Monday, April 26, 2010

Growing, growing, growing...

We got Charlotte an exersaucer this weekend. She's likes to sit up and look around and she likes to stand in our laps, so I went ahead and decided to try it out. She loooooves it! I have to put a blanket around her so she's in there nice and tight & a pillow so her feet won't go to sleep, but so far she's been happy happy in it. She sits there and watches Madeleine and Harrison playing and smiles and talks to them. And they love that she's up more on their level.

I can't believe that she's big enough for this! She'll sit in there as long as I'll let her. Just look at those smiles!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Silly Faces

We spent the afternoon just hanging out and goofing off today. Matt's in super-study mode for the next couple of weeks getting ready for finals so it's just me and the three. I pulled out my camera to take some pics of Charlotte's new toy (which I'll post later) and things got a little silly. I missed the best part, but here's a few pictures I did get.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lots of Blog Love

Yippee! I was honored with my first blog award this past week....

This came from my friend AJ and it's such fun! If you've never read her blog, hop on over there and check it out. It's always a fun read and she's much better than I am at updates! :) She's an amazing mom of soon to be 3 boys & she encourages me and inspires me as a mother and friend. She was one of the first people I met at our new church & I'm not sure what I would have done without her!! Our life would have been without a few hundred playdates. :)

As part of this award I'm supposed to talk about 10 things that make me happy. Going along with what AJ did, I'll leave off the obvious (God, Matt, kids, friends) and mention some more obsure things you might not know:

1. Sonic Diet Cherry Cokes -- especially during Happy Hour. :) I'll admit it, I'm completely hooked on them. They are the perfect pick me up in the afternoon. Going along with that, I also love Diet Cherry Cokes in the can. Unfortunately they don't sell them in NWA & I have to stock up every time I'm in Little Rock.

2. Fancy Headbands. Nothing like a little bling to make this mom of three feel fancy. We all need a little Fancy Nancy now and then.

3. My Ugg Slippers. My mom got them for me for Christmas and I've almost worn a hole in the heel of one. They are bliss for feet.

4. Books. I know this is very generic but I absolute love reading. I'm a very eclectic reader. I read everything from teen books to classics. I'm currently hooked on historical fiction after reading The Historian. I'm also in the middle of re-reading the Little House Books -- easy but enjoyable.

5. Braums. I can thank this for the extra few pounds I can't seem to lose but it's oh so worth it. Yummy goodness in every bite. Wouldn't be a weekend around here without a Braums run.

5. Say Yes to the Dress. Thank you TLC for coming up with this show. I'm hooked!

6. My phone. What did I do before I could check Facebook and my email anytime, anywhere??

7. Running. I don't get to run as often as I'd like right now, but it is such a stress reliver for me. Hopefully as we find our new routine I'll have more time for this. I usually either listen to my music or enjoy the quiet and think or pray.

8. My minivan. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I do love my minivan. It's made my life so much easier that I don't even mind that it's a completely uncool mom car. :)

9. Our new twin beds. We bought them for Harrison's new room, but both Matt and I find ourselves hoping that one of the kids will come in our bed sometime in the night so we can go to their bed!! With their perfect pillow top and 500 threadcount sheets it's like sleeping on a cloud.

10. Spanx. They really are a mom-of-3's best friend. Enough said!

Now I get to pass it on to 3 people:

1. My cousin Katie at Whittsville. Reading about her kids has made me feel like I know them even though we're thousands of miles apart. I have a feeling that if we ever get our boys together it's going to be a MESS. Reading about Lily and Jamison always make me smile and I love knowing that there's another stinker of a boy besides Harrison in our family. :) She'll be joining the 3 kid club this summer, too.

2. Jamie at Keeping Up With the Keims. Jamie and I became friends when we lived in LR. Her kids are the exact same age as mine. We always had such fun on playdates and our kids got along great! She's inspired me with her faith as they've traveled a difficult path with sweet Hannah's health. She's just one of those people that you can't help but enjoy being around and she's always doing something fun with her kids which inspires me to go the extra mile with mine!

