Sunday, December 15, 2013

Back to Reality

Last Monday, I headed back to work. Honestly, I thought I would be more ready than I felt, but all good things must come to end. In this case, it was something awesome. Maternity leave went much more smoothly than I had thought it would. Having the girls go to daycare three half days a week really gave me the opportunity to spend quality time with Owen plus having the time to spend with them. I loved my time off with all three of them...I am so lucky to be able to spend my summers with them so I know that heading back is always temporary.

Here are some highlights from my maternity leave with the girls. We did not just sit around watching Owen grow as I am sure we could have but we stayed busy by...

 Looking forward to June!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Look Who's 2 Months Old!


Two months have flown by and we have a loved every minute of it. Owen is becoming so expressive and we love that he now interacts with us. Talking with his little baby sounds just lights up the room and his smile is contagious.

On Monday, we went for his two month appointment and is all reports are good. He braved three shots and came out like a champ. Now for the stats:

Weight: 12lbs, 14oz (63rd%)
Height: 24in (89th%)
Head: 15.5in (58th%)

Back on November 2nd, we celebrated Owen's Baptism. There were 13 total babies being baptized so the whole sacrament was a little chaotic, but he is officially part of God's family and we had a wonderful get together after at Godmother Kortney's house. Here are some pictures from the evening (thanks, Kerri!):

I can't believe how fast the time has gone by and in 2 1/2 short weeks I will be back working full time. It is weird as it is the first time I feel like my maternity leave is "ending" as the other two went into the summer so everyone was heading back. I don't think I am quite ready, but I have started to think about my classes and mentally making plans so I am getting there. Knowing I love what I do, I will be ready, and I am looking forward to seeing and catching up with my "school kids," having more interesting things to talk about other than eating and pooping habits (of my kids, not me), and reconnecting with the fabulous people I work with. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Welcome to the World, Owen!

Owen has been such a fabulous little man right from the beginning and I wanted to share a few more photos from the hospital and his first days at home.

When the girls arrived to meet Owen at the hospital, Isabel was very reserved and would not go near mom, and Aubrey was a little hesitate at first, but warmed up quickly. Owen had a gift for each of his big sisters, which went over very well - a dolly and toothbrush for Aubrey, play-doh for Isabel, and of course, candy for both.  The girls had the most fun running around the curtain and visiting with everyone who came to meet Owen including Grandma and Papa Hoen, Grandma and Papa Mousel, Auntie Kerri, cousins Josie, Elias, and Jack (Uncle Jeff was out of town), Auntie Kortney, Auntie Kassi, Uncle Josh, cousins Ethan and Aiden, Uncle James, cousins Maddie, Ava, and Busto, and mama's friend, Julie, and her three week old, Elliot. Our hospital stay was great and we headed home on Friday (9/20) at noon.

When Owen arrived home, it took awhile for Isabel to warm up to Owen (she was only interested in him when his eyes were for like 5 minutes a day!); she has since really taken to him and loves him dearly as she expresses, "Hi, you buds...I love you so much, buddy." (Apparently, I refer to him as buddy more than I had realized.) Aubrey wanted to help with EVERYTHING right when we brought him home; however, now we have a very jealous middle child on our hands. If Owen is crying then Aubrey starts crying in hope of our attention turning to her. She wants to be held longer and cuddled more, but she does love holding Owen and bringing him his pacifier. Of course, only after she has originally stolen it from him, used it and is ready to bring it back. I absolutely LOVE watching them interact as they get to know one another and bond as siblings...and lifelong friends.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Owen's "Birth" Day

Three children. Three pregnancies. Three labors. Three deliveries. All very different. Leading up to the day we met our newest addition, my body was readying itself as it had with the other two. At 36 weeks, I was dilated 3-4 cm, and at 37 weeks, I was dilated to 4-5 cm. At 38 weeks, 3 days, I had my appointment at 3:40pm and was dilated 5-6 cm and 80% effaced. Again, how far dilated can I be without having this baby!

