Friday, February 5, 2016

Newborn Pictures

Originally we had planned to do a family and newborn session at the same time. I had grand plans of sending out Happy New Year, here are the new babies cards since we didn't do our usual Christmas cards. Between Rob's schedule and the kids' schedule, it would have been summer before we ever got those pictures done. So, maybe I'm exaggerating a little there, but we were having a hard time getting every ones schedule to line up. On top of that, our usual photographer is pregnant and not doing sessions right now. She recommended another photographer here in town, and I am so happy with how the pictures turned out. Get ready for some serious baby spam.












Now comes the hard part, deciding which ones to print and where to hang them. To be honest, we still havent printed any from H and B's baby session. Hanging pictures in our last house seemed rather pointless since it was a rental. Maybe we'll just print them all and make a baby shrine. I'm only kind of kidding.


All pictures property of Natalie Joy Photography

Monday, February 1, 2016

Scarlett and Clark - One Month

I'm pretty sure I'll say this every month, but I can't believe these babies are a month old already. The last month has flown by in a sleep deprived haze. I really can't complain too much about the lack of sleep though. Both Scarlett and Clark are very good about waking up, nursing, tolerating a diaper change or two, and then going back to sleep. Yes we've had a few sleepless nights, but they definitely understand when night and day are. They will both usually give us one 4 hour stretch at night, unfortunately it's not always the same 4 hour stretch. Sometimes, like last night, we get lucky though and enjoy a solid 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We do wake one of them to eat if the other is up, as long as it's close to the 3 hour mark. They both sleep in Graco loungers, like a rock and play, next to our bed. Occasionally if someone is extra fussy and needs some snuggles or an extra nursing session, I'll pull them into bed with me. We exclusively coslept with Harrison and Brooke, but are trying to not have to go the sleep training route with S and C like we did with H and B, so minimal time slepnt sleeping in our bed.



Scarlett

Little miss is usually the one who needs extra snuggles at night, She would gladly snuggle up to a warm body all night. She loves taking cat naps while curled up on some one's chest or in their arms, especially during the evening hours. She likes to nurse every 2-3 hours and will gladly take a 4 ounce bottle of pumped milk if given the chance. She doesn't burp easily, and therefore seems to have issues with a gassy tummy. She doesn't spit up often, but when she does, it's a whole lot. She has definitely covered me, and her, and our bed, and the carpet with 2+ ounces of milk on a few occasions.She will gladly take a pacifier, but it has to be the soothie she got from the hospital. We've tried a few other brands/shapes of paci, and she's not a fan of them. She is a fan of her finger though, so we've been leaving her hands free of mittens more often lately.

If she can't be held, she like to nap in the Sungabunny swing. She likes it on the lowest motion setting and with music playing. When we put her in the swing awake, she's usually out within 5 minutes. We've started an eat, play, sleep schedule. She is doing well with it, but sometimes can't be bothered with the actual play part. When she does play, she likes to have time on one of the play pats or in her bouncy seat. She thinks it's really cool when her brother and sister bring her their toys to check out. She's been hit and miss on tummy time. Sometimes she loves it, but lots of times there is crying involved. She does have great head control and is already rolling over from her tummy to back on a regular basis.

She had her one month check up today and the doctor said she is growing great and looks very healthy. She weighed in at 8lbs8oz, up from 6lbs2oz and her one week appointment, and is measuring 20.75". Her head circumference is 37.5 cm which is in the 75th percentile, but somehow all of her newborn headbands are too big. She has a pretty extensive case of baby acne, but it doesn't go any further than her face and head. Between the baby acne and her talon like nails, she has red marks all over her face all of the time.

She started out with a hate/hate relationship with her car seat, but has now decided as long as she's moving, it's ok to be strapped in. Good thing too, because they get carted around a lot. The grocery store, target, H and B's school, The Y, she and her brother have seen a lot for only being a month old. I guess that's how it goes when you have older siblings.









Clark

Mr. Cheeks! This boy is too much and reminds us so much of Harrison when we look at him. Personality wise though, he couldn't be more different. Clark is so laid back! Most of the time he's happy to be wherever we put him down. The motor on his swing went out, and he couldn't have cared less. He was happy to sit/sleep in a non moving swing and watch the birds spin round until he finally dozed off. He'll happily sleep in a bouncy seat or propped up in their nursing pillow. When it comes to play time he will lay on a play mat for 20+ minutes happily watching what's going on around him. He's tolerant of tummy time, and is starting to get some neck strength. Most of the time he only cries if he's hungry or during a diaper change, he really dislikes them.

