July 30, 2009

Pictures-a-Plenty

This little guy is 1 month old today!


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Above is Gabby with messy hair. After I took this picture, I fixed her hair. Look how happy she is with her messy tresses....below is the only face I could get out of her after fixing her hair so pretty!

Daddy and Jack-Attack


Our sleeping babies



And our sleeping big boy.
(He and these boots have not spent much time apart in the last week)
Jack is really starting to fill out. He's getting quite a chubby, round face, round belly and has a few little rolls on his legs. He's a very consistent every-three-hour eater. I need to try to convince him that it will be okay to go a little longer at night, soon. Even just 4 or 5 hours would feel GREAT at this point! But he really is a very good baby.
Steven's imagination is growing faster than he is. We dropped Steve off at work the other day, and after he got out of the truck, Steven informed me that he, too, needed to be dropped off at work. He pointed out the building next to Steve's as his work-place. So, I drove into the parking lot, stopped and let him get out of the truck onto the sidewalk at the front door of the building. I wanted to see how far he'd take his pretend job. I sat there and watched as he confidently walked up to the front door and reached up for the handle - about to go in!!!! I rolled down the window and told him that he couldn't really go into the building and that we were just pretending. He burst into tears. He was really upset that he couldn't "go to work." I had no idea that he would take it that far. I really wonder what he would have done once inside the building.
Gabby is a wild woman. She is loud, dramatic and funny. She doesn't know a stranger. Everywhere we go, she waves and says hi to strangers. She often compliments people on their shoes. She's really into shoes. A girl after my own heart.
Steve has about 6(ish) weeks of training left here and then we'll be Abilene-bound. We really can't complain about life here. God has been good to us. But 6 months in a hotel is starting to wear on us - we're ready for a house with a yard and a little more room. We look forward to getting settled.
So, now you're all caught up!



July 26, 2009

When All is Still

Steve just left to go play football. Steven and Gabby are napping (Steven doesn't nap anymore UNLESS he is driving his father crazy and is put down for one to maintain the sanity of his dad). Jack-Jack is also asleep. The only sound in my home is that of laundry tumbling softly in the dryer. There are days when I would give my right arm to experience this quiet. There are days when this kind of quiet seems like something fictional, something that must only exist in movies or fairy tales or sweet, sweet dreams. But here it is. Quiet. And how does it make me feel? Restful, thankful, calm? No. It makes me feel a little uneasy. Apparently, the constant sound of my children laughing, yelling, running and yes, crying or fighting has become the anthem of my life. It is the sound by which I live. The background noise to anything and everything I do. And when they are all tucked into bed at night, and are quiet, there is my husband - and we talk, we watch TV or movies - even then, there is noise. This blanket of quiet is never over my home. Never. When I wake in the dead of night to care for Jack, he is a little fussy, he's a loud breather and a milk-gulper. Even at 3am, there is no quiet.
Here I sit in a room void of sound. Did I ever live in a world where this was normal? I believe I did once. I don't remember it well, nor do I care to. For now, I will make my own noise. The clicking of the laptop keys, the folding of the paper bags I just emptied from the grocery store, the splashing and clinking of the dishes being washed. I will only need to create this music for a short time, though. Soon, three children will awaken. One will want to be fed, one will want a cartoon. One will just run circles around our little home wearing plastic high-heals and shrieking in delight.
And all will be as it should.

July 22, 2009

Astrisks of Randomness

* I am in full-on diet/workout mode. I am tracking calories intake on mypyramid.gov and on day 3 of this:

It sucks. Really. The workout is HARD. At least for a postpartum, out of shape, 20-pound-overweight girl like me. Ugh. It better be worth it. My legs and abs are so sore.

*Jack had his 2-week-checkup last week. He was actually 2 1/2 weeks old by the time I took him but he was up to 8 pounds, 12 ounces. That was over a 2 pound gain in 2 weeks (he was down to 6 lb 10 oz at 3 days old!). He is a growing boy. He is at that perfect size right now where all his newborn cl0thes look like they were made for him. They fit him perfectly.

