Welcome!

Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic pre-schooler, my spunky toddler, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

One Month

Today, Michael is one month old!  It's hard to believe that our little boy is growing so quickly!

Yesterday, we went to the doctor for Michael's one-month check-up.  He weighs in at 11 lbs 2 oz and is 22 inches long.  He's gained over 2 lbs since birth and is one inch longer!  He is in the 85th percentile for weight and the 75th percentile for height.  He is a strong boy with strong legs and a strong grip (yes, that means he is already grabbing my hair). :)

This past month Michael has learned to smile and that is my most favorite developmental milestone thus far! He has such a sweet smile and you can't help but laugh and smile back at him when he flashes his baby grin! He smiles quickly when we tell him we love him. :) 

Here are some pictures taken today, and Michael shows off his happy face to document the special occasion of turning one-month old.




 
 
Here is our first family photo, taken last Saturday at my mom's house:
 
 
 
Here are some sweet smiles Michael shared last week:



 
 
 
Here is Michael in a tub bath.  He likes to be naked, so he thinks baths are ok now. :)  He still LOVES to have his head massaged with the shampoo!

 
 
 
I posed Michael with his Auburn pillow during an afternoon he spent hanging out in just his diaper. 

 
 
Here is our happy faced baby tiger!

 
 
I love being Michael's mommy!  He's such a cutie! 
 
I was thinking the other day about being a mom and it hit me "I have a one-month old! WOW!  I have a one-month old cute baby boy!"  It's so fun to be Michael's mommy-- even in the fussy times.  It's totally worth it to see the smiles he gives and the cuddles he shares. 
 
Enjoy the pictures of our sweet little(big) boy! Until next time! Much love, Reba
 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Autumn Photo Shoot

Today, Michael, Akuna, and I are having a lazy day together.  It's Aaron's birthday today and as we wait for him to come home, we've been staying busy with a photo shoot! 

First I'll show the supplies, then I'll reveal the baby cuteness!

Here are the supplies we used:

 
A good camera,

 
a cute baby model,


 
a good assistant,

 
cushions to support the tiny model's body (we used a regular pillow & a nursing pillow),

 
a soft brown blanket, eight tiny faux pumpkins, and 3 faux leaves,


2 bigger faux pumpkins,
 

 
a guitar (We just happened to have one around. This is not a necessity; it just adds to the rustic autumnal feel of the photos),

 
and ta-da!  Here is the finished product.  We set up shop in front of our fireplace which already has autumn-hued candles in it.
 
 
Here are baby model Michael's autumn pictures:
 
 
 


 
 

 


 


 


 


 

 
 
 
It was so fun to take pictures of our little baby boy! 
 
Today is a good lazy Mommy/Michael/Akuna day!  Beef stew is in the crock pot, the scent of a Yankee Candle (Apple Cider) fills the air, it's a great crisp temperature outside, and my two little boys and I are enjoying every minute of our day as we wait for Birthday Dad to come home! :) 
 
Thanks for catching up with us and viewing our first photo shoot pictures!  Until next time! Much Love, Reba
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Update: 3 Weeks Old

Today, Michael is 3 weeks old!  Next week we will have our One Month Appointment. At times, it's hard to believe that it's only been 3 weeks since Michael was born; sometimes it feels like much longer.  Then, at other times, it's hard to believe that he's 3 weeks old and already so different from the newborn Michael. 

We've made lots of strides forward in our weeks together.  Everday it gets easier to be a Mom.  Aaron and I were talking last night about what has been easy and what has been really hard.  Parenthood definitely isn't what we've expected, but it's better.  We have had some challenges to be sure.  It's always difficult to adapt to change-- no matter where you are in life.  So, we have been dealing with some of the challenges that have come with this life change.  There's a bit of grieving for sure since the carefree life we had as a married couple is put on hold for the moment as we are completely dedicated to the needs of our little boy.  He is such a precious baby and we are very blessed! 

Last night was our first fussy night as Michael had a bit of trouble remembering that he had recently eaten.  And I had a bit of trouble deciding when to feed my child who was acting so hungry.  The results were a baby who had eaten too much, and a mommy who had been projectile spit-up on.    :( Not so wonderful.  It took a few hours to calm our little boy and to settle down his tiny stomach.  We got back on our regular feeding schedule and were rewarded with a fantastic night of sleep!  Michael went from 9:30pm to 2:30am!  Count it, folks!  That's 5 hours! Woo woo woo!  Today we experienced some fussy moments at my parents' house as Michael was communicating that he needed a clothes change from his footie pajamas to a cooler onesie. 

