Sunday, July 29, 2012

First Time at Church and a Day with Daddy

Today was a fun day.  It started out a bit stressful - trying to pull everyone together in time to go to church.  Somehow we survived, though, and managed to get there before the service started.  It was fun  to take Evelyn to church for the first time.

My beautiful girls on a Sunday

Her first Sunday dress - Thanks, Auntie Stephanie!

Tuckered out after a wild morning at church

This afternoon, Daddy took Miles and Vivienne to a playground while Evie and I beat the heat here at home.  The kids had a blast!

They learned a bit about static electricity:

They hung out together:

They ate lots of cantaloupe and drank lots of water, but still got really, really sweaty:

Then he took them to Trader Joe's and let each of them get their own little cart (brave, brave man!!).  Apparently, they loved it and were really well behaved.  Jason said that Vivienne was so proud of herself as she was handing her almonds to the cashier to check them out.

After they got home, we all got back in the van to go to Rita's Italian Ice with Pam, Jason and Will.  It was fun to catch up with them.  The kids loved the ice.  Then we walked over to PetSmart so that the kids could check out the fish and birds.

It was a fun day with our not-so-little family of five.

First Stroller Walk

After we put the big kids to bed tonight, I took Evelyn for a walk while Daddy rode his bike trainer upstairs.  This was her first time in the stroller.  We're borrowing a single Snap-n-Go stroller from a very generous friend.  I have to say that it was immediately weird to be pushing a single stroller.  With Miles and Vivienne, I had a Double Snap-n-Go, which was literally twice the length of this stroller.  It just felt like I was pushing some sort of weird mini-stroller.  I keep looking for the second baby.

Here is the view that I'm used to:

And here is my new view:

You can also see how much bigger Evelyn is than Miles and Vivienne in the same model car seat.

Evie seemed to enjoy the walk just fine.  She got a little frustrated by the infant insert.  With it touching her cheek, she kept rooting in that direction.  Eventually she fell asleep, though.  It was nice to enjoy a little fresh air with my baby girl.  I'm sure there will be many, many more walks in our future.

Baby Yawns

Just Hanging Out

This picture is from a playdate with friends on June 1.  Vivienne loves to hang from anything.  She hangs from monkey bars, on pull up bars, and from the bars at the top of slides.  She's very agile and much stronger than she looks.  She is often climbing things, balancing on things, hanging from things... she's my little monkey.

Miles Used the Potty!

Yes, this post is about poop. Brace yourself.

Yesterday, Miles pooped in the potty for the first time!  He was trying to go, and I asked him if he wanted to poop in the potty.  He ran in there, and Jason followed him.  He sat right down on the potty and pooped in it!  Jason and I totally freaked out and told him how amazingly gifted he is, of course.  =)  Hopefully he tries this again soon, but I think that we probably just got lucky yesterday.  It's too bad that I can't put more time and energy into potty training right now, because the kids seem fairly interested.  We'll keep trying to give them opportunities when we can, but it will be hard to be consistent.

Sleep Deprivation?

I know it's still really early on, but I have to say that the sleep deprivation this time around has been much, much easier.  I think this is mainly because there is only one baby to wake up in the middle of the night and one baby to breastfeed.  With the twins, it seemed like someone was waking us up at least every 2 hours all night long for weeks on end.  Not only that, but it took us at least 45 minutes to an hour to nurse them both (especially with the SNS in the beginning), change them both and get them both back down to sleep.  Sometimes Miles would endlessly cry after the 5 am feeding and Jason would end up falling asleep with him downstairs in the recliner after an hour or more of rocking and shushing.

So far, Evelyn is a very good sleeper.  She falls asleep very easily, and seems to sleep very deeply.  She has been exposed to a cacophony of sound during her daily naps, so I'm guessing that she would be able to sleep through a jackhammer at this point.  She goes for a couple 3-4 hour stretches each night in between feedings, allowing Mommy and Daddy to get some good rest.  For the past two nights, she has only woken us up twice to nurse.  *Knock on wood.*   We'll see if she stays with this rhythm or if she gets feisty soon and starts giving us more of a run for our money.  I figure even if she stops sleeping so well, surely she can't give us as much of a challenge as the Miles-Vivienne Tag Team did.

Last night was the first night that Evie has slept in the co-sleeper the entire time.  Previously, we would usually do the first stretch with her in our bed (breastfeeding her side lying and then falling asleep all together - seemed to get her settled down more easily).  But last night, she was Miss Independent and fell asleep in her co-sleeper beside our bed each time.

