Introducing Scarlett Alexandra

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It is with great joy that T & I announce our newest little love has arrived!



INTRODUCING:
Scarlett Alexandra | Tuesday, March 27, 2018 | 9:40pm | 7 lbs. 11 oz. | 21.5 inches long













Looking over these photos, it's hard to believe it was just over three weeks ago now that we welcomed sweet little S into our lives! She is her own perfect little individual and doesn't look much like either one of her siblings as a newborn. She has the cutest little round face, lots of dark brown hair (especially in the back), and opened her eyes and looked right up at T pretty much the moment she was put in his arms and he started talking to her. It's safe to say she has completely stolen our hearts, and we are so in love.






We've been home for just over three weeks now, and have been doing our very best to soak up all the newborn snuggles. The boys are loving being big brothers so far, and are always on the lookout for 'baby Sca' (G's nickname for her), first thing in the morning when they get up for the day. C loves to sing her songs and hold her, while G is immediately on a hunt to find her first thing in the morning after waking up. He has the cutest little grin when he does, and will point and exclaim 'BAY-BEE' to anyone who is listening. Such a proud big brother! We are definitely still in an adjustment period over here, but we have been blessed with lots of family to help out with the boys as they find their way in their new roles as big brothers, and we are super thankful for everyone who has helped to keep us stocked up with plenty of food for all of the grumbling tummies around here! 


Speaking of grumbling tummies...here is T excited to enjoy our 'celebration dinner' compliments of the hospital cafeteria the evening after S was born. And no, in case you are wondering, that is not real wine...just a little sparkling grape juice :)

 



THE BIRTH STORY:

Tuesday, March 27, began much the same as every other Tuesday morning late in my pregnancy.
After dropping C off at preschool, G & I made our way to my weekly Tuesday morning OB appointment at the clinic. At 39 weeks, there is no medical evidence that keeping baby inside any longer has any benefit, so my Doctor decided to strip membranes while performing my checkup to hopefully get things moving along. My little sidekick G was along for the appointment, and happy to keep me company all morning running a few errands before picking big brother C up from school a couple of hours later. After getting back home, we went for a walk around the block (Doctor's orders!), and after sharing lunch, reading stories, and getting everyone down for naps, I still didn't notice any changes, so I decided on a quick catnap while the boys were sleeping to keep my energy up for the evening ahead.

Around 4pm (approximately when the boys get up from naps), I noticed contractions with a pattern of about 15 minutes apart. As they weren't yet too uncomfortable, I didn't think too much of them, and went to work getting dinner ready. Around 5pm, I checked in with T (who had picked up an extra hospitalist shift) to let him know dinner would be ready at 5:30pm. I didn't mention anything about contractions yet as they weren't painful, and they really hadn't picked up much since I first noticed them an hour earlier.

Fast forward to dinner time around 5:30pm, and I started noticing contractions more frequently...somewhere in the every 5-7 minute range. When everyone was finished eating and the boys were begging to go downstairs to play around 6:15pm, I mentioned to T that maybe we should consider heading to the hospital instead so that I could get checked to see if baby was going to be joining us. I think he was caught a bit off guard as I really hadn't mentioned anything to him about having any contractions up until this point (and let's be honest...he's not exactly the most observant about these things). Wasting no time, he got the boys all bundled up and ready to go while I picked up dinner, and we were out the door within ten minutes and on the way to the hospital. 

Because my delivery with G went so quickly, and it was still before the boys' bedtime, T & I opted to just bring them along for the ride since a check in the OB department would likely take no longer than 10 minutes, and we weren't 100% sure if this was going to be the real deal or not. Also on our minds was that if this was going to be it, we didn't know if we would have time to wait for someone to get to our house before things got too far along to be able to safely leave our home for a drive to the hospital.

We arrived around 6:45pm, and I was quickly whisked into a room while T took the boys on a tour of the OB unit to familiarize them with where dad goes when he is helping new babies be born. After a quick check, my assumptions were confirmed when we found out I was around 5cm dilated (a change from the 2-3cm earlier that morning). We put in a quick call to Grandma S who was on hand to take the boys back home and get them all settled for bed, smothered the boys in kisses and hugs and said our good nights explaining that Mommy and Daddy were going to stay at the hospital (they were surprisingly perfectly OK with this unexpected interruption to their routine), and then T & I settled in for the impending arrival of our newest little love.