This afternoon was fantastic as Michael smiled on purpose!  My mom and I were cooing at him as I held him on our couch.  My mom looked at him and asked him if he liked his Daddy.  His face lit up in a HUGE GRIN!  Everytime we said the word Daddy, Michael smiled!  This was such a treat!  He's a super cute baby anyways, but when he smiles, he is absolutely DARLING! 

It's moments like that when I wish I could be home with him everyday. 

 
Holding his own blanket at naptime


 
Our messy little eater

 
Relaxing with Mommy

 
And ta-da! Here it is!  Our sweet smiling baby!
 
 
Please continue to keep us in your prayers!  Much love, Reba

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Things We Like So Far...


Today, Michael is 2 weeks old!  During our first 2 weeks together, there are certain things we have found to be extremely helpful in our day-to-day life and I thought I'd share them with you.  Now, this list won't consist of any toys since Little Michael is more entertained by playing with his hands, eating, and sleeping. The list is more about how certain products have made Aaron and my life as parents a little easier. So, here we go:




The Space Saver Seat-n-Swing.  This swing has 5 speeds, two levels of music volume, and a vibration effect.  It's a life-saver!  Michael is content in this thing whether he's awake or napping!  It's a nice tool to have when I need to check on dinner in the kitchen, or when I need to take care of other household "chores", or when Aaron and I want to eat dinner at the same time instead of in shifts.  The swing is portable enough to move into the bathroom so I can get a shower and still be able to watch Michael.  This swing has certainly been a blessing to us!


 
 
Graco Pac-n-Play with Bassinet and Changing Station.  On our first night home from the hospital, Aaron and I attempted to put Michael in his cradle.  Well, after several "scream-cries" we decided that Michael wasn't quite ready for that yet.  Needless to say, the first night was spent with Michael resting in the arms of my mom, Aaron, and myself.  The very next day, Aaron assembled the Pack-n-Play and lo and behold, Michael LOVED it!  He took a long afternoon nap in it, and was also quite happy to lay in it and peer at the Living Room ceiling fan.  Aaron and I jumped at the opportunity to move the Pack-n-Play to our bedroom, which is where it is now and where it will stay for quite some time!  Having the Changing Station attachment is such a nice feature when I feel like saving my back from bending over a towel on the floor to change Michael's diapers. :) Michael loves loves loves the Bassinet of the Pack-n-Play and Aaron and I are so thankful for this gift!
 
 
 
 
Extra-large swaddling blanket, because, honestly, when your baby is 21 inches at birth, those 20"x20" receiving blankets just don't cut it. :)  I haven't found any swaddling blankets that are larger than 20"x20", but fortunately, Aunt Angela sewed two receiving blankets for us... the smaller of which is 30"x40".  We have recruited the sewing skills of T.M. (Randy)'s mom Grammie Joannie to make two more receiving blankets of this size for Michael.  Swaddling our Little Houdini in these large receiving blankets is just the ticket to keep him from flailing his arms and waking himself up while he tries to go to sleep. 
 
 
 
 
Pampers Diapers.  Let me say this again:  Pampers Diapers.  Right now, we're making use of Size 1.  Michael lasted less than a week in the Newborn size diapers.  We find that Pampers is the best fit right now for our baby.  To us, LUVS seem to run a little small, and Target's Up&Up seem to be extra big and leaky (aka, non-absorbent).  In addition to Pampers, we like Huggies.  To me and my sensitive nose, the Huggies seem to have a scent to them, but they work well.  They are slightly big, but they have tabs that can stretch to make the diaper fit snugly enough around Michael's tiny waist.  The Pooh design is cute and is mimicked on the Huggies wipes which are extra thick (which is good). The Pampers brand currently seems to be tailor-made to Michael.  The Baby Sesame Street design is fun, but we tell Michael that Sesame Street is not what it used to be. (He will watch the "originals" on YouTube someday). :)
 
 
 
A Wonderful Husband.  Aaron is such an awesome Dad!  He loves cuddling Michael, dancing with Michael in his arms, cheering Michael on during Tummy Time, feeding Michael bottles of breastmilk, and even changing diapers (I know!)  He's an amazing husband, a fantastic best friend, and an outstanding father to our little boy (and our puppy)!  :)  I am a very blessed wife and mommy, and we are a very blessed family.  Michael is a good baby who is happy 90% of the time. (To reiterate from the last post, Michael is only unhappy when he needs a diaper change, needs to be fed, or is tired and is trying to fight it.)
 
 
 
Thanks for catching up with us!  Here are some baby photos to keep you going til the next post:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Chubby-cheek Baby!

