Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I am in Love with This Child.

touching noses
photo compliments of Rachel, our personal family photographer. :)

He eats wonderfully well, and predictably.

He sleeps swaddled, in his little crib, no assistance needed.

He slept 5.5 hours straight last night.

He doesn't cry unless he needs something, and then he stops right away.

He lets his brother poke his eyes, ears, nose, belly button, etc., without any complaints.

HE IS A DREAM BABY!! (so far. fingers crossed.)


Why This Child is Driving Me Crazy:

He still needs 2 naps in order to be functional all day.

He will only take one nap.

This is why he transforms into Mr. Cranky Pants Monster in the evenings. Like, full meltdowns, lasting a couple of hours. It's either the naps or the new molars coming in.

My ears hurt from all the screaming.

(But I still love him.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

renewed dreams of an ex-pianist.

Rick and I both play the piano... sort of. I took lessons all growing up, and of course whined and moaned about practicing every day. I think I spent more time moseying on over to check the timer, praying that the 30 minutes would be up than actually playing the piano.

I made a deal with my mom that I could quit piano once I learned every hymn in our church's hymnbook. Unfortunately, I got busy enough with high school to quit before I reached that goal. And that is why I can play hymns 1 through 30 perfectly; the other 311 are a struggle.

Oh, how I wish I could play every hymn, and lots of other songs, too! Then, when suddenly a pianist is needed at church, I wouldn't have to ask, "um, what song? Hymn 31? Oops, out of my range." (The funny thing is, Rick will raise his hand anytime a pianist is needed, even though his abilities are about equal to mine. Then I get so worried that he's going to embarrass himself that I end up volunteering for him, and I'm the one who gets to blunder through the song.)

Anyway, my piano woes will soon be over. I can finally complete my dream of learning every hymn in the book.

I up and bought a piano.

The idea came to me, I clicked on over to Craigslist, checked out any pianos in the area under 200 bucks, and immediately found THE ONE. The phone call to the owner confirmed my feeling that this piano was it; she lives a half mile down the street! So now, just days later, I can go and play the piano anytime I want! Well, anytime I don't have a baby needing to be fed or held or changed, or a toddler needing to be played with or comforted or taught to color only on the paper or... well, I don't get to play that much. But when I do, I'll start with hymn number 31.

piano playing
Carson and I playing our new piano.

It's nearly a hundred years old, from 1920. Ivory keys. And it still sounds ok!

It's heavy. Thanks, guys!!!

One more thing...I don't know if I have the guts to do this, but I really want to paint the piano some crazy color, like one of these:

Should I do it??

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Evvy Ev

I'm not a huge fan of nicknames for my kids: Carson is Carson, and Everett is Everett. But, I find myself saying Carsy and Evvy wayyy too much these days. Carson says Everett's name as "Eva," and we find ourselves imitating that as well. I never dreamed I would say Evvy, but when they're so cute, it's hard not to talk all cutesy too!

Everett is growing like a weed. He weighed 8 lbs. 2 oz. at his two-week appointment. He is chubbing up, and is now wearing an outfit that Carson didn't fit into until he was 2 months old. That's why I need to hurry and post these pictures: they were taken a week ago, and they're already out-dated!


Monday, April 20, 2009

the grandparents' visit.

Since my mom was with me all last week, and sister the one before, this has been my first week alone as a mother of two. I am really missing having extra adults around. Poor Carson always wants to go play outside right when I need to feed Everett or when I've just laid him down for a nap. And I especially miss my mom's taking care of all the laundry, and the delicious meals they made. Couple that with some yummy meals we've gotten from friends this week, and I'm worried Rick's going to realize I'm not a great cook!

My parents came to us straight from their week-long hike of the Appalachian trail. They are serious hikers. We made sure to get a picture of them before they could wash off the Appalachian trail dirt and stench.

New books from Grandmama were immediately bestowed. Carson hasn't let go of this Baby Animals books since. He is obsessed. He loves it so much he even ate part of a page.

My mom hemmed another pair of jeans for me. (She did two pairs of maternity jeans last visit.) My whole life I've walked around stepping on the backs of my pants. Why didn't we think of this before??

Carson showed off his impressive memory to the grandparents. I am amazed by how much he remembers lately. Here, he identifies all his aunts. Note his typical stance with his hands behind his back.

And oh, how we love to play in Pappy's truck. Sooo many buttons to push!

Looking through my pictures, I guess we didn't take any of my parents with Everett! Oops. They'll have to come again soon. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This is who I am.

Found this picture of me on our camera, taken yesterday.

Or was it the day before?

I don't know; the lack of sleep is catching up to me!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grandmama always gives the first bath.

And Carson still kisses all day long.

Also, I love the Moby wrap. Everett has been on several walks, to the library, his daddy's softball game, a friend's barbeque, and the grocery store just as snug as can be.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

much better than expected.

