Tuesday, September 29, 2009
i pulled out my camera to upload pictures, and alas...i only have 4 pictures to show for the last week of our life...which i suppose sums the week up quite well...going, going, going with little time for snapping photos. and when i say "going"...i don't so much mean we are going anywhere...just that it seems we rarely stop moving even while at home!
1. cooler weather...bring on autumn (and pumpkins and apples and long sleeve shirts and jeans!). have i mentioned that one of my favorite parts of new seasons is switching out the old wardrobe and busting out the boxes for the new season. and honestly, i don't even mind the process of getting things boxed up or hung and neatly folded in the drawers (and really, it is the only time the drawers will be neat for the next 4 or 5 months!)...there was something so cozy and right about heading out the door for Bible study this morning in one of my favorite fall ensembles...and i just love little girls in their jeans and sneakers...i'm strange like that!
2. having daddy home for an entire weekend! this is the first time he has had two days off in a row since we were in the hospital when jillian was born 5 weeks ago. we didn't do anything particular...but it was simply nice to be together.
3. my new baby sling...i wanted to make a sling when kate was born but never got around to it...but i finally picked up some fabric, broke out the sewing machine, and whipped out a sling. it was so simple and quick to make...and miss jillian really enjoys being snuggled up against mommy...especially when we are out and about at church or Bible study (but i'm sure it will be handy around the house as well!). i'm amazed at how light she feels...much lighter and easier on my back than the bjorn carrier is...and i just love the fabric! (i had to borrow kate's baby to pose a picture...but you get the idea!)
4. our diaper changin', baby doll toting kater gator. seriously...she will spend a half an hour at a time repeatedly changing her baby doll's diaper and proclaiming "STINK-EEE!!!" every time she opens the diaper. she is our precious little fireball though, she manages to snag most of the "elmo" diapers from jillian's stash, and it isn't just her doll baby she enjoys practicing her diaper removal skills with. nope...she also enjoys practicing her newfound skills on herself...especially in the quiet solitude of her crib...so we have often found her nude in her crib after naptime in the afternoons...and, yes, i'll admit it, along with training and working with her that taking off her diaper is not acceptable (and taking strides toward potty training...GULP!)...we also have temporarily pulled out the duck tape...yep...i'm officially one of those parents right now!
6. semblances of normality in the little things...like taking all three girls and making it through jo-ann fabric and target without melt-downs (yes...i was the mama pushing the double stroller and carrying the baby in the bjorn...shopping basket hanging on one handle of the stroller...diaper bag hanging on the other handle....we're a bit of a wide load!). i'm thinking that is a far easier shopping method than trying to do a cart with all three...unforetunately it only works when i don't have many things to buy.
7. a date night in with my hubby. we dropped the big girls at our normal thursday night date swap, picked up a pizza and breadsticks, and enjoyed some quiet and productive time at home. i am so grateful for a regular date night...it has definitely been a blessing to our marriage in this hectic phase of life and is keeping us much more connected than we felt after kate was born!
8. did i mention how fabulous my hubby is?! on saturday i received a card in the mail "gifting" me with the news that he would joyfully like to send me to seabrook in march to meet-up with my several of my bloggy friends! EEK! so exciting to think i am going to get to meet many of you fabulous ladies in real life...AND as a bonus i will get to see a part of the country i've never seen...AND spend some one on one time with sweet jillian, since she will be making the trip with me.
9. some time out of the house at a baby shower for a friend saturday morning. so excited for this sweet friend who is expecting her very first baby...and oh how i love the excitement of watching new-mama-to-be's open up all the goodies and seeing that glow of anticipation! can't wait to meet her little one in a month or so. and it was just nice to have some girl time...and for elizabeth and kate to have some "daddy time"...and let me tell you, that hubby of mine is a brave man...he took them to lowes for the free building clinic...they didn't actually finish the project, but they did have some precious time together.
10. longer stretches of nighttime sleep...and this is definitely a smile, as the lack of sleep over the past month or so is definitely starting to catch up with me! jillian has done several 5-6 hour stretches in the past week. praise the Lord! but really, at 10 lbs. 12 oz. the girl definitely doesn't need to be up as often! i'm also starting to see the first hints of smiling...no real smiles per se yet, but she is starting to get more "interactive" when she is looking at me...i can't wait for that first true, non-gas induced, smile!
Friday, September 25, 2009
we had jillian's one month well-child check up this afternoon...
...did i mention that it was in the middle of kate's naptime?
...did i mention that i completely planned poorly and didn't have time to drop kate off at our friend's house who had agreed to watch her/let her nap there during the appointment?
