a couple of things.

1. Poor Jack is so misunderstood. The first week of his life, he smelled very unpleasant. And I’d heard that boys just stink in general but I was like this is a bit excessive and he’s a newborn! We sniffed him all over, wondered if it was the asparagus I was pounding and finally, Wes discovered it was his umbilical cord.

Fast forward to the past week. The kid has smelled like a cheese puff. And I bathe him and he still smells like one. And I’m like, well, Pioneer Woman’s dog smells like a Frito, maybe Jack just smells like a cheese puff. Finally, I figured it out. Two words. Neck rolls.

Poor Jack. Now he’s fresh as a daisy. Also. Slathered coconut oil on his head and cradle cap virtually disappeared. woot.

 2. For various reasons [including clenching my jaw at night as I fiercely concentrate on sleeping] I found my retainer and put it in for the first time in five years. I literally had to pry it in and then take a pain killer it hurt so bad. But a week later I can pop it in with my tongue and my smile has already changed. Crazy. And so not of general interest. Sorry.

3. After drinking iced americanos for a week, vanilla flavored almond milk finally made it’s way into my home. And oh the iced lattes are just amazing. The vanilla makes them taste like Starbucks caramel macchiatos. And Jack’s a fan.

4. And he slept seven hours on Saturday night. Angels sing.

5. We’re going to Lake Moomaw this weekend. And we’re staying at a cute little bed and breakfast. I can’t wait to hang out with my little family on the shore and watch Wes and Ev swim around. And then go back to my cute little bed and breakfast and sleep in a real bed and not have to cringe every time a child makes a noise.

6. The weather the past two days has made my heart sing.

7. Ev is really the sweetest. Watching her tote her little baby doll around and give it kiss after kiss after kiss kinda melts my heart. I’ve been teaching her ‘i love you’ in sign language and she grins and loves to sign it with me and it’s just adorable.

8. I sit on the couch and snuggle Jack and watch the other two play together and my heart fills and overflows.


So much love.

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chaos.

Ha.

Not really but sorta.

On Tuesday, both kids had doctor appointments. So at 3:30, I loaded them up, drove to Ace to fetch Wes and off we journeyed. Both kids are doing fabulously, Jacks gained three pounds and is 9 pounds 13 oz and Ev is 21 pounds. Jack was calm and collected during his visit, Evelyn was terrified.

Over an hour later, we finally got both kids back in the car and went across the street to the mall where we exchanged a gift for Jack and I hunted for some bargains for Wes and I. Lots of walking. Lots of kids wanting to be in and out of stroller. And lots of nothing in the buying department.

 So, slightly before everyone got hangry, we journeyed back to the car, changed more diapers, and loaded everyone up. To journey across the street to dinner and unload everyone.

Jack mercifully slept through dinner hour and Ev chowed down so it was all relatively smooth. And then I loaded Jack back up and sat in the car while Wes and Ev made their slow progress back to the car.

And I was like. I am exhausted. And I thought about my future ten children. And was exhausted again.

And then we came home and I fell asleep while Wes bought tickets for California. And I drifted off thinking about going to the airport with two kids, a double stroller, two car seats, one suit case, two back packs and a drone. And two lap infants.

Oh em gee.

Can’t wait!

Here’s to coming chaos!

 

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right now

Right now, Jack’s asleep and Evelyn’s asleep.

Right now, I want more kids.

I felt like such a mom this week. Not in a bad way, just in a, ‘I’m whipping up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while wearing a baby, while trying not to watch my 19 month old shove oatmeal into her mouth,’ and then I’m loading babies in the car and unloading them and we’re going to mimi’s house and its just like wow. Suddenly I feel very momish.

But it all feels pretty manageable. I’ve sorta stopped eating dairy and Jack’s back to being a dream. He doesn’t quite get the sleeping in memo so we do generally get some quality time in the morning while sister dear snoozes. Seriously, we put her down the other night at 8 pm, and I finally went upstairs to check on her at 10:45 the next day. Conked out. Finally woke up at 11:08. That girl is related to me.

Jack takes good naps; the other day I went to the pool and he slept in his car seat the three hours I was there, just hanging out by the pool pump, oblivious to all the ruckus going on. It was bliss.

So yeah. I want more kids. And I like to make these decisions now in the peaceful times, when Wes and I look at each other and say, ‘ahh. Our house is quiet.’ Because pretty sure, the older they get, the louder it’ll get. And the more chaos. Ev hasn’t even reached the ‘terrible twos’ yet and sure, she already gives me the stink eye but its not chaotic yet. And since I do want more kids, I feel like I should maybe make the decision now before chaos strikes. And then, when it does strike, the decision will have been made and we’ll just deal with it.

