Saturday, September 29, 2012


I've said it several times in the last year or so-Baby O is no longer a baby.  But he will always be our baby.  So for now, even though I have tossed around the idea of changing our pseudo-blog names, Baby O he will remain.  As usual, we celebrated as a family beginning from the moment we woke (which was early, because he woke up at least 4 times that night in what I believe was anticipation and excitement).

Tradition continues...I am still making the birthday cakes. They look pretty sad when compared to the store bought version, but it is so much fun trying to make these silly masterpieces.

Playing with his new 'Cranky' the crane and adding to his train collection.

Newbie O put on her pink party bow for the occasion and was able to watch all the festivities from the best seat in the house.

Hats off to the people who advertise for toys such as 'Dream Lites'.  This was by far the most requested item on Baby O's list and the most appreciated.  It is supposed to be the nightlight that 'turns your room into a starry sky'.  He told us he would not be scared of the dark anymore if he had one.  On night one of having his adored Dream Lite, he came running to our room at 2 am screaming bloody murder that he couldn't find it.  Come to find out, it had fallen off the bed.  Put that in your commercial Pillow Pets Corporation!

A letter to my youngest son on his third birthday:

Dear Baby O,

As I stated above, you are no longer a baby.  But as your Mom, it is so hard to let go of that little guy that entered our lives not so long ago.  You have grown and changed so much this year.  The baby fat is gone, the legs are longer and your feet at three are as big as your brother's were at four and a half years of age.  You are out of diapers, sleeping in your own bed and can carry on an amazingly complicated conversation with just about anyone.

You do everything with an energy and zeal that I admire.  You love your siblings with such fierce loyalty.  Just six months ago there was an incident where a boy was saying some mildly unkind things to your brother and you stood up in the middle of story hour and yelled, "Stop being rude to MY brother!, Be KIND you banshee head!"  You haven't had the chance to defend your sister just yet, but you enjoy playing with her toys and running over to where she is and having a conversation with her.  When we ask you what you have been talking about you usually respond with something along the lines of, "Miss Saucy Pants said I could play with her toys" or "She's fine, don't worry about her, she said she's not hungry".

You are equally mischievous, sassy and so darn cute at the same time.  It's hard not to laugh out loud at your responses to being disciplined.  It is quite a skill to be lovable and defiant at the same time and you have most definitely mastered it.  Imagining you being that way ten years from now is what helps me be consistent and keep a straight face.   I'm hoping these skills translate to being an independent thinker and a real people person when you are an adult and not the screaming meltdowns that occur currently in the time-out chair.

You may spend some time in the 'chair', but you are a great little helper.  You love to help me make meals or   vacuum the floor.  You especially enjoy helping Dad in the garage with various projects.  It slows us down a bit, but I think in a few years you are going to be quite the handy man.

This year has been full of changes with moving and a new addition to the family.  You have reminded us all to just relax, enjoy the moment and most of all, welcome it with enthusiasm and laughter.  I love you.  We love you and hope that three is even better than two.

Always yours and with all my love,

Mommy O

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Mother's Influence

You know you are spending a lot of time feeding your baby when your son drops everything, retrieves the boppy and hikes up his shirt in order to breastfeed his beloved Mr. Lamb.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Time flies...

How does it go by so fast when the sleep deprived nights seem so long?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

School Days

I have to say that I was looking forward to the first day of school.  Nearly six weeks of being cooped up inside and around the house was pretty boring for Boy O, resulting in more than the usual picking at his brother and fighting over the silliest of things.  Boy O was incredibly excited for his first day of first grade.  Here he is posing with Baby O who was proud to dress himself that morning-can you tell? 

New school, new teacher and a whole new routine.  At his old school, we lived just a few houses down from the school and I walked him to and from school every day while he would wistfully look at the kids getting off the bus or being dropped off by car.  Now he gets the best of both worlds-Daddy O drops him off in the morning and he gets to ride the bus home all by himself!  I have never seen him smile so big as when he got off that bus the first day to tell me about it.  Unfortunately that picture didn't turn out so great, but I certainly managed to embarrass him plenty.

First grade seems to be going well.  I was so involved with Kindergarten last year that I was a little bit nervous the first week not really knowing what was going on, but now that we are into the third week of school and a sort of parent orientation has taken place in addition to several conversations with his teacher, I feel much, much better.  Most importantly, he's loving it.

