What?!? No way.

Monday, October 31, 2011
Yes, this happened. No, that isn't his costume, but it's at least a Mickey shirt he was willing to put on. I figure he can at least go trick or treating in that and his Mickey gloves.

Surprisingly, I had no intention of taking a picture of them together (or Henry for that matter, as he's on a very defiant and deliberate photo strike--i.e., doesn't really even like when I have the camera out at all and gets fussy until I put it away).

I was actually trying to just snag a few more of Claire in her costume (as the bottoms don't even fit her anymore). I was singing to her to keep her sleeping and Henry came over to sing too. I asked him if he wanted to sit next to her and sing, and that he did. This was a once in 3 week opportunity (all other attempts to get him to take a picture with her haven't been successful), so there was no time to get the crummy wrinkles out of the blanket, but oh well. He sat perfectly, smiled, and they are both in focus. Yay to me! (and Henry of course).

Happy Halloween! Whatever he winds up wearing tonight, there will be pictures regardless, as it's his first time ever trick or treating.

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Claire was all about costumes today. :)

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An unedited outtake to show you how high she can lift her head already.

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Why stick to just one costume when you can be a princess too!?

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And a quick untouched one of Henry. Not sure if I can save it by expanding the background, eliminating wrinkles, or not. But he's still adorable!

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Photos and Updates

Sunday, October 30, 2011
Since I treat this blog as more of an electronic baby book than anything else, it's important for me to update on everything going on in this house (more so for me to remember it, as it may bore some of you).

In terms of Claire, she is 3 weeks tomorrow already! Crazy!

When she had her one week appointment, she hadn't met her birth weight. The doctor advised us to take her in a few days later to get weighed, where she still wasn't at her birth weight, so he then advised us to take her in again earlier this week where she finally weighed in at a whopping 8 pounds, 12 ounces. She had gained almost an entire pound in a week! Needless to say there aren't any current weight issues with her as long as my milk continues to cooperate. She eats about every 2 to 2.5 hours during the day and 2.5-3 hours during the night. The doctor wanted us to be waking her up every 3 hours which we stopped doing on Wednesday or Thursday night of this week, I believe. After further research on my part about gaining weight, it seems most of the literature (online and in a few books I had lying around), suggests that a baby should be back at their birth weight at TWO weeks, not one like our dumb doctor had told us. Also, everything I found on waking a sleeping baby up at night said that you only need to do that until they reach their birth weight again and to establish the milk supply. (For the life of us,  we couldn't remember what we did with Henry, though I do remember setting alarms to wake him up in the beginning).

We are slowly trying to find a routine. Her sleep/feeding schedule throughout the day is still pretty much up to her and what she wants/needs, but it seems she takes a long nap around the same time as Henry if I time her feedings right (in addition to her many other naps during the day). We try to keep her up a little bit during the late afternoon/early evening time so that she will actually be able to begin to fall asleep for the night around 8pm. Her cord stump fell off a week ago and she now gets a bath every other night. She tolerates the actual bath just fine (stares into the mirror as we have her little bath tub up by the sink). However, she does let me know just how much she doesn't like getting out of the bath. It seems I can't get her dried off and jammies on fast enough. Some nights we have been successful in getting her down for the night by 8pm (and then she will wake up again about 10:30-11:00 when we are ready to go to bed). I'll feed her, and then she'll be up 2 more times in the night, so it's not too bad. Although there have been more than enough nights where she wants nothing to do with going to bed before 10pm. We'll get there someday!

We also can't decide if she likes the swaddle blanket. Henry loved it and it always helped him go right to sleep in conjunction with nursing. Some nights it seems like she likes it and she sleeps better, some nights she seems mad at the world because she can't move, and then pretty much every night regardless of either of those, she gets her left arm out. This morning her left arm was not only out of the swaddle, but out of her pajamas as well. She's a pretty strong girl!

Some more photos (not new...these are all from the first few days at home).

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I of course can't forget Henry. He continues to do well with Claire. He likes watching diaper changes and hands me the wipes/diapers. He still gives her kisses and hugs (and always asks to give her one at night right after he gives me a hug/kiss), and he will sometimes bring me other requested things for her that I ask of him (i.e. Can you hand me the burp cloth, blanket, etc.). I try really hard throughout the day to give him as much attention as I can, especially 1:1 attention when she is napping. I also always offer to read him a story while I'm nursing her so that he still gets some sort of attention during that time as well. While he does seem to do fine with Claire herself, he is acting out a bit, and today was no exception.