How’s that for logic.

I suppose I could consult this guy.
DSC_0128Gosh he looks good with those kids. What’s a few more?

Happy Father’s day love. Marrying you was about the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

Hugs. Love. And a kiss.

 

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and we’re adjusting.

And just like that. Jack’s one month old.

It’s been an interesting two weeks since I was here last. Honestly, the day in and day out of being by myself with the kids has gone better than I expected. Today I dozed on the sofa while Jack slept on the bed and Evelyn brought me three dolls and a shovel, a package of wipes, four diapers, a razor and mary kay moisturizer, and a couple of books. So there is that. But Jack has saved his epic meltdowns and sleepless nights for the weekends and soWes and I battle through children together versus me by myself.

Also. Wes comes home for lunch almost every day. And so I get some adult interaction and someone to hold Jack while I do some stuff or put Ev down. Breaks up our day fantastically. Incredibly wonderful.

Did I mention that while pregnant I bought sofas and beds and dressers and chairs and sold sofas and beds and night stands and dressers? Mom helped me get everything where it should be and I sit in my glider with Jack and look into my new living room and I love it.

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And the kids. Remember Ev used to gasp at everything? Now it’s ‘oh. oh. oh!’. For pretty much everything. And especially if she hears Jack make the smallest noise or sees him in the other room. She’s still very into holding him and giving him lots of kisses and pointing out various body parts.

IMG_5773 IMG_5805They really are pretty cute together.IMG_5924 IMG_5902 IMG_5905Ev’s independence continues to soar. I love watching her toddle around and she loves toddling around and this makes life much easier on everyone. I even let her spoon her own oatmeal today and told my inner OCD to be quiet.

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You pretty much can’t vacuum without her help.

And Jack. He spent the first three weeks of his life being incredibly chill. And then he woke up. Saturday night he pulled his first all nighter and was awake from 11:40 to 5 am. We made it through the night thanking God he hadn’t pulled this stunt the night before, (Band of Brothers opened for the Brady Trio and we’d been gone all day and arrived home after midnight), and that we had Sunday to recover. At 4:23 I stuck him in the bath and he calmed down and thoroughly enjoyed himself and finally passed out at five. Unfortunately he woke up with the same vigor and Sunday was a long, long day.

But today. the three of us took naps, and that makes it a wildly successful day.

Lots of different factors to be considered but we still laugh at life now with Jack. When Evelyn was born, time stopped. It was moving toward cold weather, I was recovering, it was that first baby and besides Wesley’s parents house, I don’t think we went anywhere for six weeks.

The last two weeks we’ve been hopping from one party to the next, gone swimming, gone concerting, etc. And it’s been great.

And now Jack dear is requiring his mother’s attention so I shall bid you goodnight and wish the same upon myself.

Hugs and love.

 

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these kids. 

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I posted this picture on Instagram after taking Jack to his doctor appointment and a friend texted me and was like, ‘ok, I’m ready for kid number two’. To which I responded, ‘oh my word! Do it! It’s so much fun having them so close! And Ev’s absolutely adorable with him and oh it’s just so fun!’.

And then I was like, ‘of course, it has only been five days so…’.

And then I laughed quite a bit.

I think it’s been seventeen days now. And it’s my first day at home by myself with the children. (I love saying children). So far it’s going shockingly well.

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Everyone wants to know how’s Ev doing. Ev’s doing well. We spent most of Jack’s doctor appointment talking about Evelyn and walking and teeth brushing. I almost burst out laughing when the doctor began to describe wrestling holds in order to accomplish brushing teeth but then realized she was serious. I do believe a chuckle escaped.

And then that evening, I’m sure because we had talked about her, Ev began taking a few more steps. And now, she toddles everywhere. It’s adorable. We accomplished this by ignoring her or pretending not to notice when she walked. Evidently praise and encouragement was not a good idea. Goof.

Also. Teeth brushing has remarkably improved to any of you with concerns. heh.

Little miss suddenly independent adores baby Jack and wants to hold him several times a day. She thinks it’s hilarious when he bonks her with his head, always informs me when he cries from the other room and gives a delighted, ‘oh!’ when she sees him for the first time after waking up.

And Jack. Gosh. He’s a good kid. He pretty much just eats and sleeps when he’s supposed to. I’ve got a couple incredible stretches of sleep and it’s been brilliant. He’s so different from what I remember Ev being as far as strength and alertness. And his facial expressions just crack us up and melt my heart. I find him rather adorable.

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It’s been a swell two weeks. So incredibly thankful for my parents being here. My mom took amazing care of us and I was able to spend a lot of time one on one with Jack getting to know him the same way I did with Ev and it was really quite special.

Feeling exceptionally blessed.