...did i mention that i ended up taking all three girls to said appointment in the middle of a friday afternoon?
...did i mention that it was kate's naptime? (he he)
...did i mention that when the nurse asked if i would like to go ahead with the big girls flu shots while we were already all there, i said "yes"? (big chuckle)
...did i mention just how loud a room can be when not one, not two, but THREE girls are crying after being poked with a needle?
...did i mention it was the middle of kate's naptime?
...did i mention that just seconds after her shot and her ensuing barrage of wailing, kate stopped mid-cry, and said as clear as day, "sucker please!"...remembering the fabulous treat she would surely receive at the check-out counter for being a "brave girl"? apparently dum-dum suckers cure all ills...although after finishing her sucker elizabeth announced, "mommy...my sucker didn't make me feel better. i think i need another treat."...good try, sweet girl...good try!
...did i mention that on the way home i might have rewarded myself by swinging by happy hour at sonic to pick up a strawberry limeade?
in other news...the lack of nap and shots are resulting in an early bedtime for two wiped out girls (who are currently giggling huge belly laughs as daddy tickles them and parades them around on his back for horsey-rides)...and that means bonus time to spend with the hubs (and jillian...).
and, for those who are interested in the "stats"....
jillian was a healty 10 lbs. 12 oz (90th percentile) and 22 3/4 inches long (95th percentile)...her head also happens to be the in 90th percentile...so she is quite "balanced". :)
kate weighed in at 31 1/2 lbs.....and elizabeth topped the scales at 34 1/2 lbs...a mere 3 lbs heavier than her 2 year younger sister.
...and now i think i hear the bath-tub calling for two girlies...and jillian is sure to be waking up and hungry very soon...so i should be going...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
just a day late...but smiles nonetheless. we're still adjusting more and more everyday. jillian has yet to really "wake up" and is mostly awake just long enough to eat and then fairly quickly go back to sleep...she has, however, found her "voice"...and dear, sweet girl, let mommy tell you...you don't have to sound like someone is continuously pinching you...i promise, we will respond even if you tone down the desperation! :) and kate...sweet kate...mommy is very proud of your ability to undo the tabs on your diaper...and your ability to remove your clothing...now, you don't need to keep showing me, especially at naptime...unless, of course, you want to become successfully potty-trained in the next 24 hours. no, seriously, we are mostly doing well--with our fair share of melt-downs...and perhaps a few mommy tear moments...my tears have mostly been a result of wondering if jillian's desperate cry is just that she is tired (which i think is the case) OR if she is in some kind of extreme pain and just can't tell me...because, really (and i am not complaining), she sleeps FAR more than elizabeth or kate EVER did...and sometimes i feel a bit guilty of neglecting her while she zzzzz's away upstairs in her crib. but i digress from my smiles...
1. this picture really does make me smile. kate in piggies...looking so sweet...grinning ear to ear...loving her baby sister (moments before this she was kissing jillian and petting her hair)...like i've said before, i think God made kate extra cute to balance out the defiant times...
7. sisters...sisters...sisters...i love their coordinating "sister" shirts--just wish i could get them to sit still, smile, and all look at the camera at the same time (and hope that goes better when the photographer takes family pics in a few weeks!). in the meantime i'll just giggle and smile at the wackiness of the shots of all three...because seriously...they so reveal personality!
8. kohls...seriously...kohls made me smile this week...great sales, an extra 30% off, AND kohls cash...i scored some serious bargains, including outfits for our upcoming family photos. i would say i love kohls...but as we remind elizabeth all the time...we love people and we like things...so i suppose i really, really like kohls...of all the stores (other than wal-mart) that exist in our little "burg", i'm sure glad kohls decided to move into town!
9. in other bargain news, i managed to score 2 12-double roll packs of toilet paper, 3 60 count boxes of trash bags, and one big ol' 216 count package of huggies wipes at walgreens this morning for just a quarter...and yes, i'm serious! i had a $25 gift check from transferring a prescription awhile back (mind you that i only paid $1 for the 'script)...such a deal!
10.....and i should mention that going along with smile #9, i scored that deal while spending this morning with just jillian! a sweet friend from church and our small group offered to have the big girls over to play so i could have a bit of a break (mind you that she has four of her own who are 5 and under...bless her heart!). i managed to run 4 or 5 errands, finish some sorting and reorganizing clothes in the girls' room, and eat lunch all by myself (well, kind of...technically jillian was with me). it was splendid...as much as i love my girlies, i must admit, a break does a mommy good! bonus that the girls also had a blast playing with their friends!