* Gabby has been a STINKER today. I lost track of how many times she was in the corner this morning. And how many spankings she received for not going to the corner when told or getting out of the corner before I dismissed her. I felt like all I did was discipline her this morning.

* We just woke up from a 4-hour family nap. Yep. Steve, Jack and I curled up on our bed around 1:30, Gabby was in her own bed and Steven was watching a movie on the couch. We woke up around 5:30 and Steven had fallen asleep, as well. It was WONDERFUL. Especially since, on top of every 3-hour feedings for Jack all night, Gabby and Steven were both up and in our bed for a while last night. It was a LONG night.

* We are in the middle of buying our first home. As long as everything goes well, we will close the end of August (since we won't be there until the beginning of September). We are really excited about it. I think it's a beautiful home, in a beautiful neighborhood and I'm excited to call it home in a few months!

* Jack and I have discovered the joy of baby-wearing. I totally consider this a hippy thing to do but with 2 toddlers, it's a great option for us right now. I wore Gabby in a sling a little bit when she was a baby, but not that often. Jack has spent much more time being wrapped to his mommy and it's been great.

Here we are in the mall in Abilene last week.

And here we are out for a walk the other day.

This is Gabby at about 5 months. Jack will move up to this sling when he's bigger.

Okay, I think that's all the randomness for now. Jack has a very wet diaper and I think dinner is ready, so off I go. But now you're all caught up :-)

July 19, 2009

Grammy and Grampy's Visit

I've gotten a little behind on my blogging. I feel like we've been going non-stop since Jack was born. A few days after he was born, my parents came out for a week. It was so great to spend time with them. They enjoyed spending time with 3 of their 4 grandchildren. We had a fun-filled week and here are (only some!!!) of the pictures (my parent's took over 400 pictures - no exaggeration!). Sorry if it's picture-overload!
The day they got in. Steven is posing with a new toy they brought him.

Jack with Gabby's new Elmo.
Grammy introduced Gabby to coffee. She thought it was very fun to drink.

4th of July Fruit Salad

4th of July Picnic

Gabby couldn't wait for us to cut it
4th of July fireworks - Steven asked my mom to plug his ears when his arms go tired.

Gabby was scared during the fireworks, at first. Then decided she was too tired to care.






Steven and Gabby waiting for someone to announce, "On your mark, get set, GO!" on The Big Dam Bridge. They do this stance all the time - they'll hold it until we say "Go!" I'm not sure how it started.

On the shore of the Arkansas river


This was while my parents watched the 2 older kids and Steve and I took Jack out for lunch. He loved Applebee's. Going out with only 1 kid is amazingly simple. It was wonderful.

Our picnic by the lake. Jack was thrilled with it.



The kids helping Grammy and Grampy in the kitchen.

My parents have been back home for over a week, now and Gabby still occasionally asks, "Where Grammy? Where Grammy?" (They were Grammy and Grammy to her). She also calls everyone Grammy, now. Steve's Dad was Grammy to her while we were in Abilene this past week. Our realtor, Judy was Grammy during the 2 days we looked at houses with her. My kids definitely became close to their Grammy and Grampy. It was a wonderful week.

We love you, Mom and Dad!

