Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jackson's World Series Birthday party

The final game of the World Series was last night and unfortunately, the trophy went to the Giants. Even though Jackson was near tears when I told him the news this morning, I reminded him of how much fun we had celebrating the Royals all throughout the postseason-- including his World Series watch party! 

The party was on a Friday night and so it was only fitting that we had the same treats that are available at Kauffman for every Friday night for Buck Night: peanuts, hotdogs, and pepsi! And isn't the cake awesome? My friend HanNah always makes the coolest cakes for us!

Jack was so stoked for the party. See our fancy decorations? Jackson made and colored the sign. :)

To start things off, we played some backyard ball. 

Then we came inside to feed the team!

So much laughter.  (And Amanda is like, "boys are so weird...")

Game time!

The kids were so quiet and still during the National Anthem. I was so proud!

But then things got CRAZY! We had some awesome cheering going on. So much, in fact, that I didn't get a single non-blurry photo!

After the first inning, we had a cake break and Jackson opened presents. 

Each of Jackson's friends went home with a miniature Royals pennant that I found in a tent-store in a grocery store parking lot. 

I'm so glad the Royals gave us something to celebrate along with Jackson's birthday! He had so much fun with all of his friends and fortunately for me, it was a super simple party to host (which was incredibly important with a newborn in the family!).


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jack's birth story: Six years later!

I'm not quite sure how it happened. Or at least how it happened so quickly... but today we celebrated Jackson turning SIX!!! 

He had asked if I a sticker for him to wear, like Caroline, so I told him that I;d just have to make him a sign. After I took his picture, he said he could just keep the sign, turn it upside down and use it again when he's nine. And I promptly told him that he's never allowed to turn nine! :)

Six years ago today, Jackson made us parents! And proud parents we were despite having NO IDEA what we were doing. 

I didn't have this blog back when he was born so I thought I'd his hospital pics and birth story. It's a good thing that I'm doing this six years after the fact because I've managed to suppress most of the memories from the day and so I'm left with a nice, sentimental birth story! 

Here we are headed out the door at some ridiculous wee hour of the morning. 

When I tell this story to Jackson, it goes something like this: Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital in the middle of the night so it was still dark outside. We were so excited that we knew we'd have a little baby boy soon! Breakfast time came and went, lunch came and went, dinner came and went and still no baby. 

You were just so comfortable (even though Mommy wasn't!) and you didn't want to come out. Eventually at 9:30, it was time for Mommy to work for me to have you and I worked and worked and worked! I was really tired and REALLY hungry because I didn't get to eat at breakfast, lunch, OR dinner. But Daddy kept loving on me and he told me to just keep working and we'd get to meet our baby boy! So I did, and then FINALLY at 10:37 you were born. 

As soon as you were born, the nurses had to take you away and make sure everything was okay because you were so wiggly inside my tummy that the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck two times! Daddy and I got to hold you for a little bit after about an hour, but you had to sleep in a special bed to help you keep warm the first night. 

That didn't stop everyone from coming to see you! They had been waiting ALL DAY to meet the first baby in the family! 

Everyone was so proud and excited!

You were so precious. Mommy and Daddy were so happy to cuddle and bring our baby boy home!

(and Jackson's favorite part...)
The first time Daddy changed a diaper at home-- you pottied all over him!!! You made a mess on Mommy and Daddy's bed!

The first night at home, you cried and cried and cried ALL night long. We eventually learned that you loved to be swaddled up tight and cuddled to go to sleep!  After about a week at home, we had to take you back into the hospital to sleep under some special lights to keep your body healthy. After that-- you've been a super healthy boy and you keep growing big! 

Isn't it crazy that this little baby has grown up into such a sweet little guy? 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

One Month: Caroline

Dear Caroline, 

Today you're one month old! What a month it's been. I have enjoyed your newborn stage on a deeper level than I ever have in the past and I just can't get enough. I think it's because I know now how fast it all goes (you're brother is turning six in a few days!) and I want to soak up every last drop of your baby stage! You've also just been a super easy baby, so that helps! :)

From the very first night in the hospital, you've given us at least one four hour stretch of sleep. In fact, there have only been two nights in the past month that you've kept us up for several hours over night. Just two. You fall asleep pretty easily and you stay asleep when we put you down. When you wake up to eat overnight, you fall right back to sleep and sleep soundly until the next time you're hungry. Seriously, you've just been super easy. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

You've also been an excellent nurser since the beginning. During the day, you eat about every two hours in the morning, but as the day progresses you go about 2 1/2 to 3 hour stretches. The most difficult issue is to keep you awake when you eat. Sometimes, I have to get obnoxious just to get you wake up and finish.

