Friday, October 21, 2011

Our week in pictures

Brooke had her second feeding at 5:30 this morning. After I put her down, I pretty much was awake. I laid in bed and read scriptures and blogs on my phone under the covers. I read some more of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ in the bathroom. Love the quiet of the early morning. Love amazing books. Any time I read Jane Austen, I enter an old world of elegance and beauty in the spoken word. Austen had such a talent for writing. Where would we be without amazing authors who give us great books?

It’s Friday! I’m making some form of pasta today for dinner, and that makes me happy beyond measure. Can’t live without pasta.

Here are some fun pictures:

Little Brooke, all relaxed and happy. I love the clothes! I’m discovering that girl clothes are incredibly fun. She is getting so big, and fast! I have a feeling she may be taking Shaun’s big, tall genes. By the second week, she already was to big for newborn onesies. Wow.


An incredible blessing: A friend in my local photographer FB group wanted to play around with some newborn shots, and offered to do some pictures for me. As you can see, she’s totally into the newborn photography stuff, by all the blankets, props, etc. I was so thankful for this. What a turn of the tables for me, since I spent the summer doing free shoots for some brides. They turned out amazing, and I will show them soon on the blog!


This week, I went out with all three for the first time, to Brooke’s doctor appointment. It wasn’t too bad, mainly because Brooke still sleeps a ton all day. I packed toys and snacks to bring to the office, and it really helped the boys. Waiting rooms are so small and boring for kiddos. I’m happy to say that Brooke’s jaundice is gone, she’s 8 pounds, and doing fabulous!

We all went to the park yesterday. The boys needed some physical activity. They were getting fussy and yucky at each other back home, which means get them out and run them around!


Here’s a few from the big camera, practicing more on focusing.

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The catch lights in Ethan’s eyes, ahhh! Love it!

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I read the latest blog post from the Nienie blog this morning. Every time I read her blog, I am always inspired to complain less and look for the beauty around the world more. How thankful I am for other fellow sons and daughters of God in this world, that share their thoughts and stories with us.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The first week

I am grateful to say that I have survived the first week home with all three kids much better than I expected. Sad to say, but I was quite nervous and a little fearful when thinking of Shaun returning to work, and being on my own with the kids, but it turned out ok. I just decided I would do my best to figure out a routine that worked and a way for all of us to be alive at the end of the day!

So here it is in a nutshell:

I’ll start with the best part, the evening, where Brooke sleeps the best. At 9pm, I get her up, feed her, and put her back down. Lights are low, no talking, just business so she’ll sleep good. Amazingly, she sleeps until 1-2am, and wakes up for feeding. Shaun gets her up and changes her, brings her to me, and crashes back to sleep. In attempt to keep myself awake (or I will nod off holding her nursing) I watch my favorite stuff on youtube on the phone, or a ‘progressive nursing movie’ on the ipod, which is “Zookeeper”, at the moment.

I put her back down, and she wakes up at 5am for another feeding. After that, I try to go back to sleep, but it doesn’t always happen. The boys come in around 7, watch some Disney shows, and we eat breakfast at 8 while Brooke is sleeping. After that, I get her up, feed her while the boys watch “Curious George”. I tell them that when I have to feed nurse, we can watch one of their shows, but we turn it off as soon as I’m done. I already feel guilty over having the TV on too much, but it sure helps to have their favorite shows DVRd to watch for nursing.

Brooke is awake for maybe 30 minutes, if that, and goes down for a morning nap around 9ish. I then try my best to spend good times with the boys, school stuff, playing outside, and such. They have been wonderful, and have not shown any jealousy towards Brooke. Blessing.

We eat lunch around 11, and then get Brooke up at noon for her feeding. She goes back down a little before 1pm, and we get Kevin ready to take his nap at that time. So far, he does pretty good staying in his room and sleeping, because he sure still needs that nap! Sometimes, he wakes up early, and is a raging bear. It’s a hard afternoon when that happens. Ethan and I have some time together, and sometimes I’m still pooped and need a nap.

We get Brooke up around 3 for feeding, and thankfully, Kevin is still asleep during this time. Put her back down around 4, and work on dinner at 5. It really helps that I’ve been able to feed the boys while she is asleep, and they are fed and good while I have to feed her.

As most Moms know, the last part of the day before dinner and to bedtime can be the craziest time of day. Shaun comes home, and we do our best to have dinner together, me feed Brooke, bath the boys, get dressed in pjs, attempt to have scripture reading daily, (5 minutes) playtime with Daddy, wind the boys down, read books, and put them to bed.

Then, load the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, feed the dogs, lock up the house, shower, lay down on the bed and wish to go into a deep coma to recover from the last 3 hours, by 8pm. 8pm feels SO late to us, probably due to exhaustion. I wonder when we will stay up later than that. Maybe when the kids are teenagersSmile

That’s our day for now, and I’m so glad that I’m alive and doing ok with three, wonderful kids. The house is in an array of pink baby blankets here and there, cute little girl onesies, the boppy pillow, and my big straw water bottle follows me everywhere. The dinners and sweet comments from friends on the blog and FB have not gone un noticed, thank you so much!

Today, there is a pork cooking in the crockpot for sandwiches. Simplicity at its best. Also, I treated myself to a gift for surviving the hospital, a copy of “Anne of Green Gables”. I love small sized books! It’s my favorite to have them fit neatly in my hands, not huge. Is that not one of the greatest books on the planet? The vivid description of Prince Edward Island takes me out of this desert and into a green, lush paradise. Not knocking the desert, there is beauty to be found here, but I do love trees, grass, creeks, and suchSmile

It’s so amazing to think we have three kids. I keep going “When did this happen? How did I get here exactly?” and remember the flood of chapters in my life leading up to this moment. The blissful college days at Ricks, the eye opening mission in Florida, the MTC alone, and the cast of wonderful people I’ve met along the way. I’ve got to write down my life story so far, ahh! Too many great adventures. So many good things to work on, but have to balance everything. Just glad to be alive.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brooke’s homecoming

I have a moment to blog! Needless to say, I have not been getting up at 5am like I used to, but Brooke is on a super schedule. She has been sleeping 4 hour stretches at night in between feedings, so we’ve been only getting up twice a night. It’s a miracle. I think the Lord knew I needed the extra strength in the day to take care of the boys. Huge blessing.

