Wednesday, December 26, 2012

1-Month Old and Very Blessed

Owen turned 1-month old this past Thursday, December 20th.  I can't believe that it has been a month already, but it feels like he's always been a part of our family at the same time.  I took his one month picture with two of the stuffed animals he got for Christmas. 
He's such a sweet little guy, and he's a pretty easy baby overall.  I feel so much more laid back this time around with him being the second child.  Look at this cute face...
Owen started smiling at around 4 weeks and 2 or 3 days.  It is nearly impossible to catch him doing it, but here's the best I could do :)
He'll also "talk" to us with great eye contact.  His coos are so cute, and he'll shout out when he gets excited.  I have a feeling we're going to have another talkative guy in the house to add to the two already here.  As far as other development, Owen has a strong neck, and he does really well for his age at holding his head up and looking towards sound and light.  He usually goes to bed at around 9:30 or 10pm and sleeps for about 4.5 to 5 hours initially.  After that first wake up he generally wakes up every 2 -3 hours until he's up for the day at approximately 6:45am.  I generally have to wake up 2 times per night.  Sometimes I get lucky and wake up once a night, and other nights are not as fun waking up 3 times before he's up for the day.  He has increasingly more awake time during the day, but he still naps for about half of it.  Jack usually gets up pretty late in the morning (around 8:45 or 9am), so I've learned to enjoy my time with Owen in the earlier hours.  I usually catch up on all the reality shows I DVR that Jonathan hates watching and drink my coffee.

While taking Owen's 1-month picture, Jack was not liking that all of the attention was going to Owen.  I had tried to take one picture in our bedroom, and when I came out I found this:
He then pulled down Owen's play mat, laid on it, and said "I baby."
Jack has become the master manipulator when he feels that Owen is getting too much attention.  The other day I was feeding Owen, and Jack came up to tell me that he pooped.  I put Owen down when I finished feeding him and walked back to Jack's room to change his diaper.  When I went to pick him up to put him on the changing table he collapsed to the floor so I had to pick him up while he was laughing.  When I went to change his diaper, he had not pooped...he hadn't even peed.  He just wanted my undivided attention!  For a moment I was frustrated, but then I realized it is kind of funny that he could think through a plan and execute so well :).

One other thing I wanted to mention now that this first month has come to a close is how grateful I am for everyone who has supported us during these first few weeks.  It almost goes without saying that our parents have been so helpful.  My mother and father-in-law gave up 4 weeks of their normal lives so that my mother-in-law could be out here to watch Jack while we were at the hospital for Owen.  While waiting for labor to happen, my mother-in-law packed our freezer with food so that we will have meals to defrost when needed and did a major cleaning of our house while we were gone.  My parents also made a trip out here and helped with appointments, cooking meals, cleaning around the house, and just giving me alone time with Owen while they took Jack to the park.

Beyond our family, the women in my bible study and MOPS have been AMAZING!  I have been completely blown away by how these women have served our family during this first month.  My bible study leader set up a meal train, and we had someone come to our home every other day for 3.5 weeks with a dinner for us.  Almost all of the dinners were big enough that we had leftovers for lunches and/or another dinner.  Two of the girls from my MOPS group also called me out of the blue to say they wanted to stop by with a meal when I have only gone to MOPS 3 times.  As Owen turned 1-month old I had cooked a total of ZERO dinners.  I cannot even begin to describe how helpful this was.  There is no greater way to bless a new mom who is sleep deprived and has an older child struggling a bit with the transition to a family of four than food, and I hope I can pay it forward to others in the future!

2-week and 2-year Updates

Jack and Owen had their pediatrician appointments for the 2-year and 2-week marks on December 6th. I'm so thankful that my mom was still in town for this appointment and could come with us, because Jack was an animal.  He took it to another level during the appointment when it was Owen's turn, because I don't think he wanted Owen to get all of the attention.  The poor nurse even had to chase him down the hallway when he tried to run out!  The pediatrician was asking at the beginning of the appointment how the terrible 2's were going, and Jack made sure to give him a show :).

Jack weighed in at 26.5 lbs., and he measured 33 inches long.  He is pretty much at the 50th percentile for both height and weight.

