Thursday, April 29, 2010

New (old) Toys

Lil Max has been getting a kick out of his 'old' toys coming back out of storage...nevermind he is too big for them...he still thinks they are tons of fun!!

Sam's First 2 weeks in Review

Sam, 6 days old.

Sam, 1week old...checking himself out...

Sam, 10 days old...tummy time (nope, didn't cry for this either...)

Sam, 12 days old (Mom, enough with this camera!!)

Sam's First Bath

Sam had his first sponge bath at home when he was almost a week old.  True to his mellow self, he didn't even cry once!!  Mmmm....gotta love that fresh, clean baby smell.......

Friday, April 23, 2010

McDuex is here!!!

McDuex is here!  Born at 2:56 am on April 17, 2010.  Thank goodness his labor was not quite the freight train labor we had with little was still pretty memorable though, for other reasons....

Friday, April 17th began like any other day. We woke up, got ready for work, lil Max ready for school and started our days. I had a productive work day with meetings, and finishing up any last minute items ‘just in case’. I still thought I’d be around the next week, as labor didn’t seem to be imminent, and I was feeling great.

After work, I picked up lil Max from school, and we came home and played our outside games like normal. My lower back was hurting a little bit, but I just chalked it up to the fact that my 28 lb “little” boy still likes to be carried, and that I was carrying about 25 extra lbs on the front of my body…

Dinner, bath time and bedtime all went normal. I kept having the nagging back feeling, and every so often I’d feel what I thought was a contraction, but it wasn’t anything intense, and it certainly wasn’t anything regular. I had some false labor with lil Max, so I chalked it up to that and kept on with my plans.

I called my friend Amanda to entice her to coming over and taking a trip to Target with me (I needed some basic staples…diapers, soap, etc.). Amanda had a headache and said she’d think about it, and somehow I managed to convince her that coming with me would be a good idea.

Between the time we hung up and the time she got to my house, I was fairly certain that I was in fact having light contractions. I still wasn’t very concerned because they were still fairly light, and definitely not regular, so we planned to go to Target as planned. We left the house around 7:30pm.

While at Target, we decided to time the contractions because they definitely started to get more intense. They were different contractions than what I had experienced with lil Max in the sense that I was feeling the intenseness of the contraction more in my back (please note that I said different…not necessarily pleasant). The contractions were still pretty irregular (11 mins, 8 mins, 4 mins, 7 mins, etc.), but being certain that they were contractions, I gave my contact list (phone/text) their heads-up just in case; so they could be on stand-by. It was about 8:15 at this point…who knew how long before they started getting regular and we’d have to head to the hospital…

We checked out from Target at 8:30. I know this because I saved the receipt. I saved the receipt mainly because we had one of the most incompetent checkers that Target has to offer. She seriously took like 10 minutes to check my items – and I only had about 10-15. She tried opening a pack of greeting cards I was buying…which made me mad...what was she going to do? Count to make sure that there were, in fact, 50 cards inside? I should have prefaced this by saying that I have had this person as a cashier before, and she was just as irritating all those other times as well. Normally, I try to avoid her if at all possible. In this case, we didn’t notice it was her until we were already up to the counter. I remember turning to Amanda and giving her a pleading look. But, we were trapped. At one point during the checkout process, she irritated me so badly that she LITERALLY STOPPED A CONTRACTION. I told Amanda as we were leaving that I thought this woman had single-handedly stopped my labor. Oh but she didn’t, she may have only merely delayed it.

We drove home (I was driving which, in retrospect probably wasn’t that smart…how many women having contractions at about 7-8 mins apart should be driving?), popped in a movie and I downloaded an app on my Itouch to help me track my contractions. They were still all over the place, but when they started getting closer to 6-7 mins apart and some of them only 3-4 mins apart, I called the OB on call (prob around 10:15). She told me, based on my past history, that I should come in to the hospital. So, we were on our way. Our neighbors came over to watch little Max while my dad made his way over to spend the night, and my mom got in her car to meet us at the hospital. Big Max (in his typical fashion) commented… “Oh come on, I was just about to go to bed to get some sleep…”