Three days in the NICU, and then last Friday was the great homecoming day. They called us in the morning, and we raced down to the hospital to get her. Our buddy Kyle came into town to help out with the boys. He mostly got beat up each day from the boys wrestling with him on the mattress, and played wonderfully with them. Another ginormous blessing.

It’s really surreal to have Brooke home, and to have three kids. I keep thinking to myself, “Wow, how did I get so blessed to have three angels from heaven in my home, and a wonderful eternal best friend?” It’s every young woman’s dream, and I’m so humbled to be living this dream now.

The boys absolutely love Brooke. They are very tender with her, and keep saying “She’s so cute” and “that’s our baby sister”. Ever since she’s been home, I’ve had a heightened awareness of the need to spend time with the boys. I really want them to know that regardless of me taking care of Brooke a lot, they are still loved. So, I’m trying.

Brooke basically sleeps all day, and eats every three hours. She’s rarely cries, and is a delight to hold. It truly is special to have a newborn again. I love being able to sleep on my stomach, not being totally winded and tired, and wearing some non maternity clothes again. Joy!

Ok, enough talk, here’s the showSmile

Here’s Friday morning, when the boys saw her for the first time.


The darling, with the little white noise box, and the beautiful blanket made by my Aunt Jacquie, a.k.a the ultimate queen of crochet!!100_0544

It was heaven to have Shaun home for a straight week, and made me sad when it was time for him to return to work. The boys love having him home, but they sure can wear him out, too. Whenever we pull out this mattress for guests, it basically turns into a wrestling, pillow fighting arena for the boysSmile100_0545

Love this outfit!


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Kevin really loves Brooke. He looks so precious here.100_0556

Sunday morning, I couldn’t stand it any more, and had to get the big camera out for some custom stuff.

I tried my best to do a neat newborn shot. I used one of the dog’s beds for a bean bag, covered it with a blanket, threw her pink one on for a backdrop, and used the window light as best as I could. Love how this turned out!

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So, today is my full day of being on my own with the three. I’m really trying to take it easy, and just figure out how to do this. One step at a time.

Btw, General Conference was wonderful! I loved being able to hear the talks a tad more this time, as the boys had stuff to play with. I absolutely freaked out when Elaine S Dalton’s talk came on. As soon as she began speaking, talking about a father having his first daughter and how to raise one, I jumped off the couch, raced to find Shaun, who was helping the boys, and dragged him back to the couch to listen. It was the most applicable talk of the whole conference for us, and it was great! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Our baby Brooke

Ok, here’s the hospital story!

Monday morning, Shaun and I dropped the boys off at a friend’s home. They had fun playing with their kids, and had their first sleepover there. So thankful.

Shaun and I arrived at the hospital at 8am. Pitocin got started at 9am, which led to all day of waiting and waiting. Snuck some fries from Shaun at lunch. Watched a highly relaxing movie for labor, the newest “Transformers”, ha ha!

Nurse finally breaks my water at 5pm. Dr Paul kept checking on me, and wondered why the heck they didn’t break it earlier. I had to agree.

Then, things picked up. For fun, my epidural decided to wear off. From 7-8:30, I got a taste of what natural labor felt like. Wow. I just remember hanging on to the bed rail, having ridiculous thoughts like “I’m dying. The end is near. Goodbye, beautiful world.” It hurt so, so bad. We kept waiting for the epidural guy to get back and fix it, increase it, something. Just had to wait since he was with other patients, and such. All Shaun could do was hold my hand, and pray for me.

Finally, at 8:30, relief came, the pain subsided, and I passed out into a great nap for an hour. At 9:30, the nurse checked me and said, “Oh, it’s time to have a baby”. Great words to hear. I tried my best to wake up and get ready to push. Two pushes, and she came right out. So very grateful. It’s always so neat to see what’s been inside of you for 9 months. We couldn’t get over how much cuter she was than the boys were at birth. She’s definitely a girl, and she’s adorable!




Love these pictures we have so far. I think Shaun really likes her. It must be true, that daddy/daughter stuffSmile

Sadly, Brooke is in the NICU right now. It’s not the end of the world. She has jaundice that requires photo therapy. She and I have different blood types, and that causes issues. They say she has to be in there 24-48 hours. Hopefully, she can come home Thursday. Everyone who has left their baby in the NICU knows it leaves you emotional and for boys, really grumpy. Yesterday, I was able to come home, and everyone was in the yuckiest mood. Ethan was ornery, and finally said to me, “I just want baby Brooke home.” Shaun and I were both bummed that we had to do this again, as Kevin stayed in the NICU also. I have just been trying to keep it together, make sure everyone is fed well to help the grumpy feelings stay away, and pray that she can come home soon.


This is the light treatment she’s getting now. I called this morning, and she’s eating great, doing fine. It’s just the waiting that stinks. Waiting, waiting, to take her home. So, that’s what we’re doing now. Just waiting, again.

Thanks so much for all the kind thoughts on FB. Thank you for caring about our little family. Everything will turn out ok soon enough. Gotta spend time with the boys today, and try to pass the time. The boys were happy to see us again, and are trying to understand where Brooke is now. Love our boys.