Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Labor and Delivery - Evolet Saoirse Kemp

The labor and delivery of Evolet went quite a bit different than Jude's.  I had Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks.  When I was pregnant with Jude, I had none (or so I thought).  I may have just understood what was going on the second time around.  They did not hurt at all... my belly just became rock hard and I could usually tell which way the baby was positioned by pure sight.  Every once in a while I would have a couple of contractions that were slightly painful.  They felt crampy but nothing to worry about.  The first ones I remember were at 36 weeks.  I had two while Chad and I were watching a movie.  I didn't have any again for another week or so.  If I had to pee, they became more painful.  But again, nothing to write home about. 
In the wee hours of the morning on October 28th, I woke up with what I thought was a Braxton Hicks contraction.  Usually going to the bathroom reduces any pain with it.  Well, the pain didn't go away as it normally did.  However, I was in a bit of denial and I passed it off for Braxton Hicks.  These contractions kept me up most of the night.  Each time, I got up and tried to pee.  Little did I know, I was keeping Chad up as well.  He asked me a couple of times throughout the night if I was okay.  I continuously said yes and tried to go back to sleep.  Finally around 5:00 a.m. he asked me again and again I told him I was fine.  Then he asked if I was having contractions.  I said yes.  He asked if they were Braxton Hicks contractions and I said I was no longer sure.  We both stayed up chit chatting for about 45 minutes while the minor contractions came and went.  We ended up snuggling up and sleeping until almost 7.  Jude woke up and Chad got him ready and took him to school.  In the mean time, I called my doula and asked what was going on.  She told me I was in false labor, the precursor to the real thing.  I asked if I should go to work and she suggested staying home to rest.  I did.  Well, I stayed home.  I don't know about the resting part.  When the contractions seemed to taper off I took Rhyme and Tempest on a one mile walk around our neighborhood.  The walk was slow but it was nice outside.  I only had a couple of contractions on the walk.  When I came back home, I decided to take a nap.  That nap brought on much more painful contractions.  I knew at that point that I would not likely make it past the weekend.  Chad continuously checked on me and I assured him I was fine.  I don't think I am very convincing.

When he left to pick up Jude, he called his parents and asked them to go ahead and head down here.  He told them I was showing signs of labor and he was convinced the baby would be here sooner than I thought.  I did not know they were on their way until Nichole called and asked if I was in labor.  I told her "No, not really."  She sounded disappointed and confused.  She was confused because she knew her parents were packing to head down to Bloomington.  That was news to me.  I laughed and let Cheri know via text that I wasn't sure this was going to turn into anything.  They were coming anyway.  Marvin also stopped by after work.  We all had dinner and my contractions seemed to be picking up a slight rhythm although they were still pretty sporadic.  By the time my in-laws got here, my contractions were more painful and ranged from 20 minutes to 6 minutes.  Each contraction also varied in length from 20 seconds to 1 minute and a half.  I talked to my doula a couple of times and she suggested that I take a bath or shower to ease the pain and see if they went away.  If they went away, I was still in "false labor".  If they didn't, the real deal was here.  Finally around 9:30 or so, I went to take a bath.  The contractions were pretty uncomfortable but the bath did seem to make them subside.  I got out of the tub and decided to go to bed.  I fell asleep quickly but I kept waking up every 6 minutes to a new painful contraction.  Chad came upstairs to check on me around 11:30 and I was no longer in bed.  I was on my knees hunched over the chaise.  He asked if I was okay.  I told him I needed a puke bucket.  He ran downstairs and grabbed me a bowl in no time.  Then, he called my doula and explained how I was acting.  She said she would just meet us at the hospital.  I was definitely in real labor at this point.  After a few dry heaves, Chad grabbed everything and let his Mom know we were headed out.  I made it downstairs just in time for another contraction.  When we got to the truck, I decided that I had to pee.  Back inside... but no luck.  We got in the truck and we were on our way.  My contractions varied from 4 to 6 minutes apart on the way there and each one was slightly over a minute long.  Our path to the hospital was blocked with road construction signs so we ended up taking a brick road quite a way.  I think this is the bumpiest road in town.  By the time we got to the hospital, Chad grabbed my stuff and helped me out of the truck, just in time for another contraction to set in.  I could barely walk inside and all I could really say was "Owwww... this hurts".  We went to the ER because I had no idea where else to go.  ER called the mother/baby unit and they came and got me.  The nurses asked if I wanted wheeled to my room or if I wanted to walk.  Chad laughed and said... "she can't walk anymore."  The ER ladies also told the mother/baby unit nurses that I looked like I was ready to push.  Therefore, when we got to my room, nurses were everywhere.  I laughed when they told me why and told them I didn't think I was that far, I just had no pain tolerance. 