One of the most wonderful things about making it to the hospital when we did is that I unexpectedly had time to get an epidural. WooHoo! Having previously experienced childbirth both ways (I had an epidural with C, but not with G), I only had the very slightest of hesitations about having an epidural this time around after learning it would be an available option. Childbirth is no joke, and while we were expecting this babe to come quickly, I was not exactly looking forward to being in excruciating pain for the next hour or so when it was avoidable. So, after dilating to around 8cm, and entering into the 'active labor' phase with contractions every 2-3 minutes, I got an epidural at 8:30pm, and my doctor broke my water to speed things up even more. Fast forward an hour, and after a couple of pushes, baby Scarlett Alexandra was born into this world at 9:40pm, a healthy 7 lbs. 11 oz., 21.5 inches long. So in love!


VISITORS ARRIVE:


Grandma J & Grandpa T meeting Baby S.


Grandpa D & Grandma S meeting Baby S.



First photo as a family of five! Such proud big brothers little S has!

THE BOYS:


Here is the final photo of the boys & I just before they took off for home before baby arrived. I had just been officially checked in to the OB unit, and was having contractions every five minutes or so. C & G were surprisingly calm about the entire situation, and after getting a tour of the unit from Dad, were content to leave with Gma S to get ready for bed while T & I stayed at the hospital awaiting baby's arrival.


The following afternoon after nap time, the boys came back to the hospital to meet their new baby sister. C was a bit hesitant at first, but G came barreling in with his usual energy and walked right over and pointed at the baby, crinkled up his little face, and exclaimed 'BAY-BEE'!! He has been absolutely the most proud big brother since day one, and is super adorable to watch interact with 'Baby-Sca' as he has taken to calling her. C has taken a more gentle approach, and immediately started singing the ABCs to his new sister ending with 'Next time I will sing with Miss Scarlett'. He loves to hold her and sit close and keep her company while she is nursing.













HOME:

After spending Tuesday & Wednesday nights in the hospital, we packed up and made our way home Thursday afternoon after T finished up his morning clinic hours. S is the perfect little addition to our family, and we can't wait to see what the future has in store for her!





'She is more precious than rubies.' Proverbs 3:15

39 Weeks

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Week 39


How far along:
39 weeks! We are officially into uncharted territory! 

Best moments so far:
At this morning's appointment, G for once didn't have a complete conniption while I was getting all checked over. Baby's heart rate was steady at 135bpm, and I am dilated somewhere in the 2-3cm range. My doc stripped membranes (a very unpleasant...yet quick ordeal), and stretched my cervix to hopefully get things moving along. Typically, if this is going to work, I should see some sort of action within 24-48 hours, so we'll see. If not, in light of the fact that I am 39 weeks, and there is no real medical benefit to keeping baby inside any longer, plus my history of precipitous deliveries, I did get scheduled to be induced this coming Friday morning if we haven't had the pleasure of meeting our newest little peanut by then. The end is near! If we do make it to Friday, this babe will be a birthday twin with my sister-in-law, and born on Good Friday, so that would be pretty fun too! In other news, my doc is thinking this is going to be a bigger baby than C or G was (which would make sense as I am further along at this point than I was with either of them when they were born), but when I told her my newest niece was over 9 lbs, she said she's pretty sure we aren't looking at that big of a baby. Whew! Sigh of relief!

Maternity clothes:
Yes. This top from Gap Maternity continues to be one of my favorite, and most-worn winter pieces.

Sleep: 
Not terrible. It gets harder and harder to roll over without 'helping' my watermelon along. Ha. Still getting up just once a night to use the restroom, but other than that, sleep hasn't been too bad.

Miss Anything:
Energy and being comfortable. Being 39 weeks pregnant is no joke. Particularly when you have busy active little boys in your life that drain any sort of energy you might have left over just as quickly as they can. At this point, I'm pretty much only comfortable when I am sitting down with my feet up. T can probably kiss goodbye any high hopes he has for any gourmet meals from here on out. Cold cereal and frozen pizza or sandwiches is about all I have any interest in preparing. I'm sincerely looking forward to warm enough weather to sit outside on the deck again and have cold-meat...read salami...sandwiches and easy grilled meals. Summer can't come soon enough!

Baby Movement:
Yes. Baby is still active, although has slowed down quite a bit as space continues to grow tight. It's amazing that this little one is still packing on 1/2 lb a week! My personal weight didn't hardly change at all between last weeks appointment and this morning (I've gained somewhere in the range of 25-30lbs, which is pretty much spot on with my weight gain with C & G at the end of my previous pregnancies). I'd like to think that this babe is taking the extra calories I've had from my M&Ms and popcorn or ice cream late night snacks this week!

