Friday, October 28, 2011

Thank you.

I don't know about other bloggers, but for me...when I get behind in my blogging, I have to make a decision. Do I play catch up and go back and blog things that happened over a month ago? Or do I just pretend those things never happened and pick up at the current time? In general, I tend to take the easy route and do the latter. But today, I'm going back. Cormac is 7 weeks old. And I'm just now writing a post to say a huge public thank you to my mom.

Adjusting to life with 3 kids hasn't been easy. But we were so lucky to start that adjustment with an extra set of hands for almost 2 weeks! Someone asked me what it's like to have 3 kids and the first word that came to mind was BUSY. It's a lot of things, of course. It's amazing, wonderful, fulfilling, and absolutely a blessing. And then it's hard, crazy, exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming. But more than anything- it's just BUSY! We're settling in now- by no means would I say we've mastered it, but we're doing OK. However, I can't imagine doing it with just the 2 of us from day one. Having my mom here was absolutely WONDERFUL.

She came the day before my induction was scheduled. And before we even got home from the airport, she was on grandma duty. I had a dr.'s appointment and we had to go straight there. They were way behind and between the waiting and the appt, it was over an hour and half. Thankfully, grandma kept Aidric busy and happy out in the waiting room for me. (There may have been cookies involved here.)

While she was here, I'd like to note that a piece of laundry was not allowed to stay dirty for more than 24 hours. Seriously, I had to slow her down on Juliet's laundry. (I've learned that Juliet will wear the same (favorite) outfit over and over if it they are clean, so I only do her laundry once a week or less.)

She did much much more than just laundry though. The day before she left, she kept asking, "OK, is there anything you want me to do today before I go?" and I kept answering, "yes, change your plane ticket to next week" =) She cooked and cleaned and most importantly, spent quality time with whichever kiddo needed it at that moment. When I was feeding Cormac, she was outside with Aidric and Juliet. When I was trying to get him to sleep, she kept them busy in another room. When I needed a break from the baby, she took him in the other room for snuggles and I got to hang with the big kids. All in all, invaluable and I can't thank her enough. I know she enjoyed it, but was likely exhausted at the end of 2 weeks!

So...THANK YOU mom..and thank you dad too, for giving her up for 2 weeks! We want you to know how much we appreciated it. Love you!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

more bones

If there is anything cuter than 2 siblings in matching jammies, as seen HERE, it's 3 siblings in matching jammies.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

Quick trip on Sunday to a local pumpkin patch. Such a sad little excuse for a "patch" really...made me think of the years when I was younger...going over to my grandparent's house to pick our pumpkin out of an actual field!

Regardless, the kids enjoyed it...took a quick pony ride, jumped in the bouncy house, checked out the petting zoo and took a few pics with the piles of pumpkins. Good times =)

Our first attempt at a 52 week picture...

pumpkin pics

and our 2nd attempt at a 52 week pic

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Public Service Announcement: Apple Crisp

I know this blog is generally about the kids and what they are up to. But, this apple crisp truly deserves its own post. It is absolutely amazing. I can't give credit to the original baker b/c I have no idea who that is. My mom made it while she was here helping after Cormac was born and apparently, it's the recipe my dad is famous for using.

My pictures really don't do it justice and while I meant to just barely soften the butter, I accidentally melted it. That means the sugar/flour/butter mixture isn't as lumpy as it should be. Delicious despite that though!!

Apple Crisp

4 c sliced apples
1/4 cup water
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter

Place apples in buttered baking dish. Add water and cinnamon. Combine flour, sugar and butter with fork. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 for 40 minute. YUM. (serve plain or with ice cream over/on the side)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet Girl

We had a little scare yesterday. The kids and I were at the park, I was walking Cormac around in circles to keep him asleep when I heard Juliet screaming/crying. I looked up to see her laying on the ground, on her back, with her arms splayed out on either side. One arm, in particular, was in a really awkward position and I immediately thought it was broken. I ran over to her and couldn't get her to tell me anything, just continued sobbing. I didn't want to move her because I had NO idea what hurt at this point.

