Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two Weeks of Gratitude...

The first two weeks with a new baby are always so sweet and fun ... and seem to pass much too quickly. I look back over them (Liam will be 2 weeks old tomorrow ... oh how is that really possible?!) and can't think of much that I have accomplished that falls in my "normal" range of productive. But I have snuggled that baby ... and held him ... and done puzzles and played hide-and-seek with Landon ... and I have loved them with all my heart. 

Best time spent ever.

I seem to carry a baby with ease. But post-partum recovery is where I struggle. About a week after having Landon I developed a serious infection (high fever, etc.) and to this day I'm not entirely sure what it was. I just remember a heavy antibiotic and sleeping a lot.This time there was some stuff left behind and I ended up in surgery yesterday. Luckily it was a quick procedure and I'm feeling just fine. Landon made a trip down to my parent's house and with Jeff home to take care of Liam I have gotten a lot of rest. What would I do without amazing people in my life? I really don't know.

So I'm looking back at this crazy couple of weeks with a lot of gratitude:

Gratitude for my wonderful husband who does so much - around the house, with our babies and for me. He's one of the most selfless people I have ever met. I am so, so blessed. Honestly, I would keep him with me every second of every day if I could. But unfortunately there are bills to pay :)

Gratitude for Landon. He loves Liam with all his heart. If I even mention that Liam needs a diaper change or something (even when I'm not talking directly to Landon) he will drop whatever he is doing and run to help. He is constantly hugging and kissing him and saying "he's so cute!" or "I love him!" What a sweet boy! Plus he brings us such joy - playing hide-and-seek with a two year old has to be one of the funniest things on the planet :)! Just when I thought I couldn't love him anymore than what I already do ... and yet, here I go!

Gratitude for Liam. He is so sweet! And such a little snuggle bug. Holding a little bit of heaven reminds you what life is really all about. I am enjoying getting to know his little personality so much. He makes the cutest faces and noises - and I LOVE the way he nestles up to me. Love.

Gratitude for my family - they have taken care of Landon so much and at the last minute with the recent events. There aren't enough words to say how grateful I am.

Gratitude for Jeff's family - his parents were up the end of this last week and helped out, snuggled Liam and played endlessly with Landon.

Gratitude for the friends we have. We have had endless phone calls, text messages and dinners brought in by people who just want to keep tabs on how we are doing and make sure we are well taken care of and know how much we are loved. Priceless.

Gratitude for Jeff's co-workers. They have really been so flexible and wonderful. And they threw Jeff a shower :)! Complete with lunch, games and a gigantic gift basket full of goodies (and a $100 gift card!). It was so generous, I couldn't even believe it.

Gratitude for the gospel. Having a baby is overwhelming. And so is everything that follows - wonderful, but overwhelming also. Having the gospel reminds me to stay centered and reminds us what life is really about. 

Gratitude for great medical care - I would be lost without it lately! 

Ultimately, I feel so incredibly blessed. Not everything has been easy. Or ideal. But we have drawn closer together as a couple, a family and with those who love us because of it. 

On Friday we have Liam's newborn pics, so stay tuned for those!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby Liam

Thursday, January 17th started out in a whirlwind. Landon was safely deposited at my parent's house the night before, and it's a good thing because the hospital wanted us at 6:30 am! We had to wait for FOREVER for that call to come when we had Landon so I was really grateful to get in so early this time around. Jeff and I headed in to get started. 
The night before ... have to get the baby belly shot!

It takes a little bit to get checked in, etc. but by about 8 things were well on their way (water broken, petocin started and epidural given). This time the epidural made me so light headed. I felt terrible for a while and they kept having to give me a shot of something to keep me from passing out. Once that was stable we settled in for the waiting game.
The waiting game...

At first it seemed like things were going so, so slow! I had friends and family texting to see how things were progressing. And I might have complained a time or two that they weren't very quickly :)! 

My Dr. said he thought we would have a baby by lunch time. I didn't believe him at the rate things were going. Around noon Jeff said he would go get me a magazine to pass the time and I encouraged him to get lunch while he was out. Luckily he wasn't gone long.