I was not looking to be induced (and I couldn't be anyway until 39 weeks), but I was so ready to meet our new little one. One of my biggest fears as soon as we found out we were expecting again was that I would not make it to the hospital to deliver as we were very close not making it with Aubrey. With that in mind, Butter and I both had altered our work schedules: I was completely done the Friday before and Butter was mainly working from home. At the appointment, we decided to have my membranes stripped, which is a somewhat uncomfortable procedure (at least it is a quick process). And now we wait...

Luckily, we did not have to wait long. My contractions were a little more intense that day anyway (as I had been contracting since 28 weeks), but at about 5:30pm they were definitely intensifying so we started to time them. When we hit two that were 7 minutes apart, Butter decided we were going home (we had been at my parents) to get things packed up and the girls would stay with mom and dad. We continued to time contractions, but they were not getting any closer and/or longer...very sporadic yet. I continued to sway, sit low, and walk around the block. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Nope, I couldn't do it anymore. I told Butter that we are going in and if they send us home, they send us home, but I am not taking any chances. And really, how far dilated can a person be and still get sent home...I was already at a freaking 6!!

One last pregnancy picture right  before heading to the hospital!
At about 8:15pm, we arrived at the Family Birth Floor at the hospital. Check-in was much less stressful as the woman was very accommodating and prompt as I told her the events of the day. Once we were led to a delivery room, we heard a very painful scream coming from down the hall, which became somewhat of a running joke as that woman continued to scream like that for the next two and half hours. The lead nurse came in and chatted with us about what had been happening. She said that cramping is normal after having membranes stripped so she would check me and go from I stay or do I get sent home? Dilated to 7 centimeters! I was a keeper!

As I was hooked up, we discussed the plan to get an epidural going and make sure I was comfortable. The doctor would come in and probably break my water and then we would have this baby. Pretty darn easy...and in all actuality, it was a very low-key and easy labor and delivery. Lots of laughing and easy conversation, mainly do to the screaming lady and the absolute silly admitting questions: how do you learn best? and have you experienced any recent weight changes? Seriously?! Yes, seriously.

After being there about half hour to 45 minutes, I started to get worried as I had only had two contractions. Shortly after having this thought, the nurse checked my monitor and had commented on how well I was doing and that contractions were 2-4 minutes apart. What?! Later, at my six week check-up, I asked my doctor about it and she said it is normal to not feel all contractions, but it is a little odd considering I was already so far along. I guess that explains why we almost didn't make it to the hospital with Aubrey.

The Family Birth Floor was a little hectic that night as they had to call the on-call nurse in for me then her car broke down on the way so I was going to have two different nurses. Then the on-call nurse was able to get it started and showed up. Shortly after she showed, the anesthesiologist came and got the epidural going which went smoothly. He joked that he was going to go knock on the screaming lady's door and ask if she needed anything...I am actually not sure if he was really joking. 

With the epidural going, we waited for it to set in. Once it is was good, I was checked again (8cm) and the night nurse came on. St. Francis has some really great nurses as I had three awesome nurses during this delivery (not to mention the ones from my previous two deliveries)! The lead nurse let the on-call doctor (Nelson) know I was at the hospital while I was being admitted. My doctor, Dr. Jenkins, gave Dr. Nelson a heads up that she would probably be seeing me that night. And if they called to let her know I was in, she should probably head in to the hospital as I would be a quick delivery. Dr. Nelson did not heed Dr. Jenkins' advice.

Once I told the night nurse, we were hoping to have our baby on the 18th, she cranked it up by immediately paging the doctor and offering to break my water. During this time, I started to experience terrible back pain so my mom helped roll me over onto my left side hoping to relieve some of it. Mom watched the monitor and every time I experienced the pain I was having a huge contraction. I have heard back labor is horrible so I am glad I had the epidural and it was short lived. The nurse came to adjust some of the bedding and when she lifted up the sheet she announced, "Oh, your water broke and there's the head!" Everyone was ready and it was 11:45pm, except one key person. No doctor. The nurse said that the screaming lady's mid-wife was here and she could deliver. I said, "Go for it." As the mid-wife was suiting up, Dr. Nelson showed up.

