Tuesday, February 28, 2012

32 Weeks!

Another milestone down, ONE more to go! Audrey is doing so great. The past 2 weeks have been very eventful with contractions which made me pretty nervous knowing my cervix isn't exactly in stellar condition! I very anxiously went in to my appointment today and they put me on the monitor because of all the contractions that have been breaking through the meds. My contractions were 4 minutes apart (which is very normal for me when I am approaching dose time). I was 20ish minutes away from a new dose so I guess the timing was good so they could see what has been going on and be able to see how Audrey handled the hostile environment :).

Audrey did beautifully through each contraction. My OB said she is responding to them like a term baby would which is great considering how often I am having them! My cervix check (which I was anxious about) had NO CHANGE! HA! I am still 1cm dilated which shocked us both. I am so thankful for the answered prayers and feel so much more confident about making it to the 35 week goal. I feel like if my cervix can withstand these past 2 weeks of contractions then we've so got this! Only 2.5 more weeks of bed rest and meds and then I will be back in the land of the living! Praise God for many answered prayers!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hunter is 4!

I cannot believe we have a 4 year old. Where does the time go?! I have had a lot of idle time to watch and really look at my kids lately, I guess a perk of bed rest. Take away the hustle and bustle of the day and all the things we do that take steal our attention and it's amazing the things one can see!

Maybe I just missed it before or maybe he really has grown up a lot the last 2 months but watching him now he seems so much older than he did 2 months ago. I know some of it has to do with us NEEDING him to be as independent as possible because of my situation. But he has really stepped up to the plate. He takes such good care of Madison, watches everything she does almost to fault. The up side is it's super helpful when I am in bed and I hear Hunter from the other room tell Madison not to do something...technically he is being bossy but it also helps me know what she is doing since I can't get up! We are working with him on ways to keep her from danger, should he see it, without it sounding like he is just a total BOSS!

He is so perceptive. Like scary perceptive. Lately he has really been asking a lot about our non-verbal language. If I am quiet, he asks why I'm not talking. If I look at him with just a plain look on my face he says "What's wrong mommy? Are you sad?", if I make a noise when I get up (due to sheer effort of the task) he will say "mommy does something hurt? Does your back hurt mommy?". He came to kiss me goodbye the other day and I looked at him and smiled, which he just SOAKS UP, but then got distracted by Madison on the other side of the room and he said "mommy what are you doing with your eyes?" I said "what do you mean buddy?" And he said "how come you're not looking at me?!" OUCH! He is just too precious for words!

He is a really big helper. It helps that Madison will do EXACTLY what he does so if I can just get him to do something she will follow suit, maybe that's lazy parenting but I am just taking whatever kind of obedience I can get from the couch/bed right now! There will always be time to de-program after I get off bed rest. In contrast if he is having an off day....so is Madison!

He is still really into cars. Specifically cars "with eyes on them" aka cars from he movie cars. He knows them all by name and has his favorites. He has almost all of them but prefers the race cars over the "lemons" or other non race cars. He can play for hours with his cars. He lines them all up in order and drives them down an imaginary road. He will share with Madison so long as it's not one of his favorites. If she happens to pick up one of the coveted race cars he will say "here Madison you play with this one" as he hands her one of the lemons :)

He is getting easier and easier. Part of it is his independence but part of is just plain maturity. He doesn't really have meltdowns or knock down drag out emotional explosions. He is a very upbeat and happy kiddo and LOVES to have fun. He loves to laugh and make people laugh. He loves to play with Madison and I think a big part of that is because he knows she adores him and pays attention to him. He loves positive reassurance which makes him quite helpful because he loves to be told what a big helper he is. He has grown out of lot of the battles we had at 2 and 3. Dinner time is actually pleasant and fun again even though he is the pickier of the two eaters he doesn't make it as much of an issue as he once did. His fear of swimming has gone WAY down. A big part of that is the work Jordan did with him last spring/summer regaining his trust a bit in the water and then in the fall we started swim lessons every week, once a week, in a semi-private lesson just Hunter and Madison. He started off very cautious in the fall but recently over the past 2-3 months it's like a light bulb switched on and he started looking at it like it was fun instead of scary. He will jump off and swim halfway across the pool to the teacher and then roll and float on his back to the side which is a major stride from the kid who didn't even want to sit in the water last spring.

At his 4 year checkup he weighed 38 pounds 75%, and was 42 inches tall which was 95%. He got 3 shots (4 vaccines) and was pretty sore (limping) for a day or two after. He still takes a nap everyday..or at least the days he is home. He goes to pre-school 2 mornings a week (we started it when I was put on bed rest) so on those days he typically doesn't nap. They do have rest time but he rarely falls asleep. When he is home he naps at the same time as Madison from about 12:00pm-3:00pm. They both tend to sleep about 2-3 hours. On the days he naps he goes to bed at 8:00pm and it takes a while for him to fall asleep. On the days he doesn't nap he goes to bed at 6 or 6:30pm and is asleep instantly. He usually wakes around 7am either way though. So I guess either way his total daily sleep is about 12-13 hours.