And feeling like, wow. We are a family of four.

It feels a bit like we’ve arrived.

Hugs and love.

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jack’s birth story.

Preface: Evelyn’s cesarean birth taught me a lot. So my prayer for this baby’s arrival was that God would bless the birth with a safe delivery for a healthy baby and a healthy moma. How the story came to play out exceeded my hopes and desires but I know that that is not always real life. So if your story doesn’t play out how you were hoping, if you hate cesareans and have to have them, if you love cesareans and get to have them, etc, and you want some support, call me. I’ll tell you that you are amazing and we can pray and be thankful for a healthy, beautiful baby.

Also, it’s to be noted that all bodies are different. (shock). One reason I dreaded a repeat cesarean was the recovery time for me. But then again, I’m kinda weak sauce. I once had a manicure, looked down and saw a few drops of blood on my hand and blacked out. Slightly embarrassing. My friend was grocery shopping with her newborn and toddler two weeks after her cesarean. I was still trying to figure out how to get out of bed. Basically, what I’m trying to say is all stories are different. And I don’t want you to think yours needs to be mine. And no matter how you deliver, you’re amazing and lets rejoice over your bundle. So without further ado…here’s the story.

I’ll try to keep this PG. Going through the whole labor and delivery thing kinda skews your sense of PG.

So. One day after my due date, I woke up at four in the morning with my first ever contraction. It was kind of like when there is an earthquake and you pause and try to figure out what just happened. It slowly dawned on me what was going on and I grinned and practiced breathing until Wesley’s alarm went off at six. I then cheerfully told him he should probably reset his alarm clock and get another hour of sleep as you ‘never know what a day will bring forth!’.

It was kinda weird. I had been fairly confident that the whole ‘have the baby on Friday night with my favorite doctor’ would work out and as I laid in bed I contemplated when I would go to the hospital and when I would have the baby so that I would be sure to have this doctor. I timed my contractions and they were 8-10 minutes apart.

I got up with Ev around nine and we had our normal routine. I decided I’d better get a jump start on my pilates to get a jump start on this whole labor business. I asked Ev if she wanted to join me and she said, ‘yeah.’ So she sat between my legs and stretched hers out while I stretched behind her.

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We had a break outside and enjoyed the scenery and waved toast around and then went on a mile plus walk. I had heard stories of people being in early labor for days before moving on and since I’d been up and at em I’d kind of lost track of my contractions and was nervous that this might be happening to me.

Things must have progressed some because I called Wes around three and told him I might be ready for him to come home.

Wesley made me laugh inwardly several times this day. I don’t think I was giving off very many ‘this is happening signals!’, so he was very leisure about everything he did. When I called him, he told me, ‘ok, well I’d like to get this certain job to a good stopping point.’. lol. Never mind the whole labor thing going on.

I texted him at four and told him it was now time. And home he came.

Evelyn had taken a very long nap and woke up as soon as Wes came home. I hit the road to do some more walking and breathing and would occasionally come in for a breather and would find Wes and Ev cheerfully splashing bubbles around in the tub. They looked at me like they wondered if I was having as much fun as they were. I inwardly shook my head and went back outside.

I called my Dr at 6:23 to let him know what was going on. Contractions were five ish minutes apart when I walked but slowed way down when I rested. He told me to text him in an hour as it sounded like I had time.

Wes put Ev in the stroller and the two accompanied me for the next hour as we walked up and down the road. I put quite a few miles in that day. I carried a rice sock on my back and occasionally would have Wes pound my back during contractions.

At 7:23 I texted my Dr, told him I’d been walking for the past hour and that contractions were 2-5 minutes apart. I wanted to add that my legs were about to fall off but I didn’t want to sound like I still had a sense of humor. He told me my labor sounded ‘disorganized’ and that I was maybe still in early labor but to use my best judgement and to come in if I was at all anxious.

I decided to hang out inside on the birthing ball to see what would happen. At this point, Ev and Wes were cheerfully putting together a vacuum cleaner that had arrived on the front porch. Another head shake.

Fifteen minutes later I told Wes, ‘Ok. Ev either needs to go to bed or go to her grandparents.’ So off they went. I was planning on him returning in a quick ten minutes but he was gone a good twenty. I rolled around on the ball, pounded the floor, tried to pound my back, did some gasping, fell on the couch, fell off the couch, ran around the house and was at the door by the time Wes got back.

‘I about gave up on you,’ I dryly told him. He mentioned something about his parents being in the garden. I told him he’d better eat something before we left and he told me Chik-fil-A sounded really good and he thought he’d just go through the drive-thru on the way to the hospital. I inwardly shook my head and we hopped in the car.