The stir-ups were put in place and I was in position as Dr. Nelson came in still suiting up. The nurse said that a contraction was coming and asked if I wanted to push. Hell yes!! So I pushed and they started yelling to stop as I would have pushed the baby out. Yes, this babe was ready to make an entrance. Once the doctor was in place. I pushed one more time and out came our son!! Butter stood "below" watching the whole birth this time (with the girls he was up by my side). As soon as the baby came out, though, the doctor flipped him to me taking away Butter's chance to announce the gender and I got to announce the gender. I believe I said, "Oh my goodness, we have a boy!" Butter was not thrilled that I took his job, but jumped right in to cut the cord. It was a beautiful, laid-back delivery just like our little man, Owen Maxa Mousel.

Born on September 18th, 2013 at 11:54pm, Owen Maxa entered this world on what would have been his Great-Grandpa's 90th birthday. His middle name was given to him to honor his Great-Papa Cy's last name. Owen shares a name and birthday with a very special angel.

At birth, Owen weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and was 23 inches long! He has white blonde hair (or fuzz) and blue eyes. The jury is still out on who he looks like, but we all agree he looks like an old man and getting younger every day! He is now almost 8 weeks and has been a very good little guy. He has slept consistently overnight 5 hours since he was born. He has nursed well from the beginning other than taking him awhile to eat well on the left side, but now he eats like a champ on both sides. From the get go he has eaten every three hours except overnight. His big sisters love him, shower him with kisses (most of the time) and enjoy holding him whenever the other one is. We are a proud family of five and loving every minute of it! Okay, there are moments when Butter and I have looked at each other wondering what have we done, but then laugh and tackle the challenge.

Here are some pictures from Owen's first few days:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hello, again!

It may looked as though we had abandoned you, our 5 followers, but no, we are still here. However, we are not promising anything, but for now here is a little recap of life lately.

For Aubrey's 1st birthday, Godmother Kassi brought her to get her ears pierced with cousin, Maddie. Aubrey cried a bit, but settled down as soon as she got a sucker...ah, the wonders of suckers! Unfortunately, one of the backings recently fell out and Aubrey is NOT letting me put in new earrings.

 Cabin time is always such a treasured gift and this summer we were spoiled. Over the summer, we were able to get up to the cabin four times and each time were able to spend 4-6 days. Life is good!

Aubrey's hair got a little wild this summer, warranting her first haircut. She sat pretty nicely, of course, due to the sucker!

As baby 3 is on the horizon, I decided Izzy and mom could use some time to ourselves so we went and got pedicures. Isabel was very excited initially, but didn't know quite what to make of the experience when some lady who she didn't understand was touching her toes! :) If I asked her is she wanted to go again, I am sure she would not hesitate, though!

Just some random pics of the girls over the summer...we really had a lot of fun, but mom definitely had to slow down as August rolled around. We are now just playing the waiting game for Baby Mousel 3 to make his/her arrival! 

38 weeks, 2 days...fingers crossed we meet this little one any day now!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

7 Months, 8 Months, er, 8 1/2 Months

So it has almost been 2 months, but what can we was a busy two months. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year...crazy, hectic, fun!

At 7 months, Aubrey wasn't doing too much. The biggest change in her life was that we were moving her from baby food to mostly table food. Everything was still mashed or "magic bulleted" but her pallet was being introduced to variety of different foods. And, lucky for us, she really enjoyed everything we would give her and continues that trend. She is a fabulous eater and now only eats table food (well, every now and then she may have some baby food as we are trying to use it up). She takes three bottles during the day, but is losing interest. She will only take the full 6 ounces at night and even then it can be hit or miss. She takes the other two bottles in the sippee cup when eating then I move it into the bottle if she wants more. Love, loves, loves the sippee and has started to drink formula or water with it herself.