 
We know these first smiles aren't really on purpose, but he sure makes us laugh with his cute expressions!

 
Wide awake!

 
 
Supporting his chin with his hand.  He looks like a baby model!  (But I admit I'm biased). :)
 
 
 
Keep the prayers coming!  They are always appreciated!  Much love, Reba


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Labor and Delivery and How We're Doing at Home


On Monday August 27th at our doctor’s appointment, I had a pelvic exam and the doctor said I was slightly dilated!  He said we could come into his office and discuss our options.  Aaron and I were so excited and we hoped that we would get the opportunity to induce ASAP.  The doctor gave us 3 options:  Wait a week (yeah, right), Be induced on Thursday the 30th and go into the hospital on Wednesday the 29th for cytotec, or Be induced on Tuesday the 28th and go into the hospital that very night for cytotec.  We looked at each other and didn’t try to hide our smiles.  We chose to go ahead and start the cytotec that night!  It was about 4:30 at that time and the doctor called the hospital to make sure they’d have a room in Labor and Delivery for us.  The hospital told him to have us come at 7pm that night.  That meant we only had 2 and a half hours to gather up our stuff and alert our family that Little Michael was soon to be on his way! :)
 
We raced home and gathered up our hospital bags and then raced over to the neighborhood to say good-bye to our families as we prepared to celebrate the soon-to-be-birth of our son!  We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 (we didn’t want to be late for this monumental occasion).  We sat in the car and ate the dinner my mom had prepared for us.  Once inside, the receptionist said we could go straight upstairs to Labor and Delivery since I had already submitted my Pre-Admission Form.  Well, once we got upstairs, to our dismay we were thrown into what is known as “shift change.”  The 7 o’clock time frame when you’re not the responsibility of the day-shift nurses, and you’re not the responsibility of the night-shift nurses.  The Labor and Delivery Charge nurse told us to go sign in in the emergency room.  We explained that the receptionist downstairs told us we didn’t have to do that, but this Charge nurse wasn’t in agreement.  So, we had to make our way to the ER—not exactly the place I wanted to be: in a room with a lot of sickly people, as I was preparing to give birth to my healthy boy.  After we signed in at the ER, we were brought back upstairs.  We were told in the ER that we’d be put in a holding room.  But the Labor and Delivery Charge nurse once again had her own plan.  She said we had to wait in 2nd floor waiting room until they called us.  She said it would be about an hour.  It was about 7:30 at this time.  So, we trudged over to the public waiting room filled with rambunctious families and the smell of their fast food dinners.  :( We were both pretty perturbed at this point.  I texted our family to let them know of the hold up and received an appropriate text back: “There’s no room at the Inn.”  We felt pushed around and handed off from one person to the next… and no one really knew what was going on.  After an hour and a half, Aaron went back to the nursing station to find out the progress on getting a room.  They told him they were cleaning the room and it wouldn’t be much longer.  By this point, the people in the waiting room (a non-rambunctious family) noticed my rotund belly and asked if we were here to deliver.  We said yes, and they were appalled that we had to wait in the public waiting room.  I was in agreement.  My parents and brother arrived to hang out with us in the waiting room.  Around 10:00, we were finally called back by our sweet night-nurse.  We said good-bye to our family and made our way to Labor and Delivery Room 5.  The rounds of Cytotec were started and we settled in for the night.  We didn’t get much sleep, but it was nice to finally be in a room and know that we would soon meet our little boy!  The Petocin was started in my IV at 6:00am and the contractions started rolling in. The next morning, I met my day-shift nurse and she was wonderful too.    Around 10:00am, I chose to get an epidural.  After getting the epidural, I was much more relaxed.  Mom and Aaron were in the room with me.  In the afternoon, the nurse said we could do a practice push… “just to see how I’d do.”  I gave it everything I had, and she said “Whoa!  That’s good.  I don’t think  we’ll have any problem.”  A little while later, she called the doctor who didn’t believe I was nearly ready to have this baby! The doctor arrived a short while after the phone call.  I pushed about 3 times and out came Michael!  As he came out, the doctor said “Reba, look.  Look at this beautiful baby.”  It felt so surreal to see this little boy who we have prayed for and dream about.  He cried immediately, which is exactly what I wanted to hear!  It was the perfect ending to this pregnancy and the perfect beginning of parenthood.  Aaron and I had a wonderful hour with him after he was born before he was taken to the nursery for his weigh-in and measurement. 




