Monday, February 28, 2011

"10-4 Good Buddy"

Well, we didn't even make it to the one month check up. Charlie had to make his first visit to the pediatrician today. Poor guy.

I had noticed some bad diaper rash on his little bum that didn't seem to go away with Desitin and some red chaffing on the insides of his legs. I called to talk to the nurse today to see how to treat it and she suggested he be seen since he is so young. Without embarrassing my little man any further, I'll just say that the doctor ended up prescribing medicine that will hopefully clear up his "area". :)

The only upside to the doctor's visit was getting to see how much Charlie weighed. With my breastfed babies, I have always been curious to see how much they are gaining since I have no idea how many ounces they take in at each feeding. No worries here!
Charlie is 2 weeks and 5 days old and weighs...

10 pounds 4 ounces!

The nurse could not believe it, and frankly, I was a little embarrassed. Apparently, there is no concern for childhood obesity in two week olds because they said he was doing great (with the exception of his baboon bottom) and sent us on our way!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm Thirty

I've rechecked the math. If indeed I was born in '81, that means that yesterday, I turned the big 3-0. Everyone has asked me how I feel about my birthday this year. I must say, I really don't mind this new age. We will be married eight years this summer and now have three kids. I guess thirty seems reasonable.

I got to start celebrating early on Tuesday when we got a visit from my cousin Taylor, her sweet baby boy, my Aunt Patty and Mom! They brought lunch, gifts and cupcakes for Mom and me whose birthday is the day after mine.

It's been a dream come true for Taylor and I to have our boys so close! This was the babies' first meeting and I'm sure that they will grow up to be best buds. She also came bearing diapers and three bags of baby clothes that Pho has outgrown - thanks Cousin!

Taylor getting some newborn cuddles...isn't she gorgeous?

Patty and Taylor brought and set up lunch and even cleaned my kitchen. What a blessing!

We sampled several varieties of Miss Mamie's Cupcakes of Marietta, GA. My favorite was Key Lime...mmmmm.

The beautiful sisters and their grandboys.

Libby loved spending time with baby Pho...

and Annie just loved being Annie.

I have always thought it was neat celebrating with my birthday buddy. Happy Birthday to Mom today!

We enjoyed our afternoon together eating, laughing, and rocking babies. I wish we lived closer so that it could have a standing lunch play date!

Yesterday, I woke up to orange tulips, an adorable handmade card and Waffle House breakfast! I took the the kids to the park after we picked Libby up from preschool and then had a visit from a sweet friend that afternoon.

Dusty even surprised me with a strawberry cake from Gourmet Tiger. I have not had a cake with my name written on it since I was little. I got so tickled when I saw it. Isn't it precious?

The baby weight is not going to go anywhere if folks keep bringing me these sweet treats!

Last night, I had a hot date with my two boys. When you're thirty and you have a two week old nursing baby, the extent of a night on the town includes a trip to Target to buy Desitin and a changing pad then dinner at Provinos as you pass your newborn back and forth over mussels and garlic rolls. It was the first (semi) alone time Dusty and I have had since Charlie was born and it was nice to actually put make-up on and feel a little more human. We were able to have uninterupted conversation and the only drama that occurred came from the booth across from us. The seemingly normal couple at the next table pulled a Dine and Dash! We couldn't believe it!

It was a great birthday spent with those that I love the most. I'm really excited about my gift from D - a photography class! I hope to start in a couple of months and work on learning how to go from AUTO to the daring MANUAL settings on my camera. Thank you, husband!

I had to include these last pics. Annie is showing much more interest in her little brother and has started to want to hold him more. I loved these shots...

And lastly, Charlie gave Mommy the greatest birthday gift of all - almost 5 straight hours of sleep last night! You rock, little man!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby Love

These are just a few of the portraits taken by Amy McDaniel when Charlie was one week old!

They make this Mommy melt.

She did a fantastic job of capturing these early days. I watched her mold his little newborn body into natural looking poses and she gently ssshhhed him back to sleep every time a droopy eyelid started to flutter. I think she is indeed a Baby Whisperer. Amy was also so understanding when most of her backdrops and blankets ended up with Charlie poo all over them.

We had the girls come in at the end of the session to try to get all three of them together. I had not been able to even get them all on the couch at home to snap a picture, so I wondered how it was going to go. Libby instantly turned on the charm and was loving the camera. Annie, as predicted, not so much. Amy worked her magic with promises (ok, bribes) of M&Ms and it did the trick!