I've been trying to implement a eat, play, sleep schedule with you; but your sometimes, it's more of a sleep, eat, sleep, eat schedule! You're most awake in the evenings when your big brother and sister go to bed. I think it's a combination of the house being much more calm and quiet and us being more available to give you undivided attention. 

You're big siblings adore you. Jackson has taken upon himself to teach you all he knows. He's been telling you about what to learn in kindergarten and has given you fair warning to not use bathroom words at school (a lesson he's learned the hard way). Isabelle introduces herself to you every day, "Hey, I'm your big sister!" Whenever we are out running errands, she'll tell anyone she can about her baby sister. They both love to hold you and both like to read you books. You are so blessed to have them!

We have your one month check up tomorrow! The scale at home says you're up to 8 pounds, 12 ounces. You just started wearing size 1 diapers, but that's just because we're out of newborns and we have a ton of diapers (thanks to wonderful diaper shower a few weeks ago!). You love to be swaddled for sleeping and sometimes even for your awake time too. As for a pacifier, sometimes you love it. Sometimes you want nothing to do with it!  You don't like tummy time and you prefer to be held by someone standing up. 

It's been a great month from welcoming you into our family and to getting to know your little personality. We thank God that he's given you to us and can't wait to watch you grow! 


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blue October

You guys, THE ROYALS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES! Sorry for shouting, but this is seriously big news. Huge! I think I need to say it again.


See, we won the series back in 1985 but haven't been back, or even into the playoffs, ever since! And now, our boys in blue have swept the Angels and the Oriel's in back to back series and we'll be playing in the championship next week.

The best part of celebrating the team success is being able to do it with our family and friends! We visited my parents last Friday night to watch a game and we went to another watch party at Derek's parents on Saturday. Our city is in an uproar and it is just about the coolest thing ever. Last night, Caroline and I had the opportunity to go to Game 3 of the ALCS Championship last night and it was amazing. The stadium was packed, the enthusiasm was electric, and it was just so exciting!

Did you catch the adorableness in that photo above!? Well, here's more from the cutest little Royals fan EVER!

She's even cute all bundled up! :)

We made a stop at guest services before the game to get a certificate printed off because it was her first game! This was one heck of a first game to go to. Her Uncle Phil is a bit jealous because it took him 32 years to ever be able to attend a Royals playoff game!

Now, if you thought we were excited before-- here's right when we won the game! And this might be one of my favorite pics ever. It captures such an exciting moment!

Today, we streamed the game online. The picture wasn't always clear and sometimes it was choppy, but it didn't matter because at least we got to see the ending. With our family crammed onto the sofa, all eyes on my laptop, we erupted in our own little celebration!

I have been dragging all day, despite the copious amounts of caffeine that I consumed to help offset the late night out, multiple overnight feedings, and the aches and pains because, in all of the excitement, I failed to remember that my body itself is still 3 weeks in recovery. Oops! But, I wouldn't go back and change a thing! Way to go Royals!!! I can't wait to watch our team in the world series next week!


Saturday, October 11, 2014

The arrival of our Sweet Caroline

Caroline is 2 1/2 weeks old and I've been working on this post for almost as equally as long. I haven't actually been on my computer much-- thank goodness for smartphones! Here's a brief rundown of the day we welcomed Caroline into the family and, of course, lots of pictures!

