Friday, September 11, 2015

Movin' on up

I'm moving on up - new name, new site, big changes at our house! Head on over to Barbee Dreamhouse to keep up!

Friday, July 31, 2015

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Happy 4 months, Frances

Four Month Stats:
Height: I still don't know, we don't go back to the pediatrician until the end of the month.  I don't think you're as long as your brother was at this age though (and he was 26 inches).
Weight: 18 pounds!!!  The chubbiness is so cute it kills me.
Clothing Size: You have to have 6-12 months in gymboree, footed pj's don't work because you're too short and chubby and none of the sizes fit right, and you have to have 12 months in 2 piece jammies because the smaller ones leave seam marks.  And otherwise Mimi just makes you giant pillowcase type dresses.

Four Month Milestones, Highlights & General Happenings

You hit the four month sleep regression pretty much right on the dot and now my baby who at least used to sleep all night and maybe get up once at 5am and go right back to sleep in her bed after nursing is no longer interested in that.  So we lie in bed and we nurse.  All night long, friend. All. Night. Long.  I worry if you nurse anymore you're going to explode.  But you won't take a paci, so here we are!

You've been rolling over since 2 1/2 months, and your brother didn't do it until 4 months - you're STRONG.  It's pretty impressive you can stand up pretty well and support all the chubbiness and you really like to!  I haven't gotten the exersaucer out of basement yet but I plan to this week so you can try it out!

We have been going to the lake a lot and you love the water - you're pretty heavy to wear in the wrap so I just get on  float and hold you in my arms.  Bathing suits make you mad because even the 9-12 month sizes are too small, so you just wear a swim diaper and a rash guard, or sometimes just sunscreen and no clothes at all if we are at the lake!

You smile on command, you love mirrors, someone else smiling at you, and especially any time your brother plays with you.  Ira loves to get down on the playmat with you and shake your toys for you.  

I go back to work one month from tomorrow and I am so worried about what happens then!  You won't take a bottle from anybody - not me, not your daddy, not from Mimi.  I have like 5 different kinds and you hate them all.  I seriously have no idea what we are going to do with you when I go to work, because not only will you not take it, it just plain makes you mad.  

Because it is 11:26 and because it's 2 weeks after your 4 month birthday and because your mama is tired, I'm including a good old fashioned photo dump.  

I'm trying out all sorts of fun carries with the wrap - for some reason the wrap means instant sleep for you, so I use it a ton! This picture was taken at the tail end of our beach trip (your very first one!)

Speaking of the beach - this was our setup for beach napping.  It was a great day on Ocean Isle because Francie-Who-Does-Not-Nap took a great nap for me.  I think it was all the magic ocean sounds.  Worked great!

I took this picture because I felt it was pretty insane that you were wearing 12 month jammies because the others are so tight they leave seam marks!

I love this picture of you guys with Nana! And it is so easy to get you to smile for the camera - you're a sucker for a good picture.

We spent your first 4th of July at the lake of course, since it was Mimi's birthday.  Here you are in the monogram dress she made you! We called you Francie Doodle Dandy all day.

I just can't get over the fat rolls!

I forgot to mention that you had an awful cold for about two weeks this month. Absolute misery.  In fact you were coughing so much that this picture is from Grand Strand Peds at the beach!  I called the doctor and they said to take you in because I was worried you had pneumonia.  You didn't, but you know, what's a good beach trip without a trip to the pediatrician?

Again - fat rolls.  I love it.

I think you felt so crummy at the beach that you gave us all a hard time, but you became Daddy's buddy.  You'd be super happy in the Tula with him for a long time!

Daddy with both babies - best double stroller you can find!

Another wrap nap.  I heart this wrap.  And those cheeks.

How we get chores done.

Big brother beach picture - pretty excited about the crab...but you know, not excited enough to actually touch it!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy 3 months, Frances!

Three month stats:
Weight: 16 pounds
Height: Still no clue!

Clothing Size: In onesies and jammies, we are still in 6-9 months but they're pretty tight, 9-12 month fit much better.

