Madeline’s Weekly Photo Project

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It’s amazing what I forgot about babies!  The intensity of the witching hour, all the crying, how to hold them when you feed them, the number of diapers you go through in a day!  But also how fun it can be to start to maybe see the tiny hint of a smile, how they grasp your finger, how sweet they are when they fall asleep on you.  The two kid thing is no joke though.  We are very tired.  Everyone says it gets easier, and I believe them.  I know from experience that some of this newborn stuff that I find particularly challenging will go away, but adjusting to a new normal where there is very little downtime is hard (although by some miracle both children are napping right now while Sean and I have some of that precious downtime).

Anyway, I’m proud of myself for getting these photos done each week even though it’s pretty hectic over here.  It’s amazing how fast babies change in a year!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Wes!

Wes is 3 today!  It’s so exciting!  Remember when I told you I wanted to accomplish two things in October?  Well, the second was to  make sure Wes felt celebrated for his birthday, even though he now has a baby sister that takes up a lot of attention.  I’d planned for us to take a family trip to the National Building Museum.  We’ve never been but it sounds like there is a really cool kids space that Wes would love.  He’s in a real construction phase.  But when we woke up on Saturday morning I knew it wasn’t happening.  Initially I felt bad.  We laid out presents for Wes to wake up to, along with a cupcake breakfast.  He was SO EXCITED about these things when he woke up.  It was a glorious day for him.  It was a nice reminder that just cake and presents go a long way for a small child.


Again, he’s in a real construction phase, so we gave him this dress up set with the idea that it would also double as a Halloween costume.  We’re still not trick or treating, but we do have a Halloween party to attend.


Keeping with the construction theme, he also got a drill game.


My parents got him a guitar.  He promptly wrote a song for his favorite girl at school.  He also brought it on the couch with him while he watched his last TV show of the day and randomly strummed it.  Both things were so cute to me.


Sean has been trying to read science books to Wes since he was itty.  They have always been on his phone and without pictures.  So we were excited when we discovered these.  They maybe weren’t as initially exciting as some of the other gifts, but Sean is enjoying reading them and I’m glad we have them for both Wes and Madeline.


For the last few weeks, Wes had been pointing out these cupcakes at Wegmans and told me he wanted them for his birthday.  At first I was disappointed he wanted something store bought instead of home made, and then I remembered I have a newborn and decided to be grateful.  So Wegman cupcakes it was this year!  They weren’t bad.

Sean, Madeline, and I went to Wes’s classroom to read books for circle time and have a special snack.  We had kept it a secret that Sean was coming and it was very special to have him there!

So happy birthday 3rd to our sweet Wesley!  Thanks for making us parents and keeping us laughing with all the funny things you say.  We love watching you grow.

Pumpkin Patch

Even with Madeline, I wanted to make sure we accomplished two things in October.  The first being finding pumpkins at a place somewhere other than the grocery store.  And luckily, my mom friends told me about Nall’s Produce, 12 minutes from our house, and I knew that pumpkin picking could still feel fun this year even if we didn’t make it to some of the big festivals we did last year or the apple orchard.  

This place was right on a busy road but still let their chickens run around with no fences.  It felt like a bold move to me!

  

This poor pig.  Wes threw a handful or tiny pebbles into her pen and she thought it was food.  She didn’t eat our pebbles, but I’m sad we fooled her.

Wes had a great time!  He jumped and danced and didn’t want to leave.  He didn’t realize at all that we weren’t at some big fall festival.  

And I’ve been meaning this whole week to take pictures of the pumpkins we picked but still haven’t.  So you’ll just have to imagine.  

Introducing Madeline Eve!

Madeline Eve joined our family on September 25th.  Her due date!  She arrived at 10:22 a.m. and weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 19 inches long.  We’re delighted she’s here but we’re all still adjusting.


A day or two after we’d come home from the hospital my mom asked me if I liked Madeline better inside or outside.  And I answered very confidently outside!  This might seem like an odd question with an obvious answer, but I don’t think so.  When I was pregnant with Wes I was so excited to meet him.  Every moment of that pregnancy was magical to me.  But when he arrived, I was totally overwhelmed.  I wondered what we’d done and how life could ever feel manageable again.  With Madeline, I’d spent my pregnancy planning and fearful.  Planning by getting things done and making lists and checking boxes and being very transactional about the whole thing.  Fearful about what kind of baby she’d be, if I’d love her as much as Wes, how on earth I was going to juggle the needs of two children all day.  But now she’s here and she’s completely delightful.  I’m so happy to meet her and have her in our lives.  I think I’m still curious about how I’m going to manage the needs to two children once I’m on my own all day, but I’m so much less fearful.  It’s really nice to experience these happier feelings after the birth of a child.


