Saturday, March 15, 2014

my sweet three year old

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Dear Kason,

We just put you in bed for the last time as a 2 year old.  Tomorrow you will wake up a 3 year old.  Every year it's harder and harder for me to face your birthday.  Of course I love celebrating you, and the joy that you bring to our lives, but your birthdays come more and more quickly each year and I wish time would slow down just a bit.  The year has been full of so many changes, and you, my dear, have taken them in stride.  This year you became a big brother.  This is a role that I always dreamed of you playing, but it didn't come without stress.  The moment you walked into the hospital room and held Haddie for the first time all of my stress and anxiety melted away.  You were made to be a big brother.  Your love and gentleness for your new sister almost overwhelmed me.  From the get-go you wanted to share your toys with her, love on her, and constantly kiss her.  I couldn't have asked God to make you a better big brother.  I am so proud of you.  Someday when Haddie is older, she will understand the important role you played before she was here.  You taught me what it means to be a momma.  You helped prepare my heart for her.  I am so thankful that you were the one that showed my heart what it means to love without boundaries.  Haddie will be so glad someday, too.

There isn't a day that goes by that you don't do something that makes me laugh so hard I cry.  You are so funny, and your laugh is contagious.  You are such a brave boy, and are constantly doing things to give me gray hair.  Doing flips off of stairs, riding your bike down huge hills, doing "360" jumps off the coffee table…let's just say we're lucky that no bones were broken this year. :)  I love that you are so brave, and you are always wanting to try new (crazy) things.  Everywhere we go you are making people smile, and that is a great gift to have!  I also love that you have started saying your own prayers this year.  You always ask to be the one that prays before dinner.  Some of your favorite people to pray for are: mommy, daddy, Haddie, your friends, Paul George, Boomer, and Purdue Pete.  I love your heart, and hearing you pray is just the sweetest sound.  Teaching you about Jesus is the most important thing to me, and teaching you to pray is one of the best tools I can give you.  Your such a happy, joyful boy and I love how your little personality has really formed over the past year.

I would be lying if I said the past year has been without its struggles.  You are SO strong willed and opinionated, that the 2's have proven to be "terrible" somedays.  You throw big tantrums, get mad at mommy and daddy, and argue a lot.  These are all things that we have worked so hard at improving. I think your daddy and I would agree that we have ended the "terrible" twos on a "terrific" note.  You are becoming such a big boy, and your attitude is getting much more mature.  You are so polite and caring.  You try your best to remember to say "PEASSSE" instead of whining.  When we are in public you say "thank you" completely unprompted and people always comment on how polite you are.  Again, I am so proud of you.  The 2's have been trying, and I know the 3's will be too, but I can see such an improvement in your behavior, so we will celebrate that!

3.  Tomorrow when you wake up you'll be 3.  3 years ago I became a mommy.  3 years ago our lives changed forever.  3 years ago our hearts doubled in size.  Happy 3rd birthday, Kason Asher.  Daddy and I love you more than you will ever know.

Love you forever,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

back at it.

Yes, we are here.  We're still all alive and well.  My poor neglected blog.

You know it's bad when you have to stop and think about what your password is to log into blogger.  Yikes.

I remember talking with friends that had more than one child and listening to them talk about how limited their personal time was.  They didn't have time to read, watch t.v., or blog.  I remember thinking that that was probably true, but had no idea until I had Haddie how little "me time" there is.  I am not saying this in a sad, whinny way because I love having two kids.  I love that they take up every ounce of my time.  But one of the things I miss the most is blogging.  I miss sitting down after a long day and typing out my thoughts.  I miss being able to go back and scroll through the past month's post and reminisce on the things we have done.  

But the truth is, there aren't enough hours in the day.  The only quiet time I get is the 2 hour nap time (and my kids haven't been napping at the same time lately..sad face) and after they go to bed.  Those hours are spent editing photos for my clients, and doing other business related things.  Oh, and cleaning my house.  And cooking dinner.  So blogging has taken a back seat, which I hate.  My goal for 2014 is to blog at least 1 time a week.  I need to do it for memories sake.  I need to blog the 50 photos I take a week of my kids.  They are growing and changing so fast and I NEED to do it.  I know I will want to go back through my blog when they are older and will be so sad if I stop blogging all together.

So, it's a new year.  Here's to more blogging.  Even if it's only photos because let's be honest, at the end of  the day I'm so mentally exhausted I can't even put my thoughts into words. :)

Winter so far has looked like this...