The nurse checked me (which I hate because it is so painful).  I was expecting and hoping that she would tell me I was a 1 or 2 dilation (at a minimum).  When she told me I was at a 6... I was ecstatic!  I thought... I can do this!  I had a few contractions laying in the bed.  My doula helped me breathe through them, instead of holding my breath.  She also gave me plenty of options to help reduce the pain.  Although I tried the labor ball with Jude and it didn't work, I wanted to give it another try.  I sat on it and when a contraction came, I initially hated it but I stayed on it for another contraction.  The second contraction came and I realized that maybe I did feel better on the ball.  That is where I stayed for a majority of the contractions.  I felt like I was doing pretty good through these contractions.  To distract myself, I thought of Jude and how he liked to sing his colors in Spanish.  I kept singing that song or sang the ABC's while I pictured him singing to me.  I felt like this was helping.  The one thing that wasn't helping was the lady that I could hear screaming down the hall.  She was going through labor and must have been doing it all naturally as well.  Her screams were making me nervous.

I did climb in bed a couple of times to get checked only to find out I wasn't making very much progress.  The next check put me between a 6 and 7.  The next one put me at a 7.  SIGH.  Dr. Santiago was in the office for another delivery.  When he was done with that delivery, he came to break my water.  This was right before 4 a.m.  He let me know that he would be in surgery at 6 a.m. so there was a chance he could miss it.  My doula warned me that my contractions would get much more painful but should progress my labor and make me ready to push sooner.  She was right.  The contractions got intense.  Very intense.  The spanish color song was no longer working.  The ABC's were no longer working and I was starting to "cuss".  I think I said shit once and then I continuously said "This F-ing hurts!".  I didn't say the real word... I literally used "f-ing".  Then I was done... I couldn't take the pain anymore. 

I told my doula and Chad to find the anesthesiologist.  I wanted that epidural.  To my shock, they both told me no.  Not because it was too late but because I had already came so far.  Between contractions, I begged and I pleaded.  Chad told me the only way I was getting an epidural was if I told him that I would divorce him without it.  He knew very well that I would never say anything like that.  Chad and my doula would even whisper to each other "She is so close... She can do this... Don't give in".  I was sitting between them and let them know that I could hear them.  Looking back, this still makes me laugh.  I was checked again and I was at a 9.  I was still begging for the epidural.  Chad and my doula knew my experience with Jude and the epidural did not go so well.  I knew, I would likely be better off without it.  I was just in pain... a lot of pain.  About 15 minutes later, my doula thought I was "there" based on how I was acting and had the nurse check again.  She was right, I was a 10.  They called Dr. Santiago and had me go ahead and start pushing.  I asked one more time for the epidural and the entire room, now filled with nurses, chorused back "It's too late".  Part of me was excited that I had to do this drug free.  Part of me was nervous.  They told me to start pushing.  This time, I could feel exactly what I was doing.  It didn't take too long to figure out how to push but it was still painful and a lot of work.  As my doula promised, pushing felt better than just screaming through the contractions.  That was until I hit that "ring of fire" as they call it.  By this time, Dr. Santiago was in there and I told everyone that this was burning.  They told me that was good and to keep pushing.  My doula really motivated me when she told me that I had to push through the pain or I would be there a while.  I did not want to be pushing for any longer than I had to.