July 14, 2009

Pictureless Update

I have a bunch of cute pictures to share, but I'm at my father-in-law's house and either his computer itself or his internet connection, or a combination of the two make for a PAINFULLY slow process and I'm pretty sure uploading pictures on this thing would take me days. So, when we get home I will blog about the wonderful week we had with my parents and share some of the great pictures we took.
We are in Abilene, Texas this week, our home-to-be. We are here on official house-hunting business. Yesterday, we viewed 9 houses in three and a half hours, with three kids in tow. It was a LONG three and half hours. After a while, all the houses kind of blended together in our minds so it was a good thing we were taking lots of notes. This afternoon, we are going to view 4 more houses, then we are going back to two of the ones we viewed yesterday. The two we are reviewing are the ones we really liked. We're hoping to put an offer in on one of them this afternoon. The whole house-hunting thing was not quite as fun as I thought it would be. It was fun, but a little stressful. The main problem was that most of the homes we viewed were still occupied, which was great because we could see them with furniture and get a better idea of how our stuff would fit into them, but it was hard to keep Steven and Gabby off of other people's furniture and out of other kids' toys. They were overall, really well-behaved during the process and I was proud of them. I know they were probably bored out of their minds. Jack-Jack was an angel, as always. We never heard a peep out of him. We took a short feeding-break and he otherwise slept the whole time we were out. He is such a good baby.
We drove out here on Sunday. We left Little Rock at about 7:30 am and got into Abilene a little after 4pm. We had one gas stop and two extra stops to feed Jack. It was really a smooth trip. Jack is like a little alarm clock. Every three hours, almost exactly, he starts fussing to be fed. Other than that, he really doesn't cry much. He was a great traveler. Steven and Gabby traveled well, too. We bought a thingy (Steve calls it something, but to me...it's a thingy) that we plugged into the power supply of the truck and it lets us plug in regular house-hold things. So, we were able to bring my laptop, keep it plugged in and charging in the truck and let the kids watch a movie on it. They loved it. We used to have those little portable TVs that strapped to the back of the headrests but they died on the way out to Little Rock. So, the kids we glad to have some entertainment. It was kind of surreal to look back at the row of carseats in the truck during the trip. It was the first time that we had all three carseats in one row (we've had Steven in the third row up until now). It's hard to believe we've managed to fill a whole row in the truck with carseats.
Steve took Steven out to a dirt road on Grandpa's 4-wheeler this morning and Gabby and Jack and I are just hanging out. I should go get dressed. It is after 10 and I'm still in my PJs. But, in my defense, they are the most awesome PJs I've ever had. Old Navy now has a line of nursing clothes (!!!!) and I got some great PJs from there and I LOVE them. But all good things must come to an end and I should go put on some real clothes, but for now, you're all caught up!

July 7, 2009

Jack's Birth Story

Our little Jack-Jack is one week old today. The week has really flown by. My parents came in on Friday and we have really been enjoying our time with them and they have been loving every minute with the grandkids.

Right now Jack is sitting on Grampy's lap hicupping away. He slept great last night. He went to bed around 10pm, woke up to eat at 1am and 4am and then slept until 9:00! It was so great. I've gotten a few naps in but mostly I've just been going to bed kind of early and sleeping in late, which has been great.

It seems like just a few days ago, but it was a whole week, now since the day Jack was born. Here is the story of how it all went down:

Steve and I got up at about 5am to get our bags loaded up, get the kids up and in the car and drop them off at our friends' Josh and Kelli's house. I set them up with their breakfast and kissed them goodbye. I warned Kelli that we might be back in an hour if we didn't get in. On the way to the hospital, I kept trying to tell myself that there was a good chance we would be sent home and I didn't want to get my hopes up. I did not have a scheduled induction, since the hospital was already maxed out for scheduled inductions that day. My doctor had spoken to a nurse (Nurse Koper - more on her later) the day before and told her that he really wanted me to be induced and that when I came in, she was to call him.

We got to the hospital a little after 6am. I was hooked up to the monitors for Jack's heart rate and my contractions. I was having none. I laid there watching the monitor on the screen and I just knew they were going to send us home since I was obviously not in labor. Our nurse came in and introduced herself. Her name was Mary Jo Koper. We couldn't believe she was a Koper! We've NEVER met another Koper. She hadn't either and even called her husband at one point in the day to tell him about us. She was so sweet. She told us that she knew, from talking to Dr. Fuller the day before that he would not want us to be sent home. So, even though they didn't have a labor room available to move us to, she got my IV started in the tiny little triage room, and started me on pitocin around 8am. At that time, I was still dilated to 4cm and about 50% effaced. A little after 9am, Dr Fuller came in and broke my water. I have always had my water broken by a doctor - I've never had it break on it's own. With both Steven and Gabby, my doctors broke my water and then I just sat there as it all leaked out. But Dr Fuller broke it and then pushed it all out right away, so that it would empty faster, bringing Jacks head down faster, to help labor progress faster. It was VERY uncomfortable to have him push on my belly to get it all out, but it seemed to make a big difference. After the water was out, my contractions became a lot stronger almost right away.