3. Jamie at Emery's World. Jamie is my sister-in-law and the mother of my favorite niece! :) I'm so thankful that she has a blog so I can keep up with all the cuteness of Miss Emery Kate! I just wish we lived closer so we could love on Emery all the time and the kids to play together....maybe someday. Jamie is always posting beautiful pics of Emery and it inspires and reminds me to dress up my kids and take nice pics of them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

3 Months!

This has been the fastest month yet! I'm seeing a trend here. :) Charlotte has changed so much this month! She's moved out of that newborn stage and into a true infant stage.

She's still my smiley girl. She always has a smile for her momma. I love peeking over the edge of her bed in the morning and watching her face just light up. She has one of those smiles that reaches her eyes and I so hope it stays that way. She can laugh and squeal when she's really excited about something. Her new favorite thing to do is look at herself in the mirror. It makes me laugh to watch her talk to herself in the mirror. :)

She's fallen into more of a routine this month. Can you hear my sigh of relief??? She still not a great napper & I've decided that I'm just going to live with that. Our routine changes so much depending on the day of the week that it's hard to get her on a set schedule. However, we have established a good bedtime routine and she's happily sleeping around 9 hours straight each night! Hurray! It's not the 9 hours I'd choose -- she sleeps from 8ish till 5ish, but I can live with it. She usually eats at 5 then goes back to sleep till around 7.

She still isn't loving her paci much. I can get her to take it if she's really really tired, but as soon as she's asleep she spits it out. She much prefers to suck on her hand -- she can fit almost her entire fist in her mouth! I'd been afraid she'd start to suck her thumb, but she prefers her whole fist. Ha!

She's still sleeping in our room at night. I know I should be thinking about moving her to her crib, but I just love having her close by. She's stayed in our room much longer than the older two, but I'm just not in any hurry to move her.

I think this week I'm going to be trying her in her exersaucer. She sits SO WELL. I can sit her on my lap and she can support herself with minimal help from me. I think it's that big belly of hers that helps. :) She doesn't like to be held in the "baby hold" unless she's sleepy; otherwise she wants to be sitting up and looking around. There's always something going on at our house.

This girl has some rolls!!! She's such a chunky monkey! She loves her bath time and sits so contently in the tub for as long as I'll let her stay in there. I just love how she smells after her baths, too.
She's quite a talker.....just like her brother and sister. She can coo loudly! I think she's already realized she'll have to speak up to be heard. I could sit and listen to her all day. Sometimes I forget she can't really talk yet since I talk to her a lot and she responds so much to what I'm saying. I've taken many many videos of her sweet cooing sounds. It just never gets old.
She's quite the momma's girl and I love it. I love that I know all her cries and fusses and can solve the problem. It's a wonderful time when I can solve all the problems in her world.
She loves her bows, too. Ok -- I love the bows, but she'll leave them in all day! Hurray! I'm enjoying it while it lasts. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Charlotte's Story

I know I'm way behind in FINALLY posting this! But, I want to remember all about the day sweet Charlotte joined our family.

(Disclaimer: If you don't enjoy reading about labor/delivery and personal details, you might want to skip this post. If, however, you are like me and could sit around all day swapping labor and birth stories with girlfriends......grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and read on.)

Thursday, January 14th.
Matt and I head to my 39 week checkup hoping to talk to the doctor about induction. I'd been induced with Harrison and it went incredibly well and since all of our family was out of town and we'd need help with the kids we'd decided it might be the best way. Dr. G said everything looked good for induction and he suggested that we aim for the next day. Whoa! We left the officed in a bit of a panic wondering how we'd be ready in time! But, we were still on standby until getting the official word from the nurse that we were on the schedule. By the time she called a few hours later, I was more than relieved to hear that we weren't able to be induced until the following Tuesday -- January 19th.