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Happy 2014! :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

haddie is ONE month old!

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I can't even believe that it's been a month (actually, 6.5 weeks now) since we added our sweet girl to our family.  She is such a joy to us, and we are loving getting to know and understand her personality.  So far, she is much more laid back than Kason, which is a relief.  She hasn't had nearly as many stomach/reflux issues, so that helps a lot!  

Just like with Kason, I want to try to do a monthly update, so that I can go back and read it in the future.  I went to look at Kason's monthly updates today, and realized I only made it to 9 months.  HA! We'll see how long I make it with Haddie's updates!!  
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Current stats:

Weight - 9 lb. 9 oz. - 50th percentile 
Height - 20.5 inches - 25th percentile 
Head - 14.25 - 25-50th percentile 
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Our girl is MUCH bigger than Kason was at a month.  She is almost a pound bigger, and is wearing 0-3 month clothes and size 1 diapers.  Kason was still in NB clothes and diapers at this point, so it's crazy how much bigger Haddie seems to me!  

Haddie LOVES. . . 

...Eating!  I think this is the reason she is bigger than Kason.  She is such a great eater!  I had lots of worries about breastfeeding this time around.  It was such a hard thing with Kason, and I prayed and prayed that Haddie and I would have better luck.  Sure enough, she latched right on after birth and hasn't stopped since!  She eats ever 2-3 hours during the day, and is finished in about 15 minutes.  During the night she will usually sleep 4-5 hour stretches between feedings, which is great.  I'm so thankful for a great eater.  It's made breastfeeding a breeze this time around.

...Cuddling!  Sister does NOT like to be put down.  She only likes to nap in my arms during the day, which proves to be difficult when I have things to get done.  I'll admit, I hold her a lot during the day, and things don't get done.  Oh well, she's only little once..right?!  After she eats she will lay on her playmat for 10-15 minutes, but then she is DONE and wants to be held.  Luckily, she does sleep in her bassinet at night just fine, so I guess I can deal with lots of cuddling during the day. :)

...Smiling!  I can't believe how much she smiles!  She loves when we talk to her and always gives us huge smiles.  Kason is constantly saying "Haddie...SMILE!!" and she usually does.  It's so sweet, and her tiny smile melts our hearts.

...The Ergo carrier - This goes along with not wanting to be put down, but sister loves to be in the Ergo.  It always puts her to sleep, and it a great way for me to comfort her and still have my hands free throughout the day.  So thankful for that carrier!

Haddie does NOT love. . . 

...Being put down.  See above. :)

...The evenings.  Yikes.  From about 6-9 Haddie really struggles.  I know this is a common time for newborn meltdowns, and Haddie is no exception.  It's not every evening, but a good chunk of them.  She just cries and cries and there's little we can do to comfort her.  Hopefully this gets better soon.  Poor Duane feels like all she does is cry when he holds her.  

...Bath time.  Although she is coming around, she still doesn't love bath time.  Once she's in and covered with a warm wash cloth, she's okay.  Getting in and out of the bath is still pretty traumatic for her, though.  I think with time she will learn to love bath time.  I can't wait until she and Kason and take a bath together!
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Our Haddie girl is so much fun.  We love learning new things about her everyday!  Happy 1 month birthday, Haddie Kate!

PS - I know this blog has been sadly negledted since Haddie joined our family.  I have SO much I want to blog, and am hoping to have some time soon!  :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

kason meets haddie

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I had some anxieties about Kason becoming a big brother.  Don't get me wrong, I was so, so excited to give Kason a sibling, but my nerves got the best of me most of the time.  I distinctly remember the moment the anxiety started.  I had just found out I was pregnant, and had only told one of my best friends.  She was so excited, that she came over with a sweet little "big brother" book for Kason.  I remember watching Kason sit on the floor and look through it, and I just started to cry.  We were trying to get pregnant, but never had I really thought about how it would effect Kason.  His whole life was about to change.  He would no longer be our only child, and he'd have to learn to share his mommy and daddy.  That was a hard pill to swallow.  He'd been our baby, the center of our world for 2 years, and now he'd have to share his role with a sibling.  Was I ruining his life?!

