Monday, December 30, 2013

One Month Old Jack:

- Loves to lay in our bed and stare at the twinkly lights hanging in our window.
- Sleeps like a champ. Still having to wake up to feed most nights.
- Eats like a champ, unless he is super sleepy. Then I  have to convince him he is more hungry then sleepy.
- Gets most fussy when he is wanting to sleep, needs a new diaper, and right after we put Henry to bed. Not sure how he knows to time it that way, but he does most nights.
- Losing his hair and growing bigger by the day.
- Getting more love from his parents and brother than he will ever know.

Christmas 2013 (Keena Edition):

We were at our house for actual Christmas day. Bethany came down for a few days and the Clark's drove over for two nights. I got sick Christmas Eve with mastitis so I was down and out for two days. It was just about the worst timing in some ways but in other ways it worked out nicely. Aunt Bethany stepped up and helped Doug keep everyone changed, fed, and happy. I was so sick I just laid on the couch for two days. Thankfully I started to feel better and was able to be a part of the fun.

- Talking with Bethany. I just liked having her in my house and getting to chat throughout the day. We covered a lot of ground the few days she was here.
- Watching Henry master the art of opening presents.
- Christmas dinner: roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, and apple pie.
- A new coffee mug for Doug, a shop vac for me (and yes I really did want this. vacuuming out our car just got a whole lot easier), and more diggers for Henry.
- Attempting a boys in jammies picture. It did  not go so well as you can see.
- Playing doctor with Bailey, watching Caden build his lego helicopter, and watching Henry and Devan try to make each other laugh.
- Apples to Apples and homemade curry by Jason
- Lunch at Barnette's

It was a special Christmas, even though it was a little different this year. It was a blessing for us three sisters to be together this Christmas. It was loud and crazy with five children and five adults in a small house. Lots going on with everyone. But it was a good crazy. Biggest Christmas fail though was not one single picture was taken of our family of four. I blame it on the sickness.

Christmas 2013 (Castle Edition):

We celebrated the Saturday before Christmas before Brad and Jeanette headed to Virginia for Christmas week.

Highlights included:
- flannel Christmas jammies that Henry stayed in most of the day
- a kreg jig saw for Doug, new dishes for me, a tunnel for Henry, and a lion toy for Jack
- Henry and Anson playing in the tunnel off and on all day long. They were both big fans.
- naps!
- Grandma and Grandpa Johnson coming over for waffles. It is always so special seeing them with the boys.
- Making cookies with Grandma and then proceeding to eat way too many throughout the afternoon
- Facetime with Greg, Beth, and Fletcher. So glad technology can bring family close.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thoughts on the First Two Weeks, Take 2:

- We have watched waaaay more t.v. than usual during the day. Giving myself grace and reminding myself that it is only a short phase where I am so tired and feel like I am constantly feeding.
- I feel better faster this time around. Still not all fun and games, but that is what postpartum is I suppose.
- Henry loves loves loves his brother and seeing him love Jack is wonderful.
- Having Jack makes me love Henry more. How is that even possible?
- Before Jack was born I was nervous that I had forgotten everything about having a newborn, even though it had only been two years. Thankfully, everything has come back and I feel more confident and way less nervous this time around.
- I am having to remind myself to not stress and worry about what I am going to do when Jack is not a super sleepy newborn. Babies change gradually and we will constantly be finding a new rhythm with a toddler and a baby in the house. But, there is no need to worry about it now.
- I find myself thinking several times in a day "we are doing this. we are actually do this"
- Our new morning routine consists of me changing each boy one right after the other and they both always have poop in their diapers. Amazing how that happens.
- Doug is super dad and plays rough and tough with Henry and then turns around and swaddles and cuddles Jack. So thankful he is my teammate and partner in all of this.
- The hard things about having a newborn have been much easier this time. It helps when you realize how it truly does go by fast. With your first, you don't know that yet and the days and nights feel so long. This time around I find myself enjoying this stage so much more. It is a beautiful time and I am so glad that I am able to treasure it instead of dread it.
- I love pushing Jack's wispy hair behind his ears, watching his facial expressions, and holding his hands and toes. Newborns are phenomenal.
- And God bless the people that have brought us hot meals to eat, mom's that help around the house and let you take a nap, and friends that send encouraging texts.

And if you care to compare, here are my thoughts on Henry's first two weeks of life.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our First Night:


I am so thankful for phones that have cameras. It is crazy to think about how many more pictures our children will have of their childhood compared to ours and even more than my parents childhood. I love how easily we can capture these moments.