He is a champion nurser, just like his sis, and is just as good at burping as he is at nursing, not at all like his sis. He usually gets burped at least 3 times per feeding. He swallows a lot of air during let down, but thankfully burps it right back up. Very rarely does he even spit up. With the exception of a couple nights where he has wanted to cluster feed from 6pm until bedtime, he's content to go 3 hours between feedings. he often gets bumped up to 2 hours between since I most always tandem nurse them in order to keep them on the same schedule. He like his soothie pacifier from the hospital, and has recently started using it a lot at night of he isn't fully asleep when we put him down. The whole put your baby down drowsy but awake thing, equates to me replacing a pacifier 5 times before he's finally out.

He also got a great report from his one month check up. Our big man is weighing in at 10lbs1oz, up from 7lbs5oz at his one week. He's 22" long and has a head circumference of 37 cm. I'm not sure how Scarlett is beating him out on head circumference, but she is.

He likes his car seat, and he too has been all over with us. He, and his sister, have been away from mom 3 times so far, and all for short times. Two times they hung out with Rob while I had some H and B time, and one time he held down the house with Grandma and Grandpa, plus his siblings. He's happy to hang with anyone.










Both Scarlett and Clark

  • lost their umbilical cord during the third week
  • have taken a couple baths with their big brother and sister, and one just the two of them
  • seem to be developing a minor case of cradle cap
  • like to be swaddled in a sleep sack at night
  • enjoy pats on their butt to help them get to sleep, Scarlett especially
  • don't have an established bedtime yet. Sometimes they're in bed at 9 and other times it's 12 before we lay them down in their loungers
  • are out of newborn sleep and plays and into 0-3 months/3 months. They can still wear newborn onesies, but even those are starting to get short.
  • are still wearing newborn diapers, and going through 10+ diapers each per day.








We have had such an amazing first month with these two, and while it's definitely been a big transition, it hasn't been nearly as difficult as I anticipated. It's a lot of work juggling the newborn and preschooler schedules, but I have a feeling we'll be settling into a more solid routine over the next month or two. I can't wait to see how they grow and develop, and how their big brother and sister react to the changes. We are so blessed, and so busy. Happy one month Scarlett and Clark!!

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Baptism and Sibling Weekend

Understandably, blogging has not been high on my priority list over the last few weeks. We are working on figuring out our new groove as a family of 6. Meaning I'm trying to find the best way to keep all 4 kids alive and fed without loosing my sanity. ;) Things are actually going really well so far, and I'm excited we're nearing the one month old mark and can hopefully start a loose schedule for Scarlett and Clark.

A few days after the babies were born, my siblings shared that they would be flying in to meet the babies and have a family weekend. We didn't see each other over the holidays, so it was a great surprise to find out that I would get to see them all. Since we were going to have family in town, and since we wanted my brother to be one of the babies' godparents, we decided to fit in Scarlett and Clark's baptism last weekend while everyone was here. My oldest sister and her husband weren't able to make the trip up, but we did get to spend a nice long weekend with them two weekends ago.




My younger brother and sister in law arrived to our house at 4am on Friday. Next were my sister, brother in law, and nephew. Finally my other brother and brother in law. It was a crazy busy, long weekend full of family, friends, food, football, and a baptism thrown in for good measure. Definitely a weekend I'll be reminiscing about for the foreseeable future. By Tuesday afternoon everyone was gone, and it was time to get back to life as usual, and naps. We definitely missed naps while we were playing and visiting.





We may only get to see each other a few times a year, but it's always a good time when my siblings can come together. Thank goodness for Skype, Facetime, and WhatsApp for the other 352 days a year we don't get to see each other.







Sunday, January 3, 2016

Welcome to the World, Babies

Much to everyone's surprise, except mine, we made it to our scheduled c-section on December 28th. We had to be to the hospital bright and early at 5am. Since we had such an early call time, we dropped the kids and dogs off at their destinations for a little mini vacation. Rob and I were able to sneak out for our last prebabies date where we discussed baby names and ate way too much Italian food. We called it a night early and were home by 9. No surprise, I had a tough time sleeping, and 4am came around way too quickly.