  I struggled with this throughout my pregnancy until one day I decided to stop worrying.  I have such a strong relationship with my sisters, that I was so excited to show Kason the love of a sibling.  I knew they would be close in age, and that would be hard at times, but I hoped in the end it would make their bond stronger.  I knew Haddie would be the perfect playmate for Kason, and I couldn't wait to watch Kason teach her all of his "tricks". :)  Kason loves babies, so I knew he would love his baby sister.  I continually prayed that God would help us all with this transition, and that Kason would never feel less loved or left out.  I'm so glad I put my worries to rest that day.

Fast forward a few months and I began thinking about our first moments together as a family of 4.  I knew without a doubt that no matter what time I had Haddie, I wanted Kason to be the first one to meet her.  I wanted those few intimate moments with just my sweet little family.  I wanted it to be a special time, one that I would remember forever.  I can say without a doubt, that I will never forget the moment my sweet big boy met his tiny baby sister.
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Since I had Haddie early in the morning, my parents brought Kason to the hospital around 10:30 am.  My dad sent Kason into the room by himself.  I will never forget how big he looked walking into the room with his "big bro" shirt on.  I immediately teared up.  Kason had no idea how much his life was changing, but I knew how special this moment was.  My heart had indeed grown so much in the past 12 hours, and to have both of my kids in the same room was an overwhelming feeling.  Kason ran right to Duane and Duane picked him up.  Haddie was still under the warmer after her bath, so Duane took Kason to the warmer and introduced him to his baby sister.  Kason looked slightly confused at first, but eventually decided to tickle Haddie's toes, a sign that he accepted her. :) 
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 Duane let Kason down and he ran over to me.  I wasn't sure how he'd react to me being in a hospital bed, but he climbed right up and gave me a huge hug.  After snuggling Haddie, all of Kason's features felt big to me.  He was going from my baby boy, to my big boy.  Duane brought Haddie over to us, and Kason was able to hold her for the first time.  He gave her a little blanket animal that he had picked out for her a few days prior.  He was so sweet and so loving, that I almost couldn't believe it.  My heart was so, so full.
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One of THE sweetest moments was when our families came into the room.  They all were snapping photos of the FOUR of us, and Kason snuggled into Haddie, closed his eyes, and just loved on her.  It's almost like he was so glad that after 9 months of talking about her, she was finally here.  I am so glad this moment was captured.  I tear up every time I look at it.
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Once our families came into the room we gave Kason his gifts that were "from Haddie" and he played for a while.  He would spend the mornings and evenings at the hospital with us, and spent the rest of the time with my parents.  Although I loved having him at the hospital, my busy boy would get bored quickly, so I'm very thankful my parents were willing to keep him.  It was also so special for Duane and I to get some one-on-one bonding time with Haddie, before we got home.
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Kason had been the best big brother since that day.  He's so loving toward Haddie, and although he doesn't pay a ton of attention to her, I just love to watch him interact.  If she's laying in her bounced I'll find him sitting on the floor by her giving her high fives and knuckles.  He gets SO excited when she's awake (it's not often we see her eyes) and always yells "Haddie waked UP!!"  I love watching their little relationship already form, and can't wait to see it develop over the next year.
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**I am SO, SO thankful for these photos taken by Megan Lindsey Photography.  She photographed Haddie's birth, and was so sweet to photograph our first moments as a family of 4.  These photos mean more to me than words can express, and I'm so grateful for them.**

Monday, July 15, 2013

Haddie Kate {the birth story}

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Haddie is nestled up next to me, and Kason is napping, so I finally have some time to put the finishing touches on the story of our girl's birthday. I still often read through Kason's birth story, and love each and every one of those memories.  Time goes so quickly, so I know how important it is to blog these memories.  So, without further adoo, here is the birth story of Haddie Kathryn.

This pregnancy has been so eventful!  Between not being able to find a heartbeat in the beginning,  preterm labor, and having a baby that continually measured small, it's safe to say that this girl has kept us on our toes.  Going into labor at 32 weeks was the scariest thing I've ever gone through.  I'm so glad our girl stayed cooking longer, but at the same time, I mentally prepared myself to meet Haddie early.  I figured as soon as I went off of bed rest at 36 weeks, we'd meet her.  Boy, was I wrong!  When 38 weeks rolled around, I was getting so, so anxious to meet my girl.  I kept reminding myself to savor my time with Kason, and remain patient.  I prayed over and over again that God would bring Haddie into this world in his own perfect time.  Sure enough, he did just that.