Three month happenings and milestones:
This is a picture that might give the false impression that you actually take a paci. Yeah, you don't.  Not even this $7 all natural rubber Ecopiggy one I ordered from Amazon.  Other things you don't take: bottles.  I have NO idea what we will do when I go back to work, but you won't take one from anybody.  For any reason!

Good thing you're really darn cute.  And usually super happy as long as you get what you want!

We took our first trip to the fire department, something I did much earlier with Ira for some reason. Of course they were gone on a call pretty much the whole time we were there, but it still made for a good photo op!

As much as you hate pacis, you absolutely LOVE your swim ring! It looks crazy, I know.  I was skeptical.  Determined that this must be terribly unsafe.  But you played in the pool for 30 minutes and cried when I took you out!  

I am getting better at wrapping and I've found that wrapping is some days the only way to get you to nap for more than ten minutes.

Back to things you dislike: bathing suits.  This is a 9 month bathing suit and all the elastic cuts in at all the wrong places and causes general misery and unhappiness.  I have moved on to putting you in a rash guard and a diaper, or if we're at the lake, just naked.  Ain't nobody got time for uncomfortable bathing suits.  

You have just recently started to tolerate letting Daddy hold you.  I just love this picture of you guys - someone commented on it and said you're holding on like there might be a scary part!

You're still sleeping in the rock and play because Ira is still in the crib and I am just not buying two cribs.  You end up in bed with me in the early morning sometimes anyway after you nurse at 5 or 6.  One of these days we will move you to a crib but it isn't going to be today!

Again, don't let this fool you, it lasted fifteen minutes. But the dock is a pretty good place to catch a nap! You like the sound of the water.

We got a Tula! Oh lord how I love thing.  It is our go to for any trips out of the house.  You've been out of the infant car seat since two months because you're too hot and sweaty in it so I have to wear you (even though I did before anyway).  I love this thing!
We started using the bumbo for a few seconds at a time, but it's hard to cram you in it. You like it though, so we keep doing it!

Just love this sweet face.  And the cheeks! Can't get enough kisses.
Happy 3 months, Frances!

And I have to give a shout out to my big boy! He had to put a sticker on Nana's head at Chick-Fil-A (his favorite).  We have gone through an awful phase where he eats three bites a day and weighs 28 pounds but I figure he'll eat when he gets hungry enough.  He's potty trained now and we just do diapers at night just in case (even though he only has 1-2 accidents a week).  It's pretty awesome not to have to change toddler diapers anymore!  He knows SO many words, speaks in sentences, mimics everything you say, and counts to ten.  But if he's counting off, I think he will always say "1, 2....8-9-10!" It's almost as hilarious as how he can't say "truck" and it sounds like it starts with an F.  I'm going to be sad when he outgrows those two things!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy 2 months, Frances!

Two month stats:
Weight: 14 pounds and some change by the bathroom scale (we don't go to the doctor until the 25th)
Height: No clue - I can't measure babies worth a darn

Clothing Size: 6-9 months fit pretty snugly!

Two Month Events and Milestones

Frances can grab some of the toys on the playmat hanging above her and she can roll from front to back really easily.  She can also roll from back to side/almost front with a little more effort.  Every time I put her to bed on a flat surface she works herself over to her side.

She fits in the jumpseat of the Phil and Teds stroller now, so greenway and lake walks have been fun! We took her to the lake for the first time and she did well in her Rock n Play and on the dock.  I can't wait to get her in the water! 

She doesn't sleep so great during the day, especially if we're at home - if we're out and she's being worn around some ambient noise, she does a lot better.  But the car seat screaming has been pretty miserable - it was lasting from the time the butt hit the seat until 10 minutes after we had gotten to our destination.  I had to wash the infant seat cover due to it having 8 gallons of baby pee in it and put the convertible Britax Clicktight in and found the magic bullet by accident.  Car seat screaming has now been reduced by about 90%! I think your big tail was just hot and uncomfortable wedged in that seat.

She's starting to get too big for the swing already - I can't imagine we'll still be putting her in it at all by 3 months.  I'm dreading the day that we need to put a crib up because I am loving the cosleeper and rock n play and sleeping together! It just makes life so much easier.  She's been sleeping from 10ish (sometimes a good bit later) until 5 or 6 a lot of nights.  Sometimes she still gets up around 2 but it isn't consistent. 

