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Monday, August 31, 2009

Growing Like Weeds

Today I took Ryland back to the doctor for a 2-week old check-up. He once again has grown and gained wait. Now he is up to 9 pounds, 7 ounces and is 21.75 inches tall. Than means he has grown .75 inches and gained well over a pound since birth...and he's only two weeks old. Man, the time is flying by. Next thing I know I won't have a newborn anymore. My last baby is growing up too fast.

Hank started his new job today, and he loves it. He kept on saying how awesome of a position it is. Poor guy came home with a spitting headache...not sure if that is from all the learning and stress of the day or the hour-long commute each way to work. I'm just happy to hear that he found a rewarding career to pursue.

Today was my first day alone with three little ones. I've pretty much told myself that I am fully recovered from my c-section as I am doing everything...even lifting Landon's heavy little man body. Talk about growing like a weed...that boy is getting thick.

So I am totally wiped out. Looking forward to adding some fun events to our afternoons to keep the days from lagging. Just give me a couple more weeks and we will be out and about with a whole new routine.

On a side note, if any of you have found a cool paper height chart to record kids growth, can you point me to that direction? I don't want to pencil mark a wall somewhere and then have us move in a couple of years. I would much rather find a paper chart that could be included into a scrapbook.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family & Friends



My mom has been staying with me this week to help take care of the kiddos. The kids are getting used to having someone new in the house and are already asking her to stay and not go home. I think they will be a little disappointed when my mom leaves on Friday.

Today, two of my mom's friends came over to visit and see the kids. Tish and Inge are like aunts to me. I have known them since I was a young girl...they have become extended family. We had a great time visiting and catching up. Grandma Carol stopped by too...she missed her grandbabies.

Here are a few more photos from our newborn photo shoot last weekend. We are taking more photos of Ryland this weekend as he wasn't wanting to sleep for the photographer.





Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sweet Boy



Sweet little Ryland had a big day today...he was circumcised. Poor boy was in so much pain it was hard to take in as his parents. According to his appointment today, Ryland grew half an inch tall and gained half a pound since birth. He is now 21.5 inches tall and 8 lbs, 15 oz. So we'll be taking extra special care of our little sweet boy and giving him lots of love to get him through the next week. On all other fronts, he is a healthy little man.

(The photo above is complements of Joanna Polling Photography.)
Saturday, August 22, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Our home has become our little haven. We are normally a family who likes to be on the go a lot, but are recently finding that we just want to hang out as a family and relax as much as possible. The addition of a third child has been much easier than anticipated. And I know much of that ease is due to the fact that Hank is home with me all the time to help with the kiddos.

My recovery from the c-section is better than expected. I find myself picking up things or kids that I shouldn't be...I just forget my limitations because I am feeling good at the moment. I think by far the hardest thing has been to not pick up Landon when he wants his mommy to hold him. He doesn't understand and cries when I can't pick him up. Taylor, on the other hand, totally gets it. She is really interested in my incision or "owie", breast feeding, and getting Ryland's attention. She is in love with her little brother for sure.

Taylor and Landon have started wrestling this week. It's fun to watch them go at it, we just have to act as refs when Taylor gets too rough. It's fun to watch everyone change and grow up. However, it does make me a bit sad to see that Ryland is quickly growing and soon he won't be my baby boy...soon he will be a toddler wanting to tackle the world.

Ryland is doing great. The only cause of concern that we have had is that he has slight jaundice. We had an impromptu doctor's appointment today because Ryland was getting more yellow and we needed him to be checked out. The good news is his level was low enough to not cause the doctor's any concern. So I am just nursing this little boy as often as he wants, totally ignoring any type of schedule that I was hoping to get him on. The doctor told me to get him to nurse often so that he can pee and poop out the bilirubin.

So we have one more week with Hank around and than it's up to me to man this family on my own...something new to me. Hank has always pulled more weight around the house because he could work from home and could make himself available when needed. That is all about to change. It will be a good change though.

My friend Katie just posted a blog entry about creating lists to help clear her "brain clutter". I have been thinking the same thoughts lately. Even if it's a short list of things I want cleaned around the house, it makes me feel better to write them down so I have some direction to follow.

Besides writing lists, I desperately need severe boot camp in "discipline". I like things a certain way, but I am too laid back to stick to a daily schedule where every minute is accounted for. It's like a catch 22...I want to live the scheduled and structured life, but it's not in me and I like the flexibility of changing plans last minute. So we will see where I can find a happy medium between the two extremes.

