Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day to day life

We are home way more now than before Juliet's birth. One day we'll be out and about again, but now, now is the perfect time to stay in. With a little girl that loves to nurse and hates her carseat, and a boy that is pretty good at home, I've been trying to keep a balance of new home activities, and getting out a bit.
We've been dressing Juliet in James's hand-me-downs. This means that she looks like a boy a lot of the time, but we love it. Was James this little once? Surely not. (Here is a photo of James is the same outfit.)
We've been taking a lot of walks. The days are so mild and it is an easy way to get out, without getting in the car. Juliet stayed asleep for this walk, thank goodness.
James has been such a helper and loves to push the stroller.
Late afternoon sun. James in the lead. E visiting a neighborhood kitty and me pushing the babe. Just a single moment of my new beautiful life.
I've done a few art projects with James, trying to keep him more interested in staying at home. Markers on the paper? Boring. His hands were covered by the end of the 15 minutes he stayed interested. I was nursing the baby, and it didn't matter how many times I said "not on your hands, markers are for paper".
Such an artist.
The back of his hand really did get some nice patterns.
Another day we made homemade play dough. He loved mixing the ingredients but was a little unsure of what to do with the play dough once it was done. I showed him the ropes, and soon he was playing on his own.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Life with two kiddos

This week has been my first week alone. E is back to work, and I, goddess of the children, need to strive forward and survive for 10 hours each day. I hasn't been that bad really. Juliet loves to nurse and to be held, so as long as I'm doing one or both of those things, at all times, life is smooth. ;)

James and I have never really stayed in, so the fact that we have less activities has been hard on him and on me. We both go a little stir-crazy around here.

So we've been filling our time with a few playdates at our house, lots of time playing in the basement, and quite a few walks. One walk went well, Juliet fell asleep halfway through and stayed asleep for two hours post walk. Yesterday's walk was a bit comedic, however. James now doesn't walk, he runs. Fast. For the entire "walk". So as he was barreling down the sidewalk, and I was doing my best to keep up with him, he falls. Hits hard. Cries a lot. I feel so bad for the kiddo. Not two minutes later, once he's calmed down and running again, Juliet starts crying. Wanting milk.

I've got this though. This whole two kiddo thing.

I pull her out of the stroller, attach her to the boob (have to face a fence for a moment of privacy!) and then we are off again. Me holding the baby with one arm and pushing the stroller with the other hand, James running ahead as happy as can be. Juliet nursed for a good 30 minutes, all while I was wielding the unwieldy stroller. Every time a car drove by I smiled. This HAD to look comical. And it was. I love my new crazy life.

So that was a long story to apologize for the lack of photos of James. I've taken a few cell phone photos, but I've hardly gotten my big camera out recently, and the one day I did, I only snapped these of Juliet.

I will strive to be better. This weekend I'll get some photos of both of my sweet kiddos, because after all, both of them together is what makes this family so crazy awesome.

This dress? It was mine when I was a baby. It is so delicate and cute, I think I'll use it for Juliet's 1 month photos, which is coming surprisingly fast!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Juliet's Nursery

It all started about eight months before James was born when I found an image online of a very whimsical tree that I just loved. The idea of using it as a centerpiece as a nursery image came to life. Even before I knew if I was having a boy or a girl, I knew I wanted to have this tree beside the crib. Around the rest of the room I wanted silhouettes of woodland animals, giving the room a very gender neutral and whimsical feeling. For the crib bedding I switched out James's green and blue for pink sheets and bumper. Nothing, other than the woodland animals, and the tree will give this room a 'theme'.

Before James came along, I started hunting for animal silhouettes to add to the room. I wanted friendly animals, nothing scary, but nothing cartoony either, and I wanted all the animals to be ones you might actually find in the woods. I wanted all the silhouettes to look real, but get the whimsical feeling from the colors I chose (gold,orange, red, blue). When we found out Juliet was a girl I decided to add one more animal: a raspberry colored fox.

Also, we switched out James's white shelves for pink, added a few blossoms to the tree, and a flower necktie to the hare. With a few gender specific accessories, James's "boy nursery" was ready for our little girl.

Do you spy the fox? She is the largest animal in the room.

At some point soon I will blog about James's big boy room. It is so cute, but I decided to sew my own curtains (what was I thinking?!) and have yet to even begin. Since I want to show the room finished, you'll have to wait. ;)

My Juliet

What a sweet baby we've got. She is wonderful. Sleeping cozy next to Mama and Dada at night (yes, sleeping!) and sleeping and eating most the day. She's a big eater in the evenings, and goes to bed with Mama around 9:00. Then she sleeps until 1:00 or so (!!!) eats, sleeps until 5:00 and eats, and then sleeps in until eight. And most days I can get her to nap when James takes his afternoon nap.

I am one lucky Mama! I adore my little girl.

She is a good nurser, and already I can tell she's gained a little weight. She had the littlest chicken legs when she was born but they are finally filling out. Her tummy is round and happy too.