I was on the phone with a friend when I started to feel some serious pressure. Jeff had just gotten back so I finished up the conversation to spend time with him.

And I kept feeling it.

So I had him grab our (amazing) nurse. She checking into things ... and much to our SHOCK she said ... it's time.

Um, what?!

She wouldn't even let me give a "practice push" until the Dr. was safely in the room.

He arrived 15 minutes later (she must have really given him a sense of urgency because I'm not sure how he made it so fast). They prepped the room and he gave me the green light.

He said "well it's close to lunch time" (it was just after one at this point) and then said "I think you'll have this baby here in 2 minutes." It took two hours with Landon so my first thought was "riiiiight."

Should have listened. Three pushes later and they were putting Liam on my chest to hold for the first time.

I can't even type that without getting teary eyed. Does the wonderment of holding a new baby for the first time ever go away? I don't think so ... nor should it.
Brand new and so sweet!

We have debated for months his name - we loved both Liam and Emerson. I was pretty convinced he was Emerson, Jeff was rooting for Liam.

But the second I saw him and held him I just knew - he was Liam. Liam James (after my dad) to be exact. He joined our family at 1:23 pm. He was 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 18.5 inches long. He looked so tiny laying there!!
Delivering in a small hospital was such a different experience - we loved it. Our nurse was with us the whole time and after they did an initial check of Liam they left us alone for the first couple of hours to bond. Then they came and did his bath in the room so we could both be a part of it before moving me to the mother/baby room.

Later that night Landon came to meet him for the first time. It was love at first sight for him too! He is such a proud big brother. He couldn't get enough of him. 

On Saturday we were able to go home and Landon was so, so excited to be bringing his baby brother home with us. He helped get him dressed. At one point he really wanted to hold him on his lap at the hospital. As I was helping him I heard him saying something really softly to Liam. I bent closer to listen.

Landon was singing "I am a Child of God" to him. Never, have I ever been so happy to be a mother, or proud of my son than at that moment. (I also can't think about it without it bringing tears to my eyes).

When we got home the first thing Landon insisted we do was show Liam his toys. Brothers know where the priorities lie you know. 

Since then we've just been hanging out as a family and bonding. Landon went to grandma & grandpa's again last night for another adventure since Jeff went back to work today. Everyone has been so wonderful about helping and letting us ease into this. And giving Landon some play time away from all the resting (very important for an almost 3 year old). But I'll confess - I miss having him around so much! 
Beautiful new mommy flowers from Jeff & Landon

But at the same time getting to bond with Liam has been so wonderful. After an easier delivery I have felt really good (other than being tired and a bit new-mom weepy), so I feel blessed to get to enjoy this time. He is just so snuggly!! I love how your newborn just knows you - when he hears our voices he responds, and the second one of us holds him he just snuggles close. 

I've heard a saying that says (something to the effect of) "every time a baby is born it is a promise of hope for the future." I couldn't agree more - there is nothing like the sweetness and innocence of new life. What a precious gift! We love Liam so, so much and are so grateful to have him as part of our family.
Just the FOUR of us!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Tonight has been an emotional one. 

Today Landon and I had a great time. We snuggled in bed reading books, ate a deliciously sugary-cereal breakfast and played before bothering to get ready. I had a RS meeting (totally got a new calling on Sunday. You know, the Sunday right before I'm having a new baby :)!) during which Landon conveniently had friends to play with. Post nap-time we headed to get a treat with a good friend, get a car wash (this is thrilling if you are a 2-year-old boy) and run to Hobby Lobby for something for the nursery.

Then we came home. And I felt like I was having a panic attack.

Because, you see, this is it. By this time tomorrow Landon will be snugly sleeping at my parents house and Jeff and I will be doing last minute hospital prep waiting for our (hopefully) early call in on Thursday morning to get this show on the road.

Tonight was our last night to eat dinner just the three of us. The last night to head down to play trains and cars like we always do. The last night to get ready for bed and snuggle with stories like we always do...

Again, I can't tell you how excited all of us are. I just struggle with change of any kind and this is a pretty darn big one.

