Ezra John's Arrival [part 1]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do you ever have so much to say, so much to explain, so much to catch up on that you just don't know where to start?

The most logical beginning is to fill in what happened between Friday and Monday's posts, but I can only write up to the birth story. See the thing is, Gina made it, and I have the most important pictures ever taken of my family to this date to share.

I knew it was ridiculous, but I was intent on recreating the labor conditions that occurred over the weekend before Isaac was born. You can imagine how disappointed I was to come home to stress. Tony mowed the lawn and I went grocery shopping with Isaac. After dinner we went turned our attention to laundry and tidying the ever increasing baby items for Baby Love. There was no leisurely walk and definitely no trip to Dairy Queen.

Saturday morning, I woke up in a much better mood. Tony and I made a great breakfast of eggs with spinach and green onions, diced potatoes, sausage links and pancakes. My plans for the day were to go shopping with my Mom at the same mall we purchased Isaac's coming home outfit at Macy's and then enjoy a turkey burger at Ruby Tuesday. Isaac went down a little early for his nap and I decided to take on one last project, pictured in this post, while I waited for my Mom.

Unfortunately, I got very frustrated while we went shopping. Macy's was a complete bust and I hadn't had a single contraction. I knew it was stupid, but I really was hoping that my completely illogical reproduction of Isaac's labor conditions would start something. We kept on searching though and I got to the point where I called Tony to tell him that if we made it to Ruby Tuesday that they would tell me they were out of turkey burgers, just because nothing seemed to be going right! Finally, finally we hit jackpot at JcPenny's, specifically their clearance.

And I found it.
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I was so excited by what we all found. And just done shopping, so next we went to Ruby Tuesday, where I had a great conversation with my Mom. In just a few hours, I went from irrationally being upset about lack of contractions to completely okay. We were going to have friends over that evening for a bonfire, so my Mom and I headed home.

Isaac was attacked Friday night by mosquitos, and one was already scratched open, so I resorted to a bandaid. It didn't slow him down from enjoying guacamole.
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I love this picture because it seems like Isaac wants to be a part of the conversation.
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Aaron of course manned the fire.
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With Isaac taking note.
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It was so relaxing to just enjoy a bonfire with a few of our close friends, although not pictured Steve, Dan, Hilary and Jon.
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Again, I'd given up on my ridiculous idea to induce labor by somehow creating the same conditions as Isaac, so after putting Isaac down instead of being lame like normal, I retuned to the bonfire and stayed out. We ended up having a hilarious conversation and I made peace with the fact that I would not be repeating a 39w baby.

And although Isaac went down really easily, for the first time in the past year or more, he woke up at 3:30am and continued to toss and turn and talk. He asked twice to go down to the crib, which I obliged, but he would scream and cry as soon as I put him in, so back upstairs we went. I was beyond exhausted and grew very frustrated!

Final weekly photo at 39w.
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You can imagine my response when I woke up at 8:00am to contractions. I was less than thrilled because of my lack of sleep, but told Tony that we would not be going to church and instead tried to maximize on sleeping, which included Isaac sleeping in with us until 10:00am. That completely screwed up his schedule, so when we later went to my Dad's with my contractions continuing, I basically threw up my hands when Isaac refused to nap. How were we to know that his sleep schedule would perfectly align to meet his baby brother?

My contractions remained consistent throughout the day and although Baby Love and I weren't breaking any speed records, they grew closer and closer together. When we left my Dad's at 4:30pm they were 7-10 minutes apart. We finally were able to lay Isaac down at 5:00pm and while I knew there would be hell to pay if I were wrong, I felt confident we'd be heading to the hospital that night. I laid down while Isaac napped, and was able to sleep between contractions which were now 6-8 minutes apart.

Here's the part that still amazes me, Tony went to play his 2 Sunday night softball games. To be fair, he was only 4 blocks from our house, but I bit his head off earlier in the day when he even suggested that he could go that evening. As it ended up there was no reason for him not to go! After putting Gina on high alert early in the morning, she made her way up to our house after I reassured her she wasn't interupting family time.

[to be continued . . . ]

And then we were 4 :: Speechless

Monday, June 27, 2011

Exactly 26 months following his big brother's entrance into the world, Tony and I could not be more proud to announce the arrival of our newest "little man," Ezra John. _00066

We are once again humbled to be entrusted with a precious new life and are completely joyful to God for this beautiful son. _00095

Making his debut at 11:43pm on Sunday, June 26th, Ezra is not quite the "little brother" weighing almost a pound and over an inch more than Isaac at 8lbs 2oz and 21 inches.