In the five minute drive to the main highway, I had two contractions and was already squeezing the tar out of Wesley’s hand.  Car rides and contractions aren’t the most fun and it was a forty minute drive ahead of us. Wes called the parents and told them what was up. All I could think about was that massive tub waiting for me at Martha Jeff.

I had my eyes closed 95 percent of the time, uttered maybe ten words when Wes was on the phone with my parents, and was doing some serious breathing. By the time we reached Chik-fil-A, Wes told me, ‘Kels, I think we should just skip Chik-fil-A and go straight to the hospital. I inwardly shook my head again and thought, ‘hmm. great decision Wes.’. Oh it makes me laugh.

We pulled up to the hospital at 9:00, I got out of the car, leaned against the pillar and had a contraction. We left the car where it was and hurriedly walked to the check in spot where I had another contraction. They asked me how far about they were and Wes told them about five to six minutes apart. I inwardly shook my head again. We made it through the doors and I had another. The nurse looked at me and said, ‘Hmm, those look like they’re more like two minutes apart. ‘Thank you for noticing,’ I thought to myself.

They got me situated in my room and because we were trying for a VBAC, hooked me up to the monitor to hear baby’s heart rate and began trying to get an IV in me in case of emergency. They asked me what I was planning on doing for pain and it took me a minute to get, ‘a bath?’ out. Someone called the Dr to tell him to come in and Wes was planning on running out to move the car. He never had time. I think sometime in the car he had realized that this was happening and was really jumping into the roll of support partner.

It’s funny, I had this picture in my head of how laboring would go. I wanted to look back on the time and remember Wes. I envisioned him holding me, helping me relax and just looking at him to refocus. In reality, I barely saw him and would just kinda gasp, ‘Wes. Back! Harder!’. And away he would pound.

By the time they got the IV in me (took them a few tries), I was like, ‘um, I’m pretty sure I need to push.’

‘Can someone call Dr. Arnold and see where he’s at?’, was what I heard next. Thankfully, he showed up minutes later. I was contemplating how I was going to stay alive if I had to endure this the whole night. He checked me and said, ‘She’s ready to go,’ and the heavens opened and the angels sang.

Dr. Arnold walked over to the bed and with a straight face and a twinkle in his eye and a smirk on his face said, ‘Well. I guess you were in labor. That’ll be the last time you ever listen to a Dr.’. I chuckled inside.

And then the fun began. Pushing is really not my jam. Someone came in during this process to draw my blood and we had to take a break. I was like, ‘really. is this really the time?’. They explained it to me later and I was like, ‘ok. fine.’.

I was the only one in labor and delivery that evening and so this might be why I had my own personal cheer squad. Seriously, the nurses were awesome. My personal nurse was in my ear, calmly but very firmly telling me what to do, Dr. Arnold was saying ‘good girl’, and I heard all the others saying my name and encouraging me.

And Wes. He had his arm around me and I could feel him pushing right along with me and doing all the breathing I was doing. I told him later how great he was and he said, ‘well, I didn’t want you to hear me breathing easy like I was taking a walk in the park.’.

And then, miraculously, finally, wonderfully, Dr. Arnold asked me if I wanted to pull the baby out. I looked down and was like, ‘hmm. A little garden gnome.’ And up he went to my stomach. It was very important to me that Wes tell me the gender of the baby and I could vaguely hear Dr. Arnold telling Wes to check it out. And vaguely I heard Wes tell me it was a boy. I just laid there and went pat, pat, pat, pat on his back and rejoiced that he was out.

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So yeah. The whole thing was crazy. That’s all I could say when I revived. ‘That was crazy.’ Over and over. I couldn’t believe how fast it went and really, it was not as terrible as I’d imagined. It was just crazy. And I was up on my feet within the hour. That was crazy. And I had my little Earl. That was crazy. (My brother, dad, grandfather and great grandfather all carry the name Earl. I’m sure I could find a Jackson somewhere in the family tree as well if I looked hard enough).

I told my nurse the next day how the whole thing had gone down and she was like, ‘Wow, that sounds incredibly smooth for a VBAC.’ And this wave of realization came over me as I thought of how many people had been praying for me. It kind of made me catch my breath. To think of the many prayers that went up on behalf of myself and the bebe and see how beautifully they’d been answered.

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And so. All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. [Ephesians 3:20-21]

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oh jack.

Jackson Earl entered the world on five, one five, one five at eleven eleven pm. He tipped the scales to six pounds, fifteen ounces and measured nineteen and a half inches.

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Jack. You are melting our hearts and we absolutely adore how you have made us a family of four. We sit and laugh at your different facial expressions, we turn into a puddle watching your sister snuggle with you, and we cherish the feeling of you snoozing on our chest.

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We love you little boy.

Story coming soon,

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