Sweet Everett is asleep on my lap as I type. I am noticing his perfect, smooth skin. He is a good-looking newborn.

So, I am thinking that expecting the worst might really be the key to happiness. Throughout this last pregnancy, I did NOT feel ready to have a second child. I worried that I wouldn't have the energy to get up with him at night. I worried that Carson would be angry and resentful. I worried that Rick wouldn't be able to study with the new demands at home. I pretty much conjured up the worst possible scenarios concerning the new baby: picture a worn-out, sleep-deprived mom trying to console an always-crying newborn with a crazy 16-month-old whacking the newborn on the head.

It has only been 10 days since Everett was born. Much to my surprise, none of my fears are coming true!! Everett sleeps and eats like a pro. He'll even give me 4 hour stretches at night sometimes. (We really decided he's an easygoing baby last night when I pumped milk just to see if he'd take a bottle. The kid took about 2.5 seconds to figure out how to do the bottle thing and proceeded to chug it!) As for Carson, he still gets excited every time he sees Everett. He says, "be-bee!!" in a high-pitched voice, and he kisses the baby more times a day than I can count. I feel like Carson has matured a ton in the last week; he is more independent, he's extremely helpful with following commands, and he's still loving and cuddly.

Life is not perfect (that's right; my belly is NOT flat yet), but this whole mother-of-two thing is a whole lot easier than I expected!! Knowing how to nurse and take care of a baby just lessens the stress a million times compared to having a first baby. I am grateful things are going well so far...we'll see if we can keep it up!!

Carson taking care of his new baby.

(So maybe he's gotten a little crazier since becoming a big brother.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Everett's Labor and Delivery: the Story.

My doctor called me twice on Friday, just to see if I was having regular contractions yet. Both times I sadly reported that I hadn't felt a thing. I wondered if this baby wasn't going to make his appearance until the April 10th due date after all.

Saturday morning, we all went to pick up Ashley at the airport. When we arrived back at the house, we all sort of sat around and said, "well, Ashley's here; I guess the baby can come now!" This is how amazing Everett's timing is. We watched the first session of our church's General Conference and ate lunch. DURING the closing comments of the conference, my water broke. So, Everett waited until Rick finished his test and had a couple days free of school, until I finished my sewing project, and until Ashley arrived and was ready to take care of Carson.

When I called the Doctor to tell her my water broke, she said since I still hadn't had regular contractions, I didn't need to hurry to the hospital. She said to take our time and head over there soon. When I called my mother to tell her my water broke, she said to drop everything and race to the hospital. (Our family sort of has a history of quick labors.) After I hung up the phone, I felt a contraction...then 10 minutes later another one...then 8 minutes later another... and by the time we got to the hospital at 2:30, my contractions were 5 minutes apart and pretty painful.

Here we are, heading for the hospital (between contractions).
When we got checked into our room, I started to make my demands concerning intermittent fetal monitoring, the use of my birthing ball, etc. When I tried to get up and walk around or labor on the birthing ball, I realized that I was sort of passed that point; I was in enough pain that I couldn't handle anything but sitting in the bed. So much for all my reading and preparations for having a "home-birth" in the hospital!! With the contractions becoming so painful so fast, I started to get a little negative. Rick says that at one point he considered asking for pain meds for me. My new goal for my next delivery is to avoid yelling things like, "Rick, WHY am I doing this natural??," "This is stupid!! and, "I hate this!!" I think that was the transition phase, when the contractions are right on top of each other without a break. Then there was a little pause in the contractions before the pushing phase, and I sort of regained my confidence.
The two doctors and nurse who were with me were sooo great at teaching me how to push; I think with my first delivery, I never really caught on. So, on only the third set of pushes, I was amazed when I pushed the head out!! The shoulders were a little tough (second degree tear), but then I just could not believe that it was all over so fast!! I was only in that hospital room for 2.5 hours. The pain during this labor was much more intense than my first, and I'm still not sure I know how to best manage the pain with Lamaze techniques and such. But I am so happy I accomplished my goal of going all natural.
I was able to hold and nurse baby Everett right after he was born!

A more flattering picture after fixing my hair.

I am really happy with my doctor, a resident at Wake. I was her first natural childbirth!

Carson really was happier than this about the whole thing. He didn't seem to care at all that Ashley or anyone else was taking care of him, despite my constant worrying. He's just upset in this picture because Ashley didn't know to take the stairs when they came to visit. Carson has a very intense fear of elevators and goes ballistic when he rides one.
Just a few more pictures. Note the eyes and nose that are identical to Carson's, and the huge cleft in his chin!! Where did that come from??

I had to stay at the hospital for the full 48 hours because the labor was too fast for me to get an antibiotic for GBS. They just had to wach him, but everything about our baby Everett is perfectly healthy!! It feels so good to have delivered a healthy baby this time!
We are now home and tired but happy!!