Jack was born around 5:00 pm.  [I am sure our doctor appreciated us not making him have to wait around forever after the work day to have our baby.] That first night was mainly just Doug, Jack, and I. Karen came up to the hospital for about an hour, but other than that it was just us. And it was awesome. We rested. I was able to comfortably recover without having to worry about being visitor ready. And we were able to just be together. Doug went and got us Wendy's for dinner. We watched t.v. Took a million pictures. Talked to long distance family members on the phone. And we took turns holding our littlest boy. It was such special time before reality hit and we were back at home facing daily life of work and keeping up with Henry and all his needs.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The First Week:

I got to hold Henry for about 1 minute and 30 seconds right after he was born. I know this because we have it all on video. The nurse handing him to me and then her coming right back over and taking him from me. He had a good cry, but they noticed he was struggling to breath and they wanted to get him hooked up to oxygen. We were told they were just going to take him for a few hours and that we would get to have him back in our room at that point. That never happened that day and we ended up spending nearly a week in the NICU with our sweet first born boy as they worked to figure out why he was not breathing properly. We are so so so thankful that they never found anything and we were sent home with a healthy baby boy and a diagnosis of "transitional issues". It was hard and stressful but I truly don't think I really processed a lot of what happened that week until Jack was born.

Jack was born screaming at the top of his lungs and screamed and screamed. I cried tears of joy as the doctor said "It's a boy" and the nurse immediately put him on my chest. I held him close and looked into his sweet face. He looked totally different to me then Henry did. Henry had short fuzzy blonde hair. Jack has a head full of dark hair. The nurse took him for several minutes to finish cleaning him and checking him out. The doctors and nurses finished checking me out and making sure all was well. And within twenty minutes of Jack being born the room was empty and Jack's nurse was walking out the door saying, "We will come back in about an hour to get him and finish his tests in the nursery. You can try to breastfeed if you would like."
Doug and I looked at each other and at our sweet second born son. Still a bit shocked that he was finally here and overwhelmed and thankful for a healthy baby that we got to hold and love on so quickly after he was born. We had such a special evening together with just the three of us. Taking turns holding him. Talking to family members on the phone. Taking a million pictures of him. And getting rest.

Once we got home I found myself crying tears of joy very easily. Mostly during Doug's prayers of thanksgiving for our family and health. Or when I was talking to my Granny and hearing her tell me about how she was up the night before just praying and singing because she was so excited about the birth of her new great grandchild. I cry fairly easily so this did not surprise me. I cry especially easily when I think about God's faithfulness and goodness in my life.

I was surprised though to find myself grieving a bit for that first week at home with Henry that we never had. Our first week of Henry's life included lots of tests, tubes and cords, nurses, and sleeping in a hotel bed each night with Henry several miles away in his own plastic bed. Our first week with Jack at home was quite the opposite. Constant time together, meals around our table as a family, visits from loved ones, rest, and baby snuggles galore. I see now what we missed in Henry's life. Even though it was just one week, it is an extremely special and wonderful week.

Henry and Jack entered the world in very different ways. But through both births I can see the Lord's hand in it all.  I see His goodness. His love. His faithfulness. His plan for our family. I am overwhelmed on a constant basis that the Lord has blessed me with the gift of Henry and Jack and that I get to be their mom. I knew I would change once I became a mom, but I was not prepared for my entire world to be flipped upside down.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Henry's "Party":

We had a mini birthday party for Henry this past weekend. I feel funny even calling it a party. We had both Grandma's here and cousin Anson and Aunt Grace. Super simple, but all that this mom who had a baby four days before could handle. I am glad we waited to do his party until after the baby came. It was great having my mom and sister here and I think Henry loved having some extra attention in the first week of new baby brother coming home.

I forgot to even get birthday party plates and napkins so we dug around and I found one fun plate in the shape of an elephant and turkey napkins from three years ago. We had berries and my mom made monkey bread. The joke quickly became "post this on pinterest" because it was clearly not well thought out or well planned like so many kids birthday parties are these days thanks to pinterest.

Henry ate berries for about 30 minutes straight. He was scared of the candles at first, but with Gram's help was able to blow them out. And there was a good outside play session with Anson after we opened gifts. It was a fun and special mini-party celebrating our favorite two year old.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Jack Douglas:

Jack Douglas
November 26
8lb 2 oz
20 inches
practically perfect in every way