Cravings and Aversions:
Peppermint & chocolate. Last week, I made a mint cake for St. Paddy's Day, and just last night, T & I shared mint chocolate ice cream with a peppermint chocolate cookie...Yum...yum...yum. 

Queasy or sick:
Nope.

Symptoms: 
I've been super tired this week, and have needed a mid-afternoon nap pretty much every day. Thankfully, both boys have been good about taking naps this week, and I've been able to sneak in an hour or two most days. 

Looking forward to:
Meeting this little person! It's pretty exciting knowing that sometime in the next several days we will be welcoming our newest little bundle of joy! It's finally starting to show some signs of warming up around here, and it would be great to be able to get outside more regularly and not be so uncomfortable. It's near impossible at this point for me to chase our little people around or make them cooperate when it is time to come inside (or to do anything for that matter), so being able to move around more easily is definitely high up on my list of things I'm looking forward to!

38 Weeks

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Week 38


How far along:
38 weeks! Any day now! Also - I made mint cake over the weekend, so the fact that baby is the size of a cake is quite fitting! 

Best moments so far:
At my checkup this morning, we got to hear baby's heartbeat...strong and steady at 140bpm. I didn't have much change from last week's checkup, and am dilated 2cm internally, 3cm externally, and still just 75% thinned. I reminded my Doc that I was guessing baby would arrive around the 22nd, and she reminded me that she will be gone most of that day, so would prefer Saturday to get her out of working the Urgent Care Clinic...LOL. Who knows...T suggested last night that maybe we'll make it to April 1st and have an April Fool's Day baby. Seeing as how the birthstone for April is a diamond, this may backfire on him if I ever decide to invest in some birthstone jewelry for my little loves! :)

Maternity clothes:
Pretty much unavoidable at this point! Above striped top is Old Navy, jeans are Motherhood Maternity, and fur vest is non-maternity. Did I mention the weather is terrible today - icy/slushy/snowy mix since we woke up this morning. Ugh. Seems that every time I have an appointment, we get some kind of wintery mix I have to drive in!

Sleep: 
Not too bad. I do quite a bit of turning throughout the night though as my legs or arms loose feeling.

Miss Anything:
Consistently warm weather! We had a few nice days last week that we could get out for some short walks around the block, but the week ahead is looking like quite a bit of precipitation in the forecast, so chances are we will be spending most of the week inside. Seems like a good week to have a new baby if you ask me!

Baby Movement:
Yes. Baby is still quite active, usually most noticeable during mid-afternoon and then before bed. I have not noticed as much action when I actually lay down at night, or in the early mornings, so maybe this babe is taking note of good times to be asleep or awake! Hahahaha.....we can dream right!?

Cravings and Aversions:
I bought ingredients to make lasagna this week sometime, so I guess you might say Italian food. When G was born, I had to cut out all tomato based sauces as they caused him quite a bit of discomfort with nursing, so I'm hoping to get at least one last meal with red sauce in before baby arrives in case we have the same issue this go around.

Queasy or sick:
No. 

Symptoms: 
Nothing too crazy. Just a general slow-down of getting around, and some fatigue. I haven't had any sort of consistent contractions this week, but hope to have some more in the coming week! With G, at this point in my pregnancy, I was experiencing some regular round ligament pain, but so far, I have not had any this time around. T says that maybe my ligaments are just so stretched out that I won't have any. I'm sure that will make getting into any sort of shape after baby pretty difficult!

Looking forward to:
Meeting this new little one! I would greatly appreciate not having a nine pound baby as I will likely be without an epidural, so the sooner the better! The boys got to meet their newest baby GIRL cousin over the weekend (sadly, I did not as it was too far for me to travel by myself this late in my pregnancy, and T was on call), and have now decided that maybe they would like a sister instead of a brother. While T & I know baby's gender, we have not shared with anyone if we'll be welcoming a boy or girl, so I'm looking forward to seeing the boys' reactions when they finally get to meet their new sibling sometime in the next couple of weeks!