Also, last night was the first night that Miles and Vivienne have slept at home since we brought Evie home.  Before this, they would spend their days here but then go to Grandma and Granddad's house to sleep.  This morning, they got us out of bed promptly at 7 am.  Luckily, Evelyn gave us some good stretches last night, so we weren't too tired. 

It certainly takes a lot of energy to keep two 2-year-olds entertained while juggling a newborn.  But so far Evie is very relaxed and that really, really helps. I'm still very nervous about trying to run this ship solo, but I'm sure it will all work out.  At least I have 2 more weeks of Jason home with us.

In fact, Jason is at the playground with the big kids right now.  I'm sure they are enjoying some special play time with their Daddy while Evie and I beat the heat at home.  I love that Jason takes initiative to do things like this with them on his own.  And he's stopping by Trader Joe's on the way back to get some groceries.  Miles, Vivienne and Evelyn have an amazing daddy.  Love you, sweetie!

Way to Grow!

Evelyn is a chunky little monkey.  When she was born, she weighed 8 lb 5 oz, and was noticeably larger than her brother and sister.  Miles was 6 lb 10 oz.  Vivienne was 5 lb 14.5 oz.  It took Miles over a month to get up to 8 pounds, and it took Vivienne even longer than that.  Evie is now just 8 days old, and she weighed 8 lb 11.5 oz this morning.  This baby loves to nurse.  Way to grow, Evelyn!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy 1 Week!

Today, our youngest beauty turned 1 week old.  On one hand, it's hard to believe that she's already been with us for a week.  On the other hand, it sort of feels like she has always been a part of our family.

She started the day with a nap with Daddy.  You should always start your day with a good nap.

Then there was some tummy time with her big sister.

That was followed by just plain being gorgeous for a while.

This evening, Pam, Jason and Will came to bring us dinner.  It was wonderful.  And Evie got to meet her playmate, Will, who is almost 3 months old already.  She was so excited that she could barely contain herself.

She got her first sponge bath this evening.  I know, we're bad parents.  Our baby is a week old and we're just now giving her her first sponge bath.  I promise that we'll step it up a bit on the personal hygiene in the near future.  She actually handled it very well, but she didn't seem to love it.

And the day ended with lots of mommy snuggles and some super cute fuzzy hair from the bath.

Evelyn has been an absolute joy of a baby.  She is just the sweetest, calmest little angel, and we're so blessed to have her in our lives.  Happy birthday, beautiful angel!

Adjusting to a New Sibling

The first assassination attempt was a failure, as my dad said.  The first night we brought Evelyn home, Miles was determined to have Mommy read a book to him.  Of course, at that time, I was nursing Evelyn.  Daddy offered to read it to him, but he was dead set on having me read it.  Out of frustration, he threw the book down, and in the process basically threw it at Evelyn's head.  It hit her in the head, and she started screaming.  Not a great start.  Luckily, that seems to have been the only time this week that Miles has been the least bit jealous of the baby.  For the most part, he still seems completely oblivious to the fact that Evelyn even exists, though every now and then when I'm nursing her, he will walk up and say "baby" really sweetly and walk away.

Vivienne is mostly just enamored with Evelyn.  She immediately comes looking for "Mommy Baby" when she comes into the house.  She absolutely loves it when I nurse Evie, which is a very, very good thing, because she breastfeeds a lot, and my hands are pretty tied while I'm nursing her.  Vivienne will actually encourage Evie to eat ("Baby eat!  Baby eat!") even when the baby is not hungry.  Viv is a great little helper - getting us diapers and blankets and throwing things away for us.  She loves feeling like she is really helping us, and I keep reminding her of what a wonderful big sister she is.

But there are times when Vivienne is clearly in need of Mommy's undivided attention.  She likes to be held, especially when she's tired or just waking up from a nap.  Earlier this week, she woke up from her nap very fussy.  Jason went to get them out of their cribs, but Vivienne came into our room where I was napping with the baby and said,"No!  No!  No!  Up!  Up!  Mommy up!"  So I got up and put the baby down to continue her nap.  Even though I was holding Vivi and rocking her, she kept crying and saying "Up!  Up!"  It was still pretty uncomfortable for me to hold her standing up for long periods of time, so I was trying to get her to settle down into the recliner with me to watch some Elmo (usually Elmo can cure just about anything).  But the tantrum continued.