We still do fun stuff when Boy O is around, but we can't just sit around all we decided to pack up, play some tennis, walk, ride scooters and feed the ducks yesterday.  Newbie O seems to enjoy all the activity.  She's all smiles now.

When we have these outings, I am reminded of this post from years past.  Doing any type of prolonged activity with Baby O, I still have to remind myself to smell the roses.  Enjoy the journey and don't worry so much about the destination.

Tennis does not last too long.  Maybe ten minutes or so.  Then it's off to riding his scooter.  You might think that he's far away and I should call him to come back to the stroller, but I know better.

There are too many distractions, like trees to climb...

...pebbles to examine....

 ...tarantula exoskeletons...yes, we live in Texas and they are so cool!...

...a better view...

 ...feed the ducks...Baby O would rather eat the bread himself...

...check on his new sister...

... and by the time we get home, both kids are ready for naps.  Newbie O is a fighter though-she much prefers to hold on as long as possible.  I think she's just taking a lesson from her big brother and trying to smell the roses for as long as she can.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Arrival and Aftermath

A good friend recently told me that her blog was 'her memory'. An excellent reminder of a forgotten goal-the events of this summer should be recorded before they fade into distant memories.

Pregnancy flew by until the last month-each week seemed an eternity of moaning, groaning and sleepless nights full of heartburn. Incubating in the Texas heat was certainly not pleasurable. I spent my days waddling around (exercise? what's that?), on the wrong side of every door and became quite the vocal critic of supermarkets that watched me lug my own groceries from the check-out line to the cart.

Keeping busy was still a major priority-it gave me precious time with the boys that I knew I wouldn't have later on and kept my mind off how uncomfortably round I had become. Newbie O was due to arrive on July 26th. I had a very strong feeling that she would be at least a week late, so despite my mother's protests at coming earlier, I told her to come just a few days before.

Seriously. I did plan. I was going to go shopping on Thursday for food and extras, clean the house on Friday, and (most importantly) get my hair done on Saturday morning. Other than that, my overnight bag was in the backseat and my parents were flying in on Saturday night. I did not feel in any way that I was cutting it close. Wednesday afternoon I went for my 39 week check-up and she confirmed that I was no closer than I had been in the previous three weeks. We even discussed what would happen if I went past my due date.

Little Miss Sassy Pants (or Miss Saucy Pants as Baby O refers to her) had other plans. I remember waking up with a contraction and looking at the clock at 1:11 in the morning.  Basing everything on what I'd seen in movies and episodes of A Baby Story, I was expecting dramatic and it just didn't seem all that dramatic.  I just wasn't positive that my water had broken, so I decided to get up and wait it out.  I did nudge Daddy O on the way out of the bedroom and (deep sleeper that he is) he mumbled something and promptly rolled over.

Google does come in handy during moments such as these.  I typed in phrases like, how do you know you're in labor, what do labor contractions feel like, how to time contractions.... It wasn't all that helpful, but it did pass the time.  I ended up writing down every time I felt a contraction and after about an hour, they were consistently 15 minutes apart.  I decided to call the doctor, who said that if my water had in fact broken that I needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible.  My response to her was, "But how do I know if it broke or not?  What if I just peed in my pants?"  Her response was much more decisive and went something like this, "Just get your butt in here."

Well, crap. Crap, crap, crap.  I had planned on this happening when my parents were here.  There was no plan for where the boys should go.  And it was the middle of the night.  I didn't feel right about waking up neighbors that we had only just met to watch over the boys.  And what if it was a false alarm?  So, once Daddy O was up and moving (no small task, I might add), we got the kiddos up and dressed and piled into the car.   Denial is a strong thing...Daddy O was convinced it was a false alarm but as I noted the time every time I felt a contraction, I noticed that they were now coming every five minutes and it was then I realized that this was most likely the real thing.

The boys dropped me off at the emergency room and met me in the maternity ward after they had parked the car.  The doctor came in to check on me and took less than five seconds to say that this was no false labor.  She went outside to break the news to Daddy O and I took to the phone to call my Mom.  My mother must have been ready, because even at 3 o'clock in the morning, my parents answered on the first ring.  There were a few pleasantries and then I could hear the resolve in my mother's voice, "I will be there as soon as I can."