We were admitted to the hospital at 10:40 pm, and I was brought immediately to a labor and delivery room (again no triage for me!). They hooked me up to an external fetal monitor – everything looked great with McDuex (no lowered heart rate like with lil Max), they checked my progress – up to a 5.5 already, and asked me if I wanted to have my water broken. At that point, I chose to not have my water broken, and to let my body do what it needed to do. I was, again, planning to do the labor drug-free if possible, and wanted as few interventions as possible. The nurse got out the birthing ball, unplugged me from the monitor and told me to check in about every ½ hr to 45 mins. We began to walk the halls, bounce on the ball and labor! Big Max stayed back in the room while my mom and Amanda walked with me. The contractions were much easier for me to handle standing or sitting rather than lying in the bed. I also found that doing yoga breathing (deep breath in, deep breath out) helped me through the contractions much better than the “hee…hee…ho…” they tell you to use. I think you just have to do what works best for you.

Honestly, the contractions weren’t that bad. I certainly thought they were going to be worse or more intense. Like they were with lil Max – but then again, with him, there was no 5-7 min rest in between – as soon as my water had broken at home, they started coming 3-5 mins apart and very intensely. I walked through most of the contractions, cracked a few jokes in between, checked my email and Facebook (ah the joys of an Itouch and free wireless in the hospital!)

Apparently I did a good job of hiding the pain of the contractions from big Max because he felt confident enough that I would be in labor for a long time that he actually fell asleep in the middle of it all! I knew I was a good actress and all, but really!? It was definitely photo-op worthy!

Around 1:30 I came back for my normal check in and asked the nurse when I was going to be examined again. She said whenever I wanted to, so I asked if she could check me then. I was up to a 7! At that point, with my water still not having broken, I asked if the OB could rupture the membranes. I was fairly confident that if I had progressed that far on my own that rupturing the membranes wouldn’t be a problem. I did warn the nurse to make sure the OB on call was aware that the resident would be breaking my water because I had a distinct feeling that once my water had been broken, things would progress VERY quickly.

My membranes were ruptured at 2:11 AM. Somewhere between 2:45 and 2:50 AM I had completed cervical dilation and felt the urge to push. Max was standing by my side holding my hand, Amanda was operating the video camera (tastefully) to document the birth of McDuex and my mom was standing behind the doctors offering words of encouragement (thankfully no “push like you are at Bally’s comments” were made this time). Enya was playing on my Itouch (thank you Amanda for switching the song when Enya’s version of ‘I Wish You a Merry Xmas’ came on…). I had wanted to watch the delivery with a mirror, and although the mirror was in the room, there just wasn’t space for it. Not that I had my eyes open anyways…I was too busy concentrating on the pushing.

The big difference I noticed in pushing McDuex over lil Max was that I knew WHICH muscles to use and HOW to push more effectively. I actually made a mental note of this in my head as I pushed. At one point the doctor told me to hold my breath to have a more effective push, and I remember stopping pushing and conversing with him “hold it? Oh ok, I thought I shouldn’t hold it” (I think that part is on the video too). How different from my labor with lil Max where I just shut everybody on the outside out and couldn’t even think or make coherent thoughts!

After somewhere between 6-11 mins of pushing (the medical charts say 6, Amanda’s records say 11…in either case I say, piece of CAKE!) McDuex made his arrival. Turns out he was ‘sunny side up’…which explains the back labor I was experiencing. Dr. Davis, the OB on call, later told me that on my last push before he emerged, he literally rotated his little body and spun himself out the correct way. She thought it was pretty neat! They put Sam on my belly right away and I caught sight of this beautiful little boy (yes…I checked again just to be SURE) with a full head (well fuller than lil Max’s anyways) of dark/black hair, his daddy’s beautiful olive skin, and his mommy’s nose and face. I finally got one that looks like me!!

McDuex was formally named Samuel Francis McLaughlin.

He was 7 lbs 5oz and 20 inches at birth, and scored an 8/9 on the APGAR.

They said my labor officially started around 8pm…so that would make this an almost 7 hr labor. But who’s counting? :)

So far, he has been a mostly mellow lil boy with a freakishly strong neck (he’s holding it up already a LOT…), an affinity for sleeping just about anywhere, crying only when he’s hungry or cold (sometimes not even when he’s wet or dirty). Our first night home with him was pretty nice – up only twice and one of those times I woke him to eat. The second night home was not so ideal, but the subsequent nights have just gotten better and better. Last night he pulled a 3.5 hr sleeping stint that made Mommy very happy! Big brother Max has been over the moon excited and elated to have a new baby brother. Every time he sees him he exclaims “Hi, baby brother!” or “Hi Sammy Sammy!” He is also very possessive of him…when the pediatrician was examining Sam in the hospital, lil Max got this look on his face and said to him “That’s MY baby brother! That’s MY Sam!” Ah….it makes mommy proud! He is full of kisses and hugs and all kinds of loving for him…we just have to remind him to be gentle…something still a little hard for a 2.5 yr old to grasp…but he is doing well.

