Monday, November 26, 2012

Nora's birth announcement

Stationery card
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LIfe through Elisa's eyes

Elisa always wants to take pictures when I get out the camera. Lately I've started letting her actually wander around with the camera a little. It's kind of fun to see some of the pictures she ends up with.


I know it's been awhile since Halloween, but just couldn't resist posting a few pictures. For Halloween this year we went trick or treating with some friends from church. It was super fun. Elisa was once again Tinkerbell. Here she is with her little fairy friends:

Jonathan was a doggie. This is the costume Elisa wore two years ago, and it is Jonathan's absolute favorite thing in our dress up clothes. He often wears the doggie, so it was very appropriate for Halloween. 

This was the first time that the kids went trick or treating with friends. Jonathan didn't quite get it at first. At the first house he wandered inside as the homeowners were passing out candy. He was quite a ways inside by the time I got up to the front door and started calling for him to come back out. As we walked to the next house I tried to explain to him that we don't go inside, we just get our candy and leave. But at the next house once again he wandered in. Well, after the second house he seemed to get it and things went smoothly. He only wandered into one other house before we were done... funny kid.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nora's Nursery

So in our new house Nora shares a room with our office. Half of the room is hers, and half is an overflowing desk and bookshelf. Nora's half still needs some work. I have more ideas for making it pretty. But who knows if and when I'll get around to all those things. So, I thought I should post some pictures of what it looks like now.

Little diaper changing area on top of a small dresser.

Here's the quilt my mom made for Nora. She has made one for each child. 
I love Nora's... so bright and pretty.

My mom made a crib skirt to match Nora's quilt and I made pennants out of some of the leftover quilt fabric. 

Many an hour has been spent in this rocking chair in the middle of the night.

So that's what it looks like so far. I love it. It's such a pretty room with fun colors, and I'm excited to make it even cuter eventually.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jonathan's Birthday

 Guess who's a big three-year old now?

1 year

2 years
3 years

We celebrated Jonathan's birthday with a simple party with family and a few close friends. It was a beautiful afternoon so we took the celebration outdoors. Jonathan is super into Thomas the train right now. He loved his Thomas cake; and I loved that I didn't have to make it. He got a little extra help from the wind in blowing out his candles... but I don't think he noticed.  

Jonathan, you are such a fun little boy. You are cute, funny, easy-going, and cheerful. You are a great playmate to your sister. I love to hear you guys giggling together. You are outgoing and like to make other people smile and laugh. You love your cars, trucks, and trains and spend hours each day playing with them. I'm so glad we have you in our family!

Nora at 6 weeks

I sit here right now with a baby resting on my arms while I type. She's asleep... but if I lay her down she will certainly wake up. Nora has proven to be, so far, the most challenging of our babies. She hates her carseat and about half of the time when we go somewhere she will cry. Listening to her crying makes the rest of us feel a little frantic. I'm sure it makes me and Greg worse drivers, and it has even brought Jonathan to tears. She can be pretty fussy in the evenings too. She needs a lot of holding and bouncing. So that makes it hard to do much around the house... or really at all. But usually she can be soothed; rarely does she cry inconsolably. And she usually sleeps pretty well at night (for a newborn). Most nights I get at least one 3-4 hour block of sleep, and once she even slept 6 hours straight. And of course, I love her to pieces... so that makes everything worthwhile... even the screaming rides in the car.
I mean, how can you resist that cute face? And there really is nothing like holding a peaceful, sleeping baby. So sweet.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nora's Birth Story

So, I had a baby! It's almost been 3 weeks and I am finally getting around to posting something on my blog.

So here she is, the cute face we'd been waiting for:
Nora Grace Brock was born on Wednesday, September 5th at 10:25pm.  One of the nurses at the hospital said that third babies have to make an exciting entrance. And if this is true, Nora is no exception. With Elisa and Jonathan labor was induced. I was in the hospital from the get-go. With Nora I was really hoping to go into labor on my own, and be at home for the first part of labor, not have to be on monitors etc. We had scheduled an induction for Sunday (13 days late - since doctors don't really like babies going over two weeks late).

