Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

I've been meaning to post for a couple days now, but truth be told, we haven't really been home much.

In fact, we have been so on-the-go that Bailey woke up this morning and asked, "Where are we going today, Mommy?"
Thankfully the answer is Nowhere.


Christmas this year was even better than the last.

It was nice to not have to travel and be able to wake up on Christmas morning in your own bed. It was special to be able to watch the girls run downstairs to open gifts together in our own house. We didn't go see Santa this year (underachieving mommy) and I am not sure Bailey really knows much about the whole Santa-bringing-gifts thing. She just knew presents were under the tree and that is all that mattered in her book.

It was fun to spend time with family. There are always a lot of laughs and board games.
And food.
Big emphasis on the food part.
And even though we didn't get to spend the actual holiday with Jared's family, we saw both his mom and dad this month. And both girls are well aware of Grandma Cathy's presence, especially around Christmas-time, because she does send some very nice gifts

We had multiple get-togethers this year.

The first was with my Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Ronnie.

Weiss grandkids and great-grandkids
 

Every year we get together at their house and completely stuff ourselves with prime rib (like I said, emphasis on the food). We open gifts and play our gift exchange game, which b.t.w. - I scored some delicious wine. No peanuts this year!


And this picture about sums up the holiday experience for Bailey.
I am pretty sure she ate at least 20 cookies over the course of 3 days.
{She knows Grandma Sherri is a sucker.}
It's no wonder that girl never wanted to sleep.

 
 

For Christmas Eve we attended the annual candlelight worship service. And as previously mentioned, we portrayed the Holy Family.

Photos were indeed taken to commemorate the event.

Don't we look so pious?

And because Jared can't be serious for long...

However, I did keep it respectable and deleted the picture of Joseph goin' gangsta and throwing up a peace sign.

Graham did amazingly well during the service. I was able to lay him in the manger and he stayed asleep. About halfway through he woke up ready to eat. And because Mary didn't wear a nursing top back in the day, Brother had to wait. He settled for a pacifier instead.

After the service we headed back to our house with my parents and sisters and ate our usual post-church service meal of little wienies and other unhealthy snacks.

And as always we had to pose for pictures.







That brings me to Christmas Day.

The girls woke up around 8:15 and headed downstairs. Bailey knew what was awaiting her under the tree. Avery just followed along because that is what she does.

 
 
They would open a gift and play with it for awhile until we made them continue opening the rest.
We don't really go overboard with the presents, especially since they are still so young. We bought them some clothes and a book or two and some small toys we knew they would like - like PlayDoh. Presents from Grandma Cathy were under the tree too so the opening lasted for quite a while.

Jared made breakfast for us all and I sipped apple cider while the girls enjoyed their morning. It was nice and relaxed, with the exception of the occasional fight over who got to play with the new cash register first.


Mid-morning we loaded the kids up and headed to my parent's house to open gifts (and eat!) with them.

 
Our kids are truly spoiled by their aunts and grandparents. There was absolutely no room near the tree for another present. I must say though, our family is very good about buying things that are useful - like jeans and shoes. And also with a teacher in the family, the girls are always getting new books.

Bailey was especially liking her newest book (or was it Avery's present?) from Aunt Beaner.  She took a few minutes to read to all of us.


We stayed at my parents' all day.
I forced family members to play Rack-O with me - a game I asked for for Christmas. {Yes, those are the kind of presents I request.} I also logged in some hot tub time with Beaner and a bottle of wine.
Jared took about a 4 hour long nap on the couch.
Bailey consumed quite a few cookies while watching Disney movies on my mom's bed.  My dad enjoyed finding those crumbs under the covers on his side later that night.
Avery spent the afternoon constantly hunting down Beaner's cat.  Poor Kobe.
And Graham journeyed from lap to lap being snuggled and cuddled.

Then to officially finish up the Christmas holiday, we went after-Christmas shopping yesterday. We always like to go and get decorations and lights for next year. We truthfully don't need any of it, but I like having a festive-looking house at holiday time, and after Christmas is the time to buy more stuff.
I really do love a good sale.