And we are all adjusting well to the new addition to our sweet little family of four. Life is good. We are truly blessed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

39 weeks!!!

I have such wonderful girlfriends...

They threw me a brunch/shower this past weekend to celebrate McDuex...totally un-necessary, but SO appreciated.

Did I mention how lucky I am to have such wonderful girl friends?

My mom had forgotten her camera, so she stole mine and was snapping pictures all over the place.  Half of the time, we didn't know she was taking the picture, so we look a little silly....

I love my expression in this one...and I know I can put it up on here, because I look the silliest...

This one isn't so bad....I think I was still cracking up because my Mom had told Kelly (to my left) to duck in the previous picture so she could get one of just me...but it came out a little funny...

Did I mention how awesome these ladies are?  So sweet.  So kind.  So considerate.  I ♥ them.

I'll leave you with a fun one...

My mom had made me pose for the umpteenth time (I'm not even kidding)...
so I had to get a little creative....

And that donut was pretty darn good after that workout...  :)

Thanks again, ladies!
I am so lucky to have you as friends.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Fun!

We had a really fun Easter this year.  We told Max when he went to bed that if he was a good boy, the Easter Bunny would come and would leave him a basket full of treats!  He sure didn't forget that promise, when he came in our bedroom, the first words out of his mouth were "Bunny?  Treats?"  LOL

So we came downstairs, and the first thing we did was search for the basket:

Then, we dug into the basket!

After that, we ate a hearty breakfast of French Toast -- lil Max helped me cook and gobbled it up!  Big Max went outside to 'feed the dog' and hid about 20 eggs outside in the yard.  When he came back inside, we told lil Max that the bunny had also hid eggs outside in the yard, and asked him if he wanted go look for them. 


Daddy and Lil Max getting ready to go outside for the big 'hunt'.

Some of them were easier to find than others....

Mason was a good helper 'sniffing' out the eggs for lil Max....

The bunny was tricky and hid some under the trees too!

And in the neighbor's yard!

Lil Max had SO much fun searching for the eggs that he made us re-hide them TWO more times!  It was a fun morning for all of us!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dying Eggs

This year was the first year that we decided to dye easter eggs -- maybe because mommy was too afraid of the mess, or because he just wouldn't *get* it.  But this year, we had the perfect opportunity to teach many different lessons involved with Easter Egg dying:

1.  We should drop eggs gently into cups with colored water -- otherwise the colored water gets everywhere!
2.  Eggs are fragile -- if we drop them, their shells will crack
3.  Stickers do not stick to cold eggs
4.  Easter egg dye made with vinegar does not taste good
5.  Drawing on eggs with a crayon is fun
6.  Max's favorite color is green

Here are a few photos of the fun:

Max was *pretty* good about putting the eggs in the cups and "stirring" them.  He wasn't so good about being patient waiting for the dye....but we worked on that!

Mommy took the eggs out of the cups and put them on the drying rack.

Max was very excited to pick out the stickers to adorn the eggs once they had dried.

Yes, that *is* evidence of chocolate around his mouth....  :)

The finished product!  We had eggs the next morning with our breakfast, and quite frankly, lil Max was disappointed that the eggs did not taste like candy.  I think he now thinks, thanks to the Easter Bunny's plastic eggs, that all eggs must contain candy....