Oh my goodness, when I look back at Ira's monthly posts, I realize how badly we have second child syndrome here.  But there is so much work involved in having a two year old AND a baby that it's crazy how much less I document.  It's also crazy how much less emotional and frankly, completely insane I am.  I remember panicking when Ira was a baby that I might forget what date we first went to Walmart that he didn't sleep through it.  Really? Now I'm just glad we all lived through Walmart and no one screamed more than 28% of the time or peed on their clothes.  

But I still have to do the obligatory photo dump!

The ways in which she resembles the owl on her shirt just crack me up.

We got all fancy to go to our friend B's baby shower! 

I love watching Ira try to play with Frances and include her.  Even if it means yelling "Dadasoaurs biting Francie's head!"

She usually rolls over when I put her like this, so admiring the glorious fat rolls from this angle is hard!

The splash pad close to our house opened up and we have been there twice now.  Ira LOVES it!

Our first foray into tandem wearing - Ira has been SO good about not being jealous but he did ask to be worn on a walk, so I said what the heck? Let's just strap both of you to me! It was actually pretty nice except that in ANY carrier Frances likes to flex her head back as far as possible.  I say "Just snuggle!! For the love of all that is holy, just snuggle, darn it!"

I can't get enough of the chub.

Ira was pitching fits every single time I changed his diaper, so it took me two pretty intense days of not leaving the kitchen/bathroom and then about a week of treating him like a new puppy...but he pretty much is potty trained now except for the occasional random accident every few days! He's still wearing diapers for nap and night, but he's pretty much over it and won't hear of wearing diapers during the day for any reason.

These SMILES - girlfriend smiles with her whole face and I just love it.

Other things I love? These cheeks!! Even if there's still not usually a paci in front of them.

Things I love more than that? All of the ROLLS!

Another rare wrap snuggle while we walked around the neighborhood.

Frances' first trip to church! Church tends to make her hungry, but I was proud of myself for nursing IN the service for the first time.

I had to throw in this one of when we went to visit Nana at the concrete plant where she works in the office.  Ira was having a ball with the copy paper and pens that I wouldn't dare let him touch at home.

Probably my favorite of all - I can now bathe these 2 together and it's so sweet.  Ira wants to wash Frances and Frances looks at him like he's her hero.  It kills me!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

All 4 of us have lived through the first 4 weeks!

Things are harder but they're fun and they're sweet and we are still alive. Laundry has increased, intestinal gas sounds (of which we already had a surplus have most definitely increased), and the number of minutes I sleep per day has decreased significantly. Also it's a full time job to keep clean underpants for everyone and sufficient food in the house and I have no idea how that'll happen when I go to work in August, but we'll figure that out!

When I put Frances on the floor for tummy time and Ira says "Hey Mom, Ira build pillows, Ira do like Francie does!"...well, it's really sweet and I care a lot less that the dishwasher needs to be emptied again. 

I fully expected her to be the same baby that Ira was, just in pink clothes. But she has her own quirks, like the fact that girlfriend won't even hear of taking a paci. Well, she will, but she needs to think it's her idea and even then it lasts maybe 2 minutes.

I have now taken a picture both times she's agreed to hold it in her mouth herself for more than three seconds because I'm just so shocked she hasn't spat it back at me with a look of disgust. Why would you take a paci when mama is the human paci? 

I can't put enough stuffing in a cloth diaper to keep dry clothes on the girl for more than an hour, ever.  With the exception of stuffing a pocket diaper with a prefold and a microfiber insert and covering it with wool pants all night long.  Crazy.

She does sleep better at night than Ira did, except maybe also my approach has just changed? I've just left the bed in her "nursery" and attached a cosleeper to it and us girls sleep in there at night.  When PB works, I have a little bassinet that goes in the bed that she sleeps in if we want to stay up and watch TV (plus mama likes the big cushy master bed mattress).  The cosleeper works great though - why did I think I should get up and sit in a rocker to nurse every two hours at night and then change wet diapers? We just nurse all night, wear wool pants and worry about a clean diaper in the morning.  There is no getting out of the bed, ever! So even when I do need to be up nursing, I'm only half conscious and it's lovely.