Tomorrow I will probably start taking down the tree and Santa-themed decorations. But for the rest of today, I have no plans. And that is fine with me.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Getting in the spirit

We decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I wanted everything done before Baby's arrival. Same goes for Christmas shopping. All our presents were purchased and wrapped before Halloween this year.  And yep, I am bragging - I am pretty proud to have been so on the ball for once.

I seemed to remember the exhaustion that comes with a newborn and knew I would have zero energy for anything more than the necessities.

Although we put the tree up a month ago, we didn't actually put ornaments on it until last week.
 
 
And even that was probably too soon. Our decorated Christmas tree is a magnet for little hands. Bailey didn't bother it last year, but Avery is a different story this year. Slowly the ornaments have been migrating further and further north on the tree - for their own protection.

Every year we try to put the kids under the tree for a picture.
Our children are soooo not cooperative with things like this.
 
Bailey stayed put pretty well, but she makes the weirdest faces.
And Avery apparently thought that "cheese" meant to run as fast as possible to get as close as possible to the camera lens . However, she was always smiling - just blurry and out of focus.
 
 
 
Then we added Graham into the mix. He doesn't have a Christmas outfit, and we clearly planned this photo shoot so well seeing as he is wearing a duck-themed sleepsack.
 
Oh well. It's pretty hard for a 3 week-old to be photogenic anyway.
Here is one of the few where he isn 't cross-eyed or closing his eyes (probably praying for it to be over).

 
Bailey can usually be convinced to do things with food.
 
(Don't you just love our parenting techniques?)
 
She loves sweets. She goes on regular scouting expeditions to the kitchen, looking for cookies or anything else she isn't supposed to have.  So with the promise of a freshly baked cookie, she volunteered to pose for photos.
 
{I told you she made weird faces.}
 
And speaking of sweets, we are a bit late to the game, but yesterday afternoon we finally started making some Christmas goodies. I wanted to put together a plate for our sweet neighbors, especially since they cleared our entire (large) driveway and sidewalks with their snowblower yesterday. They are awesome.
 

 
I really can't believe Christmas will be here in 4 short days.
The next few days will be spent with family.
 
We  will celebrate with my mom's side at my grandma Joyce's house on Sunday afternoon. The highlight is the gift exchange/stealing game we play. This year I hope to not end up with the mixed nuts.  Just sayin'.
 
Monday night is Christmas Eve church service. We have been asked to portray the Holy Family since we conveniently have a fresh little baby in our family now.  So Graham will be Jesus and I will be the Blessed Virgin... {Try not to laugh at that thought.}
Then afterward we will have our annual meal of appetizers/horrible-for-you foods with my family.
 
Christmas morning will be celebrated at our house for the first time.
I am excited for the girls to wake up and run downstairs to open their presents.
(I am sure they will think all of them are from Grandma Cathy since whenever they see a wrapped gift or a delivery from FedEx, Bailey yells, "Gramma Cathy!!"  Forget Santa, Grandma Cathy already has that gig covered.)
 
And after that, I will be more than happy to tear down our Christmas tree and put away any surviving ornaments.
 


Monday, December 17, 2012

Life with Three

The days really blend into one another around here lately.

With Jared working nights and sleeping during the day, it's all up to me to manage two toddlers and a newborn. And having to sit down for at least a half hour to an hour every 3 hours to breastfeed Graham makes it a bit harder to keep tabs on both girls.
 
Granted, they find trouble no matter what I am doing.

I went to use the bathroom (total of about 2 minutes) and come out to find Avery on top of the kitchen table, eating an apple.

 
Meanwhile, Bailey took the opportunity to use the upstairs bathroom.
Which is a good thing - yay potty training!
But she decided to go #2 on her own.
 
I didn't even realize she was gone until I heard the toilet flush and Bailey yelled, "Mommy! Mommy! I went poop, Mommy!"
Seeing as she emerged from the bathroom fully dressed, I figured I would have a mess on my hands, but I didn't.
{Thank God for no-wipers.}
 
But in hindsight I wish we had never bothered with the little potty and just gone straight for the seat that sits directly on the toilet.
There is nothing I like less than using a Clorox wipe to scrub out remnants of last night's burrito supper, beans included, from the little bowl inside the little potty.
{Easily one of the least glamorous aspects of motherhood.}
 
 
Then today while I take one minute to address an envelope to put in the mail, Avery climbs on the same table to peel every single banana in the fruit stand.
And, of course, take one bite from every one.
Apparently it was snack time.
 