Monday, April 5, 2010

McDuex's Nursery

Well, my nesting phase has finally kicked into high gear, so I've been able to get a bunch of the projects I've had on my list crossed off.  McDuex's nursery was one of those projects...and it is *almost* done.  We still need to install the cordless blinds for the windows and put another closet rod in the closet and some minor cleaning, but for the most part...everything is DONE!  Which, even though I know I won't be **using** the nursery for a little while yet, is a relief to me.  Mainly, because I can remember how LITTLE you get done for those first few weeks once a new one is around!!
Here is the view of the nursery when you stand in the doorway.  McDuex has a pretty large room -- it is bigger than lil Max's (ssshhh, don't tell).  He's also got a nice patio right off his room.  Mom is looking forward to being able to sit outside on a warm summer night nursing in a rocker on the patio!  :)
If it isn't obvious, the 'theme' for the nursery is elephants.  I used the Dwell Studio line from Target as my inspiration (because I found the bedding on clearance, and it was pretty darn cute!).  I knew I wanted to do some sort of decal on the walls.  I threw around several ideas of how to do the decals -- adhesive vinyl and a Cricut; fabric with fusible adhesive...  I finally settled on using a scanned image of an elephant and then photoshopping it to match the colors in the bedding and printing off the image on 8.5 x 11 sheets of clear labels!  They stick wonderfully to the walls, and it was a pretty inexpensive and simple solution!  The quilt on the bed was handmade by a good friend and her husband.  They used the Dwell Studio elephant receiving blankets to make it!  It is so soft and cozy and the perfect addition to the nursery!
Ignore the strangulation hazards hanging in the left portion of this photo -- those old horizontal blinds will be removed as soon as the blackout cordless blinds arrive.  The valance hanging over those windows was made from the bumper that came with the crib set.  I personally don't use a bumper in the crib (AAP recommendation/SIDS hazard), so this was a perfect solution to re-use that part of the set that would have otherwise gone to waste!

We're starting McDuex off early with some more intellectual reading:  Organic Chemistry, Medical Microbiology, Ornithology and Immunology to name a few...  Just kidding.  Eventually these books will move downstairs into the office in our extension, but for the time being they are going to hang out here in McDuex's room.  Maybe he'll learn from them just by nature of proximity?  Doubtful....  Doesn't that sun streamed patio just look so inviting?   I can't wait to get out there and relax!

In other McDuex news, we are doing well and pretty much ready for his arrival.  My official due date is April 22nd, but as we all know, babies are always on their own timelines, so we'll have to wait and see when he wants to enter this world.  Hopefully not this week, however, as my OB is off on Spring Break!  :) 

Without giving off TMI, the good news is that apparently I am already about 1/3rd of the way done with my labor...which doesn't mean much in terms of WHEN the baby will come...I was the same way with lil Max for the entire MONTH before he arrived.  What it does indicate is that this labor will likely be just as quick (if not quicker) than lil Max's....if that is possible!  LOL.  Although, now that I have just typed that, you know I've jinxed myself and I'll end up having an uber long labor.  Either way, the baby will come!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Outdoor Fun

The weather has just been absolutely BEAUTIFUL the past few weeks, and we've been using every opportunity we can get to get outside and enjoy it.  With an almost 2 1/2 yr old with endless energy, having an outlet is a MUST.  How lucky are we that we have a little playground just down the street from us?  It is perfect for blowing off some of that extra energy!

We always start off with the swings.  Lil Max still loves to swing!

Max's lil buddy, Owen, came to the park to play with us too!  We're also very lucky to have lots of little friends for Max who live on our street! 

On Thursday, we met up with our other friends Steph and Max and their son, Jack at another local park for fun.  This day was hotter than the last, but mom forgot to bring a short sleeved shirt for lil man to change into after school.  He still had fun, and just had extra rosy cheeks to show for it!

On Saturday, Auntie Amanda came over to walk down to the park with us, which was a good thing because it is getting harder and harder for me to chase after/keep up with lil Max when he decides he wants to go somewhere!  Auntie Amanda is always good for a fun time!


Aren't they sweet?

Actually, this photo has a pretty funny story behind it:  when we first got to the playground, there were two little girls (ok, so they were like 11 or 12 -- not so little) playing.  They were cute girls, snapping photos of each other, and you could tell that lil Max was pretty enamored with them.  He followed them around from one piece of equipment to the next.  At one point, I had to stop him from crawling into this little tube where the two of them were just sitting and giggling...  When they decided to leave, they got on their bikes and rode away.  Lil Max decided that he wanted to follow them.  In this picture, Amanda and he are discussing where they are going.  He was telling her that he was going to follow the girls; they went this way.  When Amanda told him that they were quite a bit older than him, his response was: "It's OK, Manda..."   LOL, my little boy...chasing the older women already.....SIGH.  :)