Up until then, the contractions were pretty minor-uncomfortable, but manageable.  Then all of a sudden they were coming quicker and MUCH stronger.  I didn't have much of a birth plan-I figured I'd just wait it out and see how things went.  I wasn't necessarily opposed to an epidural, but I secretly thought I could withstand the pain.  I would like to add that I am no stranger to pain.  I  have broken both my legs, my hand, my nose, several finger and toes.  None of them were pain free and those injuries led me to believe that I had a very high tolerance for pain.  Nothing, absolutely nothing compares to the pain I was feeling during these contractions and when they asked if I would like an epidural, there was no hesitation on my part.  When the anesthesiologist entered the room, it was as if  the heavens above opened and a glittering light followed him to my bedside.

In the meantime, Daddy O was trying to be there at my bedside while also caring for the boys.  Yes, they were in the room with me while I was writhing and screaming in pain.  There were points where it was so bad that I told Daddy O to please just take them into the waiting room.  I didn't want them to see me like that.  They remained pretty nonchalant about the whole thing and once I received the epidural, everything was much better.  From that point forward the boys played nicely in the room and had breakfast in the cafeteria.  I remained in pain-free bliss and waited for Newbie O.

Around 9 in the morning, the nurse gently informed Daddy O that the boys could not be in the room during the delivery.  We were waiting on relatives to arrive and thought they would arrive soon, but just in case Daddy O called his one of his best friends and college roommates to see if he could drive up quickly.  Thank goodness we made that call because he arrived just in time-probably a half an hour before I started pushing.   And of course, lesson learned:  always have a plan B when childbirth is concerned.

The last part of labor seemed somewhat anticlimactic.  I didn't feel ready-I felt tired and vacillated between wanting juice and going to sleep.  The doctor promised I could have some juice as soon it was over and I began to push.  I really could not feel a thing and I felt slightly annoyed at the nurse who every time I pushed kept saying things like, "You are an incredibly strong woman, be strong, be strong!"  It was a little too much for me and I kept looking at Daddy O, hoping he could read my mind.  I think he did, because I remember him smiling a little every time she decided to give me her strong woman cheer.  Honestly, I was not in the mood to be a strong woman.  I just wanted some bleeping juice.

Newbie O ended up coming out just fine and I got my juice-strong woman cheers and all.  I won't get into too much more gory detail, but there were a couple of observations that I made during the last half hour:  1) I don't need a mirror to see more of the birth.  I got enough just being up where I was. 2) Why did they give me a hospital gown?  It seemed pretty useless as it was just hanging like a rag around my waist while the doctor was doing her thing.

I probably would have made several other cutting observations but once Newbie O was out and I had a gargantuan gulp of juice, joy and exhaustion took over.  I'll let the pictures tell the rest.

She was born at 11:47 that morning weighing in at 7 pounds 2 ounces and was 20 inches long.  I think she looks just like her Daddy.  She's already starting to smile and babble-especially when you sing head, shoulders, knees and toes to her.  She especially loves her brothers and being outside.  Even though I still feel sleep deprived, she is almost sleeping through the night-giving us 4.5 hour spurts at a time.  

The boys love her as well and fight over being my helper during diaper changes.  Boy O has finally figured out that it means to carry the stinky diaper to the garbage can, so he has mostly lost interest.  But Baby O loves his new job.  Boy O enjoys entertaining her and most of her smiles seem to be specifically reserved for him.  Baby O can't quite figure her out-he doesn't grasp why she can't walk, talk and play yet.  

Time passes by so quickly and looking back, we were so lucky to have help from family and friends.  Our Moms were here for the first few days when I was still in the hospital.  My parents stayed for the first two weeks while I recovered.  They single handedly took care of the boys, my emotional well-being (what a roller coaster!), cleaned and made meals.  Daddy O then took his paternity leave after they left and the Mom's group I belong to delivered meals to our door for the next two and a half weeks.  All in all, I had a good month to get myself together.

I am so fortunate to have had such support, because to be completely honest, this has been really hard.  By no means did I expect it to be easy, but it never hits me until I'm in the thick of it, sleep deprivation, breast feeding and all.  As the weeks go by, they seem to get easier. I'm getting used to balancing the needs of an infant and two active boys which has been the most difficult part of this transition. School has started and we are getting closer to a 'new normal'.   It took us about 6-8 months to find that normal when the boys arrived home back in 2010 and I expect it will be the same this time around.  And when I look back it's hard to believe that in just over 2 years we have gone from zero to three kids...and I whole heartedly agree with Newbie O-I'm happy, content, but tired!

Updates on the boys are long overdue, so please tune in soon for the many firsts that have taken place in the past few weeks as well as upcoming birthdays....