Owen weighed in at 8 lbs., 10 oz., and he measured 21 inches long.  In just over 2 weeks, he gained back all of the weight he lost plus another 11 oz. on top of that.  He also grew 1/2 an inch!  
I'm pretty much completely obsessed with this little face:
Owen spends a lot of his time each day in his swings while Jack and I play or I do things around the house.  Owen is usually pretty interested in what we are doing and will watch us.
Other times he is just too sleepy from the crazy life of a baby.
Jack has started to warm up to Owen a little bit more.  He definitely does his fair share of tantruming and trying to distract me while I hold or play with Owen, but he also has some sweet moments with his little brother.
On a few occasions, Jack has tried to pick Owen up.  
We have kind of been hermits besides going to bible study and MOPS last week, so I've been trying to find things to do with Jack around the house.  This past week Jack helped me do some baking.  He is very good at stirring.
My mother-in-law, Ann, bought Jack the Fisher Price nativity scene, and we've had a lot of fun playing with that.  Jack likes identifying the animals and the sounds they make.  It's also a good way to introduce the Christmas story in a fun, child-friendly way!
Jonathan has made sure to get Jack out of the house so he doesn't go completely stir crazy.  We got out to the park as a family last weekend, and Jack had fun with the frogs at the fountain.
He and Jonathan also went to Dick's Sporting Goods and played with some of the equipment.  Jack LOVED golfing, and they spent almost an hour putting at the store.
My goal is to start venturing out a little bit more with both boys.  I'm a little bit scared of cold and flu season, but we can't stay indoors forever and maintain our sanity :).

We got Owen's newborn photos taken just after the 2-week mark, so I'll try to get some of those up sometime in the near future! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Owen's Birth Story and First Week Home

I'm so excited that Owen is finally here, and he is such a sweet baby.  I wanted to share his birth story like I did when Jack was born.  I went into labor at the 41 week, 3 day mark on November 19th.  I had been to the doctor that morning, and she was beginning to talk about what we would do if I got to 42 weeks.  Wanting a VBAC, I was hoping I didn't make it to that point.  The day I finally went into labor, my mother-in-law, Ann, was helping me do some of the natural induction methods.  My ObGyn told me that she had patients who swore by caster oil, and she encouraged me to try it.  When I got home, I made a caster oil smoothie where I put 2 oz of caster oil into a berry and yogurt smoothie to mask the taste.  Right after that, Ann and I researched different pressure points, and Ann massaged and pressed on those points for about 10 minutes.  Several hours passed, and I didn't feel anything from either method.  At around 9:30pm, Ann did another pressure point massage, and the contractions started!  By 9:45pm I was able to track a pattern of contractions :).