This photo reminds me so much of this one. Juliet sure looks like her big brother.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Juliet's Birth Day

As mentioned in the previous post, E and I arrived at the hospital around 9:30 pm. By 9:45 I was admitted, and by ten I asked E to get the camera out to document a few things. I was lying in bed having horrible painful contractions, however between contractions I was still able to tell E a few of the types of photos I wanted.

In labor and delivery they attach two monitors to your belly. One reads the contractions, the other reads the baby's heart beat. Time at the bottom reads 9:54. Less than an hour to go...
The pain I experienced between 10:00 and 10:50, when Juliet was born, is something I have never known. The contractions were horrific, I wanted to die. I begged the nurses and E to find the anesthesiologist. I was in so much pain. I walked, I cried out, I begged it to stop. I couldn't lie in the bed much after 10:00 and spent the next hour on my feet. When my water broke at 10:40 and E ran for the nurse (per instructions). She came in, told me to lie down, they were going to check my dilation. I said no, lying down was more pain than I could handle.

Once she coaxed me on the bed, found I was fully dialed and also found that Juliet's heart rate was dropping with each contraction, I was given an oxygen mask and told to push.

I begged them for drugs. But I pushed. Two pushes later I was granted this:
A perfect baby girl. Screaming her heart out. The contractions stopped and the pain was gone. I was in love, kissing my baby and glad the scariest part was behind me.
My doctor showed up (didn't make the birth, Juliet was too insistent to make an entrance into this world) to check me over and deliver the placenta. The placenta didn't budge. What? We waited, I pushed. Nothing. I was deliriously happy about my daughter and the fact that contractions and childbirth had passed when my doc said "I'm sorry, I've only had to manually remove one other placenta from a woman that didn't have an epidural, and it was horrible."

Horrible it was. Oh my god... so so so much pain. For some reason my body didn't want to give it up, and after all I'd been through, after a med free childbirth, I had to do this. And it was just as painful, if not more.

Once it was removed the nurse had to push on my abdomen, to help stop the bleeding. I screamed. I begged for her to stop. Finally, finally, after twenty minutes of her pushing and be crying in pain, it was over.

The pain was gone almost instantly, and I was wheeled into recovery with a perfect healthy baby. E was really shaken, but a few hours rest and a baby that loved to snuggle, all was well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My sweet Valentines

Not only does today mark 13 years with my amazing husband, but I got to spend the day with these two Valentines. Life is sweet.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Life with a newborn

You forget. I swear I'd never forget, but you do.

Life with a newborn is hard. Like really hard.

There were two things I was most worried about when bringing Juliet home.

Number one: James. How would he react? Would there be tantrum after tantrum and aggressive behavior? I was so worried.

This had turned into something I didn't need to worry about. At all. James is doing fantastic! My word! Such a good big brother. He loves Juliet and doesn't seem at all bothered when I need to spend endless hours feeding her because Dada is home! We've tried to keep James's day to day life the same, other than the fact that now E takes him out each day instead of me. Proof my boys are awesome.

Number two: sleep.

With James I went from sleeping okay to not sleeping at all. Sleep was my biggest enemy. James was a great sleeper, I was fighting with myself. With Juliet, things are very different. She dislikes her crib and has found the only way to sleep is while being held. I always thought that babies just kinda slept wherever. That's what James did (for the most part, we still had rough nights with him), but Juliet, sweet Juliet, only wants to be snuggled. This has taken a huge impact on me. I adore my sleep and hardly function without it. But after two nights of nearly constant rocking and nursing, E and I have decided to give co-sleeping a try. She sleeps so well on my chest during the day, we need to figure out a solution. For the sake of all things holy. Today we bought this co-sleeper crib that fits in the bed, because E and I are worried about a newborn inside the covers with two highly exhausted adults on either side of her. Scary stuff.

So tonight will be the first night with our new plan. I hope to get some rest.

And what I forgot about that's also hard? Postpartum hormones. I completely forgot what a wild ride these are. I don't have the baby blues, but with the lack of sleep and the fact I'm still recovering, some days have seemed a little bleak. Nothing that a week or two won't fix though. I remember the hormone roller coaster didn't stick around long after James's delivery.

So while life is difficult with a newborn, it really is great too. Juliet is amazing (unless it is 2:00 am) and barely makes a peep all day. She is so small and sweet and cozy. I'm telling you, this girl knows how to snuggle. Every time I look at her, every time I touch her sweet little head, or take a nap with her in my arms, my love for her grows.

James is beyond amazing. My love for him seems so huge to what it was only a week ago. James is smart and funny and charming and adjusting beautifully. And, my husband. Man oh man he has been beyond fantastic. He is up with Juliet as much as I am at night, but he also entertains James all day, makes all the meals, cleans up all the meals, gets me everything I need and pretty much is my rock. On Tuesday we celebrate 13 years together!