On Sunday, July 7th, I was getting ready for church.  It was a typical Sunday, and I had once again woken up disappointed that no sort of labor had happened in the middle of the night.  The next day would bring 39 weeks, and the fear of induction was getting closer.  I was discouraged, but prayed the same thing, "God, whenever you're ready, we're ready."  At church that morning is when I remember feeling a really strong contraction.  One that I actually had to sit down for in the middle of a song.  I didn't have another one for about 15 minutes, so I didn't really think anything of it.  I went on with my day, went to lunch at my in-laws house, and nothing really changed.  I was still having strong contractions every 10-15 minutes.  However, that had been happening for 6 weeks, so no big deal!  During Kason's nap Duane offered to clean the house and told me to go lay by the pool.  I took him up on that offer because I had this feeling that it would be my last "me" time for a while.  I laid by the pool and enjoyed some time feeling Haddie move inside of me.  I remember thinking that I would miss those movements, but I was SO ready to meet her.  I headed home from the pool and went home to snuggle Kason after his nap.  We decided that it would be fun to take Kason to his favorite place, the golf course that evening.  He loves to go play golf with daddy, and we figured a rough golf cart ride could only help induce labor.  So, off we went.  I won't lie, pretty much as soon as we got there I was feeling miserable.  I was having strong contractions that were getting painful.  They were still about 8 minutes apart, and I often have lots of contractions in the evening, so once big deal.  These contractions were really painful, and were indeed getting closer together, so once we got home I told Duane I wanted to go on a walk and bounce on a yoga ball to try to "make it happen".  We gave Kason a bath and headed out for a walk.  This is when I would say that labor actually started. :)

It was about 8 pm when we headed out on our walk.  The contractions were so painful that I had to stop and breath through them.  Kason was not a fan of the slow paced walk, but it was all I could do to not get on all fours right in the middled of the sidewalk.  We walked maybe a mile and I knew during that walk that we'd be having a baby soon, but I was still leery.  We got home and I bounced on a yoga ball and started timing contractions.  Sure enough, they were about 4 minutes apart, and they were painful.  I still wanted to wait to call my doctor, so I got into the shower and tried to relax.  At that point, there was no relaxing and I quickly go myself showered and ready to head to the hospital.  Around 10 pm, I called the doctor to let her know that my contractions were about 3 minutes apart.  She told me to go ahead and come in.  We made a mad dash to pack some last minute things, and get Kason ready to go to my parent's house.  By about 11 pm, we were headed out the door.  

Poor Kason was so thrown off, and I think he could sense something wasn't right.  He has been asking me all evening if I was ok.  When I would stop and breath through a contraction he'd pat my back and say "Mommy, ok??" with a concerned look on his face.  So, needless to say, when we dropped him off at my parents he started screaming.  Not the exit I wanted.  This of course left me in tears and made for an emotional goodbye.  I knew in my heart that it was the last time I'd see my baby and he would be my only baby.  I felt bad that his little life was about to get rocked upside down.  I felt bad that he was upset that mommy was leaving.  It was rough.  Finally, I just peeled myself away and Duane and I headed to the hospital.  We pulled in around 11:45.  They checked me into triage, and it was time to find out if our sweet Haddie would be joining us!