I love this one. No big cheesy smiles, but adorable none the less.

Thank you, Amy!
Dewdrops Photography by Amy McDaniel

Monday, February 21, 2011

We Made It!

Today was my first day flying solo with all three kids. As far as I can tell, everyone is fed, clean and happy which is all that I can hope for at this point.

Last night I started to get butterflies. I felt like I was reporting to a new job Monday morning that I didn't know if I was qualified for. This morning, Dusty left for work around 7:30 and I was officially back on duty. It was wonderful to have my mom here for over a week to help us. She left last Friday, we had Marty, Emily, Lacy and Maggie spend Saturday night with us and Dad had visited us yesterday. Now it was just me and my little ones.

I woke up to this sweet face.

Let's hear it for the boy! He is already sleeping four hour blocks at night! I'll take it!

We started the day with an easy breakfast of Nutrigrain bars and Rice Krispies...

But we did make it out of the house on time to take Lib to preschool!

Annie and I spent the morning trying to put a dent in the never ending laundry pile that is overflowing onto the floor. We also got a few games of hide and go seek in. I love those little two year old giggles.

I reheated leftovers for the girls for lunch (which is the extent of any cooking I have done in the last two weeks!) Annie "The Finisher" Garnett made sure to polish off any of sister's leftovers. :)

One lesson I learned is that I shouldn't try to feed all three at the same time. Once I got the girls settled with their plates, I sat down on the couch to feed Charlie. Annie quickly figured out that she could stand up in her chair and drop her lima beans on the floor and Mommy couldn't get up to regulate.

All three napped after lunch and then Libby made some paper dolls. All of her "girls" look alike. Long hair and long dresses. They are on every pad of paper and chalk drawing on our driveway. I do want to brag...notice the green sash that she drew BEHIND the dress! Attention to detail!

The Artist formerly known as Libby...

Charlie Bear sat next to me on the couch this afternoon and was wide awake for almost an hour!

I got several shots of these little peepers...

and then suddenly caught this face!

Then he was back to newborn-ness...

As I was taking a shower (at 4:45pm) and reading a Seek and Find Disney book to Annie through the glass shower door as she sat on my bathmat, I realized again that life is going to be a little crazy for a while. We will find our new routine.

I have to admit, that evening we watched a couple episodes of Olivia and a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as Mommy eyed the clock, waiting for my back-up to arrive.

When the girls heard the garage door go up at 6:15, they ran to greet Daddy. We made it!

I love this job, but I'm sure with a full night's sleep, I will be a little better at it. I know that soon I will feel comfortable actually venturing out of the house with all three in tow, but for now, our trips to preschool and back will be as adventurous as we get. Grateful for my new "promotion" and hoping tomorrow goes as smoothly!

Good night!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine's Day {in Cell Phone Photos}

Our Valentine's Day was pretty low-key this year. With a new little one to love on, there were plenty of hugs to go around!

I was able to attend Lib's preschool party while Mom kept Annie and Charlie. It was nice to get dressed and get out of the house. It was a nice first outing and gave me some special time with my big girl valentine.

"Mailboxes" full of valentines. Don't you remember this from school? We had fun going through and seeing what she got!

Who wants a cupcake? (at 11:00 am)

Libby brought home stickers for little sis. When you're two, you use them all at once.

Sleepy boys...can you feel the love? :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome C-Dub!

..we are trying out nicknames for Charles Woodrow. Among others, we are tossing around Little C, Charlie Bear, Brother Bear, and Wood Chuck. I find myself just calling him Sweet Boy most of the day, in between kissing his sweet face constantly. I have fallen hard for this tiny little guy...

Tomorrow Charlie will already be one week old! I have been meaning to jot down the details of his birthday before they become hazy, but bringing home a third baby has been pretty busy to say the least!

So, here goes. 5:45 am on February 9th...on our way to the hospital.

We went in for a scheduled induction and they started pitocin around 7:30 am to kick start contractions. I had been induced with both the girls, so I kind of knew what to expect. Within thirty minutes, I could feel the effects. Not really painful, just uncomfortable. Dusty and I watched the TODAY show and chatted about meeting our boy...probably after lunch...right?