Monday, January 18th.
My parents had taken the kids to Little Rock for the weekend, so Matt and I could have one last weekend to get everything checked off our list and get some rest. We had a wonderful "last" date of dinner at Abuelos and watched The Blind Side. We slept late and talked and talked about what we'd name the baby -- and made our definite choices. On Monday I also went to the hospital and did all my lab work and filled out all the paperwork so Tuesday would be a breeze. That evening my parents and the kids arrived and we all headed to bed early to try and get one last night of good sleep. :)

Tuesday, January 19th
I got up at 4:30 and got ready to head to the hospital. We'd decided that my mom would come with me that morning while I got checked in and Matt would bring the kids later when they woke up. Madeleine had been pretty emotional about me going to the hospital and we thought it would be best for Matt to be there with her when she woke up and realized I was gone.

Mom and I arrived at the hospital around 5:15. We headed to the nurses station to check in. Then they dropped the BOMB. The nurse told me that we'd been moved to Wednesday and we'd been called the previous afternoon and told that. Ummmm, NO. I double checked my cell -- no call/voicemail. I check the home phone -- nothing. Somehow, I managed to hold it together and be nice to the staff while they checked to see what had happened. Basically, someone there just didn't call us. They were SOOO apologetic and SOOO sorry. But, it was still 5:30am and I was at the hospital (after a night of very little sleep) and I was very uncomfortable pregnancy AND they were telling me that I'd probably be that way for another day! UGGGG.

So, we headed back home. And we waited. I spent most of the day in bed. I couldn't sleep, but there really wasn't anything for me to do. We watched TV and played on the computer. Matt had already taken the day off, my parents were here, Matt's parents were on their way and NO BABY. That day dragged on and on and on. I called that evening just to double check that we were still scheduled for the next day at the hospital. We were and my doctor was on call and would be delivering our baby. Hearing that news made it all better. I have a great doctor and was thrilled to find out he'd be the one to deliver our baby.

Wednesday, January 20th

5:30am: We arrived at the hospital. They were so nice and the head nurse greeted me at the door and escorted me to my room herself. Sometimes it pays to be nice in a bad situation! :)

I changed into my gown and settled in for an exciting day. I remember looking at my belly one last time and thinking that in a few hours I'd be holding that baby! I couldn't wait to find out if it was a boy or girl! One last picture of me before heading out to the hospital.

6:15 am: After finishing even MORE paperwork (which they sent a nurse in to do for me -- nice!) they finally got ready to put in my IV. I told the nurse that I always pass out when that IV goes in. I'm not afraid of needles (have you seen the size of the RhoGam needle???), but for some reason IV's always make me pass out. Sure enough, she gets it in and BAM -- out I go. It's a miserable feeling and for me the worst part of labor. That's not too bad, if the IV is the worst part!

6:45am: They come in to give me my epidural. Since I had some trouble with my epidural with Harrison -- my blood pressure dropped very very low and I threw up -- the doctor wanted to give me some anti-nausea meds before he administered it. So, they started those and we waited about 45 minutes for them to take effect and for him to come back for the epidural.

7:40am: Epidural is in and the nurse gets ready to start pitocin. By this time we've been here 2 hours and I'm ready to get things moving! I'd forgotten how long it takes to get an induction going.

8:00am: Pitocin is going and the doctor comes in to check me. I'm at 3-4 cm and 90% effaced with the baby still pretty high up. Let the waiting begin.

8:10am: Dr. G breaks my water. This time I actually felt a POP when it broke. It was also about this time I started wishing I'd had a midnight snack; while I couldn't feel my legs, I sure could feel my tummy growling! Even the nurse heard it! ;)

9:15am: The nurse checks me and I'm at 4 cm. Things are moving. I told her that I went really fast with Harrison after getting to 5 cm. She warns me to let her know if I start to feel shaky because that could mean I'm fully dilated. She also starts me on some fluids. The baby's heartrate seems to drop a little low with each contraction and she thinks the fluids will help. They do almost immediately.