Jonathan decided to go get some sleep since we didn't know how long everything would take.  Ann and I watched tv and walked around our block throughout the night probably 10 or more times.  Jonathan came out to check on me around 2:30am, and he went back to bed at 3am.  At 3:13am I went in and told him it was time to go to the hospital.  I had called, and the nurses told me I could come in with contractions lasting one minute, two and a half minutes to three minutes apart.  We drove over to the hospital, and they checked me into triage.  I had not made ANY dilation progress from the 2.5cm I was that morning, but I had effaced a little bit more.  Since I was set for induction on Friday, they let me stay and decided to augment the labor with pitocen. After my labor with Jackson with pitocen, 23 hours long, and no pain meds, I knew I wasn't going to go through that again.  I decided since they were using pitocen and my progress was already slow, I would be getting an decision I could have made!!  Here I am after my epidural enjoying the numbness :):
I'm not sure what point it was since they didn't tell us until later on, but probably around 20 hours in, they turned off the pitocen since Owen's heart rate was dropping with each contraction.  My contractions kept coming even without the pitocen, which was good.  23 hours in around 8pm they started mentioning the possibility of a c-section.  I was at 8cm, but they were worried I wouldn't get to 10cm without Owen's heart rate staying where they would like it to be.  Finally, at 9:45pm (24 hours in), I felt like I needed to push, and I had reached 10cm.  They told me that he hadn't dropped quite as much as they'd like to start pushing, but they would let me try anyway.  After 20 minutes of pushing, Owen was here!  Owen Jonathan Nichols was born on November 20th, 2012 at 10:15pm at 7 lbs., 15 oz., 20 1/2 inches long, and 37 cm head.  
They weren't able to put him on my stomach right away, because he didn't start crying immediately and they wanted to make sure he was ok.  When he came out, the doctor cradled him in her arms, and he was sleeping :).  He had a lot of mucous that needed to be sucked out, which they said can happen when the pushing phase doesn't last as long.  Once he was checked out and doing well, we got our skin to skin time.
Though it was a 25 hour labor similar to Jack's birth, it was such a different experience.  The epidural made the time bearable, and I had a great VBAC experience!  
Jonathan got to cut the cord, and here he is snuggling Owen in the recovery room.
I was discharged on Thanksgiving morning, and we were able to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner.  Here's Owen waiting to go home:
And us on our way out the door!
Since we've been home, there has been a lot of this:
It is taking Jack a while to warm up to the idea of having a brother in the house.  When we first got home, he said "Awww" and was looking at him in the car seat.  Once he realized he was staying, he hasn't been nearly as interested.  You definitely cannot force interaction.
If you let him approach Owen on his own terms, he'll come see him in the morning or on occasion throughout the day.  The other day Owen was crying in his swing while I was in the kitchen, and I heard Jack shouting "Stop!"  When I walked into the room, Jack had removed Owen's blanket off the swing, and was holding his hand up in front of his face telling him to stop haha.
Jack does like to show Owen how to do "tummy time."
We washed Owen's hair for the first time a few days after he arrived home, and we got it nice and fluffy!  We are loving the brown hair...we're thinking it'll fall out and turn blonde eventually, though. 
We have a ton of pictures that I would love to share, but I'll try to do another post soon with some of the day-to-day stuff :).

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jack Turned 2 and is Still an Only Child!

Jack turned 2 years old this past Wednesday, November 14th.  It was a pretty regular day overall, but we did have time in the evening for opening gifts from family and, of course, eating cake!  Thank you to pinterest for this cake decorating idea that was super easy.  I bought a cake from Costco, cut out a big chunk of it, and placed some of Jack's trucks on top to look like a construction site!  It was a 7 lb cake, so we have A LOT of left over cake in the freezer!
Jack is not a huge fan of the Happy Birthday song as displayed by his reaction to our singing haha.  As soon as we started singing he started crying.
He then turned around crying and would not look at us the whole song:
He would only try the cake if he got to eat it from the bulldozer portion of the truck, which you can see on his plate below.  He's an emotional little fella :).  He did have fun opening gifts, and he got some great things.

Thank you to everyone who got him something.  He really did love everything equally and has spent a lot of time these past few days playing with all of it.

We had a relaxing weekend, and we spent one morning over at the Great Park riding the carousel.  Here's Jack and Grammy having some fun.  
I even hopped on for a ride.  I will tell you it is much easier to dismount than mount a carousel zebra when you are this pregnant.  I got a few giggles from the family, and Jonathan told me how "delicate" I looked trying to get up on the zebra lol.
Today marks 41 weeks, 2 days pregnant.  I had my non-stress test and ultrasound this past Friday at 41 weeks to make sure the baby's movements, heart rate, and amniotic fluid was good, and everything looks great.  I'm 2.5 cm dilated and 70% effaced, so hopefully things will kick into high gear soon.  
I go to the doctor Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week unless I go into labor before the scheduled appointments or the non-stress tests show an issue.  Please pray that I go into labor on my own before Friday (42 weeks), because Friday is the day that I would be induced.  I'm hoping for a VBAC, and inductions are not ideal for VBACs.  There is a much greater chance of success if you go into labor on your own, and the risks of uterine rupture are lower as well.

My mother-in-law, Ann, has been staying with us since October 26th (a little over 3 weeks now) to be here to watch Jack while we are at the hospital.  She was supposed to leave today, but she has graciously offered her time to stay another 10 days since this whole baby thing hasn't happened yet!  She will now get to spend Thanksgiving with us, and even if we have the baby as late as Friday/Saturday, she will be here to watch Jack and spend a few additional days with us until I get out of the hospital and settled back at home.  We are so grateful that she has been willing and able to spend this time with us.  Jack is also having a great time with his Grammy!     