"And when she was in her hardest labor, her midwife said to her "Fear not, for you have another son." Genesis 35:17

MishMash

Friday, June 24, 2011

- And then I woke up with stretch marks.

- And then I just pulled up my shirt at my work desk and no longer see said stretch marks.

- My brain is severely addled right now. I swear there were stretch marks this morning.

- My projects are officially complete, I think. I attempted to sketch out the shirt I wanted to do for Isaac and it seems incredibly daunting and time consuming, so I passed. I did however finish my quilt last night and I made one piece of personalized clothing for Baby Love. It bears his initial, should his name stick, and I felt an amazing peace finishing it.

- I was totally hit by a 2x4 across the head ala Tommy Boy through this quote in an article that my friend Megan posted.

"Motherhood provides you with an opportunity to lay down the things that you cannot keep on behalf of the people that you cannot lose. They are eternal souls, they are your children, they are your mission field." Rachel Jankovic

- We have plans for a bonfire on Saturday night and to go to my Dad's on Sunday. I'm sorry I'm not sorry, but I won't feel bad for canceling if I'm having a baby. :)

- I alluded to it several weeks back now, but my brother is dating someone. We still haven't met her. When we do though, I want to just throw my arms around her and give her the biggest awkward hug, because I have never seen my brother so ridiculously happy as he is now. He seems to be in a constant state of good humor. Like the person who won't stop smiling and even though you love that they're smiling, you almost find yourself getting annoyed that they're so completely happy. Honestly though, it'll probably be awkward, because I love this girl already for shaking up his world so much.

- The weather has been terrible this week and I haven't taken my camera out once. I really want to take some decent pictures of Isaac this weekend.

- My feet have been swollen the last two days and the weather hasn't even been warm. I can't imagine how miserable I'd be if we were having normal summer weather. I've been extremely blessed by this cool spring and summer, even if the rest of Minnesota is over it.

- I keep looking up ways to induce labor and haven't taken any action on any of them.

- From my blog traffic it appears people have started the daily stalk for Baby Love. I know I do the same thing with my pregnant friend's blogs, it just seems funny to actually see the numbers reflect it. I hope to give the update soon!

I'm there.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I think I finally hit the wall. I'm just about ready to call it quits on this pregnancy, you know, like I have a choice.

I don't care if we don't have everything put away for Baby Love.

I don't care if we haven't transitioned Isaac to his bedroom [yeah, you guys didn't know we're still bedsharing did you?]

I don't care that Isaac's "Big Brother" shirt hasn't been started, let alone finished.

I don't care that I still have half of a rag quilt to cut.

I don't care that my maternity leave still hasn't been finalized by HR.

I don't care that we don't have a hospital bag packed.

I don't care that we don't have a game plan for who will be responsible for Isaac when the time comes [due to multiple options, so thankfully we're more than covered].

I just don't care.

I'm ready to meet Baby Love.

I'm ready to move on to a family of 4.

I'm ready to share his name, with pride and to know the little one with the moniker.

I'm ready to snuggle a newborn again.

I'm ready to nibble on milk drunk cheeks.

I'm ready to learn the differences between my boys and enjoy the similarities.

I'm just so ready.

To be completely honest, I kind of expect this guy to make his appearance on Sunday. Let's look at the numbers.

Isaac :: due May 3rd :: born at 39w, April 26th a Sunday.
BLove :: due July 3rd :: potentially born at 39w, June 26th, a Sunday.

I know that going early with one child has no bearing on subsequent, but I can't help but look at those dates and be hopeful for this weekend. My midwife was surprised to feel some change from last week, as Baby Love has moved lower and there was some dilation, just like I was at my 38w appt with Isaac. I'm all about labor starting on Saturday, as opposed to the long drawn out evening of contractions I had with Isaac starting Friday night, and having another early morning Sunday delivery. A weekend baby would just be so convenient for friends and family too! I'm even going to go so far as to repeat the shopping trip I had with my Mom to purchase a "going home" outfit on Saturday, just for consistency sake.

So here's to a hopefully eventful weekend.