We surprised Landon with a new book tonight - I'm a Big Brother by Joanna Cole (super cute and perfect for this situation - they have the sister version too). He loved it so much we read it twice in a row. 

As we were singing "I am a Child of God" to him before tucking him in, I have to confess I was crying. Landon must have thought I wasn't doing a very good job, because instead of just snuggling against us during it he decided to sing along and compensate for me :)! 

He does the song justice so much better than I do. 

Tomorrow we'll play and finish packing his bag for Grandma's house (he is thrilled, I assure you). And then off he'll go ... and we'll be back here wondering how on earth 9 months went so fast. And admittedly I might cry a bit then too.

But that's okay.

Because I know that I'll cry again on Thursday. The moment I meet the newest member of our family that I simply can't imagine life without. 

Stay tuned for pictures! (And wish us luck!)

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Winter Wedding

Before our little family can go from three to four, our larger family had to go from seven to eight with the addition of Seth - my sister's new husband. That's so weird to think about - my little sister is old enough to be a married woman!!

She chose well - Seth is a good guy who obviously makes her really happy! And Landon totally gives his stamp of approval as well, and you know how important that is :)!

They got married on Friday - in that CRAZY blizzard, which is why this snapshot was taken inside and not in the snow storm outside the temple. We were all a bit cold! Their reception was the next night in Mapleton.

She made a beautiful, glowing bride. And he was clearly very smitten. 

And it was fun to see some of our extended family who came in town for the festivities (my cousin snapped this pic ... along with one of him making a goofy face for me to find as a surprise later :)!)!

We're so happy for them - and happy to have Seth a part of our family! Congratulations guys!

Monday, January 7, 2013


I can't believe that "D-Day" as we call it around here is just around the corner. Has this baby really baked for that long?! There are moments when the answer is a resounding YES! And others when the answer is still a big NO! We've been in prep mode for a while, but with the 17th (my elective induction date) a mere 10 days away I feel like we better be prepared any second just in case.

My doctor has said a couple of times that I am on borrowed time - he doesn't think I'll make it to the 17th. But Ale's wedding is this Friday and I'd (obviously) really like to be there. Pregnant. And while there is a little part of me that thinks the mad-rush-to-the-hospital-while-in-labor would be fun, the planner, practical side of me would much rather be able to be induced. Not so much because I care what day he comes on, but because I would like to take Landon to my parent's house and get him settled, etc.

Speaking of Landon, every time I think about dropping him off I cry. I know he'll have a blast (my mom has all kinds of things already purchased and planned for him, and let's be honest, there are a lot fewer boundaries when grandparents are in charge :)!) ... but the idea of it just makes me cry. 

But as emotional as I am about it all I am also really excited! What will he look like? How big will he be? (This is a practical question as much as a fun one!) Will he have hair? (I have had immense amounts of heartburn this time!) What name will fit him just perfectly? How will Landon really react the first time they meet? (Currently he still is SO excited about the whole thing)

But my bag is packed as much as it can be for now, and so is Landon's. I don't understand why they tell you to have it in the car at this point - don't other women need their make up bag, hair stuff, etc. the last few weeks too? I've had a pedicure. The car seat is installed and the clothes are washed. 

I still plan to clean the house top to bottom and finish up a few more things, but I'm confident he can come without the perfect lamp shade picked out for his room (although I am trying to do that too!).

And I'm trying to squeeze 6 weeks worth of maternity leave work into the next little bit so I won't have to do anything while I'm out of the "office."

But ultimately, I'm holding on to every little second that we are still just the three of us. I'm thrilled, please don't misunderstand, but I also believe that these times of big change require some holding on as well. Squeezing Landon and doing extra puzzles and coloring together. Going on mommy-Landon dates to McDonalds. Having Family Home Evening lessons about how we hold baby brother. Extra stories while snuggling in bed. 

And spending all the quality time I can with Jeff ... seeing some movies. A few dinner dates out. Snuggling in front of the fire while eating treats that I won't allow myself to eat post-baby :)!

I'm a lucky girl to have them both, and I know we'll all be even luckier when this new guy joins the family. And I know we'll adjust and our new normal will make us feel even more blessed!

We'll keep you posted ... wish us luck!