Dr. Santiago, the nurses, and my doula would encourage me to push.  They had me feel Evolet's head.  I looked at Chad once and he looked very stressed.  He had his hands on his head and just looked nervous.  He felt helpless.  All of a sudden, Dr. Santiago's encouraging voice to me changed to a serious but very controlled voice giving the nurses specific directions.  Evolet's head was out... but she was stuck.  She came out posterior (head up instead of down) and she had shoulder dystocia.  Her shoulder was stuck on my pubic bone.  When this happens, the babies don't get any oxygen while stuck.  I have been told it can be pretty serious.  One nurse was trying to help and thought she was following the doctors orders but he kept telling her she was pushing in the wrong spot.  She was pushing on my pelvis (or something).  I knew something was wrong.  I could tell by the change in Dr. Santiago's voice and demeanor.  My doula told me that I had to really focus and to keep pushing... no breaks.  I did as she said.  As Dr. Santiago started to climb on the bed, another nurse jumped in to help.  She actually jumped up next to me on the bed and then proceeded to fall on me.  However, her fall helped get Evolet out.  As she fell, her fist went into the top of my stomach and went down.  I assume this was her plan anyway.  With that, out came Evolet at 5:42 a.m.  I had no idea what was going on but I did not hear her cry.  Chad did hear her cry but to this day, I don't remember her first cry.  Yes, it still bothers me.  That was something very distinct that I remember hearing with Jude.  It was the most beautiful sound in the world.  Someone whispered in my ear that it was a girl... then I just kept asking "Is she okay?" repeatedly.  Chad also told me we had a girl, assured me she was okay, and kept telling me what a good job I did. 

I think I went into a bit of shock after that.  Everyone was talking about how big she was.  I thought they were crazy.  She looked so small to me.  Well, they put her on the scale and she was pretty darn big.  9 pounds 12 ounces, 21.5 inches long.  I was in shock that I had a girl, that I delivered her naturally, that I had a girl, that she was so big, that I had a girl.  (For 9 months I was pretty darn sure I was having a boy).  She was beautiful with her chubby cheeks, eyes that would barely open, newborn cry, and tiny grip.  They gave her to me right away while she was still covered in vernix.  I nursed her and held her and just tried to process everything that just happened.  At the time, it seemed liked those contractions were lasting a lifetime.  In reflection, time flew. 

My recovery has been amazing.  I feel great because I wasn't pushing for 3 hours.  I did have a level two (out of 4) tear but even that hasn't bothered me much.  This recovery has been easy in comparison.  Evolet also sleeps 20 - 22 hours a day so I have been able to get plenty of rest.  Jude barely slept... likely because he spit up everything he ate so I was constantly feeding him.  Evolet eats and barely spits up so her tummy is full and she sleeps.  Nursing is painful but I am hoping that that will soon subside.    

I feel so fortunate to have delivered two healthy babies, a boy and a girl.  Growing up, I knew I wanted a boy first because I always wanted an older brother.  My wishes have been granted.  I am lucky.   I am blessed.  I have my two children, two cocker spaniels, and an amazing husband.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Labor and Delivery - Jude McKirgan Kemp

**Note:  This post is mostly for me to remember details of my labor and delivery's.

Although my pregnancies were very similar, labor and delivery were very different.  Let's reflect on my labor and delivery with Jude first.

Welcoming Jude McKirgan Kemp:
My due date with Jude was October 22.  On Friday October 29th, he was still making no signs of wanting to come out.  My in-laws were coming down for the weekend.  Chad and I decided to go for our nightly one-mile walk with Rhyme and Tempest.  In an attempt to convince the little one to come out, we decided to walk two miles.  Fortunately, we were only walking around our neighborhood twice (each lap is one mile) so I could stop to use the restroom after the first lap.  My in-laws arrived rather late that evening.  I still felt great.  No contractions...not even Braxton Hicks contractions (that I was aware of anyway).  The next morning would prove to be a different story.