I'm excited to see how the next few months turn out. I'm excited to see how our schedules will change. And I'm really excited and thankful to be a mommy again to a newborn. I think I forgot how much I enjoy newborns.
Monday, August 17, 2009

The BIG Day








Such a big day for our growing family! It was a busy morning as we were getting Taylor ready for her first day back at school, getting Landon ready for Grandma and Grandpa, and getting ourselves ready for having a baby. But we couldn't pass up the chance to take "back-to-school" photos of our princess. We don't know if Taylor was more excited for her first day back at school, her stay-cation with Grandma and Grandpa, or to meet baby Ryland. In either case, both Taylor and Landon's excitement was going to happen in one day...August 17, 2009.

It was very different anticipating Ryland this time around. The c-section procedures happen so quick then all of a sudden we're holding our new son...all within 20 minutes. Very different then 30 hr and 14 hr laboring. We were blessed to have Rachael's friend Tori as our nurse. Rachael knows her from church and Tori just made our new experience a great one.
Ryland was born at 11:52am and weighed 8lbs 3oz and is 21in long. He was in great shape from the minute we saw him and has been doing well all day. Taylor and Landon Grandma and Grandpa came to visit and the kids brought their home made welcome card for their new little brother. It is so cool to watch how little children welcome tiny children. Taylor wanted to touch and kiss and hug Ryland while Landon was busy pointing at Ryland and proclaiming his pride from the roof tops.

Rachael is doing good and will be recovering for a few days in the hospital. We are glad to be on this side of things and are excited to love and pour into another precious life. We thank the Lord for his realness, love, and faithfulness that is made evident in the miracle of life!
PSALM 139!!!
Friday, August 14, 2009

Open House




Tonight was the Open House night for Taylor's Montessori school. She recognized one of her teachers right away, Miss Dawn. Taylor wasn't into socializing with the other kiddos so much; she just wanted to play. Landon loved Taylor's classroom and thought all the new learning toys were fascinating. I can't wait to start taking him to Gymboree in a couple of months, he'll really go nuts.

Taylor will be in a classroom of 12 kids. The maximum capacity is 12 kids and there are 2 teachers. This coming month Taylor will learn about fruits and vegetables, farm animals, music, Spanish and getting to know her new classmates. Can't wait for Monday!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Perfect Timing

I know this blog is to update family and friends on the kids, BUT I wanted to share some great news with everyone and this seems to be the best way. Everyone has been asking about Hank's new job. Well he was officially offered a position as Program Coordinator for U of A's College of Medicine at their headquarter location in downtown Phoenix. So although it will be a huge adjustment with him being gone for 10 hours a day with the commute, this is a job that Hank is really excited about and that he can use his college education towards.

Hank will be working with medical students and physicians. He will handle details like setting up elective classes that the students want and need to recruiting new physicians for the students to work closely with in the preceptorships. And if I can brag for a second, Hank was up against 47 other people...people who had experience in this exact position. All in all...it was God's plan and His timing. Just so happy we received this news before Ryland arrives :-)

The past 5 months have been a blessing in disguise. I was just thanking the Lord yesterday (before we even found out about the new job) for the time together that we have had as a family in the past 5 months. Although there were instant panic attacks and moments of insecurity, we continued to put those thoughts and feelings aside and say, "God, our life is totally in your hands and we trust you." I have been keeping a journal of all the many blessings we have received in the past 5 months. From a free crib to friends sending money in the mail, we have received more love and support than you could imagaine.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have loved, supported and prayed for us. We are incredibly thankful and are now passing on the acts of kindness to others who need it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Stayin' Afloat




(photos from last night at the pool with family)


Landon had his 15-month well-check appointment today even though he is 16 months old. Poor boy was tired before we even stepped into the doctor's office...so when the three needles came out, he wasn't a happy camper. Even food couldn't make him happy this time :-) Landon is still top of the charts for height and average for weight.

Since Landon doesn't understand too much at his young age, I have been prepping Taylor every day that next week mommy will drop Taylor off at school and then head to the hospital to have baby Ryland. She seems pretty excited and understands more than we think. I can easily explain that Ryland is being taken out of my belly and that's the truth this time :-) Thankfully I don't have to explain the other option...of course which I would never do with a 2 year old.

We are cramming as much as we can into this week...doctor's appointments, swim lessons, last-minute shopping, packing, cleaning and the list goes on. Now that we have 6 days left until d-day, everything seems to be coming to a head. Today is my last day working at CCV. It's all so bittersweet. I love my job and the people I work with and will miss giving that up...at least for now. On the other hand, I have/will have three precious little ones who depend on me and that is the greatest job ever...something I never want to give up.

All in all, God is good. He's taking care of every detail for our family. We are experiencing some of the best and most challenging times of our lives right now. Change is good and we are totally embracing it!
Sunday, August 9, 2009

What a Weekend!