Sibling Snapshot

Friday, March 16, 2018

SIBLING SNAPSHOT | Winter 2018 Edition



THE STATS:
C: 3 years 10 months
G: 20 months

DEVELOPMENTAL ACTIVITY:

C: With the weather warming up a bit, we've been able to get out for some quick walks around the block lately, and C has been loving riding his balance bike. He has gotten the balance part down pretty well, and has been asking...on repeat...for a bike with pedals for his birthday. T & I are planning to surprise him with this one (spotted in our neighborhood as the bike of choice with other kiddos his age) when the big day comes, and I think he's going to LOVE it! That water bottle holder is just awesome! Hopefully, he can get the pedaling figured out quickly so that we can do some trail walks this summer with him on his bike and G and his new sibling in the stroller. The new baby will be too little for bike rides this year, and C will likely be too tall for our MUCH LOVED Burley Encore bike trailer, so if we're to go on any rides with any real distance this summer, we'll be in the market for a new solution. I've been researching this WeeHoo iGo Turbo bike trailer lately after spotting it on a recent vacation, and think it may be just the ticket. It is built for age ranges 2-9, has a 3-point harness for added safety, pedals for kiddos to help mom or dad, and is rated for up to 80lbs (I'd like to think our little people will be firmly established bike riders by the time they hit that mark!). We aren't comfortable yet with the idea of C on a more traditional bike trailer like this, for the longer rides that take us across busy highways and bumpy roads on the standard bike routes from our home, so the WeeHoo trailer would be the perfect solution. You can read more about it here.

G: G's vocabulary has exploded over the last month or so. He doesn't always pronounce an entire word, but he at least gets a big enough portion of it for us to understand what he is saying. For instance, just the other night he pointed to T's phone and said 'pho', or in the morning when I ask what he wants for breakfast, he might say 'muff' for muffin, or when his brother isn't playing nice, he might come to me and say 'sha' (aka...share) while pointing at a certain toy that just got swiped from his grip. He is quite a bit ahead of where big brother C was at this age in terms of his speech, and I'm hopeful that it will help ease our transition once new baby arrives since G can articulate some of what he is wanting rather than just cry about it. 

SCHEDULE:

We just had daylight savings time, and this week has been a bit rough in terms of getting the boys back on track. Nap time and bedtime were shifted within about three days, but for C, the struggle was real when it came to waking up in the morning to get ready for school. Most days, he slept until almost 8am, and I had to wake him up to get him going. He has also been fighting naps, although I'm not sure if it has anything to do with daylight savings, or if he is just at an age where he might not want to take a nap every day, or possibly that he's been battling a cold for the past week and half and being sick has affected his sleeping habits. Who knows! What I do know is that I could really use at least another six months of solid naps for BOTH boys as we prepare to add a newborn to our household and my own sleep is dramatically diminished! Overall, on a typical day, we aim for 7:30pm bedtime, the boys are up between 7:15-7:30am, and nap time is around 1/1:30pm-3:30/4pm.

FAVORITE TOY:

Santa was good to our boys this winter, and brought them the most fun, and definitely one of the most loved toys in our home...a play kitchen. Each of the boys have spent hours pretending to cook, bake, and mix together ingredients. They have had particular fun with this coffee pot, these cupcakes, and the endless opportunities for creating meals from these breakfast and dinner food sets.

Other favorite toys include any of the 10,000 die cast toy cars, trucks, tractors and semis that we have accumulated over the last few years. Pretty much every surface in our home is covered with these little minefields by the end of the day, and I am constantly picking them up to avoid slipping and falling. They have also been loving their ride-on vehicles. G loves this fly bike, and C prefers this truck. They go around and around and around the main floor of our home, and it is quite a sight to see little G zipping around corners at top speed while his brother chases him around in the truck.

When we are outside, both boys LOVE to play hockey. Over the winter, we took them to several local hockey games, and they enjoyed bonding with papa T while watching some NHL games on TV. When Uncle B showed up one weekend with mini kid-sized hockey sticks, the rest of our winter outdoor toys took a backseat, and hockey became the fast favorite.

STORYTIME:

G has really taken to reading in the last few months, and went from pretty much an 'I have no time for that' mentality to 'lets read all day long'. When he is craving a quiet moment to himself, I can often count on finding him quietly flipping through the pages of some of his favorite books on the floor in his bedroom. Such a little sweetheart! His favorite bedtime stories as of late have been Dream Animals or Day Dreamers, No Two Alike, and Love Monster. He also continues to be fascinated by any Iowa Hawkeye book on our shelves, and loves songbooks - What a Wonderful World, My Favorite Things, and Every Little Thing are some favorites.

C also loves to read, and has had so much fun choosing different locations from Atlas of Adventures to learn about with papa T at bedtime. While this book is meant for kids who are a bit older, as long as we keep it to just 1-2 locations per bedtime, he has had fun learning all about different cultures and traditions around the world. T really wants to get him a globe so that he can point out the different locations they have been reading about. We also recently checked out 'A Year Full of Stories: 52 classic stories from all around the world' from the library (which they ordered after I mentioned wanting to read it!), and think it will be a great book to add to our collection in the coming years as our little people start to read longer books with less pictures. It is also tied to different cultures around the world, and highlights folk tales tied to specific holidays and dates throughout the year. So fun!

