Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family of four-6wks and counting

Well, life with a newborn is slightly crazier than it was the first time around. The whole "sleep when they sleep" does not apply when you have a toddler who is anxiously awaiting her time for undivided attention when her little brother sleeps. And as confident as I was going into sleep training Graham, he has managed to reduce me to tears, much like his sister did on several occasions. I just knew I would be tougher this round. Nope, I still cave when he cries! Oh well. He is only 6 wks old. We are working on it slowly. Mainly my motivation in doing it so early is just to allow more time in the day to have with Grace. By the time I nurse, change him, supervise his awake time (while trying to play with Grace too), and get him settled for a nap, it amounts to about 45 min before he is awake again needing help to fall back asleep in the middle of his nap. Which doesn't allow for much other than a quick shower or bite to eat. Anyway, you Babywise moms feel my pain. The 45-min intruder tried to take me down the first time with Grace, I refuse to lose the battle this time! :) I'll let ya know in a few weeks if I'm still crying my way through it! Haha. Besides not being a great napper, Graham is a wonderful newborn. He does great at night eating and going right back to sleep. And other than when his reflux flairs up or the occasional tummy ache, he is generally a happy and content baby. So thankful for this. It has allowed me to feel confident leaving him with Adam and the grandparents to get out for some "me" time. Which I was very hesitant to do with Grace. Perhaps that is a perk of a second child, I am definitely not as possessive this time around. I welcome the help :)
As far as Grace goes, she is still enjoying being a big sister. The new has worn off some, and she has definitely started making all kinds of new and different attempts at getting attention. Mostly when I'm nursing or rocking Graham and she knows I can't jump up and discipline her. She's a smart little squirrel. :) Potty training is right around the corner I'm thinking. She is great about telling us when she needs to #2, and we always make it to the potty for that. (Even in Kohl's when we are on a girls shopping trip-that's a different story though.) She has started telling me a couple times, "Oooppsss....I tee teed in my diaper." So, she is noticing when she goes, which was not happening until this week. I'm hoping in the next few weeks as Graham starts sleeping more at night, I will have the energy to attack the potty training during the day. For now, we are surviving, and I am thankful for a toddler in a diaper that I do not have to run to the potty every 30 minutes.
Not a lot going on in our lives other than baby and toddler-hood. Adam is going on a trip for work in February for 4 days. I'm nervous about having them by myself 24/7 but it will be good for me. And he will probably owe me a mommy day when he returns. I'm thinking massage and shopping with a friend. :) Maybe it will be worth it?? Thank goodness the grandparents aren't far.
I start teaching my classes again in 3 weeks. Also, nervous about this. I'm trying to ease back into running to build up some endurance so I'm not sucking wind for the first month teaching. Haha. Hopefully everyone will be understanding and bare with me for a while. I'm excited to be back though. My life doesn't seem normal not being able to get a good sweat in a couple times a week. And I miss all the members. I'm ready to see them and to challenge each other this year.
Here are the pictures from Graham's BIRTHday. Better late than never, right? :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Birth story