Eventually, I got her to lift her arms and move her body and I figured it was ok to move her. I picked her up, carried her over to a bench and sat down. She told me she fell from the top of the ladder onto her head. I have NO idea how this is possible and I'm still confused as to why she was face up. I continued to ask her to move things and everything seemed to be working fine. I asked her a few questions and she answered them correctly. She then told me she needed a bandaid for her face and promptly fell asleep. In my arms. At the park. Honestly, the falling asleep scared me more than anything! I called Chris and told him to get on google and see if this was a huge concern and told him we were on our way home.

He met us outside and carried her in. He woke her up a little and after our incredibly professional medical assessment, we both determined she was fine...sleepy, but fine. She had skipped her nap that day, which I had forgotten in my initial panic. She cuddled for about 10 more minutes before perking up and joining Aidric outside for a little soccer before dinner.

The whole thing just made me realize how quickly life can change. She's ok and I'm so thankful. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of her in this sweet moment of cuddling with daddy.

Milk Art

One of our favorite (and easiest) ways to pass our afternoons is with an art project at the kitchen counter. I think this works well for a few reasons...

1) they love art
2) they are far enough away from each other that they can not touch each other

I like to mix it up and provide different materials for them. We do a lot of coloring, markers, watercolors and dot dot markers, but it's fun to go beyond those too. I found this idea on pinterest of course...the original blog post is here:

We used condensed milker to make it thicker and when I told them it was ok to lick the "paint" off their fingers if they wanted to, they tried it and declared it "basgusting" (juliet's word for disgusting). Regardless of not wanting to eat it, they loved painting with it!

I had Chris snap a few candids to use for my 52 week project. I really want some of those pictures to reflect what we are doing day to day..not just "smile for the camera" type pictures. And if that means a picture of me fresh out of the shower with no makeup on, so be it. (went for a quick run and grabbed a shower during naps!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cormac - 1 month!

How has a whole MONTH already passed??? It's really going way too fast. I remember saying that Juliet's newborn/infant stage passed so quickly, but this is just flying by.

I took monthly pictures with both of the other kids, but I'm going to do something slightly differently with Cormac. Instead of a "sign" next to him with the number of months he is, I'm going to steal this idea from one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love.

So, here's Cormac's first monthly picture, admittedly taken one day late and posted 2 days late. What can I say..he's the third child. This is to be expected. At least I'm doing it!

I weighed him on the 8th...just our home scale, so who knows how accurate, but he was 10 lbs. even. This didn't really surprise me....even Aidric and Juliet say, "Cormac sure does love his milk!" b/c he eats ALL THE TIME! (well, about every 2-3 hours during the day)

Speaking of far, I can't complain too much. There's only been one night he's been up more than twice, so I count myself lucky on that account. Starting around week 2, he struggled to go back to sleep after eating, but I realized soon enough it was directly related to being on his back. He would start groaning and grunting and eventually spit up all over, gagging on it in the process. I decided to try putting him in the Fisher Price Rock n Play and things got much easier. I can pretty much feed him, burp him, keep him upright for 10 minutes or so and then put him back in this for instant return to sleep. (knock on wood...I don't want to jinx anything here) Generally, the "schedule" he's kind of set for himself is bedtime around 7:30/8:00, up some time between 12:00-2:00 and then again between 3:30-6:00. I've been lucky enough to get a handful of nights when he's slept 6-7 hours straight for that first stretch, going down around 7:30 and not waking until 2:00!

I wish I could say his days are as blissful. He is by far, our fussiest baby. That's not saying too much though, considering the first two were such easy babies! Cormac has a hard time just chilling out. If he's awake, he likes to be held and he likes interaction. The longest I think he's gone "unattended" and awake is maybe 15 minutes? And that's been a RARE occasion. He has a super fussy period in the early evening..from about 5:30-7:30 (yes, right when I'm trying to make dinner and then we're trying to eat). He spends the large majority of these 2 hours screaming. And it's hard b/c it doesn't really matter if we're holding him and trying everything we can think of or if he's sitting in the swing by himself...he continues to scream.

Despite the fussy evenings, he's pretty amazing, and I'm more in love with him than I thought possible. I'm anxiously awaiting the first real smile, and I can't wait to start seeing glimpses of his find out who this little man is going to be. A sensitive, thoughtful people pleaser like his older brother? Or a spirited, independent goofball like his sister? I'm sure it will be some unique combination all his own and I'm so excited to get to know him too!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cormac's BFF

Cormac is only 3.5 weeks old, and yet he already has a BFF!! (That is Best Friend Forever for anyone who is not in the know).