For starters, after 3 months of not one time getting out of his bed, he left his bed and bedroom today during nap time. He had only been napping for a little over an hour before Ryan heard him whining at the top of the stairs. I hope that this was a bit of a fluke and that it won't happen frequently, but we will have to see.

He also has decided that he likes to not sit in his chair with the booster seat on it at the kitchen table this weekend. While he sort of can reach his food without the booster, the regular kitchen chairs lack a buckle and he's been leaving the table this weekend frequently and hardly eating anything. I'll have to crack down on that this week and hopefully can get him sitting back in his chair consistently.

There are other little things (like yelling at me sometimes, refusing to follow simple directions,  freaking out about weird things, etc.), but I won't go on forever on negative stuff. I think it boils down to him needing a little more 1:1 attention (especially from me). I just have trouble deciphering if all this stuff is new baby/jealously related, or just plain 2 year old stuff. With time, I'm sure, it will all get better. His stuttering already has (he started stuttering when I originally went back to work).

And for those wondering, no, he still won't wear the costume. However, with the help of Max (Uncle Adam and Auntie Liz's dog), he did willingly put on the hat part with a smile on his face for about 5 seconds today). He told me he'd wear his Mickey hooded bath towel for trick or treating, so maybe we'll at least get that on him. If anything, he will sure enjoy getting more candy tomorrow. Here he is last week at a Halloween party that Kelly's work had. Loved getting the candy. Mommy and daddy will need to at least hide some of his candy tomorrow. He's already had way too much in the last week!

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Some from the last newborn session.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The kids napped for a little bit of the same time today so you get to see a few more pictures. I totally could have gotten WAY more done, but Henry decided to poop in his sleep and woke up after only an hour or so of napping. sigh. However, I did get these done, and was able to backtrack back to the 10th and at least convert a bunch to JPEG from the first day. Hopefully, little by little, I'll get caught up.

These were taken on Sunday, which I'm considering her last official newborn session. I tried again yesterday, but it was just a no go. She just never really wanted anything to do with sleeping when I wanted to take some pictures of her. I do love that I was able to capture her at least content and awake for these last ones. Thanks to Amanda for loaning me the props. Totally had way more ideas in mind for the floor, but Claire had other ideas. Though I certainly didn't get every single pose I had bookmarked over the course of the pregnancy, I did capture a bunch of frame worthy images that I'm currently having a hard time deciding which to put on her birth announcement.

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I totally see Ryan in this one below. Anyone else?

Almost had forgotten to capture her ten tiny toes!


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I get to hang out with these guys all day. Not sure what's going on with Henry's face, but he loves her.



For anyone interested, we have all three survived 1.5 days of just mommy at home. Everyone (including myself) has been properly and continually nourished and hydrated, diapers get changed, and I even showered yesterday before my doctor's appointment. It'll take a while to get a routine down, but hopefully soon I'll be able to figure out what works best for us and how to get a shower each day before the day gets away from me. Oh, and dinner on the table when my husband comes home. 

Another keeper.

Sunday, October 23, 2011
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Further review of this photo on our other computer produces a way too pink photo. Enjoy it how it is. I'll fix it later.

Claire's Halloween Costume.

Friday, October 21, 2011
Henry refuses to wear his Mickey costume. We aren't sure why, but it's looking like $22.00 down the drain. He's put the gloves on a few times, but that's it.

As you can see, Claire was a bit more compliant with her adorable costume. Thanks to Amanda for the super cute hat and diaper cover!

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More pictures!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I'm working as fast as I can with what little time I have. Here are a few more I just whipped up.

Proud daddy and his daughter.


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Claire and mommy going home. How cute was her outfit?!

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Comparison shot with Henry. Comparing these, they look very different.

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Headband made with flowers from our wedding.

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Beautiful open eyes on the left, a hilarious outake on the right.

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Simple and beautiful.

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Wearing a hat Grandma Karen crocheted for her.

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Creamy black and white. Love this edit.
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Our beautiful princess. How do I choose one for her birth announcement!?

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My world...

Monday, October 17, 2011
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And one from today's session. Day 7.

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Newborn Smiles

Sunday, October 16, 2011
This beautiful girl has a ton of those newborn "reflex" smiles. I almost gave up on today's session right before she gave me these. (Today is day 6.)


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Ok fine. I'll show you a few more I've been working on. (Day 5)

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Day 4.

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Day 3.

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Some photos of Claire!

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Because I know you are all dying to see some more. Here are a few from the past few days. We tried her first newborn session today. Umm, I'll give her about a C+ maybe. Didn't sleep nearly as well as I would have expected a 3 day old to sleep. We'll keep trying though.

First, the moment of birth. And my husband tries to tell me he doesn't know how to use my camera.