CUISINE:

Both boys typically eat a good breakfast, particularly if it includes some sort of baked good such as muffins, banana bread, pancakes, etc. They also enjoy fresh fruit, yogurt (which G demands to feed himself), and sausage links or bacon.

Lunchtime it typical American toddler food...think PB&J, hot ham & cheese, quesadilla, frozen pizza, peas or mixed veggies, and fruit, yogurt, or applesauce on the side. G continues to dislike pasta, so we don't do as much mac & cheese as C or I would probably like!

After naps, I usually throw together some sort of trail mix for the boys to enjoy at their kid-sized table. Typically, it has cereal, dried fruit, and yogurt raisins, Goldfish, and maybe some kind of peanut. I try to steer clear of the store bought trail mix as I've found that they will generally just go straight for the M&Ms and leave the rest of the snack alone. They do enjoy the Annie's organic cheddar snack mix, so as long as I'm keeping a close eye on when they are done (cheddar covered fingers and furniture do not mix!), we'll do this one sometimes as well.

At dinner, we have noticed that unless we are eating by close to 6pm, neither of the boys will eat well at dinner. They are getting tired and cranky, and just overall tend to play with their food and cause problems instead of eating anything. Usually, I give them only one choice, and they have to eat whatever T & I are eating if they want to eat at all. I don't have time or patience to make multiple meals for picky little eaters. I do often modify certain meals when I know they will or will not eat something I'm making. Generally speaking, they don't like casseroles or meals mixed together with sauce, so if that's what's for dinner, I make sure to leave out or pick out the individual ingredients such as meat, veggie, etc. before giving them their plates. For instance, if T & I are having tacos, I make sure to leave out plain hamburger before adding taco seasoning and the individual ingredients for the boys rather than try to feed them a full on taco. Sometimes...I can get away with putting taco meat, tomatoes, beans and cheese in a quesadilla. Same would be true of soups. C has started to eat soup every now and then, but generally speaking, we best be having a sandwich to go with, or the boys won't eat. The mixed together ingredients are not their jam. Some meals they do particularly like are meatloaf with steamed veggies; parmesan chicken with steamed veggies and bread for dipping (G LOVES to dip bread in balsamic vinegar); burgers with baked fries or tots and fruit; etc. I'll be honest, it's a bit of a crapshoot when it comes to dinner, and often it boils down to what time of evening everything comes together. I think we are ALL looking forward to grilling season and simple summertime meals!

When we are out to eat or get a quick takeout meal, toasted ham & cheese subs from Subway, or a ham & cheese slim from Jimmy Johns are favorites, but DO NOT bust out the chips until after the sandwiches are mostly gone, or they won't eat sandwiches! G also loves chicken strips, particularly when he gets to DIP them in ketchup, and C enjoys mac & cheese, grilled cheese, or a burger. Speaking of burgers, he has been begging me to go to Duke's (a local hamburger joint) for his upcoming birthday, so I'm hopeful they will be opening soon!

GENERAL TEMPERAMENTS:

Truth. C has been a bit of a handful these past few months. I'm not entirely sure what caused this change, but there has been more whining, pushing, and overall attention-seeking behavior than I care to remember. Unfortunately, G has taken the brunt of the drama, and is often the one being picked on, pushed, or having a toy stolen away. He has grown to be scared of C's behavior, and has developed a strong attachment to his blanket when he is feeling threatened, and is often found hiding by my legs so that big brother will leave him alone. I do not think that C's behavior comes from being truly 'mean', but nevertheless, I wish he would respect that G doesn't appreciate the constant pestering and pushing.

G, meanwhile, continues to be a little sweetheart. He is such a happy little guy the majority of the time, and brings us so much joy. He loves being right in the middle of all the action, and is full of smiles, laughs, and mischievous little crinkle faces. Despite being picked on quite a bit by his bigger brother (who should know better), G loves C with his whole heart, and can often be found sitting with him in the armchair and reading or watching a show, driving trucks together all over the furniture, chasing each other around on their ride-on vehicles, or sharing a snack together at the kids table after nap time.

We love these boys so much, and are looking forward to watching them both grow into their new roles as big brothers to a new sibling sometime in the next month!
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