Dear Isaac

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If there is one thing that terrifies me about bringing your little brother into this world, it is somehow through the process, losing you.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of other fears, like the heart expansion necessary to welcome Baby Love, exhausting your Daddy's patience with me, and ultimately successfully raising and keeping alive, what I'm sure will be, two rough and tumble boys.

But in the deepest depths of my being, I'm scared for what is going to change for you, in your world, through your eyes, how your heart could potentially hurt.

It never ceases to amaze me who I was before you entered my life. I was scared to be your Mom. Your Daddy though, he had faith in me and he wanted you to be his son with every fiber of his body. I was a lot slower to get on the bandwagon, but you changed that in an instant.

The second I saw your face, I was overwhelmed by a sense of possessiveness.

You were mine.

You have not stopped from the day you entered the world in slowly transforming me.

You are simply amazing dear Isaac and I hate to think that your baby brother's arrival may somehow hinder you or cause you pain.

You've shown no sign that I should even consider this. Never once have you acted jealously when I've held another child. You engage almost all babies that you see and oh so joyously point out your baby brother's items throughout the house. It even seems now that you relish saying his name. I can't help but speculate though how this transition will occur and I pray fervently that you remain you and that your Daddy and I are able to continue to lavish the love upon you that you so deserve.

It seems silly to think so highly of a two year old in some regards, especially one who can effortlessly change habits and behaviors it seems on a whim, but you must know how incredible we think you are. You must.
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Weekend Recap

Monday, June 20, 2011

For Tony's big birthday celebration, we went to Red Lobster. I know, right? A little bit anticlimactic, but really I think it was very fitting as we used a coupon and had to leave early because our son was acting out.

Isaac was completely captivated by the lobsters and loved when they fought each other.
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Clearly he wasn't the only one. Notice that they're all males . . . Isaac 123

After our dinner, which we were able to swing with some of the money we saved on our trip to Illinois, we went to my Mom's and I again worked on the quilt squares.

Saturday I headed on up to Stillwater to join AJ and her family for a quick photo session and then made my way back to the house to tackle some baby related business! Instead, I tackled photo business, working my way through two beautiful sessions to get them out the door today.

Tony and I apparently used up all of our good will towards each other on Friday and in both of our best interests I packed up Isaac to go to my Mom's empty house so that I could again work on my projects. Thankfully, as Tony quickly picked up on, I returned home in a better mood than I left.

Sunday we ate a light breakfast before church, took on Target to stock up on a few things before baby, laid Isaac down for a nap, folded clothes and then went over to Tony's parents to celebrate his birthday and Father's Day. I ate way too much, but it was a good day and it was so nice to eat out on the deck!

Tony had softball last night and after an intense internal debate, I decided not to go to the games. I was just exhausted and didn't really feel like wrestling with Isaac, who had been in a mood the whole day. In not going to the game though, I knew that I was giving up taking my annual picture of Tony and Isaac at the softball field on Father's Day. It seems silly, but I'm all about consistency and it kind of made me sad to know that I was abandoning the tradition after two years. After 45 minutes at home with Isaac though and I just had to get out! When I say the boy was in a mood all day, I mean a mood. So off we went to the softball game.
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And I was able to take the 3rd installment of this picture [1st & 2nd].
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[It should be noted Isaac is smiling as he is because of total guy humor. I told him that Andy, who was standing behind me was tooting, but of course.]

38w1d

And we're really getting down to it now folks.

38w1d with Baby Love vs . . . nothing. I don't have any more comparitive shots, they stopped at 37w with Isaac.
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And clothed.
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ON cardi, F21 tank, ON mat jeans [which I put a hole in today!]

From my weekly email: Your baby has really plumped up. He weighs about 6.8 pounds and he's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). He has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold his hand for the first time! His organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb. Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? If he's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old.

How far along?: 38w1d
How big is baby?: 19 1/2 inches with legs extended and 6.8lbs.
Weight gain/loss?: Fluctuating around 30-31lbs.
Stretch marks?: Nothing additional, just the flecks from last week
Maternity clothes?: Bottoms, hope to make it to the end with the tops I have.
Sleep?: My lower back is definitely giving me issue now and I'm a certified insomniac.
Food cravings?: Anything fresh and light or from home. My stomach seems to be somewhat sensitive right now.
Gender?: We're having another son!
Movement?: Enough to keep me happy.
Belly button?: Oh it's out.
What are you looking forward to this week?: Hopefully finishing up all projects and really being in a comfortable "We're ready for your Baby Love." stage.