Bonnie and I met the summer before 7th grade. It is hard to believe that was 1989. (Wow) We immediately became BFFs and were ridiculously inseparable for the following 10 years. We've taken different paths since High School, mine leading to Butler and then San Francisco, Austin and now Southern California. Hers has included Michigan, Houston, Seattle and now Washington DC! Though we haven't lived in the same state in 15 years, we've always kept in touch and the core of our friendship has never changed. We always joked in high school that we were never 'in sync', referring mostly to the fact that whenever one of us had a boyfriend, the other was single and vice-versa. Things are still pretty drastically different in our lives, but having little boys born exactly one month apart puts us pretty in sync!

Bonnie and Oliver came to visit for 3 days and it was SO great to see her and meet Oliver! He is SUCH a good, sweet little baby!! We did a lot of just hanging out and talking with a few outings mixed in to keep Aidric and Juliet entertained and happy. Sadly, we seriously neglected to document 95% of the visit. On their last night here, Bonnie and I were heading out to dinner with just the babies and we finally remembered to grab the camera. 3 days of a great visit and this is all we have to show for it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cormac's birth story

I'm mostly putting this on the blog for my own documentation, but thought someone out there may be interested in reading it here goes!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

So, we were scheduled for a 10:00 induction, but received a call at 7:45 saying they were full and had no nurses. She asked me to call and check in with her at 10:00 and she was hoping to tell me I could come in at 1:00. I was 100% fine with this, b/c it meant I got to be the one to pick Juliet up from her first day of preschool. I called back at 10:00 and learned that they were even busier and I would not be able to come in at 1:00. She asked me to call back again at 1:00. I spent the morning doing all the things you are supposed to do if you are trying to get labor started at home. I worked a few accupressure points while Aidric watched a show and definitely got some contractions going. After we picked up Juliet, my mom, Aidric, Jules and I went for a walk. I was having decent contractions, but knew they'd likely go away when we stopped walking.

Around 12:30, my phone rang and it was the hospital saying to go ahead and come in at 1:00! We walked back home, took a quick shower and grabbed our bags. Our last picture as a family of 4.

By the time we got to the hospital and were checked in, it was almost 2:00. They had just started the IV for fluids and were still doing intake information when my doctor came in. She checked my cervix to get a starting point of reference. I was 4 cm dilated; 85% effaced and baby at -1 station. She needed to get back into the office, so she broke my water before we had even started pitocin! That was at 2:12, the official start of my labor. 10 minutes later they started the pitocin and I'm not kidding you, by 2:25 I was asking for an epidural. My labors with Aidric and Juliet were both fast, but I was in no way prepared for things to move as quickly as they did. The nurse left the room and 5 minutes later the anesthesiologist walked in. The contractions were already coming less than 2 minutes apart and they were STRONG! She turned off the pit so that she could get the epidural in. (They never turned it back on b/c my contractions were coming so fast and strong w/o it, there was no need.)

The epidural was not easy. Worth it in the end, but not easy. First, there were the normal aches and pains of the lidocaine needle and the insertion of the epidural needle itself. There was a little cursing and moaning on my end and several pauses in the process to get through a few contractions. Just when I thought the worst was behind me (b/c she TOLD me it was), I relaxed and said with relief how that wasn't as bad as the epidural process with Juliet. Oh, how I would eat those words. Immediately after that, she was inserting the actual catheter and I felt a stinging/electric sensation jolt through my left leg and lower back. She continued to work on it and then said it had popped out!! She told me she'd have to start over and do it again. Pretty much repeat above, including the jolting pain at the end. (2nd epidural was in at 2:45) Wouldn't have been so horrible if that was the end of it. But it was unfortunately not over. I can't even describe how quickly this happened, but as I sat there with her finishing the epidural, I had a horrible stabbing pain in my head. I couldn't call it a headache as much as just an intense stabbing. I've never felt anything like it. She checked for a leakage of something or other and confirmed that wasn't a problem. First thing they tried to relieve it was a diet pepsi (for the caffeine) and a tylenol. In addition to the head pain at this time, I was still feeling intense contractions b/c I hadn't even finished the first bag of IV fluids and the anesthesiologist didn't want to up the epidural meds until I had finished those b/c of some other possible complication if she did.