We all got up and got ready.  At 10:00 a.m. we headed to Bob Evans for breakfast.  On the way there, I had my first contraction.  Out of excitement for feeling some progress, I mentally noted the time and had another contraction about 14 minutes later.  Cheri immediately noticed that I was having a contraction by the grimace on my face.  I can't hide much... my face gives away everything!  During "breakfast", I ordered something very light.  I remember ordering green beans.  My appetite was quickly fading, maybe due to nerves.  I ate as well as I could while everyone chitchatted and made comments about how I was in labor.  After breakfast, Chad and Terry dropped Cheri and I off at our house.  Chad and Terry headed out to some home improvement stores. Cheri and I planned to go buy ceramic pumpkins at Hobby Lobby.  However, I wanted to wait a bit and see how I felt.  I ended up taking a final self-portrait (blurry) and continued to time my contractions.  Marvin came by to visit.  When he arrived, my contractions were between 7 to 8 minutes apart.  I called and let my parents know but told them not to head up just yet.  I wanted to wait for a while to make sure this was true labor.  Cheri and Marvin finally convinced me to let Cheri call Chad when my contractions were about 4 and a half minutes apart.  The guys had just pulled into Menards.  They were home in no time.  I also called my parents and they headed for Bloomington.  Chad and I headed to BroMenn.  By the time we arrived around 4:00 my contractions were just over 2 minutes apart. 

The nurse checked me and I was dilated... to a 1.  SIGH!  Over the next couple of hours, I was not making any progress.  Although my contractions were very close and seemed to be very painful, I barely made it to a 2.  The nurses said that they might have to send me home if I didn't start dilating.  I asked how I would know when to come back.  They told me that I would come back when I couldn't talk through my contractions.  The thought of that scared me.  Finally, I slowly started making progress.  The progress included vomiting.  I tried the labor ball.  Hated it.  I tried the birthing tub.  It was worse.  Looking back, I didn't give either of them a fair chance.  I was nervous and hated the pain.  Around 9:00 p.m., I gave in and asked for an epidural.  That proved to be a bad idea.

The 18 year old looking anesthesiologist came in and gave me my epidural.  Although he said it woud take 15 minutes, it took about 1 minute.  Everything went great, until they laid me down.  That is when my blood pressure dropped, Jude's heart rate dropped, I passed out, and woke up with the urge to throw up.  Since I had no where to vomit (they put an oxygen mask on me), I had to swallow it.  GROSS!  After a big scare and a request for an ER doctor, they got everything under control.  I had to keep the oxygen mask on for the rest of labor and delivery though.  Later, my mom kept coming in to check on me and was wondering why I wasn't sleeping.  I couldn't sleep.  The oxygen was keeping me up!  Chad napped, barely, on what appeared to be a very uncomfortable chair.  

Because my stomach was so round, the heart rate monitors for Jude would not stay on my belly  They had to do an internal monitor where they iserted a tiny monitor into the skin of Jude's head.  Another monitor on my leg was kicked off twice by me.  However, due to the epidural, I had no idea.  I just knew alarms were going off.

Finally at 1 something on Halloween morning, I had hit a 10 and was ready to push.  The nurses said that Jude's head was "right there" so they went ahead and called Dr. Santiago.  He came in but didn't come in the room.  I was pushing.  Chad's goal was to stay right by my head.  Instead, he ended up at the other end playing a tug of war game with me.  They used a sheet to help me push.  Chad had one end, I had the other.  The problem was, I couldn't feel anything.  I didn't know what was right or wrong.  I pushed for 3 hours.  I was so exhausted.  Dr. Santiago came in and I think he "helped" Jude out. 

Once he came out, I remember Dr. Santiago saying to Chad "Alright Daddy, what is it?" and Chad said "It's a BOY!!!"  Then I heard Jude cry.  I saw Chad spinning around out of pure joy and then he reached down and kissed me.  The cry was the most beautiful sound in the world.  I had a son.  I was a Mommy.  My world just changed dramatically and we were the happiest parents in the world.

Post pardum was rough.  I was very sore.  I could barely walk.  Chad had to get Jude and bring him to me.  Nursing was very painful.  Everything was painful.  I expected this but didn't enjoy it.  I even felt like I ripped my stitches open at one point.  I had a lot of stitches... internal and external.  Eventually I got better and by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was starting to feel a lot better. Jude was perfect.  He still is. 