Notables: I kind of buried it in my MishMash post, but as a follow up to my 37w appointment there was absolutely no progress or suggestion that Baby Love is in any hurry to make his arrival. I certainly know that this has no bearing on how quickly things can change, but it was hard to not be disappointed, which is really interesting to me because I feel like we have so much to do before he comes!

Yesterday, for the first time, I resorted to doing kick counts. While it is true that Baby Love is running out of room to move, I did not feel him for almost two hours Sunday morning after waking. Not a single push. I ate fruit for breakfast, plus a cup of coffee and nothing. Finally I grabbed a half of a doughnut, downed an ice cold glass of water and laid down on my left side with Tony anxiously awaiting my update. It took an eternity, but finally I started to feel some tiny movements. As the day went on the little guy made his presence more strongly known, but it was not a great way to start the day.

On Friday my team at work had a potluck, which I didn't even think twice about. Tony asked me what the event was, but I just shrugged it off that we hadn't had a potluck in awhile. Imagine my surprise walking into this.
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I honestly don't think I've ever been so surprised in my life! It was so sweet of my team to have a baby shower for me, even though they felt terrible that I brought a dish to my own shower. I just laughed it off, because I'm still just floored that they had one for me! The food was fantastic and Tony and I got another jogging stroller! We'd just been discussing starting running after Baby Love and now we're actually equipped to start!
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On a projects front, all of my quilt squares are assembled and sewn! Now we just need to start sewing them together . . . Additionally, I finished a sweet onesie and my Mom knocked out the receiving blanket, so we're making progress and just in time!

As I mentioned above, I put a hole in my Old Navy maternity jeans. I am so bummed right now. I knew that they were starting to wear thin, because what do you expect when basically wearing the same pair of jeans for 2 months straight, but really? Two weeks to go and I put a hole in the panel? They should be fine, but I know that with excessive bathroom usage due to a cute little one's presence on my bladder that the hole is just going to get worse.

I've been trying to get up from my desk as often as possible to walk at work to combat swelling and encourage BLove to work with gravity. My swelling has definitely gone down and after not wearing them for 2 weeks, I put my wedding rings back on today. For some reason I'm concerned about my water breaking at work this time, even though it only broke 17 minutes before Isaac was born last time.

I want to swear, a lot. As an FYI, I don't swear, ever.

The Old Man

Friday, June 17, 2011

Today is Tony's birthday.

The big old 3-0.

As anyone who's spouse or they themselves have hit this milestone know that there is a certain uncertainty to the year. I don't understand how the 23 year old that I first met, is now 30 years old.
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How has that time passed us so quickly?

Because really, it has. It's flown by. All the while, with all of our missteps and miscues, Tony and I began our life together.

And before we knew it we were solidly a family. Complete with child.
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[First time Tony held Isaac. Dang hormones . . . ]

The man who I chose as my confidant, best friend and lover, became a father. And if there was ever a role for Tony to fill, he was made to love on his family.
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Through all of the sleepless nights [ie sleeping in the morning].
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To all of the quiet moments.
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Tony has really taken to being a Dad, in every facet.
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Clearly he loves to joke with his little bud.
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Anything to hear Isaac's belly laugh.
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But what I think really makes Tony tick is teaching Isaac and watching him take the world in.
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And don't get me wrong, he's not only good for rough housing and teaching, Tony and I have been partners in raising Isaac from day one. He will not shirk from disciplining or changing a diaper.
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My favorite part of observing Isaac is how much he is just like his father. There are certainly worse people to end up emulating.
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Primarily, I see Tony's persistence, intelligence and love in Isaac, let alone those good looks.
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Let's visit those good looks.
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Sorry, I'm easily distracted.
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Tony, you constantly tell me that I am your rock, but just as readily as Isaac trusts you to jump into your arms, know that our family is guided by your direction.
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I know that every decision you make is for the best of our family.
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All of our family.
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I can't wait to see what the future holds by your side. God couldn't have made a more perfect match. Thank you for putting up with me [constant state of annoyance, lack of organization/cleanliness, etc].

Are you still happy with where this relationship is going?

Happy birthday and Father's Day!