9:30am: Matt, my dad and the kids arrive. Great! Some distractions. They're fascinated by the wires and Madeleine wants to know what everything does. They check out the special hospital bags I'd packed for them filled with coloring books/snacks/goodies and start playing.

10:00am: I'm still on the fluids. They turn me to my side as well. Every time the nurse stops the fluids, the baby's heartrate drops, but as long as I'm on them it's okay. I'm feeling pretty good and getting excited to meet this little one! We talk about what we tthink it will be -- boy or girl???

11:00am: The nurse starts me on some oxygen and ups the pitocin level. She checks me an I'm at 5 cm and 100% effaced. I start getting REALLY excited.....with Harrison I went from 5cm to holding him in less than 1 hour.

About this time, Matt's parents arrive to visit. My parents take the kids to McDonalds for lunch since they are starting to get pretty restless. We settle in for a good chat with Matt's parents (aka Grammy and Pops) to help pass the time. After just a few minutes I start to get really shaky. Whole body shakes. And I can't stop.

11:20am: Matt pages the nurse. I tell her how I'm feeling and ask her to check me again. She doesn't really want to since she'd just checked me, but gives in and does since I'm feeling like I need to push. I was right -- I was at a 10! Matt calls my parents and tells them to head back to the hospital.

11:45: The nurse starts getting the room ready for delivery. The nursery nurse comes down and makes sure everything is in place for the baby. My nurse heads down the hall to find the doctor....

12:00: The nurse comes back and tells us that my doctor is heading into a C-Section. Boo. We'll have to wait a little longer. :( So we wait. And we wait. It seemed like every minute was an hour. We were so close to meeting this little one!

12:35: The nurse checks again and the doctor says he's 4 minutes from being ready. We time him. :) And, 4 minutes later he arrives. They prep me and get me ready to start pushing. My contraction are actually getting weaker-- they never were strong and regular -- and I tell her she's probably going to have to tell me when to push.

12:45: Dr. G reminds everyone that we don't know the sex of the baby and not to say anything until we've had a look. How wonderful is that?? I start pushing. 3 pushes later.....

12:48: He hold up the most perfect little baby! I scream "it's a girl" and start crying. Matt looks at me and says "it's a girl??? are you sure???" I tell him YES! He starts crying and saying over and over that he can't believe it. I think that while a healthy baby was our #1 desire, we both really were secretly hoping for a girl, especially since Madeleine wanted a sister so badly. Dr. G lays her on my chest and she immediately stops crying. She was so alert and looking right up at us. I'll never forget the way she felt in my arms that first time.

The nurse takes her to be weighed and cleaned up. She weighed in at a perfect 7lbs 1oz.

They gave her back to me all bundled up and Matt and I just stared and stared at her. It never ceases to amaze me how you just fall in love with them in an instant. Anyone that doesn't believe in love at first sight has never had a child. The love at that moment is overwhelming. It's like I could feel my heart growing and expanding with love for another child.
After a few minutes, we were ready to get the kids. We just couldn't wait to let them see our sweet little Charlotte. We put a pink hat on her and Matt brought them in. Madeleine knew INSTANTLY that it was a girl! She ran right up to the bed and wanted to hold her. Of course at this point I was boo-hooing. She was so proud of her sister! She snuggled up by me on the bed and held Charlotte for the first time. She leaned over to me with big tears in her eyes and said, "mommy, I'm so happy I might cry. is that okay?" Here came even more tears from me. So we cried together. :)
Harrison was a little less interested. He still wanted to hold her, but I think he was more concerned by the hospital "stuff" around us. And, he was pretty tired by that point in the day, too.
We let the kids tell everyone that they had a sister. They ran down the hall yelling, "we have a sister!!!" Everyone came back to the room to meet miss Charlotte for the first time. Madeleine climbed right back up on the bed next to me while everyone got a good look at Charlotte. She wanted to be right by her the whole time.