Meanwhile Bailey is attempting to unwrap the present I have sitting out to mail to Jared's mom.
 
And where is Jared during all this you might ask?
Taking a nap.
I am not joking.


Honestly, I didn't realize how easy I had it with just two kids.
And one kid - talk about a cake walk!


Thankfully there are some moments of calm.
Sunday afternoon was perfect:
a full belly,
football on t.v.,
a cozy blanket,
and a snuggle with a cuddly Baby.



I am trying my hardest not to become that mom. You know, the one who is always yelling.
But it is really hard some days.
Especially with Bailey.
I am not sure what it is; whether it's the change of having a baby in the house or just the continuing Terrible Twos.
It's so frustrating to have your previously (modestly) well-behaved child become a whiny little monster!

A 2 year-old is hard enough to deal with.
Adding in a curious 19-month old and a mama running short on sleep doesn't make it any prettier.

All I gotta say is that Jared better make this a very short nap...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Super Mom

Super Mom schedules newborn photos and arrives with a cute little baby and a variety of adorable outfits. Super Mom also uses said photos to send out precious birth announcements to all her family and friends.
Not only have we never done newborn photos, we haven't even really done family photos. {Okay, we tried once and both kids were not having it.} And we also haven't sent out a birth announcement. Ever. I even gave up on sending out Christmas cards this year. Fail.

Super Mom is patient and has more than enough energy to deal with both her newborn and her older children.
Yesterday both Jared and I wondered out loud if it would be child abuse to throw Bailey out in the backyard. And then she purposely dumped her milk out on the floor at supper and we were dangerously close to just taking our chances.

Super Mom entertains her children with educational activities and fun craft ideas - ala Pinterest.
Please. Simba, Ariel, and Lightning McQueen have been our girls' besties going on about 4 weeks now. And I have not one ounce of guilt.

Super Mom's kids always look cute - from their clothes to their hair accessories.
I am pretty sure in the past week that the girls have only worn pajamas, with the exception of times they went to the doctor's office. In fact I know that's right because when I did the laundry, there was a whole lot of footie pj's and about one pair of pants. And hair? Well, taming down Bailey's fro doesn't even make the daily to-do list.

Super Mom cooks a healthy dinner for her family.
Today we had hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. Sadly it was the best the girls have eaten in days. Thank God Jared does 99% of the cooking around here.


Super Mom eats those healthy dinners and takes care to make sure those pregnancy pounds come off quickly.
Not only did I eat the aforementioned mac-n-cheese today, I also had a Reese's mini peanut butter tree for dessert. {Okay, make that two of them.} And as for the pregnancy pounds - I am just going to remain in denial, cross my fingers, and hope that breastfeeding does the trick like last time.

Super Mom makes a point to dress herself and look presentable.
The only shirts I have worn in the past 2 1/2 weeks are from Target. Specifically the nursing section. And they are the world's most boring tank tops with snap-downs. And I own one in every single color available. Oh, and to really jazz it up, I pair them up with one of two zip-front hoodies that I own.  I give myself bonus points if there are no spit-up spots visible.


I hate those women who actually are Super Mom.
I am taking a small victory in the fact that we haven't killed each other and the house is still half-way presentable.
 
FINALLY the entire family seems to be on the mend health-wise. I am blaming a large chunk of my lack of energy and lack of giving-a-damn on the fact that we have spent entirely way too much time at the hospital or in doctor's offices.  Since Graham was born, I think we have only had maybe 3 or 4 days where we didn't make a trip to visit the hospital. It's pretty hard to enjoy your new baby when you are doing a big chunk of your bonding in waiting rooms and super comfortable exam room chairs...

The rest of the time you can find me with my butt firmly planted in our leather recliner.
(Early Christmas present from Cathy. LOVE.)
And if it is around 3 AM, Graham and I are probably both half-asleep, cuddled up in blankets, with my boob hanging out for the world to see. {Thankfully my chair doesn't face a window!} And since Graham absolutely hates a pacifier, he uses me as one. It's all right because, frankly, I am too tired to care. Cuddly, warm little babies make it so hard to stay awake in the wee hours of the morning!