If we go shop (which I don't do nearly as often with two kids because it wears me out), then Ira rides the cart (or walks if it's a SUPER short trip).  Frances goes in the ring sling or maybe the woven wrap.  I have a double stroller for walks and she might ride in it about half the time and the other half, I wear her, especially for a short walk.
We didn't have a one month pediatrician appointment, I suppose because they figure since I kept the first one alive, I can last two months with the second one.  And in true second child fashion, I don't honestly know how much she weighs - I think somewhere in the 12 pound range.
I absolutely love having two - I get less done but I love seeing those two look at each other and I can tell they're going to be good friends someday soon.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

She's here!

By March 10, I felt like I had done everything to get girlfriend out. Not that I minded being pregnant at all, but I was scared to go past 41 weeks and be faced with induction, and honestly I just wanted to snuggle her rather than drag her around in my huge belly.

I had walked, I had eaten a whole pineapple, I had eaten spicy food until I thought my heartburn would chew up my esophagus. Still had tons and tons of Braxton Hicks but nothing that was any different than my usual contractions. 

Finally I made an appointment with Dr. Troutman at the chiropractor's office because I remembered that acupuncture was supposed to be a sure thing for kick starting labor.

So there I sat with 13 little needles in my hands, knees, ankles and lower back. After I almost couldn't get my skinny pants up to my knees over my fat calves, oops.  I had two contractions just while sitting there processing that made me go "Hmmmm." They seemed a little different and stronger than the usual shenanigans of my uterus but I didn't want to get my hopes up.

I headed out of there, got myself a breakfast biscuit and a coffee at McDonalds and prepared to remain huge and pregnant for the foreseeable future. 

Here I am at bathtime, still hugely pregnant! 

Finally that night before bed around 11, I started having a little cramping and bleeding and I knew we would have a baby the next day. Dr. Troutman had promised me 12-24 hours and he had been right!

I sent PB on to work the next morning after having more contractions all night. My contractions were still somewhat irregular and only about 6 minutes apart at that point so I figured we had a long time left. 

I sent him some screen shots of my contraction timer which I think got him a little excited and he called me. 

Looking back, I guess I can see why! But I was still able to talk and walk between contractions and even talk a little during them, even though they were very uncomfortable.

I had an OB appointment with Dr. Jones at 10:30 and I had planned to take Ira to the car lot to hang out during my appointment. 

Well, when PB called, Ira woke up and I knew I needed help. Ira needed a diaper change, had spilled dog food everywhere trying to help me feed the weenie was a disaster. I couldn't imagine getting ready and driving myself and him all over town alone.

So he came home, thankfully, and let me get a shower and dressed. I had him take one last belly picture of me since I was afraid they would make me go to the hospital after the doctors office, depending on how easily I could hide my every-3-minutes contractions that were harder and harder to talk through.
I leaned back in the seat with my window down all the way to the doctors office because the breeze felt so good and the white noise of the window down was something to help me relax through contractions.

I had a hard time sitting down in the waiting room and I was moving really slow through the office because fast movements ramped everything up more. Dr. Jones said I was a 2, which didn't surprise me since that's how labor was with Ira. 

I didn't think I could handle toddler antics all afternoon so I asked PB to take me home before he went to pick up Ira and then get lunch and find something for the two of them to do.

I had re-read my natural hospital birth book, especially the part about the length of labor. For some reason after I left the doctors office at 11:15 knowing I was a 2, I decided I didn't want to go to the hospital until at least 6pm. I have NO idea why 6pm was stuck in my mind like someone had told me I wasn't allowed to go until then. But I started thinking about that time every time I had a contraction and at some point I think I was even saying it to myself. 

While I was home alone, I got on all fours over the yoga ball and tried (and failed) to watch an episode of 19 kids and counting in the hopes that the wonders of Michelle's birthing capabilities would inspire me. Then I got in the shower for awhile and that was bearable except I had to stand in our teeny shower stall. So I got out and laid in the hot bathtub for awhile while poor Peggy laid next to the tub looking worried. Phillip came home while I was in the bath and left me a chicken salad sandwich from Chick-Fil-A that I knew I needed to eat but that I had a hard time choking down. I think I got through maybe four bites? He left and took Ira to the park to eat, and I kept trucking on.