At two and a half, I can't imagine my life without him.  He is adorable, sweet, and very smart.  He does act like a two year old at times, but that is what he is.  He is working on his independence and he is teaching Chad and I just as much as we are teaching him.  I love that kid sooooooooooooo much.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Upgrading it all - Classrooms, Languages, Belly Size, and our Kitchen

Good news/bad news... Jude moves up to the "Two's Room" at daycare.  I should be really excited.  However, I really like his teacher(s) now so I am undecided on how excited to get.  We have been SOOO happy with Scribbles.  I am sure everything will be fine.  I had the same reservations when he transferred into the room he is in now (Toddlers)... and I love what he learns every day.  He teaches Chad and I new songs and comes home using words that we haven't taught him.  For example, the other day he told me he saw his reflection when we were looking in the mirror.  I didn't teach him the word reflection...  I was very excited to hear him use the term and understand it.

He is also getting really good at singing along to music.  Thanks to the CD's from Julie (that we listen to over and over and over again) Jude is memorizing the words.  He will sing right along with the music and it is oh-so-adorable!

Jude is also helping Daddy workout now.  Not sure who has more fun!
I am still not sure that he (Jude) understands what it means when we talk about his baby brother or sister that will be arriving shortly.  He kisses the baby.  He hugs the baby.  He tells me I have a big baby (haha).  Even though I am not convinced that he really understands, I think he is going to be a phenominal big brother.
With only 8 weeks to go, I am getting excited and am finally starting to think about what I need to do to get ready.  Get baby stuff out, order parts for my pump, register at the hospital, etc. etc. etc.  I really don't think the list is very long but I should probably start putting some thought into it.

My 28 week photos were taken with Jude.  He was such a sport!  Gio and Genny gave us the cutest Red Sox shirts when we announced our pregnancy.  I had to get some pre-baby shots with them!


I took the 29 week photo while Jude and I were in Austin, visiting Chad.  The trip, by the way, was awesome.  Jude did FANTASTIC on the plane ride there and back.  He was so excited to be on the plane that he would run up to complete strangers and yell - at the top of his lungs - "Going on a plane ride!!!" with a big ole' smile on his face.  The most surprising thing is that he doesn't usually talk to anyone that he doesn't know.  While in Austin, we went to the mall and Jude counted (again, at the top of his lungs) in Spanish "Uno, Dos, Tres..." I was getting some funny looks.  I am not sure if it is because he was counting in Spanish or if it was because he was counting loud enough for half of the mall to hear him.  We also met with my Aunt Sharon while out there.  It was great to see her and great to catch up.  (Now for the very unprofessionally taken 29 week photo...)

These latest shots, Julie took for me while she was visiting last weekend.  (THANKS JULES!)  I really don't know where 8 more weeks of baby is going to fit.  At least my maternity clothes still fit.

In other news... we have completed another step in our kitchen.  We recently had a new hood put in above our stove, we added an AWESOME side panel to our fridge that Chad and his Dad made.  I love it!  We changed took some cabinets out of our island and added a beverage cooler and spice cabinet.  Tim, our tile guy just finished putting in our backsplash.  It all looks great!  I think the whole thing will be finished as soon as the hood gets textured and painted. 

Now... to determine the next big project.  My vote is a deck!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby Bump

As much as I love to take pictures, I am terrible at taking weekly pictures of my growing baby bump.  However, thanks to an Amazon gift card that I got from my sister for my birthday, I am now the proud owner of a wireless trigger for my camera.  This will make taking baby bump pictures much easier.  I hope to take pictures every week until the end of the pregnancy.  We will see how well I do with this goal.  So far, I have pictures (shown below) from 7 weeks, 19 weeks, 26 weeks, and today (28 weeks).

We have been talking to Jude a lot about having a sibling.  I have also been showing him baby books that show a Mommy's belly with the baby inside.  Not sure he quite gets it yet but I love the kisses and hugs that he gives my belly.  Every once in a while, he wants me to kiss the baby in his belly.  haha