I felt very nervous and not ready. I'm not sure if it was not ready for the babies or nerves about the c-section, but I definitely was uneasy about the fact that the big day was finally here. It all seemed very unreal to me. I do recall having the same feeling when we arrived to the hospital for my induction with H and B. 

By about 7:05, I was being wheeled to the OR. This experience was so much different than the first time. With the exception of briefly getting sick when my spinal was started, it was an enjoyable experience. I was able to talk to the doctors, nurses, and Rob. It was so laid back compared to our first delivery.


At 7:33 am Baby A was born. A little girl, still nameless, weighing in at 6lbs8oz and measuring 19.75" long. She got an 8 and a 9 on her APGARs and cried as soon as she came out. Baby B was not ready to come out, so they had to reposition and make a second attempt for his delivery. Baby boy was born at 7:35am, measuring 19" long and weighing in at a whopping 7lbs13oz. He was clearly stealing all of the food. He scored a 9 and a 9 on his APGARs. He cried for a good 3-4 minutes before settling down. He was not ready to come out.


As soon as I heard our daughter cry, every worry I had vanished. All the thoughts of "What were we thinking," and "How are we going to handle 4 kids under 4," went out the window. We had two new babies, and it was the best feeling ever. 

I was able to see both babies right away, and Rob was able to watch them get cleaned up and measured before holding them both in the OR while I got stitched up. Again, very different from our experience with H and B. I was wheeled back to recovery, where Rob, the babies, and I all stayed until we went back to our room an hour and a half later. 

Both babies took to nursing right away. Even though I nursed H and B for 21 months, it took me a little while to get the hang of handling a newborn and getting them latched. Thankfully the babies acted like seasoned professionals. Even though she nursed immediately after delivery, we had some issues with baby girl's blood sugar. They had to take her to the nursery to try and get her to take formula. She spit it up both times they tried feeding her, and soon enough we had the pediatrician in our room talking to us about the strong possibility of her going to NICU. Needless to say, we were pretty worried. Hearing that your 4 hour old baby may need to go to NICU and get an IV placed is not what any new parent wants to hear. Thankfully a NICU nurse suggested suctioning her throat to clear any mucus, so our nurse did that and brought her back to me so I could nurse her. That brought her levels back up to where they needed to be. They were still borderline over the next 24 hours, but both pediatricians said unless she became symptomatic, we didn't need to be concerned. Thank goodness!!




Aside from that hurdle, the rest of our stay was easy breezy. Harrison and Brooke came up to visit around lunchtime on Monday. They were both ready to hold the babies immediately. By this time we had decided on first names, so Brooke got to hold Scarlett and Harry held Clark. We offered for them to switch babies, but according to Harrison, "boys stay with boys." They've stayed mostly true to that statement when spending time with their siblings over the last few days. Brooke's first words to Scarlett were "I love you." She has continued to be the sweetest things with both babies. Both kids have been proving themselves to be the best big siblings.


After being interrupted ever hour or so on Monday night, we knew we wanted to get home as soon as possible. We mentioned wanting to get home as early as possible to one of the nurses, and she informed us that we could probably go home Wednesday morning. We thought we'd be staying until Thursday, so this was welcome news. Thankfully on Wednesday morning the babies and I both got the clear to go home, so we were out of there by 2:00 on Wednesday. 

The big kids and dogs got dropped off that evening, and one of our friends was kind enough to bring us dinner. It was great to be home. Rob was able to have the entire week off, so we've been spending lazy days on the couch watching movies and snuggling babies. We've also been taking full advantage of the bounce house that Santa brought H and B. 

Clark Warren and Scarlett Rose are now of their 7th day of life and they're doing great. We are already completely off of formula, fingers crossed, and they've had a couple 4-5 hour stretches of sleep at night. Mostly they're up every 2-3 hours though. They both hate diaper changes and love their Graco loungers. Scarlett has very petite features and slightly resembles her sister. Mostly though we aren't sure who she looks like yet. Clark has killer cheeks and looks identical to Harrison. We are so in love, and it seems silly to me that I was every worried about bringing these two home. 

Rob is back to work tomorrow, and the big kids are back to school and activities. I know life is going to change drastically come Monday, but for right now things are perfect. Welcome to the family Clark and Scarlett! You are both so loved and an absolute joy to have home!