We spent the afternoon and early evening in the delivery room since my epidural took FOREVER to wear off. I have to say it was the best one I've had out of the 3 -- just the right strength and took effect really fast. But, it did take a long time before I could walk again. It was actually the next morning before I felt really sturdy on my feet again.
So we had a lovely day of just holding and loving on our new baby. There's nothing like holding a new baby. There's so much innocence about them and they have their entire life ahead. There's nothing like it and the newborn phase passes all too quickly.
Sugar and soon-to-be Uncle Stewart (yeah!) even joined us for the big day!

Poor Harrison just pooped out by late afternoon from all the excitement and we made good use of the cot in my room!
We got moved to a new room, eventually, and everyone headed home. My mom and dad took the kids back to our house and Matt spent the night with me. I didn't sleep much. I was too excited and by 5am it seems as if there's an interruption every 30 minutes.
We spent day #2 just loving on our sweet girl. I changed her into her first real clothes so she felt a little more like mine. We had some sweet visitors. We took lots of pictures. What a wonderful day!
My parent headed home that afternoon and it was just the 5 of us. I'd planned to stay one more night in the hospital (great decision!) so Matt had the kids by himself. Madeleine had a minor breakdown -- okay a major one -- when it was time to leave me that night. She was so tired and it had been an emotional couple of days for her. That was probably the toughest time for me. I really wanted to be home with them, but I knew that I needed some rest before heading back to real life. :)
After they left -- early in the evening since Madeleine had school the next day -- I had some wonderful alone time with Charlotte. After the exciting couple of days, filled with lots of action, it was so nice to have some time to just be alone with her. I sat and stared at her and talked to her. I rocked her and sang to her and found her song. Those were some of the most precious hours of my life. I'll never forget them.
I sent Charlotte to the nursery that night (except for feedings) and got some good sleep. By the time Matt and Harrison arrived the next day to take us home, I'd had a shower, gotten dressed and was feeling ready to tackle this mom-of-three thing. :)
We changed Charlotte into her going-home outfit. It was the most gorgeous day! Perfectly sunny and even a little bit warm for January.
By the time we were ready to head home Harrison was getting much more interested in Charlotte.
Charlotte came home in a new little Ralph Lauren one piece flowered outfit. Her white blanket was mine. Underneath it, which you can't see, is a blanket that belonged to my dad as a baby.
It was cold enough that she did have to have a hat though! This was only hat that would fit without swallowing her head! And it was still very big on her.
As soon as we got home, Harrison wanted to read to her. He was so cute sharing his books with her although he didn't have the patience to read, he just wanted to show her the pictures. :)
From the moment we walked into our house, it felt as if Charlotte was always meant to be there.
And so began our life with three.....

Friday, April 16, 2010

Life with Three

Ever since Charlotte was born the biggest question I've been asked is:

"How's it going with three?"

(Insert sympathetic smile)

So, here's a real peek at life with three.

All in all, it hasn't been anywhere near as hard as I'd imagined although I think I was prepared for total and complete chaos. I spent the last month of my pregnancy doing everything I could do to get ready. I knew that it was going to be a busy few weeks/months and in the middle of it all we were going to have a new baby.

Let me catch you up.

I don't work outside of our home. However, Matt has a job as a full time math teacher. He's also a full time student working on a Ph.d at the U of A. He also taught a class as an adjunct teacher for Harding from January to early March. And, he is teaching an after school Algebra credit recovery class that ends next week. You get the idea. He's busy. And Matt being gone so much means that I'm in charge of anything that doesn't fall into his class/teaching schedule.

So, I knew that I had to get big-time organized before this baby came! I stocked our freezer with many, many meals. I stocked the pantry with staples and things I could stuff in a lunchbox in a jiffy. I did the laundry daily so it was totally caught up. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned! And I prepared for our life to be crazy for awhile.....