How far along: 41 weeks, 2 days
Sleep: I wake up every 30-60 minutes at night all night long feeling like I need to flip over from sore hips.  By around 6:30- 7 a.m. I just get up even though Jack usually isn't even close to awake.
Best moment this week: Spending time focused solely on Jack for his birthday.
Movement: It's mostly smaller movements now since he's squished in there!
Cravings: Hot Chocolate
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs: I've been having some contractions, but nothing regularly or that goes anywhere.
What I miss: Same as last week...Nothing really.  I would say sleeping through the night, but it's not like that'll happen once he's born either haha.
What I'm looking forward to: It's bitter sweet coming to the end of this pregnancy.  I really like being pregnant, but I'm really ready to move on to the next phase.  The waiting game is making me antsy.
Weekly Wisdom: Be Patient!

I just wanted to end with this picture, because it makes me laugh.  Jack loves "family hugs," and we got one captured on camera :).
Fun last days as a family of 3!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

40 Weeks, 2 Days and Still Counting

We have now officially passed the due date of November 9th, and we are just waiting now.  I'm getting a little bit impatient since I've had several days where I felt I might be going in the right direction, but then everything just stops and no labor.  I was induced three days after Jack's due date for medical reasons, so who knows how late I would have gone.  Jack's birthday is coming up this Wednesday, so that's about the only day I'm hoping I won't go into labor.  It would be a bit strange to have two kids, both with the same birthday!

Anyway, here is a picture at the 40 weeks, 1 day mark (sorry a little blurry):
Jack continues to have a great time with Grammy while Jonathan and I have gotten a couple more chances to go out for date nights.  Jack had a great time taking the peas out of their pods and eating about a cup of them raw.
Jack and Grammy have also had a lot of fun maintaining our patio.  Jack does a great job sweeping, and he's pretty cute doing it!
Today we went to San Clemente and walked the pier.  Not my favorite picture ever, but I love family pictures since they are rare.

How far along: 40 weeks, 2 days
Sleep: Not as bad as I would have expected, but I can't sleep through the night.  On a bad night I wake up every 1-2 hours.  On a good night, I will make it a 5 hour stretch.
Best moment this week: We are 100% prepared for this baby with everything washed and in it's place.  The infant car seat is in the car, and I am packed for the hospital.  It feels good to have everything done.
Movement: He's pretty squirmy and I get sharp pains when he jams his foot/knee/elbow against the outside.  You can feel the point of his knee or whatever it is pressing out.
Cravings: I've gone a little crazy on the chocolate chip cookies Ann (MIL) has made with milk.
Gender: Boy!
Labor Signs: I'll keep the details between me and mother nature, but I always feel like I'm on the verge.  Nothing goes anywhere though :(
What I miss: Nothing really.  I would say sleeping through the night, but it's not like that'll happen once he's born either haha.
What I'm looking forward to: Introducing Jack to his little brother and starting the transition to a family of 4.
Weekly Wisdom: I guess our babies are comfy inside even though you would think their mother's short waistedness would be uncomfortable :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Grammy's Here and Family Fun

We've had some good family quality time lately.   Two weekends ago we went to Laguna Beach, our usual weekend hang out, and just enjoyed the nice fall-ish weather and the beach.  Jack and I got a picture on a balcony overlooking the ocean.  I think I was about 37 weeks and a few days along at this point.
Jonathan's mom, AKA Grammy, arrived in town on October 26th so she will be available to watch Jack when it's time to go to the hospital to have this baby!  She and Jack have gotten some good bonding time, and they spent one day this week hunting for pine cones together.
It's been great having her here so far to help out with last minute things, spend some time with Jack, and Jonathan and I got a date night out last weekend!