It's been a busy and fun weekend for us. Friday was Grandpa Don's birthday so we headed over to Peter Piper Pizza for dinner and games to celebrate. Both kids loved it, especially the rides. I have a funny feeling we will see more of that place in the next several years.

Yesterday I took Taylor to get her nails painted. This time I paid extra to have the lady paint flowers on her nails. Taylor sat still the entire time the lady was working on her nails...something rare for my daughter.



So while my nail tech was finishing up on me, Taylor decided to go and sit quietly over by the rack of nail polish. Whenever she is quiet, we know that something is up. Since I was a beached whale and trapped in the massage chair, I asked the lady to check on Taylor. She said, "Oh, she is being so good just sitting and looking at the nail polish." I was like "WOW! What a treat. Now I can sit back and enjoy the rest of my pedicure." Shortly thereafter, Taylor was caught red-handed. Not only did she open up multiple bottle of nail polish, she decided to repaint her toe nails, her legs and even the wall.



I was mortified to say the least. Thankfully the owner and his wife are the nicest people ever and recognize me as a frequent customer. They kept saying, "Don't worry. We paint over it. My daughter does this all the time." I still felt bad. The owner's wife ended up repainting most of Taylor's nails. Let's just say I ended up giving them a really good tip to cover our expenses. Pedicures aren't going to be regular occurences for Taylor, but it was my way of spending special time with her before she starts school and Ryland arrives.



Tonight we have one more birthday and swim party and then the weekend is over. This week will be busy with lots of doctor's appointments and preparation for my 3-4 night hospital stay and then we have one weekend left without our new baby.
Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Little Pocahontas

This is how my 2-year-old daughter uses pool diving rings in a creative way:

video
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Final Countdown



Ryland will meet his new family on August 17. Although he is head down, the little man is diagonal and still requires a c-section to get him out. I'm just thankful he'll be out soon :-) So the next two weeks will go by quickly I'm sure. Taylor started back up with a couple more weeks of swim lessons today and she did AWESOME. In fact, she jumped off the diving board head first and swam to the side of the pool. I'm so happy that these additional classes were offered to her and they are exactly what she needed.

The details regarding Ryland's birth have changed so many times, and watch they change again next week, that we haven't been able to plan out all the details. Ryland's birthdate was bumped up from the 18th to the 17th in order to get a general surgeon in the O.R. to fix my hernia repair. Unfortunately, it happens to be the same day that Taylor starts back up at school. The good thing is that my c-section has been pushed back an extra 30 minutes so that Hank and I together can drop off Taylor at school for her first day back. Then we'll quickly be heading off to the hospital in preparation for Ryland. It's all kind of exciting and scary at the same time.

The next few weeks will bring a lot of change for our little family. It definitely keeps life interesting.

*A quick first for today: As we were driving to drop off the kids at grandma and grandpas house for a few hours, Hank told me to look back at the kids. They were so cute as they were sitting next to each other and holding hands. When Landon would remove his hand from Taylor's grip, Taylor sweetly said to Landon, "Hold my hand Landon." Ahhhh, these kids melt my heart.
Sunday, August 2, 2009

Winding Down

Summer is winding down...finally! I have been looking forward to August for lots of reasons: 1) It means fall is right around the corner and cooler weather is ahead. It also means that those annoying scorpions will vacate our home and give us a break until next summer; 2) It means that Taylor will start back up at school. She loves it so much. I feel like she gets bored so easily...and it's especially not fun when it's too hot to play outside; and 3) Ryland will be born in a matter of weeks/days!



On Friday, after Taylor took care of Mr. Monkey (above photo), we headed down to the community center for a special craft time that one of my awesome neighbors put together for the kids. Taylor gravitated to the paint and made a few crafts to bring home and show daddy. The paint on her little body easily washed off in the pool afterwards :-)



And Friday evening, Hank and I dropped off the kiddos at grandma and grandpa's house. We had a great weekend relaxing and took in a few movies, but we found ourselves really missing the kids. It took all that we had to wait until noon on Sunday to allow ourselves to go pick them up. Hank and I just aren't the same without the whole family in tow. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed our time together. And we really enjoyed sleeping through the night and waking up when we wanted to. Thank you so much Don and Carol for blessing us with a weekend away!

Hank's sister Kendrie and her husband Josh flew into town over the weekend and brought their 7-month-old daughter Laila. Honestly, when Taylor says her prayers at night the first people she mentions are Josh, Kendrie and Laila. She loves her aunt and uncle and has a special place in her heart for her cousin Laila. Come to find out, Laila really enjoyed her interaction with Landon this time around. I guess he made her laugh and giggle throughout the weekend. One day in the near future I hope the cousins can live in the same city and grow up together.