So far, this pregnancy has been a breeze.  It has been very similar to my pregnancy with Jude.  Although I have no cravings for milk, I feel great, I seem to be carrying the same (straight out front with a big baby bump), and I haven't been sick (with a minor exception).  The biggest differences are that I haven't been sleeping as well, I have been much hungrier, and I had to be put on progestorone for the first 16 weeks of this pregnancy.  I was sleeping great until a few weeks ago.  Once I finally fall asleep, I wake up in the middle of the night and find myself sleeping on my back (you are supposed to sleep on your side - not your back after you hit 20 weeks).  At this point, rolling over isn't easy either - it requires a 5 point turn.  When it comes to eating, I seem to eat twice as much as Chad.  I am constantly hungry.  I did not experience this with Jude.  My pre-pregnancy appetite with Jude was pretty much the same when I was pregnant with him.  This pregnancy, just pass me 2nds and 3rds, please.  As for the progesterone, the doctor put me on progesterone pills until I was 16 weeks pregnant because my progesterone levels were low.  I also didn't experience this with Jude, but I don't remember being tested for it either.  While I was on the progesterone, I felt nauseaus.  The doctor told me that the nasea was likely a side effect of the pills and not of the pregnancy.  Once he took me off of two pills a day (one in the morning and one before bed) and only had me take one before bed, I felt great.  Luckily, we are well past having to take those.

At this point, 28 weeks, I still feel great.  Just trying to enjoy all of the kicks and movements that I feel inside of me.  I am fortunate that I felt the baby move very early, with both pregnancies.  This pregnancy I felt the baby move in the late part of my 16th week.  With Jude, I felt him move in the late part of the 17th week.  I do think that is the coolest part of being pregnant.  Just knowing that there is another life form growing inside of me that will soon come out and give Jude a playmate, sibling, tormenter, and best friend is heartwarming.  Until he/she arrives, we spend time snuggling, playing, reading, and talking about the baby.  I am very blessed.  Life is good.

                                                                     7 week photo:

                                                                    19 week photos:

26 week photos:

28 week photos:
Well, the 28 week photo was on my to do list for today and I never quite got there.  I will get to it before week 28 is over (it doesn't even officially start until tomorrow).  I did remeasure (see photo above) and I am 39 inches around instead of 38.  Gaining an inch in two weeks?  I will just assume that is normal.  :) 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Snuggle up, Jude


2013 is going to be a great year.  I have a lot of hope for those who are not well in my family... I strongly believe they will get better.  I also have a lot to look forward to.  Our second child will arrive, making Jude the World's Best Big Brother (he already has a shirt from Auntie Snic to prove it).  Who knows what State Farm holds for me but I have a feeling things are going to change at work.  We plan to have the backsplash tile put in in our kitchen, do some additional landscaping and then either finish the bonus room or add on a deck/patio.  We are also kicking off the year by traveling to Austin this month.  Chad is going to Austin and Houston for work.  Jude and I are going to come visit him in Austin for a half week.  We can't wait! 

As I put Jude down for bed tonight, I made a mental note to blog about the stages we went through to get him to sleep.  Not until recently (early December), was bedtime "easy".  Jude did not sleep through the night until he was well over a year.  I don't remember exactly when (hopefully I blogged about it) but he would wake up more than once every night.  My body was used to it so I was still functioning pretty well.  After we returned from Virginia last year, I decided to stop nursing.  Jude was 14 months.  No more nursing in the middle of the night but I did rock him back to sleep when he woke up.  I also had to rock him to sleep just to get him to fall asleep initially.  At some point (my guess is June or July), I transitioned him to laying in his crib.  I patted him on the back and/or held his hand until he fell asleep.  This was hurting my back, so I resorted to putting a pillow and blanket on the floor and holding his hand through the flat wooden crib spindles.  Once he was asleep, I would slip my hand out and sneak out of the room.  That is, if I didn't fall asleep first.  The thing was, I liked rocking Jude to sleep (the chair was just uncomfortable).  I liked holding his hand while he fell asleep.  After all, je isn't going to want Mommy to put him to bed forever.  This is just one of those things that I cherish... it really is great bonding time.  My concern was, when the new baby arrives, timing may not allow me to hold his hand while he fell asleep and I did not want him to associate that with his brother or sister.  So again, after we returned from Virginia (for Thanksgiving this year), I decided that I would lay him down and leave.  I told him I had to pay bills, or take out the trash, or go do something but I would come back and check on him.  He wasn't happy at first.  For the first few nights he would stand at the corner of his bed and cry out for Mommy or Daddy.  I would go back in every couple of minutes.  Chad would go up and give him hugs and kisses goodnight as well.  This lasted about three days and he decided not to fight it anymore.  After that, he would just wait patiently for me to come back in.  When I went back in he would say "Mommy checking on me?"  So sweet.  Now, I lay him down and I go back in about 15 minutes later, sometimes he is asleep and sometimes he isn't but he is always close.  I get a lot more done in the evenings now too!  I do the same thing for nap time.  I just lay him down.  At nap time, he usually sings for about an hour at the top of his lungs or screams his ABC's but eventually he falls asleep.  Since we don't hold hands to fall asleep anymore, we have snuggle time.  He loves to snuggle.  What's better than hearing your two year old say "Mommy, let's snuggle".