Jared's dad visited from Kansas this past week.
Since Graham's favorite time to sleep is during the day, he got lots of cuddle time in.
(Aka, like 3-plus hours at a time.)

 
 
 
We haven't taken nearly enough pictures the past few weeks.
With every one's snotty, swollen, red noses and nasty coughs, the last thing we have wanted to do is pose for pictures. My goal the next few days is to effectively nag Jared into taking pictures of Graham. Even though I admitted defeat with the Christmas cards this year, we still need to get some cute little baby photos.
 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 out of 5

It's been a crazy, busy week.
A newborn's first week of life is probably always busy, right? Well throw in some sick children and parents and it gets a whole lot more hectic.

Graham's bilirubin has been monitored every day since he left the hospital last Wednesday. So every day we loaded him up and someone drove him (and me) to the hospital for his blood draws. By Friday his bilirubin reached 16.0 so it was time for a bili blanket.

So for the whole weekend we had our own personal at-home glow worm.



He chilled out in only his diaper and we snuggled up together.
And of course drove daily to get labs drawn.
By Monday morning his level was down to 9.6 and we were able to stop using the blanket. Hallelujah!

Also on Monday we took Bailey and Avery to the doctor. They have been the whiniest children on the planet (or at least it feels like it) and they just weren't getting any better despite massive amounts of Tylenol, Vick's vapor rub, and vaporizers running nonstop. Turns out that both girls have ear infections as well as upper respiratory issues. So we made a trip to the pharmacy for ear drops, antibiotics, and albuterol nebulizers for both girls.

We almost needed 4-point restraints to get both girls to tolerate the breathing treatments the first night. But after a time or two, they started fighting over who got to go first.


And if you thought our trips to the doctor on Monday were complete, you would be wrong.
My surgical incision had been starting to cause me a lot of pain over the past two days, so much so I had to start taking the Vicodin again. Then I noticed it was itching and draining. Awesome.
A quick trip to my OB led to a prescription for antibiotics for me as well. Apparently if my site wasn't infected, it was on its way. Off the pharmacy we went again.

Tuesday morning rolled around and Jared was the one calling to make a doctor's appointment. He is sick too, only this time it is his sinuses. And another pharmacy run...

So you would think we would be done with all this hospital stuff, right?
Wrong.

Graham has been congested for the last two days. We had just been watching it and listening to his lungs, which still sounded clear. But by this morning he sounded much worse. He had a cough and it was taking much longer for him to clear all the gunk out, which was a nasty green/brown color.

So off we went to the doctor's office. Yet again. His vitals were "adequate" and he was eating great while we were there. His lungs sounded clear to the doctor, but to be on the safe side he ordered some lab and a chest x-ray. The x-ray came back looking basically fine and the labs didn't tell us much either. However, his RSV came back positive. He most likely got it from one of the girls.

Being only 10 days old, the doctor wanted to be cautious about his plan of action. He decided to call Children's in Omaha to speak with a pediatric specialist there to decide if Graham's condition warranted an admission to the PICU there.

After {literally} an hour of waiting on said phone call (and me working myself up with flashbacks to Avery being admitted to the NICU), it was determined that he is not sick enough to be admitted.
Huge sigh of relief.
 
We are just supposed to keep watching him closely, making sure he still is eating enough and monitoring basically everything you can monitor on a newborn. So apparently I will just continue being overly cautious and worrying about every weird little breath he takes and whether he is sleeping too much or too little.
Seriously, my mommy nerves can't take much more of this stuff!
I was hoping just ONE of our children could let us have it easy!

Thankfully Cathy (Jared's mom) has been here visiting since Saturday. With all the doctor visits and sick kids, it's been a huge help to have someone else around the house.
Plus the girls love her visits.
{Despite sick Bailey telling her to "Go home!" when she didn't get her way.}



So for now we are going to be hanging out at home (*fingers crossed*) and saying prayers for our kids {and ourselves} to get better soon. The first few weeks are hard enough without throwing in hospital trips and extra worry. There are a lot of fun things for a family to do all together... being sick is not one of them.