We had a fun Halloween this year.  Last year we got Jack dressed up in his monkey costume and went out for Frozen Yogurt since he wasn't walking yet, and it would be hard to trick or treat.  This year was a different story.  We started off the night at Fun Fest here in Irvine, but the crowds were overwhelming making it hard to get food and ride any kiddie rides.  Here's Jack and Jonathan waiting in line for a balloon:
After our Fun Fest attempt, we got some pizza and decided just to trick or treat around our neighborhood.  Jack had sooo much fun, and he loved loading up his basket.  He could not care less that it was candy, he is just a collector.  We got the cutest video of him knocking on a door and taking his candy.  Here's our first stop on our trip around the block:
Grammy got Jack a super cool motorcycle that he drives along with his feet.  Since he can't quite reach the peddles yet on his trike, he loves being able to control this.  He rides it all through the house, and he and Jonathan took a trip around the block.  Jonathan said there were only 3 motorcycle accidents along the way, and Jack was quick to recover :).

He has more fun than it looks like in this picture!
Our last major (Craigslist) purchase for the newest addition of our family is a video baby monitor.  We have had the AngelCare Movement Sensor for Jack this whole time, and we want to be able to use it for the new addition so we wanted to get a monitor for Jack.  I've always wanted to see what he was up to in his room, so it's fun to be able to watch from the other room.  Also, Jack and this baby will be sharing a room as soon as the baby sleeps longer stretches, so I want to see what they're both up to, particularly Jack.  Tonight is our first night with it, and I used it to watch Jonathan read Jack books.
Thanks for catching up with us, and hopefully soon there will be a new baby blog!! 

Almost There...

I wanted to do a quick pregnancy catch-up post since it's been a few weeks.  I took this picture at 38 weeks, 6 days (3 days ago):
Right now it's just the waiting game.  I'm crossing my fingers for this week, but we'll see how it goes.  

How far along: 39 weeks, 2 days
Sleep: I sleep pretty well overall...definitely better than I did when pregnant with Jack.  I just recently have started waking up every 2-3 hours to go to the bathroom ,which is annoying!
Best Moment this Week: Finishing up washing everything except for the swing covers, and getting everything in it's place.  Our house is pretty much ready to go and the infant car seat is in the car!
Movement: He moves side to side twisting on top of his head.  There are more jabs with knees and elbows than actual kicks.
Cravings: No specific cravings.  I've indulged in a little bit more of Jack's Halloween candy than I should have...oh well.
Gender: Boy
Labor Signs:  Cramping most days throughout the day, and it feels like he's dropped a bit lower.
What I Miss: Not too much.  I do miss a more varied wardrobe a little bit.
What I'm Looking Forward To:  Meeting this little person, of course :)
I'm going to try to do an updated post with Halloween and some of the other things we've been up to lately in the next day or two.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fun Weekend with My Little Guy

This past weekend Jonathan was at his National Guard training, so Jack and I got even more quality time together.  We had such a good weekend that I felt like I needed to document it :).  Saturday morning was a lazy pajama morning for us.  While I made muffins, I put Jack to work on his Helper Tower.  He had a great time washing his little dishes and playing with the soapy water.  There was water EVERYWHERE, but the clean-up was worth the good time.  A beach towel was pretty much saturated from the clean-up, and wet, tiny footprints lined our house from his soaked socks.
I moved on to cutting a watermelon, and Jack ate as I chopped.  He said the word "watermelon" for the first time when I cut it open :).  Jack's been having a bit of a new word surge lately.  Last Thursday he said avacado while we were doing pretend play at Gymboree, and watermelon was pretty surprising to me.  Food inspires him to speak I guess :).
Sunday morning we went to church.  Jack loves playing with all of the trucks and the kitchen set, doing crafts, watching Veggie Tales, etc. in the nursery.  I took a picture before church of me at 36 weeks, 2 days.
 That night Jack and I engaged in one of our favorite past times...frozen yogurt:
We shared mint chocolate frozen yogurt with mini m&m's on the side.  Nights like this make me realize how much I enjoy spending time with Jack.  I'm so excited for this new baby, but I'm nervous I won't get as much time with Jack as he's used to.  

Today we received some fun gifts from Jack's MIL, Ann.  Jack got a quilt for his bed that is reversible as well as two pillows and three pillow cases.  The newest addition got 3 baby blankets, one that matches this quilt.  We set it up on the floor like a pretend bed, and he was so excited.
He's getting so big...less than 30 days until he is 2!