A couple pictures that I snapped while in Virginia this year!  (He loved the Davis kid's GeoTrax set so much that he got one for Christmas)

 Wishing everyone the best for 2013!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Catch up

**Although not posted, this blog was written on November 17th, in the truck on the way to see the Davis Family.

This post is more for myself and Chad as a reminder of all the things our little man has been up to. With another one the way, life is about to get more hectic and it is going  to be hard to remember the little things. To sum it up, Jude turned two on Halloween. He ranks right at 50% for both height and weight. He has been saying (or screaming) his ABCs for a couple of months already. He can count to 10, knows his colors, and his shapes. Everyone seems to be impressed with his speaking abilities. He already speaks between 6 and 7 word sentences and his words are very clear. (Although, sometimes bear sounds like beer.) We think part of the reason he is so advanced with his speaking is because he LOVES to read. Just grab a book and you have his undivided attention. We don't purchase toys anymore because he doesn't really play with them. He just constantly asks to be read to. Jude knows a lot of nursery rhymes and still uses his sign language abilities every now and then. 

The last few weeks have brought a few changes. He now sits facing forward in his car seat. When we head to the car Jude says "facing forward" with a big smile on his face. He is now adamant that he dresses himself, he has to pick out his own clothes, and has started potty training. He started showing interesting potty training a couple of months ago. I realized his interest one night when Marvin was over visiting. I took the girls outside to do their business and Marvin agreed to keep an eye on Jude. When I came back inside I could hear Marvin and Jude in the bathroom. Jude was saying "go potty again" and Marvin was confirming that was what he wanted. I walked into the bathroom and Marvin was holding Jude on the toilet with his pants and diaper still on. Marvin looked up at me an said "potty training?" I replied with "nope, are you?" We have been laughing about that day ever since. I found out at daycare a few days later that they had been sitting Jude on the toilet there because he was showing interest. We got him a potty chair for his 2nd birthday (I know, what a gift!) and he likes to "go potty like a big boy". 

Jude loves to help me bake and cook.  After I chop things up, he puts them in the pan or he dumps whatever I have measured into the bowl.  We make quite the mess... but I am a messy cook/baker without his help anyway.

Jude is also quite the lady's man at school.  First it was Abigail.  Miss Kelly, one of his teachers, caught them holding hands under the table - unprompted!  She grabbed her camera and was able to capture the moment.  A few days later, he was hugging AND kissing Aubrey.  Now he calls both of them on his play phone and tells them that he loves them.  We are going to have our hands full! 

Jude is an echo.  We have to be very careful about what we say around him.  He repeats everything!  He also has a tendancy to say "Mommy, Mommy - look at me!"  Once you look at him he makes a lion noise... "VARRRRR".  SO CUTE!

Yup... that's our kid.  Smart, cute and generally awesome.  We can't wait to meet number two!  Jude knows I have a baby in my belly and he likes to kiss the baby.  I am not sure if he really understands how our world will be changing though.  

Hopefully, it won't be so long before my next post.  Trying to remember all the little things makes my brain play quite a game of catch up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It happened!