Shock and surprise, we got a little behind on taking the monthly photos and since Aubrey was in a good mood this night we decided to quick take them; however, she would get made if we changed her again so here she is a little over a week after November 23rd in her pj's (which are 12month, by the way) in front of our Christmas tree.
 On the movement front, she is such a laid-back little one that we thought she would just be super content sitting where she was and never look to move or crawl. Which was the case until she turned 8 months. Almost exactly to the day, Aubrey was fine just sitting with the toy that was given to her and had no interest to move. However, on the 22nd of December, we finally started to see her interest in moving around on her own start. She would go from sitting to her tummy. From then on Aubrey has been looking for ways to move, move, move. She is not a certified crawler yet, but she sure can get around a room.

Aubrey goes in spurts when she "talks." Lots of times it is still just the screaming bit and the goo-goo-gaa-gaa back of the throat sounds, but she has started to make actual sounds using her lips and tongue. No sound-object recognition, but so far I have heard four distinct sounds. Ma-ma-ma was the first sound, then ba-ba-ba, and most recently I have heard da-da-da and pa-pa-pa.

A little over a week ago, Barbie, my mom, and I felt a tooth in her mouth then later when Butter got home it seemed to disappear...darn disappearing teeth! During this week, we could tell she was uncomfortable, wanting to chew more, and drooling more. Only one night, though, was rough for her. And by "rough" for Aubrey I mean up for about 45 minutes to an hour around midnight. Eventually, we gave her some Tylenol and she was sound asleep for the rest of the night. On Friday, January 11th, she officially cut her first tooth and it has stayed. Her upper left tooth has started to come through...I was under the assumption that the bottoms always come in first, but I guess not. It seems though that Aubrey will probably be getting a few more soon. Still just a chewing and drooling machine!

Aubrey's 8 month photo shoot again a little over a week after turning 8 months this time though in a 24month onsie...not sure what I was on, but thought I grabbed a 12month, but didn't realize it until it was on and like I said Aubrey does not like to change so we left it.
Big sissy Isabel does so well with Aubrey. We will see how long that lasts because Aubrey has now discovered Isabel's hair and loves to reach for it and pull on it. So far Isabel nicely tells her, "No, no, no Aubrey," in a gentle teaching voice. We are enjoying the sisterly-love, but Isabel is deciding to give mom and dad, and Barbie a run. Stubborn, mischievous Isabel has reared her head! She pooped her pants twice this week at Barbie's because she wanted to wear "her" pull-ups (mind you she has been potty trained for over 10 months), she is back in the height chair at Barbie's because she wants to run around during eating time, and has to use a sippee because when she is done pours her milk out on the tray or floor. At home, dinner is a constant battle, and when she has to sit in a time-out, she sings, laughs, and tries to tell knock-knock jokes. Oh goodness, she can be challenge...albeit, often a hilarious challenge!  We had a good weekend so here's hoping for more of that in the coming weeks.

Some of the girls favorites right now are:
Isabel: dance, being a helper, tubby-time
Aubrey: snuggling and trying to crawl, tubby-time, playing "so big"...just today she started mimicking the hands in the air and then did it on her own! So fun!

Isabel: cottage cheese, yogurt, toast, mini corn dogs and pizza
Aubrey: toast, peas, blueberries, and pizza (as long as she can eat it herself, she loves it)

Isabel: Cuties, fishies, and anything she deems as a nummy
Aubrey: baby mum-mums (rice-based wafers)

Isabel: kitchen toys, make-up (hers and mine!), blocks (I think she just likes to dump them out), and balls
Aubrey: balls, stacking rings

Isabel: Ten Apples Up on Top; Night, Night Little Pookie, Dora Books, and Elmo Books
Aubrey: any book we allow her to hold and right books don't really get to be on her radar that often

Isabel: books, coloring, Boots (as in Dora's best friend), Team Umizoomi, her tablet, and our iPad
Aubrey: walker, remote, iPad/phone, Dora (yes, she will watch it with Isabel)

Top (l to r): Aubs and Izzy watching Dora and Isabel playing in the bathtub; Second Row: At the pumpkin patch; Third Row (l to r): Aubs on Halloween wearing Elias' Waldo glasses and Isabel excited to be baking with frosting on her nose; Fourth Row: Christmas Eve 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012