Some of his favorite foods right now are pizza, chicken, chicken nuggets, apples and peanut butter, bananas, watermelon, Kashi cereal bars, Luna bars, dark chocolate and vanilla almond milk, coconut water, popcorn, blueberries, broccoli, corn, and pretty much any Kashi cereal. He also LOVES biscuits with honey and pancakes with honey. He is a big breakfast kid. His favorite nights are when we have breakfast for dinner.

He loves to watch Chuggington and play angry birds and cut the rope on the iPad. He is really getting into math and spelling lately. He is always asking how to spell and sound out words. He can do sight words on his own and simple math so long as he has enough fingers to count or he can add up the objects he sees. He loves crafts. He likes to write his ABC's and color and paint.

He has a vivid imagination and loves to tell me all about the things he thinks of. He gets really talkative at night and at dinner. Much like his dad, he comes alive when the sun goes down! Madison always goes to bed between 6-6:30pm so he usually gets to stay up a few hours and hang out with us by himself at night. He is SO talkative I LOVE it. I like to ask him lots of questions and then just sit in silence listening to him as he goes on and on and on...he will go on tangent after tangent. It's pretty adorable. His imagination has also made it harder for him at night. He wants a lot of night lights in his room and he is very particular about how everything in the room is. He doesn't like things to be in there that he is not familiar seeing. He will say "I don't want to see that!" He has night mares a few times a month and wakes up screaming hysterically! It almost always has to do with an animal chasing him or something in the room that looks weird or scary. He also is really funny about where he sleeps. He moved to the big guest room upstairs (the 2nd master) when we switched Madison to the big girl bed, which he loves! He says "mommy this bed is SO snuggly!" It actually really is a very comfy bed! It has a couch in the room and this week he has decided he wants to sleep on the couch! Go figure.

He loves attention and when he enters the room he will announce "here I am!" The other day, at lunch, Madison and I got really hungry way before the normal lunch time. Hunter wasn't Hungry yet so we decided to eat an early lunch without him. I asked Madison if she wanted to say the prayer. Hunter was upstairs in the playroom and could hear Madison starting the prayer and he yelled down,"hey mommy I'm not down there, I'm up here! You can't pray without me!" hahaha

He is genuinely at heart a really really sweet boy....good as gold. He loves to do the right thing. He loves to make God happy (and mommy and daddy). He loves snuggling and scratching and anything that involves being close to the people he loves. I can tell his love cup runeth over when he gets 1. snuggles and scratches 2. Good positive happy eye contact from someone he loves. 3. When we tell him all the good things he does (verbal encouragement). A friend or extended family member can win him over for life by doing any one of these things. Sure he loves to get gifts...what kid doesn't?! But it doesn't go straight to the core like eye contact, words of encouragement and physical touch. He is very loyal to those who have made it to his inner circle. He is a little standoffish to new people and will come across as shy at first...even though he is NOT shy at all to those of us who know him well.

He has a big personality, one that can control the tone of the room if we let it. He is a great example for Madison and such a good big brother. He loves to be silly and have a good time, he loves loves loves to laugh and be laughed at. When he is having fun it's common for him to suddenly stop and say "I love you so much momma" as though he is savoring the moment and soaking it up.

I find myself watching him in amazement at the little boy he has grown in to. In many ways the first child is the guinea pig for us parents. I mean they all are technically because they are all so different and have to be approached somewhat differently. But it truly is by the grace of God that we have been blessed with such good good kids! We love you so much Hunter Mason.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baby shower and update

Last week some friends of ours, Grant and Rachel Tonick, called to see if they could bring us dinner on Friday. This is something we do pretty often usually either at their house, out to eat, at our house. Friday came and the kids had gotten up from their naps and we were all (Jordan, me and the kids) hanging out on our bed. Rachel texted me earlier in the day to tell me they would be here around 7pm and they had a sitter. So I told Jordan we needed to figure something out for the kids for dinner since they go to bed at 6:30/7:00 and since this was just going to be the adults (something we usually don't get to do).

My cousin Christine was coming in for the weekend with her son Brody and they were due to arrive at 7:55 at the airport. I texted Rachel and told her Jordan would have to leave by 7:30 to pick her up and she said "oh ok then maybe Grant won't come", and just left it at that. 5pm rolled around and I was still in my bed rest clothes... which at this stage is one of Jordan's shirts (which is gigantic on me but my shirts are way too constricting now), and sweat pants. I had showered earlier that day but my hair was still somewhat wet and I had no makeup on.....you get the picture...I was looking fabulous.