Once we got to Post-Partum, we hit a couple of snafoos.  Because Michael was a big baby (8lbs, 14 oz), he had a hard time regulating his own blood sugar.  The nurses say this is common in big babies and small babies.  Michael was used to how I regulate my blood sugar, and he was programmed to my body’s schedule.  Once he was born and on his own, it was a little harder for him to keep his blood sugar at a normal level.  That meant that he had to be hooked up to IVs and had to spend his days in the well-baby nursery. 

 
Aaron and I would get to go to the nursery every 3 hours to feed and hold him.  It was hard not having him in the room with us!  Michael’s pediatrician said he’d have to keep up his blood sugar and show significant improvement if he were to come home on Thursday the 30th, with Aaron and me.  That gave us something more to pray for!  We prayed and prayed that Michael would get to come home with us.  We didn’t want to leave our sweet baby in the hospital for a few days without us being right there with him.  Prayers were answered and Michael got to come home with us on Thursday the 30th! 




The first 2 nights at home were hard.  We weren’t used to this whole “get up multiple times a night” kinda thing.  Fortunately, we have a wonderful supportive family.  My mom was a true gem.  She stayed with us on the first 2 nights so we could get used to this schedule. 

On Tuesday of this past week, Michael had his first doctor’s appointment.  He did a fantastic job!  He had his Auburn binky with him, and his doctor is an Auburn fan!  We know we picked the right doctor! :) After Michael’s pediatrician appointment, we took him to my Doctor’s office for his circumcision.  We weren’t able to have this done in the hospital since Michael had an IV.  Michael did great! 

I spent most of the weekdays last week hanging out with my mom and brother.  I’m not used to being by myself in the daytime since I’ve had a full-time job for two and a half years.  It’s also nerve-wracking to be a new mom! :) So, some days my mom came over to my house and other days, I went over to her house.  Most days it was a combination.  That was so helpful.  Once you’re used to talking to people all day long, it’s quite a change to have a little baby and a dog as your only companions. :)  Neither of them carry on a long conversation.

Overall, Michael is a sweet sweet baby.  We have really lucked out!  He is a strong boy.  He is holding his head up and does well during Tummy Time.  He attempted to roll over yesterday—and folks, this kid is only 11 days old! We expect that he’ll be walking next week. :)

A typical week day goes like this:

1:00am: wake up for the middle of the night feeding , diaper change, swaddle, back to sleep.

5:00am: wake up for “breakfast” while Daddy gets ready for work, diaper change, swaddle, back to sleep.

9:00am: wake up for “mid-morning brunch”, diaper change, clothes change, back to sleep (usually—on other mornings, he is more alert and spends time being held, or lying on a blanket looking at the ceiling fan, otherwise known as the “giant mobile in the sky.”)

12:40pm: Gets fussy as he waits the last 20 minutes til it’s time for lunch.  Usually, he can be entertained by songs, rocking, swaying, or bouncing.  He also loves his swing at our house and the bouncy seat at Nana’s house.

1:00pm: Lunch time.  He is very happy and content after lunch and a diaper change.  After lunch it can either be naptime or alert time. 

3:30pm: Daddy gets home from work! 

4:00pm- 5:00pm: Off and on fussy time as we wait the last hour til dinner time.  Sometimes Mommy caves and feeds early, but when that happens, the rest of the evening is thrown off as far as feedings go.

5:00pm: Dinner time.  Most days, Michael is content after dinner.  Sometimes, though, he knows it’s the end of the day and that means bed time is coming.  He doesn’t like getting ready for bed.

9:00pm.  Late-night snack and getting ready for bed.  After this feeding, Michael shows off his “tired cry.”  He doesn’t want the day’s fun to end!  Usually, he will be bounced, rocked, and swayed til he is relaxed.  Then he is swaddled and put in his bassinet for bed.  Usually, we don’t hear a peep until 1:00am!  (Or 2:00am!)

 

Yep, according to the schedule above, Michael eats every 4 hours.  Sometimes at night, he can go 5 hours before he wakes to eat.  Usually, I am the one waking him up for his middle of the night feedings.  He is a pretty contented little guy during the day time.  He cries when he is tired at the end of the day, or when he is hungry, or when his diaper is poopy.  Otherwise, he is the epitome of happy.  :) We are very blessed.
 
Here are some more "day-in-the-life" pictures:
Bath time:  Michael doesn't like getting his body washed, but he loves to have his head shampooed, until it has to get rinsed.
 
 
Totally relaxed at nap time!
 
 
 Ready for Bed!

Thanks for catching up with us!  I will keep the blog updated as we experience more milestones and as we learn more about the patterns and personality of Little Baby P. Prayers are continually appreciated!  Much love, Reba