Everyone told me your second child comes faster, but I had no idea how fast that could be!  Madeline was fast!  I really thought I’d have to be induced, and we were scheduled for an induction on the 27th.  But at 4 am on the 25th I woke up to go to the bathroom and realized something was going on.  I think I knew they were contractions, but I wasn’t 100% sure.  Because I was induced with Wes and safe in a hospital, I just didn’t pay attention to my contractions with Wes.  Other than realizing that they hurt.  When Sean woke up at 5:45 my contractions still weren’t totally consistent, but I did tell him that I thought he’d have to stay home that day.  He laughed a me a little bit because he knew right away that we were having a baby.  I was still feeling unsure and working under that assumption that I’d be driving Wes to school in a few hours while my contractions got stronger.  But I did text my parents and ask them to start driving.  And did text my neighbor to ask if she could help with Wes that day.  So I started to get things ready for Wes and myself, and then it was really clear we had to go.  We arrived at 8:15-ish.  I told everyone who would listen that I wanted an epidural.  Everyone else seemed to move so slowly.  I felt like we were in triage for forever and I wanted to leave and get my drugs so badly.  I was 3 centimeters when we left triage.  We got to the delivery room and things progressed very quickly for me.  I was very uncomfortable.  I screamed with my contractions.  I did not expect to be a screamer but I couldn’t help it.  It’s just what came out of me.  The anesthesiologist had to tell someone to close the door, probably so I didn’t scare off the other ladies on the floor.  I was really very loud.  I told someone I had to push.  They told me not to push because the doctor wasn’t there and no one knew how dilated I was.  I told them again that I had to push and it was really hard to not push.  Again, it seemed like everyone around me was moving so slowly.  Finally a senior nurse checked me.  I was at 9.  The anesthesiologist had been trying to figure out what drug to give me.  I did get a drug, not quite an epidural because that would have taken too long.  It was so hard for me to stay still for that epidural type thing I was given.  Sean told me later he didn’t think I’d be able to do it because I was so busy screaming and moving around.   It was hard, but I was scared.  An unmedicated birth is one of my biggest fears.  But, I did pretty much labor completely drug free because almost as soon as it was in the doctor was there, I pushed three times, and Madeline hard arrived!  Just about an hour and a half after we’d made it to the hospital!  While I do have very fond memories of my induction for Wes, I really preferred this quick delivery!


And now we’re all pretty taken with her.  It’s so fun to watch Sean be the father of a newborn again.  It’s not his favorite phase, but he’s sweetly protective.  If she’s crying and he’s not already in the room, it’s not long before he swoops right in and comforts her.  Wes says he loves her and kisses her and hugs her and “reads” her a book every morning as I change her into her daytime clothes, but he’s putting on a brave face and is being such a trooper.  The mom guilt of not enough of me for everyone all the time is pretty tough.  Overall we’re happy, but still working through some of the challenges.

Week 37

Whoa baby, right?  Yeah, this outfit doesn’t really hide anything well.  BA2 and all the extra is hanging right out there!

Aside from still being very tired some days, I actually feel great lately!  It’s like my body understands that the baby is coming soon and wants to give me an extra boost of energy to help me feel okay about that.  I may also have some extra energy because Wes is back in school.  It’s very helpful not to be standing all morning at a playground every day.  It’s nice to have the break.  Other than that, it’s been a pretty uneventful week.  We’re just mostly ready and waiting now.  I understand I don’t get to make this call, BA2 does, but I think we still have several weeks of waiting to do.

Happy birthday, Sean!

Yesterday was Sean’s birthday.  I was looking back at last year’s post about his birthday, and laughed again at the video of Wes shouting “Sean!” up the stairs.  It’s funny because Wes went out of the Sean phase, switched to calling him the normal dad or daddy for a very long time, and now is back full force into a Sean phase.  Sometimes even sneaking in the occasional “I love you, Favorite.”  It’s also funny how he might say dad first, and will switch to Sean if he doesn’t get Sean’s attention right away.  Kids!  Two year olds!  I love it!