5:30pm rolled around and Jordan got up to make dinner for the kids and he turned and asked me "what are you planning on wearing tonight?" he NEVER asks me that....super weird. I realized what time it was and that I was still looking like a wet dog in oversized clothes and thought maybe he was thinking I wasn't planning on getting ready or something. I said "I don't know I don't have any maternity clothes because they are all in storage so probably just one of my Juicy track suits and a shirt...why? what are you wearing?!"

LOL so weird to be having this conversation! Then I said "I do plan to put make up on at least" haha (not something I do everyday since all I do is lay in bed all day!)

I got dressed, tamed the hair, and put on makeup and headed out to the couch for the night. We usually picnic around the coffee table while I lay on the couch, if we have people over, so I have someone to eat with.

Jordan got the kids fed, bathed and in bed and came and sat next to me on the couch.

At 7pm there was a knock at the side door. He went to answer it and I could barely see over the top of the couch but I heard Rachel's voice and could see she was carrying a bunch of balloons. I said "wow this is quite the occasion!" Then as I kept looking I saw more and more people filing in and realized it was all the girls from my Monday night group at church! Before long my living room was full of people with all sorts of food, gifts, flowers, and balloons.

I looked over at Jordan who was smiling ear to ear and I said "did you know about this?!"

He laughed and said "yes! why do you think I asked you what you were planning to wear?! I thought oh no if she doesn't actually get dressed she will feel bad since it's a baby shower for her"

I just about died laughing thinking how long he must have sat there and thought...ok now how do I say something without giving it away or worse making her feel bad!

Anyway, long story short it was a wonderful surprise. We got to celebrate Audrey and we have a bunch of adorable outfits to dress her in as well as a good start on diapers and wipes!

We have such great friends. They are always SO thoughtful and supportive. I don't know how people make it through things like this in life without a support system. Every week we have multiple calls from people asking if we need anything, or if they can run to the store for us, or take the kids for a few hours to give Jordan a break, or bring us a meal. And now a surprise baby shower! We truly are blessed!

We had a great weekend with Christine and Brody, which I will cover in the next post.

Today I had a checkup with my regular OB. I am 30w3d today...Praise God for making it this far!

I am still doing well. The pressure increased dramatically yesterday and today and it's been 2 weeks since my last cervix check so I was slightly nervous as to what was going on. I told her in my check up and she decided to do a manual exam just to be safe. We normally try to avoid doing that because it can kind of stir things up if you're not careful but being only 30w with a lot of pressure on an already very short cervix is something that needs to be checked out!

It turns out I am 1cm dilated and Audrey is engaged in the pelvis. I am not too concerned about being 1cm at 30weeks because I was 1cm for a long time with Hunter (starting at about 26weeks) and we held out until 35 weeks with him. BUT my cervix is a lot thinner than it was with Hunter or Madison and Audrey is already engaged which is my main concern. She is putting pressure on my weak cervix so even though my contractions are staying under control the pressure she is putting on it can cause changes. All the more reason bed rest is important right now.

My OB and I both still feel confident we will hit the 32 week milestone though. I go back to her at 32w3d and she will likely check it again to see what is happening. I see the high risk OB next week to check fluid levels and get a cervix measurement/baby measurement via ultrasound. As I've said before there is physically nothing more we can do to keep the cervix from changing beyond what we are already doing so we are truly just at a watch and wait stage right now.

Audrey is growing well and has a round of steroids in her so I am confident that should she come before 35 weeks she should be fine and just need some growing time in the NICU. If we are able to make it to 34/35 weeks she may not need a NICU stay at all. I am still praying for 35 weeks but am grateful for every day she stays put!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Side by side

I was looking back in the archives of my photos yesterday and found 2 pictures almost identical to each other taken 2 years apart. One down side to my pregnancies is I am always on either light duty (no heavy lifting) or bed rest (obviously no heavy lifting with that either). Hard to do when you have toddlers at foot wanting mommy to hold them. Anytime I stand up I have a child at my feet asking to be picked up. Breaks my heart that I can't do it. It just so happens I snapped a pic of each kid begging to be picked up and held and when I looked back realized it was a matter of weeks apart in the pregnancy and on the Calendar! Crazy! My belly looks bigger in the second picture but it wasn't, it's just the angle of the camera.