My head pain had subsided a little and my nurse decided to check for progress. At 3:10, one hour into the process, I was 100% effaced and 5-6 cm dilated. She started to insert a catheter when the head pain just completely overwhelmed me. It was definitely scary to experience something like that..just so strange and unexplained. It was obviously related to the epidural but the anesthesiologist couldn't say WHY it was there. She explained a treatment she could try called a blood patch. W/o even fully understanding it, I agreed to have her do it. Weirdest thing - she took about 20 ML of blood from my arm, apparently from a very specific blood vessel there, and then inserted that same blood into the epidural. I can't say I understand the process and she even said they don't know WHY it works. She acted as though it was going to be an instant 100% cure and I wanted that to be true, but while it wasn't, it helped tremendously. And thank God it did, b/c I can't even imagine going through labor with that pain!

Over the next 20 minutes, the contractions got less and less painful as she was able to increase my epidural up to the normal amount. I could still feel them and I could even move my legs and lift my body up when the nurse needed me to. This surprised me as I remember being completely numb with Juliet. I voiced this concern several times =) (not b/c I was in pain, just b/c I was so worried I would feel baby coming out and I am all about avoiding pain- heck, I'd gone through all of the pain to GET the epidural, I wanted to put it to good use!) The anesthesiologist informed me that the new standard of practice is use a lower level epidural b/c in the past women weren't pushing effectively with the amounts they were using. I tried to promise her I would be a good pusher, but she held her ground. It was fine though and even w/o her increasing it, the pain was mostly gone and we enjoyed the next hour of hanging out and waiting to be ready. Yes, I said hour. That's how long it took before I felt pressure and let my nurse know she should probably check me.

She checked me at 4:15 and basically said, "I'm going to call your doctor, please don't have the baby while I'm gone. Call me if you hear crying from under the blanket." Baby was already at +2 station!!! 100% effaced and 10 cm dilated- very much ready to be born! My doctor was there within minutes and got everything set up for delivery.

(right before pushing)

I started pushing at 4:35 and our little boy was born at 4:39. Even for me, that was fast. His birth was absolutely incredible. My mom and my sister-in-law Sarah were both here and I had requested a mirror. We all watched his amazing entry into the world. I think it was the 2nd contraction of pushing that his head came out. We were talking and laughing and when I laughed, the pressure pushed him out just a little more. My doctor basically said, "let's go with that...don't push anymore, just laugh." So, I did and he pretty much slid the rest of the way out on his own. SOOOOOOOO cool!! As she was sliding him out, Dr. Richey turned his body towards Chris and I so we would have the first view of the privates. Immediately, I could see he was a boy and I have to say I was shocked! My intuition from day 1 was that he was a boy, but soooo many people were guessing girl that I let myself be convinced it would be a girl. Not knowing the gender ahead of time was a pretty awesome experience. It was just sooo exciting to have that surprise to look forward to at the end of labor. Sarah took some great pictures and the looks on Chris and my faces say it all. Just soooo happy and excited to be meeting our little boy.

She put him right on my belly/chest and he seemed to snuggle right in. My mom cut the cord and he just chilled. I love that the policies at this hospital did not require that he be taken from me at any exact time. I got to hold and cuddle with him for quite awhile before I handed him over to be weighed/cleaned off and checked out. He got 9/9 on his apgars and weighed in at 7 lbs. 13 oz. He was 20" long with a head circumference of 14".

When the nurse was finished with him, Chris held him and within just a few minutes, Grandma Porras showed up with Aidric and Juliet, who were ecstatic to meet him. They ran over to the chair and just dove right in. Juliet kept exclaiming, "oooooh, baby, baby, baby- look at the teeny, tiny, little baby!!" and then, "Can I hold it??". So cute! Aidric started rubbing his head and then sang him a song. They were both so sweet. Juliet got to hold him first and she probably kept him for almost 5 minutes before deciding she was done. Aidric was next and almost immediately, Juliet wanted another turn. That went on for about 20 minutes or so and then they went for a walk with my mom so everyone else could get a turn.

I was a little worried about the kids' reaction to my holding him and nursing him for the first time. I remember Aidric really didn't like seeing me with Juliet when he first came to the hospital to meet her. It didn't phase them a bit though! They just wanted to be a part of it, and kept reaching out to touch him.

All in all, it was an amazing day. How could it be anything less considering it's the day we were blessed with this absolutely amazing little boy!