I was 4 centimeters at this point and my nurse - sweet friend Amy who has been with me for every delivery - ordered an epidural and prepped me with the mandatory saline that you have to have before you can get the good stuff. Mom arrived and brought Dusty some breakfast. I was so glad to have her there for the birth. The contractions started to get more intense and by the time the anesthesiologist came in to put in the epidural at around 9:45 am, I was very glad to see him. The stick hurt, but with the promise that I would be feeling better soon, I held still and tried to be brave.

As it turns out, this would be my last act of courage for the day.

After a few more minutes, I was 6 centimeters and the contractions became more frequent and were much more painful. Amy kept asking me if they were feeling any less intense now with the epidural. NOPE. The recovery time between contractions seemed almost zero. She said we would wait a few more minutes and then call the anethesilogist back in to make an adjustment since it didn't seem to be helping. This is when I started to panic. As the pain became unbearable, I was checked and Amy gently broke the news that I was ready to deliver. I lost it!

With the girls, I had laid back comfortably and peacefully delivered them with almost no pain (or feeling from the waist down!). What was happening at that moment was completely unexpected and I WAS SCARED! I did not want to feel what was about to happen. I faintly remember the group of nurses coming in to the room to set up for delivery and multiple requests for my doctor to come in. My doctor arrived and was able to give me a some medication to help with some of the pain. If that actually worked, I can't even imagine what it would have felt like without it! If we could replay the next few moments, they would look like the childbirth scenes from movies where the woman is gripping the bed, crying out and pulling on her husband. There may or may not have been some expletives that slipped out. I'm sure I was a sight. Have mercy, I was a mess.

Thankfully after three short pushes, we met our beautiful boy at 10:12 am.

It was amazing to go from experiencing white lightening pain to experiencing complete relief and love all at the same time. Charlie was finally here! We cuddled him, kissed him and prayed over this new life.

Super nurse and friend, Amy!

I fed him for the first time and after about an hour, they took Charlie back to the nursery to check him over and give him a bath. I was sitting there sipping my Sprite waiting to be moved to my room when Dusty and I looked at each other and said "Did that just happen?". I would have never thought that is how the day was going to go or that it would be so quick, but delivering a perfectly healthy baby made it all worth it. God is so good!

For the next two days, we enjoyed visits from our family and got to know our new little guy.

Grandmama's first moments with baby boy.

Grams and Poppa meeting their first grandson!

Aunt Mimi loving on Charlie.

On the second evening in the hospital, Charlie went back for his circumsision. With two girls, this was all new territory. They told us it would be over an hour before we could see him. So what do parents of a third child do? Set up the tray over my hospital bed and have Outback take-out for dinner! We figured it would be a while before we would get to eat a meal just the two of us. We even passed the time by playing with the PhotoBooth program on my MacBook.

As we were laughing hysterically at ourselves, the nurses wheeled Charlie back in our room. I'm sure they were impressed by our serious concern for our new son and his little procedure :)

We were so excited to come home Friday morning.

The girls were not allowed to visit us in the hospital because of a flu restriction prohibiting anyone under 18 to visit, so Charlie's homecoming was even more special because he would finally get to meet his sisters. Libby was still at preschool when we got home, so Annie got to get her hands on him first.

"I wear Car-wee's hat!"

She was impressed with him, but after a couple of kisses, she was back into Timmy Time on Playhouse Disney.

Libby got home an hour later and she teared up when she saw him for the first time. "Awww, he's so cute!".
She then immediately looked at me and said, "Why is your tummy still big?". Nice.

She kissed and cuddled him and showed him around the house. She also pointed out the sign that she had made him.

We all ate lunch, sang happy birthday to Charlie and celebrated with a hummingbird cake that Libby had decorated with baby blue sprinkles. It was a very sweet afternoon.

We are adjusting to life with a newborn again. Each day, I feel more like myself and am SO glad to not be pregnant anymore! I think the true challenge will be finding quality time with each kiddo, not to mention with my husband. I go to bed wondering if I have kissed and hugged on everyone enough each day. The sleeplessness is also setting in, which is causing a lack of patience for me. I'm so grateful to have my mom here and for the naps that she has afforded me. I know the dust will settle soon. I feel so blessed to have this three ring circus!

Thanks for your sweet messages, calls and prayers. We definitely felt them all!