of the other kids rooms upstairs. With that in mind, I got my pack and play out of storage and set it up in an empty corner in our living room. The pack and play is perfect because it is compact and movable. If I needed to move the baby into another room to nap while the kids and I are playing or watching tv in the living room, I could. I also love that my pack and play comes with a shallow bassinet, diaper changing table and diaper storage area. The diaper changing area flips to the side so that it is out of the way when not in use. The diaper storage area will also be nice for keeping all of the necessities handy and ready in one spot. We are officially ready for baby, now if only baby TB would finally make his or her appearance!

Awkward Conversations

During lunch Reese asked if the fruit salad we were eating would make her big and strong? I immediately answered, "Yes!" but was not prepared for her response! She said, "When I am big and strong, I can finally lift daddy's boners!" I about chocked on my fruit salad and then calmly asked her what she meant by "daddy's boners". It turns out that she was referencing a few dumbbells or hand weights that we have in the basement. I clarified what they were actually called, as speaking of the alternative (especially in public) could be a bit awkward! While discussing a magic show that Reese was planning, I overheard Aidan ask, "Are you going to make my balls disappear?" Though I knew that he was not referring to any part of his anatomy, that was all I could think of! I guess working with junior high aged kids is rubbing off on me and making me a bit immature!