11. doing a bit of crafting...hooded towels and a taggie blankie for a baby shower for a sweet friend...and getting supplies for a few other crafty attempts. i'm planning to make some flannel bibs for jillian, who likes to dribble milk all over when she eats, and perhaps whip up a few more paci clips to pass along as gifts...
12. and finally...sisters who share...i must admit, these moments are sometimes few and far between...but we are making progress. as i type i am listening to elizabeth and kate happily play together with miss tisha, kate's speech therapist with first steps (which by the way is going fabulously...our once silent kate is not constantly trying to talk and babble...adding words and stringing them together at a rapid pace!). but, i digress...i have to record (for my own sake to glance back and remember in one of the not-so-happily playing and sharing moments!) the fact that the girls have had so many moments of sharing and laughing and playing...coloring together, playing "lets go fishing" with daddy last night, cooking meals for each other at the kitchen, and on and on...but i must admit, their favorite person to share with is jillian...see, elizabeth even shared her coveted curious george, and as you can see, jillian was thrilled. ;)
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
how can it be another tuesday already...seriously, wasn't it just last tuesday yesterday! time is flying by FAR too quickly...jillian is already three weeks old...how can that be!? i suppose that is all the more reason to keep recording each of these "smiles"...how i love to look back through past weeks and be reminded of God's graciousness and kindness to our little family. we are most definitely blessed beyond measure. and i must note that i realize the vast, vast majority of the pictures in recent blogs have been jillian...and i promise to do a better job of capturing some of kate and elizabeth in the coming weeks...i think perhaps i have been a bit off balance because i was a bit paranoid that i would forget to take many pictures of jillian, and she would grow up the "neglected" one who would ask, "mommy...where are my baby pictures!?" and besides...the others don't sit still long enough for pictures these days, so she is an "easy" target!
1. meals...fabulous meals! seriously, we have been beyond blessed by the generosity of friends. i haven't had to cook a thing since jillian was born...and not only have meals been provided, but they have been downright delicious. we sure have some friends with fabulous culinary skills! this has been an especially HUGE blessing with mike's long hours and overtime...and no matter how well the morning goes, i am definitely running on empty (as are the girls!) by the time it gets around to 4:30 or so!
2. milestone #1...jillian rolled from her front to her back not once but twice last wednesday. i'm telling you, this girl is STRONG. she doesn't do it every time we lay her on her tummy, but she has done it enough to convince me it wasn't a fluke. i have a feeling this girl is definitely going to be a tummy-sleeper in the near future though...she simply LOVES being on her belly. and do you see that precious elephant in the pictures...it was a gift from this beautiful and talented friend...the stuffed elephant is actually cut in half with a super snuggly soft blankie in between his head section and his rear. too cute! i am humbled by the sweet gifts so many of you sweet bloggity friends have sent our way...i promise to eventually get around to writing thank you's...someday, i promise!
3. a date night with my husband (and jillian!). it wasn't a grand affair...just dinner at "noodles and company", strolling through lowes and target, and then, just maybe some ice cream at costco (what can i say, i'm a cheap date!)...but it was so wonderful to simply have some time together to chat and catch up in the midst of the hecticness of recent life events. and, oh my, can i mention how much more comfortable walking around and browsing is these days...no more swollen ankles, no more getting "winded" by a walk from the parking lot to the door, no more aching back...nope, just a gorgeous little, sleeping baby girl to gaze at while we browse!
4. naps! and even better that the girls are all cooperating and letting their rest/nap time overlap for at least an hour most days...giving me the chance to nap or have a bit of "me" time (or unloading the dishwasher time...depending on the priority or energy level of the day!). even better was the nice 5 1/2 hour stretch jillian slept for last night...she is a great sleeper so far, and oh how i pray that continues!
5. the signs of fall are in the air...cooler, crisp morning air, signs for apple orchards, setting the date for our annual "apple day" (bring on the applesauce!), cooler evening air for backyard fun. i can't wait to break out the boxes of autumn clothing for the girls...oh how i love going through the outfits elizabeth once wore, that will be passed on to kate...and now looking through boxes for jillian...and, of course, peeking at all the "clearance bargains" i purchased for libs at the end of the season last year. have i mentioned that i simply love dressing my girlies...much more fun that dressing myself! :)
6. sisters...yes, elizabeth is wearing her PJs...after church mike changed both libbers and katers out of their dresses and into their jammies for rest time...and to be perfectly honest, that is how they stayed the rest of the day. it makes me smile to think of kate in her footie PJs, with her tennis shoes popped over the footie part, running around the backyard, curly hair all crazified and in her face (because really, friends, my girls' hair has a mind of its own!)...oh the precious moments. but back to the first part...sisters...i simply love these photos of elizabeth and jillian!
family will appreciate that in the pic below she is already trying to teach jillian the names of her toes...libbers would make big bapa proud! "little petey, patty lou, odie missel, penny noble, and BIG TOM GOBBLE!"