So, when we hit 9 days late I decided it was time to go on a walk. And what better place to walk than up Mt. Tabor, the dormant volcano that is right by our house and is a huge city park. So I set out pushing both kids in the stroller... uphill to the playground... and then jarringly, back down the hill... probably around a 3 mile walk. If anything was going to get labor going, I thought this really might. Sure enough, around 3:00 contractions became regular. They were still far apart and not very intense... but they were regular. 

We went to dinner in the cafeteria, came back home and got the kids to bed. Around this time the contractions were getting more intense and closer together, (probably about 5-7 minutes apart) but still not too bad. Greg and I had a brief discussion about whether or not we should call his mom to come over so that we could head to the hospital... and decided that I would get in the bath for awhile and then see what we thought. 

Flashback to my doctor's appointment 3 weeks earlier. I asked my midwife when I should head to the hospital. She said that for second or third babies the rule of thumb is when contractions are 5-7 minutes apart, but that she tells people to follow their instincts and go when they feel like contractions are picking up and getting intense. (This was apparently the wrong thing to tell me. I should not have followed my instincts, I should have gone when contractions were 5-7 minutes apart.)

The bath was very relaxing. I wasn't timing the contractions, but they didn't seem as bad in the bath. I read a book and relaxed for awhile. However, when I stood up from the bath the pain became a lot worse. I almost couldn't stand up for a minute. That's when we decided to call Wanda. She lives about an hour away. The pain was much worse and the contractions were pretty close together at this point. I remembered in my birthing class they talked about groaning in a low voice through contractions, so that's what I started doing. It really helped. Greg and I were considering whether or not to call someone else to come over until Wanda arrived. But, I still thought that I was a ways away from actually having the baby... so we decided to wait. Wanda was due to arrive any second when all of a sudden I felt like my water was going to break. I stood up and leaned against the bed and my water broke, and in that instant I realized that there was a head crowning and the baby was coming RIGHT THEN. I started screaming, "GREG, THERE'S A HEAD, THERE'S A HEAD! AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Greg ran into the room, called 911, and caught the baby all in an instant. All of this, from water breaking until Nora was in our arms took less than a minute... a lot less than a minute.  

After she was out there was a second of panic while we waited for her to cry. I seemed to remember the doctors suctioning out babies mouths, so I wiped her mouth with a towel and she started crying (and didn't stop for a very long time). Right then Wanda walked in. She heard a baby crying and looked into the bedroom with the most shocked expression I've ever seen. We had nothing to do at that point but wait for the ambulance to show up, so we took a picture.

The paramedics showed up. They clamped the cord and let Greg cut it. Then they loaded me and Nora into the ambulance. Greg followed behind to the hospital. We entered the hospital through the ER. I felt a lot of eyes on me and baby as we came through on our stretcher. When we got to labor and delivery we were instant celebrities. We were definitely the most exciting delivery that had happened that night. We got to our room and they took Nora to check her temperature and weigh her and do all of that fun stuff. Meanwhile, I still had to deliver the placenta and have a few stitches. The nurses and doctors were great and we tried to answer all of their questions about Nora's birth. They laid Nora on me and covered us up with warm blankets to try and get her temperature up (she had gotten a little chilled through the whole ordeal). At some point Nora also started grunting a little with each breath. The nurse was a little concerned by this but said that sometimes this happens when babies don't get a good squeeze coming out. Finally around 3am most of the nurses left and we were able to try and get some sleep. 

Sleep was short-lived though. Throughout the night they checked on Nora fairly frequently. In the morning one of the nurses noticed that Nora looked a little blue around the mouth. Her blood oxygen level was low and so they took her up to the nursery to check her out and try to figure out the cause of the problem. Poor baby... she was hooked up to all kinds of things. Pretty quickly they ruled out any heart or lung problems. But they were concerned that she may have an infection. So they started her on a course of antibiotics. We knew at that point that we would be staying in the hospital for at least 2 more days and possibly 5 more.