Nurse Koper offered me Stadol for the pain a few times when the contractions got pretty strong, but I didn't want to take it. I had it with Gabby and it made me pass out. I wanted to remain awake and be aware of what was going on, so I didn't get any. Dr Fuller kind of talked me into getting an epidural early. I told Nurse Koper that I wanted to wait and get it only if I really felt like I needed it, as things progressed. Dr Fuller pretty much said to just get it now, that it wouldn't slow my labor down at this point and I'd just be better off getting it now before the labor got really hard. So I did. I joked with Steve that I didn't know if I really needed it for pain yet, but that they could go ahead and stab me in the spine just for good measure. So I got the epi at about 11:30am. It was kind of funny to get it while still in the tiny triage room. Steve and the nurse had to move the bed over so that the anesthesiologist could get his cart into the room and have the room to just stand in there. Steve was then pinned a tiny corner between the bed and the wall.
(A picture of Steve's corner)
The epidural, as always, was wonderful. After it was in, I was completely unaware of my contractions.

I'm not sure what time they finally moved me to a labor room, but I was checked just after moving in there and I was dilated to 6cm and effaced a little more. Not long after that, maybe an hour or so, I started feeling a lot of pain and pressure. I pressed the button on my epidural to get some more medication in but it didn't seem to do anything. I called Nurse Koper in and told her that I felt a lot of pressure and she had the anesthesiologist come in to give me a dose of pain killer right into the IV. She checked me again and I was about 8cm. The extra pain killer worked a little bit. The pressure lessened in most of my abdomen but was still very strong and sharp in my pelvis. Jacks head was bearing down and it was so painful. After that, Nurse Koper stayed in the room, checking me often and getting me to turn and move to try to turn Jack. His head was facing the wrong way (I'm not sure which was - I just know it was painful), and she was trying to get him to turn. Soon after, she checked me during a contraction and I was ready at 10cm. I felt like I needed to push to make the pain stop, but between contractions, I was going back to 8cm, so I couldn't push all the way, yet. so, I began pushing only during contractions at this point, but had to stop in between. This was exhausting. Finally, I told her that I had to keep pushing between because of the pressure. She called Dr Fuller, who's office is across the parking lot, to come over because I was about ready. She got off the phone and told me he'd be here in about 10 minutes. I looked at the clock. It was about 2:35 and all I could think was that I did not want to still be doing this in 10 minutes. About a minute later, she got back on the phone and told Dr Fuller that he needed to come right now. He was there soon, and I gave about 2 pushes after he was there and there was Jack! He was born at 2:52. Nurse Koper grabbed Steve's camera and took tons of pictures right away of us and Jack.


(Steve cutting Jack's umbilical cord)

He screamed and screamed and screamed. He screamed on my chest, getting dried off, he screamed on the scale, he screamed getting diapered and swaddled and screamed in Steve's arms and mine. He screamed for about half an hour. He finally calmed down and was very awake and alert. He stayed awake for over an hour.

This labor was my fastest of the three. It was only about 6 hours from the time labor was started until I started pushing, it was 16 hours with both Steven and Gabby. But this was my hardest and most painful delivery. The epidural seemed to just stop working at the end. Maybe it was still working a little but not as much as it did when I had Steven and Gabby, for sure. The recovery seems to be going just fine. Thankfully I did not tear or need an episiotomy, so no stitches makes for easier healing.

The last week with Jack has been so sweet. He just seems to fit right into our family like he's always been here. His brother and sister just love him. He is very sweet, sleeps great, eats great and poops great. He has mastered all three of a newborn's skills! I am so thankful for this sweet blessing we've been given. I've always wanted a house full of little Kopers. And here I am.





A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul...Proverbs 13:19

July 2, 2009

Pictures

I put a bunch more pictures on facebook. HERE is the link to view them. (Thanks, Shaunna!)

My parents are getting in from Florida tomorrow morning. They will be here for a week. I'm really looking forward to it! I should have lots of pictures to share from their visit.

Typing with one hand while nursing Jack is taking forever, so that's all for now :-)