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She received some smoochies from her big brother shortly after arriving home for the first time.

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She had her first newborn session with me. As said above, hopefully we can catch a few more next time.

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Our little princess is here.

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Claire's Birth Story

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
This will be shorter and less eventful than Henry's long birth story (be reminded here). We had to report to the hospital at 6:30am and we were scheduled to have the c-section begin at 8:30am (or a cut time, as my mom says they call it).

The nurse (whom I wasn't impressed with at all) gave me a gown right away and I was hooked up to the monitors within 15 minutes. Ryan scarfed down some McDonalds breakfast that made the entire room stink.

After the monitors were hooked up, the nurse tried to start my IV and failed. She then called another nurse, who tried to start my IV, and failed. Ouch. The second nurse tried a 3rd time and finally was able to get it in. I also had my blood drawn one last time. I was only there for 30 minutes and had been poked 4 times.

At about 8:15 or so the anethesiologist and his team came in to introduce themselves. I loved them. They were super nice and very informative. Up until this point I was super nervous about the spinal block because before they explained it to me I had no idea how it was different than the epidural I had with Henry. My mind was eased a bit when the dr. said the needle was a lot smaller, and all it was was a quick shot. He said I would feel numbness within 30 seconds, as opposed to the usual 10 minutes it takes for you feel it with an epidural.

I can't quite remember what time I was taken back to the room (I got to walk by myself with the nurse anesthetist). He was super nice. At this point I was crying nervous tears (which were made worse by giving everyone hugs and having to say goodbye to Ryan until I was completely prepped--that meant no hand holding while I was getting the needle in my back).

Once I got in there, they were ready to do the needle within minutes and it actually wasn't bad at all. I think it was one prick and a little bit of pressure as I had to arch my back and push up against the needle while they had it inside me. He wasn't kidding. I was numb within 30 seconds and pretty soon could feel absolutely nothing. The strapped up my arms, situated me on the table, put up the drapes and prepped my belly area (not sure what that involves, as I obviously couldn't see), and put in the catheter.

Ryan was brought into the room and my first thought was for him to take a test picture and make sure he had decent camera settings going. After that, the doctor and his assistant started and I felt nothing. I remember feeling tons of pressure with Henry, but not this time. I didn't even know they had started. I was pretty relaxed at this point and then completely emotionally lost it once they said Claire was coming. A little push on my belly and the doctor pulled her out at 9:10am, screaming at the world. She weighed 8 pounds even and was 18.5 inches ( a full inch shorter than Henry), but only 5 ounces less than Henry and she was born 2 weeks earlier than he was.

I actually got to semi hold her with one arm for a few minutes (with Henry they only held him over by me). Ryan took lots of pictures, cut the cord, and looked behind the blue curtain (even though he said he wouldn't this time--he says he can't describe what he saw.)

After she was all wrapped up, Ryan was able to go with her to the nursery and finish her initial assessments. It took about 25 minutes for them to stitch/staple me back up. I was much more with it this time. With Henry, I was super out of it, shaking, and had really bad nausea the entire time. I felt pretty calm, relaxed and put together. I got to hold her right away when we got into the room (although the nurse that I was still not impressed with wouldn't let me sit up right away, so I couldn't really get a good look at her face). The nurse seemed to take her sweet time doing whatever she needed to do and then finally put me up so I could nurse. I bet I didn't nurse until I had been in the room for 20 minutes or so. With Henry, I nursed immediately once in the room.

After we finished nursing (which she latched on like a champ and it didn't even hurt!), the grandparents and Auntie Liz got to come in and see her and take turns holding her.

Chris brought Henry over around 5pm. We took a video of it and a bunch of pictures. He was pretty overwhelmed, as there were a ton of people in the room, he's never been to a hospital, I was laying on a strange bed holding a baby, etc. etc. But he eventually touched her hands and toes and gave her an ever so gentle kiss on the head. We choose to not have him come back here and that we would continue the transition of new baby into his life at home where he is more comfortable.

And, since I'm here finishing this up, both the pediatrician and my doctor have been in and say that Claire and I are good to go home today!! So excited to be going home and not spending 6 days in the hospital like we had to with Henry.

Our new family of four. Obviously, expect a million more pictures in the coming week(s).

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More pictures, as promised.

Sunday, October 9, 2011
I just love these...Henry's expressions, the colors...and the fact that this little boy was so cooperative for them!

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He grabbed my face, turned it, and gave me a kiss completely unprompted. Probably will be one of my most treasured pictures ever, despite my super large size. :) Thanks to my mom for capturing it and making me sit on the bench and take the picture in the first place.

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