9. our newly rearranged downstairs. mike's parents gifted us with a flat screen TV as an early (and very generous!) Christmas/birthday present. we have been wanting to do some rearranging of our living spaces, and part of that plan was to have the TV mounted on the wall to give us a bit more room...well, his parents kindly wanted to help us out with that plan, and surprised us with the TV to set things in motion. we now have a more defined (and less cluttered with toys and kid stuff) living area in our front room as you enter the house and then a play/toyroom in our back living area downstairs. i'm loving the extra space it gives us...not to mention it is much more relaxing to have a completely separate area for the majority of the toys! here is our new arrangement....
the living room...yes, the girls are in fact watching "word world" (one of our favorites on PBS kids) during the taking of this picture!
11. ...and finally, i was reminded of something this past sunday when we sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" in church. friends, did you know that it was written by a stay-at-home housewife and mother of five. how much do we each need to remember and cry out to the Lord EVERY day..."I need thee, oh i need thee, every hour i need thee; oh bless me now my Savior, i come to thee." click here for the full lyrics (and scoop on the hymn's author). i am praying this might be the cry of my heart and of yours as we navigate the rest of the week!
Friday, September 11, 2009
i was settled and at peace with our feeding decision before the appointment, and yet, somehow, seeing those numbers on the scale was a huge confirmation and brought me an even greater sense of peace. God is good, friends. sometimes He doesn't work things out in exactly the way we wanted them to work out (i really did want that "experience" of nursing a baby without the weight gain issues and without supplementing...having it be enjoyable as opposed to a constant stress and frustration...)...and yet, still He works them out...in His way...and once He has them worked out in His way, He has this amazing way of bringing us around...settling the emotional ick, letting His peace control our thoughts and actions, revealing the "other side" of things (the side we are often blind to in our struggle to have our way). His way is good...just as He is good. He knows what is BEST for us...even the best way to bring us humbly to our knees before Him...to bring us to a place of greater trust....to cause us to cling to Him more fully and completely. i'm so thankful to follow Him....
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
smiles to share! hopefully i will actually finish this and get it posted before tuesday is over!
1. a fabulous week of help from my mom!
2. meeting poppy at the children's museum for a day of fun...see my previous post for some pictures!
3. seeing the girls' excitement to check out poppy's big yellow bus! (again, see the previous post for pictures)
4. three sleeping girlies on our way home from the lake. seriously...it was a delightful 2 1/2 hours of conversation and togetherness for mike and me after a LONG week with him working LOTS of overtime on a big project. i especially love that kate fell asleep with her blanket completely covering her...head, face, and all...
5. these adorable dresses G.G. found and gave the "big" girls...not to mention the gorgeous baby afghan she knit for little jillian! i also am smiling that elizabeth and kate actually are in a picture together...with smiles and NOT hurting each other! :)
6. this growing girl who is already 2 weeks old...which BLOWS my mind! and yes, that is kate's hand in the picture...she loves touching and kissing and "loving" on her "baby".
7. introducing jillian to many more family members...aunt shell and G.G....and also my cousins, matt and mike, and uncle and aunt. i think she most definitely enjoyed snuggling with her new friends!
9. did i already mention this little girlie...i think i did...but it bears repeating. isn't she just the sweetest. and oh how her little cheeks are plumping right back up as the formula and supplementing packs the pounds back on. by the way...thank you all for your prayers, words of encouragement, etc. after praying, seeking mike's wisdom and leadership, AND considering our very active kate and elizabeth (especially after finding kate sans diaper in the midst of causing some mayhem around the house while i tried to nurse, give a supplemental bottle, and pump in an effort to increase my milk supply!) we have decided to switch to bottles. i'm still able to get about half of what she needs by pumping for about 10 minutes 5 or 6 times a day...and beyond that, i am simply trusting God and remembering that He answers ALL of our prayers...even the ones that are answered "no". (again...see my last post if you haven't already). as a note...thanks to those who suggested a lactation consultant or other ways to increase my supply...we actually spent the first fourth months of kate's life meeting with breastfeeding groups, lactation consultants, buying herbal supplements, eating oats, drinking pineapple juice and beer, and so on and so forth...to no avail...hence my decision to forego that route this time. but i am so thankful for your loving suggestions and feedback...i love being loved through the internet...it is quite amazing! and i suppose i am smiling about that fact!