MishMash II

Seriously, since when have I done two mishmash posts in the same week? I think it's kind of ridiculous, but anywhoo.

- I made another ExpectNet baby pool. Personally, I hate participating, because I don't like the pressure, but I love having people guess for my own little one. See link to the left.

- Last night I was able to shaky shaky with Gina, as she led her first Zumba class! I told her I was going to be doing extreme toe taps and wasn't sure what my modifications would look like. I'm pretty sure I had her laughing at me periodically throughout the class, but I had a blast moving my body a bit and my swelling went down in my legs/cankles/toes as a result!
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[Of course I'm wearing blue and am occupying the back!]

I stepped out for the last 25 minutes or so of the class and just sat with Gina's husband Matt, watching Gina. There's something about seeing someone so fulfilled by the activity they're involved in. I'm just so proud of her for going after the things that she knew would make her happy!

- After my minor freakout yesterday, I got settled in and actually completed Isaac's first year book . . . until I remembered yet more pictures that I didn't include today! I'm handling it much better today though and am just glad I didn't reactively complete the order yesterday.

- I think my part time work from home schedule for the last month of my leave is going to be approved, praise the Lord! Nothing like leaving it to the last minute, but it's so nice to think about money coming in and only working twice a week. Plus it will give my Mom the opportunity for a trial run and get me pumping on a schedule. I'd much rather be walking away from corporate America completely, but at least this time I get a longer leave and have a great schedule figured out to help us financially!

- My friend Meredith at La Buena Vida is hosting her own giveaway to create a family manifesto, which she recently completed for their family. This is something I've seen done periodically and have always meant to get on, so I love that she's offering this and using her creative talents!
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Slight Panic Attack

Thursday, June 16, 2011

But not about what you'd think.

Isaac's photo albums.

Seriously, I'm getting really stressed out and anxious trying to do his photo album. At least the first year, let alone 1-2.

I am not organized. At all.

This blog is basically the most organized aspect of my life and those of you who've stumbled upon broken links or my "Baby Bless bump pictures through all of the weeks" know that even this isn't the most organized [ps:: Isaac was not born at 20w].

I'm about 35 pages into creating a Blurb book, which is connecting beautifully to my flickr account, and have gotten to Isaac at about 4 months old . . . but in looking at my cube walls, I'm realizing that I'm missing some of my most favorite shots. It's all starting to unravel and I don't want to just do this album to do it, I want it to be right.

I just have this feeling of doom that if I don't find the time to catch up now, that poor Baby Love will never even have a shot at a Baby Book!

Can you guys sense my panic? AHHH!

Freaking.out.

MishMash

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

- I knocked out 6 rows of my quilt squares last night, only 7 more to go . . . and then we have to actually sew the squares together. I'm awesome at allowing adequate time for baby projects.

- I bought Tony the lamest birthday presents ever. Tony, I'm not even ashamed to type that, because the thing is, I know you're going to love them. Just try to remember that in the past I've given you awesome birthday presents like a tv and a surprise birthday party. There won't be as much fanfare for your 30th, but I still think you'll be happy! Oh and I'm also giving you another son. ;)

- I consented to an internal aka a cervical check this morning at my 37w appointment, because I errantly believed that I'd had some progress with Isaac at 37w. Unfortunately I neither have made any progress with Baby Love nor did I with Isaac, and I just should have passed. It's such a mental battle right now to not be discouraged.

- I really shouldn't be as disappointed to hear about my ZERO progress due to the number of things I hope to accomplish before Baby Love's arrival. I literally wish that I could outsource my brain to make Isaac's 1st and 2nd year photo albums, among other things. I just know specifically with these albums that if I don't do them now that there's no hope for his baby brother's.

- My beautiful friend Nancy had her bridal shower and bachelorette party on Saturday. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the shower due to my Saturday wedding, but after a quick respite for my toes, I was able to jet off to her bachelorette party. I made the food part, typical, right?
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I can't wait for Nancy's wedding! Nancy, Kierstan and I have been friends since . . . I don't know, not as long as Nancy and Kier, but a pretty dang long time and will all have married the first weekend of August. We're looking forward to joint anniversary trips in the future!

- Last night Isaac enjoyed one of my most favorite past times while growing up, swinging on the porch during a thunderstorm. There's just nothing like it. Tony knows how important a porch is to me in our future house and it's due to moments like these.
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