Graham Cooper Harrell has arrived! It was a complete whirlwind of a day so I figured I had better hurry and record what I remember of it. How is it that we anticipate that day for 40 wks and then it is gone in a blink?
Our day started early! We didn't have to be at the hospital until 7am, which was much nicer than the 5am check in with Grace. Of course we were up and moving before we had planned. I crawled out of bed at 5 after laying there for 30 minutes feeling anxious. Who can sleep when you have 'bring a new life into the world' on the agenda for the day? :) I was dressed and ready to go by 5:45. My mom spent the night to stay with Grace(who was talking in her bed at 5am as well-guessed she sensed something was up). My dad arrived at 6:00,donuts in hand. Before I knew it we had the car loaded and were on our way by 6:30. We got checked in quickly,and had a little bit of a wait while the nurses had a shift change. I had a wonderful nurse named Jennifer. She did a great job with my IV, which for me is one of the worst parts of childbirth. I HATE needles. Dr Cole came in at 8, did an exam, and broke my water. I was at 2-3cm which I had been at for about 2 weeks. They started my pitocin on a very low dose around 8:30. My contractions were very bare able and irregular for about an hr. my nurse checked me after an hr, no progress, Graham was still pretty high and I was at 3cm. I had a brief moment of fear mainly bc things flew after my water broke with Grace, but I think it was bc I had been on pitocin for 4hrs by then with her. My contractions became more regular and difficult over the next hour. I really had to focus and breath through them. It was not my plan to do natural labor, so I was very much looking fwd to my epidural, but wanted to push through as long as I could to make as much progress as possible incase it slowed things down. By 10:30 I was asking for my epidural (my mom,Adam,and Elizabeth all were great back rubbers as they helped me manage the pain, but I had hit my limit.) I had made it to 6cm and got my epidural at 11:00am. I need to note that again, I had a great NA and am so thankful the epidural went so smoothly. I was immediately more comfortable and was very excited to have friends and family be in and out while we waited. Adams parents were so sweet to handle Grace and keep her on schedule all day. It really allowed me to focus. I was checked again at 12:00pm and was 7-8cm, followed by 9cm at 1:00 and was told i would be pushing within the hour. Little did I know just how soon! Dr Cole set the room up all by himself. There were 4 other deliveries taking place and he had to keep calling for a nurse to come! I was very impressed bc most docs just show up to catch the baby at the end. We had a few laughs as we sat waiting for a nurse, and finally one arrived about 1:15 and it was time to push! I had 2 sets of pushes and at 1:21pm our little man was here! Weighing in at 7lbs, 7oz.(Adam guessed right on the dot!) and 20 1/4in long. It was so crazy that it moved so quickly. I had fully prepared for 30-45 min of pushing as I had done with Grace. Dr Cole held him up and Adam and I looked at each other and both said "he looks just like Grace!"
He had a full head of auburn hair (ab the only thing I contribute to my babies!) They cleaned him up and I had him nursing within 20 minutes. It was a completely different delivery than with Grace. I am so thankful that Graham had clear fluid when my water was broken bc I didn't get to hold Grace for a while bc they had to clean her lungs out. It was a completely stress free delivery and such a blessing to be done in 5.5 hrs start to finish. It has been a very easy recovery and everyone is adjusting well to being home as a family of four. I will update with pictures soon of grace's first time meeting her brother. Such a special moment. She was meant to be a big sister, for sure. Thank you all for your prayers and support. God had his fingerprints all over this special day. We feel so honored God gave Graham to our family and look forward to getting to know him as he grows up!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

(birthday pics continued)

Highlight of the evening, Gracie's new mustang! She has no clue how to drive it--but I'm sure Ally will help her figure it out in months to come :)

Opening gifts and blowing out candles. Her favorite part of any party!

She really enjoyed when everyone sang happy birthday to her!

The birthday girl! ...And sweet baby Asa. We are so thankful he and Aunt Bella made such a crazy trip to party and have a sleepover. Love Love Love them.

Gracie turns 2!

Can it really be that my baby is already 2 years old? UN-BE-LIEVE-ABLE!!! She is such a joy to everyone she meets. (I know I say this every post--but its the truth.) She makes me laugh everyday with her funny comments. It usually has something to do with something "big girl" she did, or something "bad dog" Bentley did. And even lately she's had sweet things to say about her "baby brother come to play". :) Thrills my heart! Here is just a wrap up her favorite things to do right now. She loves to go the gym and play with her friends, go to target and Kroger, paint, color, have tea parties, and swing. She looks forward to going running with Adam in the stroller in the evenings. She also is rarely seen without a baby or an animal tucked up under her arm. She's always ready to give a bottle, burp, or put someone down for a nap. She is very into Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Caillou, Toy Story, and Veggie Tales if she gets to choose a TV show to watch. She knows all the theme songs and loves to sing and dance to them. Lately we have been rocking in Graham's room when we read our books at night. She thinks this is very special and enjoys talking about all of Grahams "things" as she points them all out. I am looking forward to the new journey she will be going on as a big sister. I'm so confident that she's going to love him and want to be another mommy to him. I know in time this will create some issues, but as long as she doesn't want to give him back, I'm happy :)
Here are a few pictures from Grace's actual birthday, the 14th. We started the day with Minnie Mouse pancakes and a pink sparkle pedicure. That evening we were joined by family and a few of mine and Adams close friends at our neighborhood playground. We had Green Cart Deli cater their AMAZING gourmet hot dogs and we all enjoyed some Minnie mouse cake. Grace was showered with love and blessings from everyone and felt super special. I'm so thankful for all the people God has placed in her life. Family, and friends. She has no idea how loved and cherished she is.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

32 weeks and counting!