The nurse I had through delivery was just awesome.  She asked me several questions as I was laying uncomfortably, and then hooked me up to monitors.  She then checked my cervix and gave me great news, I was dilated to 6 cm!  That's 3 cm more than I was at my appointment a week prior.  I remember her checking and immediately saying "OK!  Let's go have ourselves a baby!"  I was so excited, but the nerves were starting to set in.  We got taken to room #2, the room I would later deliver a perfect baby girl in.  I wasn't in extreme pain yet, but went ahead and got an epidural.  I had contemplated going without it, just because I had a bad experience with Kason, but decided to get one.  Looking back, I wish I would have waited longer, but oh well.  About an hour after I got the epidural (around 12:30 am) the nurse came in and said "It looks like this baby is ready to come!"  I guess her heart rate was going up and down, and the nurse said that was due to the fact that her head was so low.  She checked me, and I was still only 7 cm.  I went ahead and called my friend Megan who would be photographing Haddie's birth.  Since the nurse acted like it would go quickly, I wanted to make sure she was there in plenty of time.  Megan arrived to the hospital around 1:30 am, about the time that my contractions started to slow down.  Of course. :)  My doctor came in at that point and broke my water.  She then asked if I wanted to start pitocin to make the contractions stronger again, and I declined.  I wanted nothing to do with pitocin, and knew how quickly labor progressed when after my water was broken with Kason.  I told her I wanted to wait it out a bit longer and see what happened.
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Around 3:30 am, my nurse came back in to check me, and I was at 9 cm!  I was so excited, and was getting really anxious.  Of course, contractions stopped coming so strongly again.  I was getting discouraged, but still didn't want any extra "help" to get the contractions to go.  I knew my body knew what it was doing, and would progress when it was ready.  About 2 hours later, I started to get the urge to push.  I called my nurse and she checked me and said I was still at about 9 cm, but if I wanted to start practice pushes, I could.  So, with every contraction I pushed, to try and encourage Haddie to come.  Around 6:45 am, I felt strong pressure, and knew it was time!  My nurse checked me, and I was finally complete!  It was about this time that I noticed my epidural had pretty much worn off.  I could lift my legs, and was feeling the pain and pressure of each contraction.  My nurse asked me if I'd like another dose before I started pushing, but I declined.  I had 2 doses with Kason and the result was not good.  I ended up being numb from the neck down, and was hardly coherent enough to hold him after her was born.  I knew that the pushing would be painful, but I wanted to be able to be as alert as possible when Haddie came out.  About this time is when all the real "action" started happening. :)
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At 7 am, my room became full of nurses running around preparing things for Haddie.  I couldn't believe how many people were in the room.  God bless my nurse that had been with me all along, this was supposed to be the end of her shift, but she stayed with me for the next couple of hours.  I just loved her!  My doctor (Dr. Cruz) came in around 7 am and I was ready to push!  It was such a weird feeling, because with Kason I was so numb that I couldn't really feel the pushes.  That's probably why I pushed for so long.  With Haddie, I could feel her moving down, and my pushes were much more effective and MUCH more painful.  I started pushing at 7 am.  Around 7:15 am, my doctor told me to stop pushing, because the lady next door was about to have her baby as well, and she needed to go deliver that baby.  I totally understand her needing to leave, but don't tell a lady with a baby's head coming out of..well stop pushing!  My nurses let me keep pushing, because I was in so much discomfort.  Around 7:25, they told me to stop pushing, and called my doctor back in.  It was like a race to see which of use would deliver first. :)  My doctor came back in and I gave it several strong pushes and at 7:32 am, our sweet Haddie Kathryn came into the world.  I felt everything, and have to admit how cool (although incredibly painful) it was to feel my daughter come out.  This is the part of the birth story that got a little scary.
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When Haddie came out, I had expected them to put her on my chest, just like with Kason.  I had made it clear that I wanted to nurse her right away, and I wanted her placed skin-to-skin as soon as possible.  When she came out, I could see her in my doctor's arms.  Her face was so purple, and she wasn't breathing.  I literally felt like I couldn't breath either.  She wasn't breathing, and wasn't crying.  They told me that they needed to take her over to the warmer and they would bring her right back to me.  I immediately started crying and praying for my girl.  Duane walked over to the warmer with her, and I watched from a distance.  Finally, about 30 seconds (which seemed SO much longer at the time), I heard her whimper a bit.  Still not a loud cry, but at least I knew she was breathing.  The nurses assured me that she was fine, but I was an emotional mess.  I just wanted to hold my girl, but instead was stuck in bed being sewn up (I had a MUCH better tear this time than with Kason, so thankful for that).  After the longest 15 minutes of my life, Haddie was finally letting our loud cries, and her Apgar score (she had to be tested twice because she was so unresponsive to begin with) was finally high enough for me to hold her.  They brought her to me, and for the first time I got to see my gorgeous girl's sweet little face.  She is just the prettiest little thing, with SO much dark hair.  In my ultrasounds the tech. said she didn't see much hair, so I was shocked when I saw how much she actually had.
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Those next few minutes were some of the most precious of my life.  I nursed her for the first time and it went so well.  SO much easier than with Kason.  I then laid her on my chest and thanked God for another perfect baby.  She completes our family, and we couldn't be happier.  She had her first bath and Duane got to snuggle her as well, before big brother came into meet her.  It was such a perfect birthday story for our baby girl.
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We spent the next 48 hours in the hospital loving on our girl and introducing her to friends and family.  Kason's first meeting with her was so, so special that I want to do an entire blog post devoted to that moment.

That's the story of our girl's birthday.  We love her more than words can express, and are so thankful that God chose us to be her parents.
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**We couldn't be more thankful to my friend Megan (Megan Lindsey Photography) that photographed Haddie's birth.  These photos are absolutely priceless to us.**