25w preg with Madison 22w preg with Audrey
Hunter is 23 months old Madison is 20 months old

Friday, February 3, 2012

21 months old

Madison is 21 months old today. My baby girl is not a baby anymore. She is so independent and wants to be so big. Having Hunter to watch definitely increases her desire for independence too. Jordan and I were just talking last night about how completely different she and Hunter are. When we pray for them at night our prayers for each of them are so different in many ways and we ask God to give us the wisdom and discernment to know how to raise them both in a way that will bring out the best in each of them. I am amazed each day at what a blessing they are in our lives and how much they have changed our lives for the better.

Madison is our little firecracker. She is afraid of nothing. She is the one we have to really really watch. I often wonder if it's something she was born with or a birth order thing because it is definitely intensified to have an older brother demonstrating things that are way too advanced for her age, yet she tries them anyway. She is one that has to learn by doing...by trial and error. Hunter is the exact opposite. So far he is our cautious child. Madison only knows one speed....WIDE OPEN. She sprints everywhere, jumps with full body leaps, she 100% commits to every decision she makes (physically) even if it's not the best idea in the world. If she falls and gets hurt she picks herself up, dusts off and tries again. Sometimes she will come over for a quick hug and a kiss on the injured appendage....why it always seems to be the foot I do not know but I do know I have to kiss her foot at least once a day.

She still loves a lot of the same things. Shoes, dress up, baby dolls, jewelry and Hunter are at the top of her list. Because she loves her brother so much she is often found playing with cars, trains and rolling around in the mud or dirt just to get laughs.

She loves to feed her baby
and play dress up while feeding her baby
She still loves to try on shoes
and play with Hunter's cars when he's not looking
She loves to play on our bed with me while I am on bed rest
She's not too happy when I don't share my phone with her
(this is her attempt at a pitiful face)
She eats the best when she thinks she is stealing someone elses food
If you start an apple you WILL have to share it with Madison so you might as well surrender it the moment she catches you eating it.
Daddy's breakfast is always way better than her own
She hates to miss out. She wants to be right in the middle of whatever is going on.

If Hunter is getting snuggles Maddie jumps on top to get hers in too.
She is still very easy going personality wise. She isn't overly emotional, she isn't overly loud or expressive. She is more like the stealthy, ninja child that wonders off and gets into the worst situations possible but somehow manages to get out of them unscathed or only mildly scathed. She's funny, quirky, full of laughter and smiles and LOVES LOVES LOVES her brother. She does a decent job of keeping up with him too considering the age difference.

They are at a really fun age right now. They play together really well but it all depends on the mood Hunter is in as to wether or not they are BFF or ripping each others heads off. Madison would be happy to be with Hunter 24.7 doing exactly as he does and having tons of fun doing it. Hunter does a great job of including her and playing with her but sometimes he is just in the mood to pester and those times are the frustrating ones!

Hunter's little side kick

Madison and Hunter watch a cartoon with me every morning when they first wake up. That way we get lots of snuggles in before the day begins. Madison really likes Hunter's attention so if he is too busy watching TV or looking at the Ipad she tries really really hard to get his attention.

Here she is standing right between him and the TV.
She really wants him to look at her

She just loves him so much and loves giving hugs
Hunter is conceding and giving her a hug because it means he can see the TV better now

Eventually he just gets up and moves so he can get a better view. Poor guy it's hard being so well liked.
Madison's transition to the big bed was uneventful. She has been there a little over a week now and it hasn't made one bit of difference in her routine. In fact she's no longer trying to climb out of the crib so I guess there is improvement! She has yet to get out of bed or even try to. She still naps for 2-3 hours and sleep 12 hours at night. This morning she got a little crazy I guess and rolled out of bed. Because I heard a thump followed by a scream/cry at about 4am. Her big heavy pillow that we put on either side of her was off the bed so I guess she was an active sleeper last night and rolled right off! She went right back to bed easily though and slept in till her normal time at 7am. She really loves her bed. When we tell her it's time to go to bed she says BIG BED!!!! and she runs upstairs to get in it.

She loves that she gets to sit in her own bed for story time now with daddy. She says "book book book" when they get up to the room. Daddy reads a bible story, tucks her in and says the Lord's prayer with her and then she is out within minutes of him shutting the door. Doesn't get much easier!
I love watching this on the monitor. Priceless moments.

This is kind of a long video but one of my favorite things to do is go back and watch old videos of when the kids were younger. It's hard to see how much they grow up right before your eyes until you take a peek back into the past. Madison is still in that early talker stage where some of the words she uses or the way she pronounces them are just so cute and so unique. I remember when Hunter was this age thinking he would always say the words that way and one day I realized he didn't do it anymore. I was so glad I caught them on film so I could always remember that sweet precious voice saying those new words and how quirky each one was. I took this video today and tried to think of a lot of the words Madison says on a daily basis so I could capture them. I know 6 months from now she will say things completely different and I don't want to forget!