Eventually Jason took her outside to try to calm her down, but that didn't work.  During this time, Evelyn woke up and I started nursing her.  Of course, Viv was very upset by this when she came back into the house because I couldn't even hold her.  She just kept crying and saying "Mommy" and it just broke my heart.  I think we eventually resolved the situation by taking the big kids outside for popsicles.  This was definitely the "low" of my week, though.  I'm concerned about assuring all of my children that I love them all so dearly and that they are all important to me and that there is enough Mommy for everyone.  I hope that I'm able to communicate that to Vivienne and Miles during this time of transition.

So this week we have been concentrating on spending lots of time with Miles and Viv.  We have spent hours and hours outside playing with them in the yard with sprinklers and hoses.  Jason has taken them to the pool. Yesterday, we took them to Marbles (our first outing as a family of five without additional backup).  Grandma and Granddad have also been taking them during the nights and giving them extra undivided attention.  We're constantly telling them how much we love them, and we're praising them profusely when they do a good job.  Hopefully they realize that Mommy and Daddy's hearts have expanded infinitely again with the addition of Evelyn, and that we still love them to pieces.

Friday, July 27, 2012


We took all the kids out for the first time today to Marbles.  We wanted to do something special for Miles and Vivienne, and they love everything at Marbles.  So we packed all 3 kids into the van and headed out.  Of course, we left about 45 minutes later than we had planned, and we had to go back to the house to get my sling, but I guess I might as well accept that as our new normal now.

Marbles was an absolute ZOO!  It was seriously more crowded than I ever remember seeing it.  There were tons of track out camps there, and the kids were all going nuts.  Miles and Vivienne still seemed to have a good time, though.  Miles headed straight for the train table, as usual.  Vivienne played in the pretend play area and the water area for a while.

Captain Vivienne
Evelyn just slept in the sling the entire time.  It was a little toasty, but she seemed very content.  We eventually moved upstairs, hoping to find some areas that might not be as insanely crowded.  Of course, there was no escaping the chaos.  The kids played in the sports area for a while.  Miles worked on his jump shot and lay up.  Eventually Evie got hungry and started fussing.  In an attempt to get all the kids downstairs to a quieter area to nurse, we had all three of them crying at the same time.  I was carrying a crying Evie in the sling and a crying Vivienne on my hip.  Jason was trying to drag a crying Miles out by his arm and eventually picked him up to carry him downstairs.  Luckily, everyone recovered and we played for another 30 minutes or so while I nursed the baby.

After Marbles, we walked down to Roly Poly for lunch.  The big kids did great, and Evelyn just slept.  Overall, it was a successful morning and a fun way to treat Miles and Vivienne.  Needless to say, I will not be taking all three of my children to Marbles by myself any time soon.

In the afternoon, we had more outdoor fun, running around in the hoses and sprinkler and eating popsicles.  I so cherish this time with my family of five.  I'm so thankful that Jason gets so much time off of work to enjoy our first few weeks together as a family.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Evelyn's Roses

A couple weeks before her birth, Jason and I were out shopping and saw a really good deal on some knockout roses.  I decided to plant them in anticipation of our little girl's birth.  Jason patiently dug the holes and did most of the actual planting, because I was too pregnant at that point to be doing much planting on my own.  In the weeks before her birth, the roses really settled in and started growing and developing new blooms.

The first thing we did when we brought Evelyn home was to take pictures of her with the roses that her daddy planted for her.  Welcome home, beautiful Evelyn Rose.

Evelyn and her roses


Yesterday was a really fun day.  After naps, Jason and I took all the kids out in the yard to get some fresh air.  Evelyn slept in her bouncy seat.  We played with our new bubble wands, ate popsicles (a fan favorite around here) and got out the sprinkler.  We played outside for a couple hours, and the kids were absolutely having a blast.  I was sitting in the grass with Evie nearby.  Jason decided to start squirting the kids with the hose, and they loved it.  This eventually resulted in a couple of very cute nude tushies running around in our yard.  They were running across the yard - just out of range of the hose.  Then they would get pumped up and run toward Jason.  He would squirt them again and they would run away.  It was priceless.

My parents arrived for the tail end of it, and we all just enjoyed being together as a family.  I got some really fun photos and video, but there is probably too much nudity to be appropriate for the internet.  Here is a little taste of our fun.

Good morning, Sunshine!

Appropriate Leaf Placement

Evie seems unphased by the public nudity.