Today we had Graham's 32 week appointment. Our little peanut is no longer a peanut, weighing in at 4lbs. 9oz.! I can't believe he is already so big! Although my belly is definitely showing it! :) Nothing exciting going on other than that. Gracie's birthday party is coming up next Friday. She's very excited. She keeps saying "Minnie Mouse Paw-ty".."I two!"..."Eat Hot Dogs!". I'm praying the weather will be a nice cool fall evening so we can all enjoy being outside at the park. Here's to hoping, right? This is Arkansas, so, we could technically have a heat wave like last year and it be 89 degrees!
Here's a sampling of some of my favorite maternity pictures Jill snapped when they were down in September. I'm so thankful she has a talent than can capture some sweet memories for us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Summer Wrap Up

Where did the summer go? I am not complaining that the heat is slowly disappearing, but I will admit we are going to miss the lazy days of summer we have enjoyed the last few months. In 2 short weeks my sweet toddler will be two years old! And less than 6 weeks after that she will be welcoming her new little brother to her world. I am getting anxious already just thinking about about that.
My prayer going into this summer was for Grace and I to have lots of bonding time. I know being home with her I am blessed to have so many special moments and memories that I know I wouldn't have if I weren't with her so much, but I really feel like I've gotten to know my daughter over the last few months. Her little personality (some days it is larger than life) is really starting to shine through. I love that she is such an easy kid to be around. She's very flexible and adaptable. We've had so much fun this summer just playing. I'm so thankful she has been so easy as I have had a few low energy days. Its funny to watch her entertain herself by taking care of her babies and stuffed animals. She is very maternal, nurturing, loving, and BOSSY. I have no idea where she got that :)
We do have our hard days though. Today, in fact, was one of them. She loves to be in charge, and she has an opinion about EVERYTHING. So we are working on choosing to obey with a happy heart. For the most part she is very compliant, but we have a battle of the wills about every 4th or 5th day. I am struggling to be consistent with the discipline, but Adam has been very encouraging. We are praying our way through it and just trusting that the Lord will shape her heart. Sidenote: We are reading Shepherding Your Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. It's helping me stay focused on the goal. And she is making progress.
Another favorite thing this summer has been watching her learn so much about the world around her. She has learned to say so many things. We actually have a conversation a couple times a day which is very weird, because she seems like a little girl, and not my baby. But very fun at the same time. She loves to talk about her "baby brudder" who she calls "Gham Coo-pah". We are going to call him Graham Cooper. :) She kisses and rubs my belly all the time and tells me she's being gentle. Which oddly doesn't come very natural to her even though she is a little girl. She loves to feed Bentley and give him treats. He has learned recently to cry by the treat box and she will give him one just because. I caught her letting him out the back door all by herself today telling him to go potty. Which was a nice reminder to dead bolt the door. YIKES!!! My favorite thing she does is when she mimics our prayers at mealtime and bedtime. She repeats the last word or phrase we say and emphatically says "AMEN!!" It is precious, and music to my ears.
Well, that should give you an idea of where we are for now. We are in full party mode for her 2nd birthday! I can't believe it is here. She is having a Minnie Mouse Party at our neighborhood park and is very excited about it. We are keeping it small, just family and a few of our couple friends. I can't wait to see how she responds this year. She didn't get it last year...at all. No surprise.
Update soon on Baby Graham. My 32 week appt. is next Thursday. Woo Hoo! Almost there!


First pedicure! She loved the "kitty cat chair", and threw a huge fit when she had to leave. :/
All geared up to go "nunning" (running). Shades, GPS watch, ipod, CHECK!!!
Playing dress up with Ally. Gracie loves Jessie from Toy Story!
Her favorite Sunday morning activity. Gracie reads the paper with Daddy.