Juliet in her coming home outfit. I bought the bonnet the day I found out I was having a girl, and I just love it.
James is really interested. Why would someone so cute hate her crib? James by the way, still loves his crib!
How we spend a lot of time during the day. I bought James "Finding Nemo" before Juliet was born, and he is obsessed! He loves this movie (calls it "Silly Daddy Fishy movie") and watches it daily. These moments in bed with my two sweet children are honestly the best.
Juliet doing what she does best, sleeping the day away!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My life is perfect

More to come. I'm home, recovering tons easier than I was with James's delivery, and off to snuggle a newborn.

More photos and the end of my crazy birth story soon. Seriously, it got crazier...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Juliet Clara is born

As I mentioned in the previous post I began having contractions Tuesday night. They continued through the day Wednesday picking up steam at 6:00 pm. At 8:00 pm I told E to call his mom, that we were headed to the hospital. By 9:30 we were admitted and I was told that the anethesiologist was in with a c-section. I waited. And labored. I begged my nurse to get him. At 10:40 I was told I was fully dialated, Baby Girl's pulse was dropping with each contraction and it was time to push.

I begged for drugs.

They told me to push.

Two pushes later (and the worst pain I have ever in my life experienced) Juliet Clara came screaming into this world.

Tiny and pink and perfect.

It got crazier (if possible) but I'm off to snuggle my newborn and get some rest. Happy birthday dear baby girl.

Juliet Clara
6 lbs 12 oz.
19 inches
Born at 10:50 ( only an hour after I was admitted)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Overdue. 6 days (and counting)

No baby yet.

I kinda knew I wouldn't have a baby yet.

Since the beginning of this pregnancy, when I measured 8 days slow (setting my due date at February 10th), I figured I wouldn't have my baby until the tenth, or pretty close to the tenth, even though my "official" due date was 6 days ago.

Am I feeling anxious? Sure. But really not that much. The first time around all I wanted was to go into labor. This time? Not so much. I am completely happy to be induced on Friday, if I have any choice in the matter.

I am soaking up all these last moments with James. I love it. It's just us, we've been to parks, the book store, some friend's houses, and I am so enjoying the time with just him. I feel like at any moment this time, with him and only him, will be finished. I don't want to feel like it was hurried or rushed or wished away. Far from it, I am so so so going to miss this.

That said? I've started having contractions! Not anything strong, or close, or regular, but most definitely there. They started last night, mostly stopped while I slept (thank goodness) and I've had a few more this morning. We will see.. I went into labor naturally the day before James was induced, so I'm wondering if it will be the same this time around. Very exciting to say the least.

And doesn't this post remind you so much of this one? Yea, me too.

Send me good pregnancy vibes, and before you know it, I'll be posting photos of Baby Dos!


Monday, February 06, 2012

Our last weekend as a family of three {so bittersweet}

As of right now, the plan is for me to be induced this Friday, (OMG! WHAT??!! Yea, kinda freaking out a bit...) which means last weekend was our last as a family of three.

This is so bittersweet.

We adore our family of three. James is wonderful and smart and amazing and the thought that we will change all of that makes me more than a little sad. E too, he said he was feeling so sad and tender last weekend, it just doesn't seem real.

So we decided to make the most of it. James is feeling better (not like last Saturday) and was being sweet and wonderful and perfect.

We woke up on Saturday and did our favorite thing in the world: cook. E and James made "oven pancakes" which are our favorite German Pancakes. We make this recipe almost weekly, especially in the winter and it is amazing. Buttery and lemony and divine. James loves them too, and eats a huge amount.
A few months ago we always gave James a little bowl of flour that he could mix while E worked on the real breakfast. He wasn't fooled. Now he wants to be right in the action, cracking the eggs (with help and a lot of time removing fragments of shell), whisking the milk and butter and even adding the "spice".
I mostly stayed sitting and enjoyed Dada and James doing what they do best.
German Pancakes get really puffed up in the oven. Sometimes they are even taller than this, it's pretty fun.
After breakfast we went to the park and enjoyed the mild temperatures. Where is winter? No idea, but I really don't care. These mild temperatures and sunny skies make me so so happy.

James has been excellent with not wanting to be picked up a lot lately. He says "no help, Dames do it" with most things and can even climb into his car seat unassisted now. But when he saw me posing for photos he ran over and asked "up up?" so I had to oblige. He's heavy, but I adore that he wants to be in my arms. So here I am, 40+ weeks pregnant with a heavy toddler and a knee to my tummy. (Looking forward to not being in the same outfit for every photo soon! Seriously, what gives?!)
Happy boy.

Found a big branch, of course.
The rest of the weekend was filled to the brim, a trip to the Planetarium, dinner at our favorite downtown restaurant (which James happens to love too!), a trip to the pool and even another visit to the aquarium. We stayed very busy, considering I'm over due and slower than a sloth, but by the end of the weekend, nobody wanted the fun to end.

I will miss this. Very much. James, you are going to make an incredible big brother, but you made an awesome only child too. I simple adore you.
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