It happened.  It sure did.  We even had conversations with friends and laughed about the fact that we had not faced "the situation" yet.  But, sure and soon enough, it happened - yup, Jude pooped in the tub.  The poor kid was running a fever and we were giving him a luke-warm bath to help break it (Tylenol wasn't working).  We usually bathe him in the evening.  Jude typically doesn't poo in the evening.  Hence, the lack of "this situation" previously.  Monday morning, we put him in the tub and because the water was slightly cooler than usual, I added bubble bath to help distract and entertain him.  Jude was loving all of the bubbles.  Chad and I were sitting on the edge of the tub talking and watching him.  Then Chad asked the ultimate question - "Is that poop?"  I was afraid to look.  Once we stopped laughing, I got Jude out of the tub and took him into the spare bathroom to give him another bath with no poop water.  Thank God for an amazing husband who cleaned and sanitized the watery, mushy, disgusting, messy tub.  Lesson learned: Stick to the evening bath ritual.

Speaking of rituals, I am starting a new yearly ritual.  Let me explain... while in Virginia, one of the "games" that I asked my sister-in-law and her husband to play was to guess what each of our kids would be when they grew up.  My goal is to ask again every year and see how it changes (hence, the "ritual"). The guesses for January 2012:

Dwayne's guesses:
  • Devereaux - Something in Architecture
  • Layla - Something in Design/Art
  • Caroline - Unsure
  • Jude - Unsure
Nichole's guesses:
  • Devereaux - Something in Architecture
  • Layla - Something in Design/Art
  • Caroline - Unsure
  • Jude - Unsure 
Miranda's guesses:
  • Devereaux - Financial Advisor
  • Layla - Interior Designer
  • Caroline - Veterinarian Assistant initially followed by a stay at home Mom
  • Jude - Astronaut
My guess for Jude, goes back to our first flight home from Virginia.  At Dulles airport in D.C., one of the security guards looked at my ID, handed it back to me, looked at Jude and stated so matter-of-fact: "That boy is going to be an astronaut."  That was all he said.  No smile.  No smirk.  Just a comment.  I found it interesting and couldn't help but smile.  That was the day that Chad and I decided on Jude's Halloween costume.  We will see where his adventure really takes him!  (Jude does LOVE to point at the moon - early indication?)

Caroline - she is such a sweety, a Mommy's girl, and loves animals.  Layla - she is a girly girl, a fashion expert (for a six year old), an a very good artist! Devereaux - he is super fun, very literal, and loves math!

Okay, one more thing before I share an amazing recipe, I have one more stat  that I am putting in this post (more for me than anyone else). I think I have mentioned before that signing has helped immensely in communicating with Jude.  I love to see him sign.  I love to teach him sign.  I love it when he teaches me signs (he learns some at daycare too).  I jotted a list down today of what signs he knows well and what signs he is learning.

  • Signs he knows well and uses often: Banana, cracker, apple, baby, monkey, puppy, lion, eat, ball, shirt, giraffe, phone, all done, pig, milk, water, please, thank you, cheese, cereal
  • Signs we are still working on: bread, orange, duck/bird (too similar for him to differentiate), cow, bull, flower, balloon, tree, train, plane, sockds, fish, elephant, daddy, mommy, light, bed, sleep
  • Words that he says: Mommy, Daddy, ball, Julie, Becky, up (actually up-py), baby, puppy, thank you (sounds like chi chi)

These are all I can remember right now.  "Thank you" is probably the cutest because he signs it and speaks it at the same time.  ADORABLE!  And... one photo of Chad and Jude pointing at pictures and naming who is in each of them.  :)

Okay, now for an awesome recipe that I found in Better Homes and Gardens.  If you are vegetarian or vegan, give this one a shot.  We have also had it with pork roast shoulder on the side that Chad slow cooked with some delicious apple glaze.  If you make it, let me know if you love it as much as I do!

Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces (I cheat and buy organic baby carrots)
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large red onion, peeled, halved, and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 lb red or russet potatoes, cut into cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
2 to 3 TBSP vegetable oil or olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Move oven rack to center of oven.  Preheat oven to 425.  Place all vegetables, garlic, and chickpeas in a large shallow roasting pan.  In a small bowl combine oil, rosemary, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle over vegetables; toss well to coat.
2. Roast, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring twice.  Makes 8 side-dish servings.
3.  ENJOY!
(Note: each serving is 223 calories, 4 grams of fat, 301 mg sodium, 42 g carb, 7 g fiber, 6 g protien)

I'll post more pictures soon!