But it hasn't been. It's busy, of course. There are days that I only sit down to feed Charlotte. There are a LOT of nights that I eat only a couple of bites of dinner -- while standing up. It sometimes feels like I'm juggling 20 things at once and I'm a guru at multitasking now! And don't even get me started on the laundry. I think I've decided that it's just never going to be fully caught up and that's okay.

I have realized that my days (and weeks!) are much much easier when we stay home most of the time. I can stay more on top of cleaning and laundry and even get a head start on dinner. Our days just seem to go smoother when I'm home. I always forget between babies how much that 3 hour feeding schedule ties you down, but it's worth the sacrafice to have a predictable, happy baby. She's now sleeping a lovely 9-10 hour stretch at night, so it's even more worth it! And, getting out with a baby requires so much gear! However, there are definitely times when I NEED to get out -- for my sanity! :)

The days with three go by so fast! I never seem to finish everything on my to-do list since the days seem to fly by! I keep telling matt that I'm busy all day & never sit down, but I don't seem to get anything DONE. Some of that is my fault of course. I know this time around how the time really does pass all to quickly when they're little. I've spend hours upon hours just rocking and talking to Charlotte. There are days when Harrison's at preschool and Madeleine at kindergarden when that's pretty much all that I do. And it's soooo worth the sacrafice of not getting anything "done" to just have that time with her. She just lights up when I smile or talk to her which I love. She's quite the momma's girl, too. I love that!

If I could only find a way to add a few more hours to the day. Or not need sleep. Or maybe split myself into 2 it would make life a little calmer......but on the other hand, I love being busy. I love being at home with my babies all day. And that makes it all worthwhile.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Worms, Glorious Worms!

Harrison's such a BOY! Sometimes I'm afraid he'll turn out a little on the girly side with 2 sisters -- and to be quite honest, he's pretty comfy in heels! -- but he's definitely a boy!!

Harrison's new favorite pastime has become digging for worms. He'll spend hours just sitting in the yard digging. The past few weeks, I let him dig up the flower beds since we were getting ready to gut them and start from scratch....unfortunately, we finished them this weekend so Harrison's on the hunt for some new digging ground! :)

Once he collects a good amount of worms, around 10, he'll put them in his dump truck and tote them around the yard. Then he'll move them to the grass or driveway and back again to the truck. Generally, after about 30 minutes it's time for new worms since the ones he has are "sleeping," aka dead.

Little Miss Charlotte has been enjoying some good outside time from the shade of her stroller or swing lately. She's fascinated watching the big kids play and run outside! I think sometimes she gets a little bored when it's just the two of us at home!

And Madeleine HATES the worms! She'd rather be riding her bike or helping Harrison spot the worms -- but don't dare ask her to touch one!

Oh how we are loving this gorgeous spring weather!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We had a great easter around here! Grammy and Pops came up to spend the weekend with us and we had such fun! I'm sure they're still recovering! Ha!

Here's what the easter bunny left for the kids this year. They were excited to set out their baskets the night before. Their favorite goodie this year?? The $.99 mini tape measures the easter bunny found at hobby lobby. Ha! They played with them ALL day long. :)

Madeleine's basket.
Harrison's basket.

And sweet Charlotte's first Easter Basket.

So excited to see what the Easter Bunny had left for them!

Harrison kept telling me that he was going to have a chocolate chicken in his basket, thanks to the Max and Ruby easter episode. I looked EVERYWHERE for an actually chocolate chicken, but no luck. Thankfully, he was more than happy with his chocolate bunny. That's pretty much all the candy the easter bunny left in their baskets.....we're not too big on candy here. :)

Oh so good!
Madeleine was SOOO excited to get dressed up in her new dress. And Harrison looked so grown up in his big boy clothes this year!

Charlotte in her first Easter outfit -- a sweet little Feltman with matching bow! Love it!