Well, I had been home in hell for about 2 hours when I had a Dr. Phil "changing day in your life" moment. I thought "Why am I still here? Why did I want to have a natural birth in the first place? Oh right, because epidurals sabotage breastfeeding. Except my last one didn't at all. And because they stop labor. Except this labor is moving like a freight train and it ain't stopping (and didn't before either). And because epidurals don't work. Except mine did work last time, and it worked really well." And then I still had 6pm in my mind and I thought "I don't WANT to do this crap until 6pm and then still have to go push a baby out in the hospital." 

So while I laid in our bed hunched over a pillow and groaning, I sent PB these frantic texts between contractions. 

 So yes, I was doing a lot of hurting at that point. 

When I got to the hospital they walked me straight back, I guess because of how pitiful I looked. PB tried to get my gown on me in between like five contractions, because he couldn't figure out the snaps and all I could think of was how to breathe. 

The triage nurse checked me and I was surprised to hear I was already a six. I had assumed I wouldn't be that far along yet. I told them once they got me in a labor room that I wanted the epidural and Phillip suggested having my nurse check me one more time before I decided. She said I was already an 8, so I agreed maybe I would wait on the epi. The doctor came in and checked me and said I was 7 and he thought I might shrink to a 6 after my water broke and said I should go ahead and get the epi because I likely had "at least several more hours." So I said ok screw it, I'll take it. Why not?

Keep in mind the whole time I'm going through this process I'm lying on my side squeezing the hands of my poor nurse and PB and eventually mom. The contractions were coming very fast and were SO painful at that point. The only thing that felt mildly good was having Phillip press up on my butt cheeks, as weird as that is. 

The anesthesiologist came in and they had me sit up on the side of the bed and then she starts going on and on about what the epidural is, what she has to do, blah blah blah. I have never wanted to hit someone so badly in my life or at least scream "I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, JUST DO IT." 

They checked me again and broke my water after the epi and he said I was definitely an 8 and didn't shrink. Well fine. So I felt like maybe I could have done it anyway, but darn if I didn't feel a lot better. It took me about 2 more hours of labor to be complete (I think - pretty sure that happened around 5:15). 

And there I am, feeling a lot better. Not looking much better, but feeling better!

PB watched the ACC tourney on TV (though I don't even remember who played because I really didn't care). By the time the 5:00 news was on, I was ready to push.

I couldn't feel a darn thing to push. And I mean nothing. Zero. So this freaked me out a little because when ira was born I could feel contractions, could feel him moving down when I pushed, etc. Then I became one of those weirdos who asked for a mirror. I know, I know. But at least then I could SEE what I was doing rather than just listen to people tell me I was doing a good job (because I didn't believe them). 

It took about thirty minutes to get her out and then we had the super fun "stop pushing while the doctor gets here" moment. I kept saying "but I think she's coming out" and they kept saying "just pant and don't push" and then I kept saying "yeah that isn't working." Finally I heard mom say "I have an ear" and PB said "me too" and meanwhile the doctor has just gotten in the room and doesn't have gloves on and looks like he might be about to panic.

We finally got his gloves on and he grabbed her about .2 seconds before a nurse would have had to. She had the cord wrapped around the back of her head and neck I'm told so he asked for clamps and scissors and I flipped and said "OMG don't cut me!" because I thought I was about to get an episiotomy. He said "I'm not, I'm not" and then they finally got her out and gave her to me! 

Her official time of birth was 5:44pm, so yeah that whole 6:00 plan I had wouldn't have really gone so well. 

They took her away pretty quickly to suction her and not having your baby on you for those first few minutes is pretty awful because she wasn't making any noise for the first few seconds either. 

But I got her back really quickly and I swear she nursed from the time she got out until we got upstairs to our permanent room. 

My whole family turned out to be there very very shortly after she was born, so Ira got to meet her right away and he was so sweet with us. He kept saying "Ira rub mommy's face," and he was such a love.

So that's the story of how we got all 8 pounds, 11 ounces of Frances Estelle into the world on March 11 at 5:44pm!