It was a bit of a rough go in the hospital. I couldn't really hold Nora easily. Nursing didn't go well. Nora  just wanted to sleep. I felt out of my element in trying to deal with all of the various cords and tubes that were attached to her. A lot of times when I was trying to nurse her, I ended up having to do what they call "finger feeding." That is where you stimulate the sucking reflex by putting your finger in the baby's mouth and then slowly drop in milk with a small syringe. Nursing/feeding sessions could take an hour and a half and at the end Nora would have drunk less than a teaspoon of milk.

They discharged me from the hospital on Friday, but let me stay just down the hall in a boarder's room so that I could be there to feed Nora. The next day they did another set of blood work. The first time her blood work had been (in the words of the doctor) "pretty crummy." But this time it came back "perfect" which surprised the doctor. And so on Saturday afternoon we were able to bring Nora home. I was so glad to get home to Jonathan and Leesi, and of course, Greg. And I think Nora was glad to get home too. The first night we were home she totally figured out how to nurse.

So everyone wants to know how the older kids are doing with the transition. Elisa is a total pro at being a big sister. She loves having a baby around. Jonathan seems to be doing well too. It's still an adjustment though... Nora takes a lot of Mommy's time. And now that Elisa has started preschool, I think it is hardest for Jonathan. He lost a lot of Mom attention, and now his best playmate is gone 3 mornings a week.

Greg and I are slowly remembering how to parent a newborn, and learning what it looks like to be a family of five. We are pretty smitten with Nora. We're trying to savor the newborn stage, but looking forward to nights with a little more sleep too.

So that's the story. Moral of the story: better to go to the hospital a little too soon, than a little too late!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Recap in Pictures

Wow... I've not been much for blogging lately, have I? So, if a picture is worth a thousand words, this should make up for some of my absence.... It's a recap of the last few months in pictures

We rented a big house at the beach over Mother's Day weekend and our families (Mom and Dad, Wanda and Gramma, John and Kristine) all joined us there for a lovely time. We had perfect weather. 

We enjoyed lots of water play this summer... 
several different fountains and splash pads and of course... 

... there's always the hose and kiddie pool in the backyard. 

 For the Fourth of July we went up to my parent's house. 
The kids enjoyed making an American Flag cookie and setting off some little fireworks.  

For the past few months I've been watching this little guy while his mom is at work. His name is Arthur and he is a very chill, easy-going baby. The kids resented the attention he took away from them a little at first, but after awhile they claimed him as their own. The last few weeks I had him Leesi would say, "Let's pretend that Artie is our baby brother and..." I am hoping he was good practice for them in getting used to having a baby around.

We braved camping with kids for the first time this summer. It was a huge success, but probably will not be duplicated for another couple of years since I am against camping with a baby. 
Here Jonathan works on an outdoor collage.   

Yum, s'mores! 

Greg was gone for a good amount of time this summer. First, helping at a two-week-long transition seminar for missionary kids entering college. And then of course, going on Walkabout, a week-long backpacking trip with his student leaders. I tried to think of extra fun things for the kids to do during these weeks. One of their favorite (easy) things was bathtub paint. 

Another trip to the beach... this time a day trip, and again excellent weather.  

Yes, it is indeed a miracle. Our whole family is looking at the camera and smiling.  

Reading books with Grandma. 

Elisa checked out a book about cake decorating from the library and spent hours pouring over the pictures. So for Papa's birthday I had them "replicate" one of the ideas in the book with these simple brownies. They ate sooooooooo much candy while decorating these.  

Happy Birthday Papa! 

Grammy and Leesi. 

 The homemade slip'n'slide made a couple appearances on some of the hottest days of the summer. 

Jonathan took his job of spraying the hose very seriously. 

I had a little weekend getaway with my friend, Jenn. She was a tad nervous that she might have to drive me to the hospital, since I was so close to my due date. 
But we had a fun restful weekend with no pregnancy excitement. 

Fun at the Children's Museum with Grandma.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day

So a few times lately Jonathan has gotten up before anyone else in the morning and gone to the fridge to get himself something to eat. I hear him go through our room to get to the kitchen, and I think, "I need to get up... in a minute." So, when I finally pry myself out of bed this is what I've found...

I don't know how obvious it is in the picture, but there are two sticks of butter unwrapped with bites out of them, two blocks of cheese with bites out of them, and the grated cheese also out and being eaten.