  • Night before: Blogged about being 40 weeks pregnant. Disappointed that baby wouldn't likely come on her own and that we'd just head in for the induction on Wednesday. Back was achey so I put off finishing touches of baby prep to do the next day.
  • Middle of night: Wake up at 2am. Potty break, which was usual. I was also starving, which was very unusual. Ate a bowl of cereal and cuddled up with heating pad for the rest of the night because my back HURT. 
  • 6:15am- Derek's alarm goes off. Normally just roll over and go back to sleep. Back pain kept me up. Was that a contraction? It kinda hurt, not sure. Wait it out a bit. 
  • 6:45am- Decide to get up, take shower. Contractions, yes-- they actually really hurt. Three minutes apart. Derek thinks we need to go to hospital asap; I don't have time to do this labor thing yet-- Jackson needs to get to school, I need to finish packing our bags, their bags, etc. I'll reassess this whole labor thing after 8am. I take a shower.
  • 7:15am- Wake up Jackson for school. Contractions-- getting worse as I'm up and moving around. Start moving around more frantically trying to get bags packed and ready. Derek continues to gently suggest I stop trying to get things done and to just head to hospital. 
  • 7:30am- Derek's parents arrive. He had already called them earlier- smart guy! We give a quick rundown and hand over suitcases. I'm sort of more convinced that this might be the real deal. 
  • 7:45am- Quick family prayer before we head to hospital. Derek prays for Mommy as she does hard work to have a baby. Jackson replies, "Well, I'm the one who's going to work the hardest today because I have school!!!"
  • 7:45-8:30ish-- En route to hospital. During RUSH HOUR. Basically, this time was spent nagging Derek to drive more smoothly as he wove in and around traffic. Derek remained kind and encouraged me through contractions. When we came upon traffic that was at a complete standstill, Derek jumped on the shoulder and by-passed nearly a mile or two of motorists who were probably swearing at us. 
  • 8:30am- Arrive at labor and delivery in tears. Contractions suck and they hurt. The nurse hands me a paper to fill out. Kept silent, but in my mind I was thinking something along the lines of "OHMYGOODNESS ARE YOU STINKIN' KIDDING ME!?!?!?!" I scribble some info and waddle down the longest hall ever to the room. Asked for the epideral. Nurse replies, "well, first we have to see what's going on and determine if this is real labor." Again, I keep quiet despite the shouting going on inside my head. 
  • 8:45am- I'm all hooked to the monitors. Baby heartbeat good. Yay! My contractions are peaking at the highest point. Reassured about seeing the contractions visually on the monitor-- like I wasn't making it up. Once I'm in the hospital, time became irrelevant to me and so I have no idea when exactly things happened next, but it's all a guess.
  • 9:00am- Contractions have become less mild as I continued to lay still in bed. Nurse asks me to move sometimes and I politely decline because every move I make brings on a contraction. She insists. I move, contraction comes. I hate her; I keep quiet. I hurt all over. Not just contractions. I'm nauseous. I get sick. My back hurts. 
  • 9:15am- They give me some sort of pain med in my IV. Makes me SO loopy. Can still feel contractions, but seemed more manageable. Derek laughs at me because I'm incoherent. I'm annoyed because the things I am saying make total sense to me. Whatever. 
  • 10:15- Epideral lady arrive. HALLELUJAH! She is SO chatty and explains the process for what feels like an hour. Again, I remain quiet despite my desire to tell her to stop talking and start working. She makes me sit up. I hate her. She works her magic. 
  • 10:30ish-- Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!
  • 10:30-12:45- Mom arrives. We chill. I rest, I text a few people. I'm starving and can't stop contemplating what I want to eat once we get the show on the road. Derek and Mom both take turns sitting and snuggling. I keep telling the nurses that I'm ready to start pushing, but they keep telling me we have to wait for doc. Took a selfie-- this is my "I just got an epideral face"! 
  • 12:45- Doc shows up. Baby is sunny side up. They try to fix that. Ouch! We do the push thing, which is honestly a lot of hard work. Mom and Derek are both great encouragers. Nurse wants me to push harder because the baby's heart rate has decreased and they want her out. ME TOO, Lady! 
  • 1:13-- Baby Caroline arrives!!! 
They put her on my chest right away and they did her clean up all around me. I can't stop looking at her. I look up at Derek and I am thankful beyond words that he got to be there with me this time. The way he was looking at our baby girl, I knew he was thinking the same thing! I cried happy tears. :)

Caroline was so alert right after she was born. We just held her and looked at her for about an hour! My favorite part of the day. She was actually quite chatty. She had A LOT to say. It was so cute. I took a video. :)

She was 7 pounds 3 ounces. 

Mom made a lunch run and brought back Panera and Dad came to meet Caroline that afternoon. Grandma Linda and Grandpa Forrest brought Jackson to the hospital after school. Unfortunately, Isabelle got sick right before coming to the hospital. I was bummed, but she just went home with Grammy. We FaceTimed later that day so she was able to see Caroline that evening. We had the news delivered to Jackson at school after Caroline was born and he was eager to meet his new sister!

Caroline gifted Jack a new Pete the Cat book and Jackson read it to her. It was so sweet.

He came the next day after school too. Grandma had printed off a picture of Jackson and Caroline at home and Jackson took it to school to show it off. He was a super proud big brother!

Fortunately, Belle was feeling better and came to visit the second day too. This gal was super excited, but she had the attention span of a gnat and was all over the place. It was pretty humorous. In a matter of about 3 minutes, she gave Caroline her new blanket, held Caroline, found the gifts sitting in the room for her, checked out every corner of the hospital room, and attempted to push every button. She even managed to fall out of a chair-- a task she's mastered for a few years now. I was just relieved that she was so excited! 

There are so many parts of Caroline's birth story that were just how I wished things would go. Which is really so amazing to me because I had really let go of many of those things actually working out that way. From planning to go into an induction, yet being surprised by her appearance on her due date to (relatively) easy delivery happening early in the day. Things worked out for Derek to not have to report to for army duty until the day after we checked out of the hospital and even though the kids came to the hospital separately, they were both super excited. 

My heart is so full and we feel so loved by all of our friends and family who visited in the hospital, who have supplied meals for our family, and who have helped in so many different ways! We are truly blessed! 



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