Naked Gardening 

A portrait with Daddy

Freezing Time

I often look at Evelyn's beautiful little face, and I just want to freeze time.  I want to suspend this moment so that I can live in it forever.  I see her tiny hands, her purple feet, her gorgeous dark hair, the funny ways she moves her lips, how peaceful she looks when she is nursing, the sweet grunting and cooing sounds that she makes... and I just want to be able to live in these moments forever.  

I didn't realize how much my memory of Miles and Vivienne as newborns had faded until I held my newest baby in my arms.  I know that I will never forget these days, but I also know that your memory fades with time.  I want to burn an exact memory into my head so that I can recall just how perfect she is at this very moment - every expression and every sound and every wrinkle and crease of her skin.

I know that I will blink my eyes and my baby girl will be going to kindergarten.  I know that I will love her more each day and that I will love watching her grow and become the amazing person that I know she is destined to be.  But there is still this part of my heart that aches when I think about how this time with her as a newborn is so fleeting.  If only I could hold onto her a little while longer.

Baby Not-So-Blues

After Miles and Vivienne were born, I was extremely emotional.  I thought that maybe I was going to have postpartum depression.  Luckily, after about 10 days, my hormones seemed to balance out and I got back to normal.  With Evelyn, so far, this has been much easier emotionally and physically.  That's probably partly due to the fact that there is only one baby to care for, and a lot of the stresses that were there for Miles and Vivienne's birth weren't there for this birth.

For example, Miles was in the Special Care Nursery for 24 hours before we could bring him back to our room.  On his birthday, we weren't able to hold him in our arms - we could only reach through the isolette to touch his arms and legs while he had the CPAP machine on his face.

Each time I nursed Miles and Vivienne, we used a supplemental nursing system (SNS), meaning that we had to feed one baby at a time and wash the SNS in between.  After that, I pumped for 15 minutes after each feeding.  This added hours each day and night to the process of merely feeding the kids (hours that my body probably would have much preferred to sleep).  With Evelyn, she just wakes up in the middle of the night, and then I nurse her for about 12 minutes and she falls back asleep.

There are so many differences in having a single baby this time.  So far, I think it has been much easier on my mind and body and allowed us to integrate this precious little girl into our family so smoothly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First Visitors

We have had so many visitors this week, and so many people have been so kind to us.  We are overwhelmed with the love and support we have gotten since bringing home our youngest daughter.  Evelyn has loved all the snuggles!  I haven't been great at remembering to take pictures of everyone, but here are just a few.






Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Magical First Week

We have truly enjoyed these magical first few days with our sweet little Evelyn Rose.  So far, Evie has been a very relaxed, content baby.  She very rarely cries, and seems to have a very calm demeanor.  Over the past few days, she has spent more time awake - a few hours at a time here and there.  She loves to be held, but she will also sit in her bouncy seat without crying, just enjoying taking in this new world around her.

On Tuesday, my parents spent the afternoon here.  For Vivienne's birthday, they gave her a sweet little crib for her baby dolls.  Miles and Vivienne both really enjoyed helping Granddad assemble it.  This was the first time that they had really played with tools before.  Jason and I also got out the tool bench that we got Miles for his birthday.  The kids had a blast "helping" and playing with their new tools.

Safety First

And let's not forget the safety helmet.

Loving her new doll crib - complete with a working mobile.
Evelyn supervised the work from Grandma's warm shoulder.

Later in the afternoon, we took the kids out in the yard to play in the sprinkler and enjoy some popsicles.  Evie seemed to enjoy the fresh air, though she did look a little bored.

That evening, we put Evelyn down for her first tummy time.  To my surprise, she didn't put up a fight at all.  She laid there for quite a while and never fussed at all.

Evelyn also made her first feline friend that night.  She enjoyed replicating Noah's relaxation poses.

"Is she copying me?"

Monday, July 23, 2012

First Day Home

Evelyn's first night at home was pretty good.  She decided that she wanted to be awake from about 10 to 12:30 that night, so we got a late start in bed.  But after we finally got her down, she slept for pretty long stretches (3-4 hours).

Monday was our first full day home with Evelyn.  Miles and Vivienne had spent the night at Grandma and Granddad's house.  My Mom and Dad brought them over fairly early that morning so that they could get more acquainted with their little sister.

We spent the day here at home, and just enjoyed being together as a family.  Miles and Viv went back to Grandma and Granddad's house for naps, which also allowed Jason and I to get a little extra sleep that afternoon.

Granddad and Evie

Napping with Daddy

Vivi loves the new baby.