Sean and I celebrated his birthday this year with a date on Saturday night, probably our last night out before BA2 comes.  Which is exciting and a little sad all at the same time.  Then our family celebrated with cake on Sunday.  So we were almost all partied out by yesterday.  Although Wes has been eating cake for breakfast since Sunday.  I think I need to put a stop to that tomorrow morning.


Sean’s favorite cake is Texas sheet cake.  It’s a cake that’s growing on me.  It’s very tasty, but I like to have a pretty presentation.  It’s hard to make sheet cake pretty.  I also wish it had more of a fudge frosting, but that was quickly shot down by Sean as soon as I said it.  So classic sheet cake it is!


Even though it’s a day late, happy birthday, Sean/Favorite/Dad!  We love you!

Week 36

The other day Sean came home from work with Breath Right strips.  I’m one of those pregnant ladies that starts to really snore in the third trimester.  Sean’s been managing it this time with ear plugs, but the other night he heard me wake myself up 3 or 4 times before he put his plugs in.  “I think one of the reasons you’re so tired is because your snoring is even waking you up,” he said.  So he bought me the stripes so I could hopefully sleep better.  And it’s working!  I wake up more refreshed!  I’m still tired because I’m pregnant, but definitely more refreshed!  Yay for Sean!  Yay for Breath Right strips.  Too bad we didn’t think about this months ago!

I was getting ready a few days after Sean made this purchase and Wes found the strips.  He asked if I could help him open one, so I did.  I went back to getting ready and then he comes over with the strip on his own little nose!  Sean and I love this picture, so I had to share.

Week 35

I wish I had taken a picture or walked you through what we took to the hospital when I was pregnant with Wes.  I don’t remember everything, but I know it was ridiculous.  We had three whole bags that poor Sean had to lug around, and we barely touched anything.  I think he also had to shove his stuff into a corner of a bag so we didn’t end up with four.  They were fairly big bags too.  We didn’t touch the diapers or wipes or pads or snacks or so many of the other things the internet told me I’d want but the hospital provides.  This time, I’m bringing two much smaller bags.  I do have a set of clothes in my bag that I might toss out depending on when we leave and what I’m already wearing when we leave.  Even with that extra set of clothes Sean can easily put his stuff in my bag.  I like that for this aspect of our hospital visit with BA2 I can say been here done that and we don’t need nearly four bags of things.  The rest of this hospital visit I’m sure will be very different than our first.  I was swapping birth stories with friends recently and it’s amazing how different birth stories are.  I wonder how BA2 will come….

Wesley-isms

2 is not without it’s challenges, but it’s been my favorite so far.  That’s in large part due to the explosion of language and the personality that starts to emerge when kids can talk.  Here are some of the best things Wes has said lately.

When I go to get Wes after his nap I usually ask him if he had a good nap.  The other weekend he was struggling to nap.  He had barely stayed in his bed and when I went up to re-snuggle him he says to me as soon as I open the door: “Hey Mom, I had a good nap.  Let’s go outside!”

Mid-snack Wes crosses his arms, looks at me very seriously, and says” So, Mom, after camp and preschool, I’m going to elementary school.”

We’re playing in the playroom as a family.  Wes places his step stool in the middle of the room, climbs on top, sticks one of his pointer fingers up in the air and declares: “Conservation is our responsibility!”

Not quite an ism, but something I love now that he’s potty trained.  I’ll be in the kitchen and he in the playroom.  He comes to the kitchen, we make eye contact, and he bursts into a big smile.  He gives me a thumbs up all the way to the bathroom door and I just say, “Good job, Buddy,” because he doesn’t want to be asked about it and he wants his privacy.  Which I think we can all appreciate.

 

Weeks 33 & 34

It’s so interesting how 6 more weeks can seem like the shortest amount of time and the longest amount of time simultaneously.  As my last trimester started I felt totally unprepared for the end of this pregnancy.  But things are falling into place now.  We have a plan for what to do with Wes should BA2 come suddenly, her clothes are folded and in a dresser, the books are in the book shelf, all of the essentials for at least the first few days are here at our house.  There are still some things to do, but we’re in a good place now.  Which is great so I have more time for naps.  

As this pregnancy comes to a close I’m reminded that these are my last few weeks of just Wes and me.  He’s getting a little clingy, which I think is normal based on discussions I’ve had with some of my friends.  It’s really sweet.  I get a lot of hugs and kisses and requests to build and play.  Even when Sean is home.  That’s a big deal. It makes me a little sad.  Sad that I won’t be able to give him this much attention ever again, and we won’t be just Wes and me in the same away ever again.   But I know that will also be a good thing.