11. i should mention being excited to have started a new Bible study this morning at church. i'm doing the beth moore "esther" study and am quite excited! :)
Friday, September 4, 2009
...so i had my first post-partum visit the pediatrician and end up in tears, emotional morning regarding jillian today (actually yesterday now...since i never finished this yesterday!). to be honest, i've had LOTS of those visits...LOTS and LOTS with elizabeth...and my fair share with kate as well. two normal words...a routine visit for most mommies..."weight check"...you know, the good old appointment where they check in to make sure baby has reached his/her birth weight by two weeks. friends...i know i shared in my last post that i really and truly felt like nursing was going SO much better this time around...like i actually had plenty of milk there for miss jillian...like she was eating really well. well, this morning i stripped her down, confidently placed her on the scale, KNOWING that the read-out was going to be at least her birth-weight, if not a more significant "gain". and then the numbers flashed across the screen, indicating that rather than gaining so much as an ounce, she had actually lost an ounce an a half in the past week. my heart sank a little as the nurse moved me into an exam room to consult with the doctor....and miss jillian woke up and started rooting around, so i began feeding her, and we did the whole feed her in the exam room and then weigh her to see how much she gained from a feeding dance (a dance that i have grown quite familiar with)....and honestly, friends, i was okay until the doctor came back in and started discussing ways to increase my milk supply and the possible side-effects of reglan (anxiety, nerves, emotions)...and it happened....the tears didn't just sneak out...nope, they came rushing down my cheeks in a moment of complete emotional dumpage....pouring out as i relived the struggles with elizabeth's weight gain and then kate's...my hopes of having an "easy" and "enjoyable" breast-feeding experience, since, after all, it is supposed to be so natural...and something every mom can do. (but i am okay now...really...it is amazing what a day can do...and a good night of sleep....)**and as an update...miss jillian really likes the ounce of formula she is getting to supplement her feedings...is doing fabulously with the bottle (although perhaps a bit more frustrated that my milk doesn't come that easily for her)**
anyway....it made me think about the time i spent praying about the whole nursing process throughout this pregnancy. and i remembered something from my Bible study this summer. our dear Bible study leader reminded us of the truth that God always answers our prayers...BUT sometimes the answer is "no". funny how often i want to think that God didn't answer as opposed to facing the reality that God doesn't always give me what i want. He doesn't always make life easy or comfortable...He doesn't always say "yes"...He isn't a genie (and, truly, i don't want Him to be!). at this point, it seems God has chosen for nursing to be one those areas....you know the ones i mean...the ones that make you cling to Him and depend on Him (in the way i should be clinging and depending every day!)....the ones that bring you to your knees as you seek wisdom....the ones that remind you that it is NOT about pleasing anyone but God...the ones that in the end, bring you to a place of quiet peace and intimacy with the Lord....the ones you end up thankful for in the long run, i suppose. and, so, i will choose to be grateful for the "no"...and i will continue to cry out to the Lord for wisdom (and, quite importantly, look to my husband and listen to his leadership!) when it comes to deciding what is best for our family and for sweet jillian when it comes to nursing. i will trust Him with my emotions and my milk supply as i try reglan...i will trust Him with bottles and formula...i will trust Him with long days with mike working lots of overtime and two older sisters navigating their way through a new "normal" with baby sister...i will trust Him with knowing how to discipline...i will trust Him with kate's "meltiness" with molars coming in and life as a two year old being, well, not always easy...i will trust Him with today.
and on a lighter note...here are some pics from the past week. my mom was here with us tuesday through friday, and her help, encouragement, and company was priceless! she mopped, she did dishes, she folded laundry, and on and on and on. she snuggled with jillian and played with the big girls...and many a times she comforted a half-fed jillian while mommy dealt with the little things that come up between a certain two and almost four year old (hopefully they will realize quickly that jillian's feeding time doesn't mean "free for all" time for them!). we miss her already, and its only saturday morning--but no worries, we will see her at the lake on monday. and yes, i am crazy...kind of. miss jillian had her first trip to the children's museum on thursday...mostly because poppy, who occasionally drives school buses as a substitute, drove a group of high schoolers down for a field trip. i took advantage of the opportunity to have a 3 adult to 3 kiddo ratio...not to mention, it was nice for elizabeth and kate to get out of the house a bit--and jillian, well, she enjoyed being strapped to mommy and taking in the crowds! but perhaps more of a highlight than the museum was the fact that elizabeth and kate got to check out poppy's bus!