Sunday, December 21, 2014

Killean 3 months-and something about that other kid too

Killean is three months old now!  He is getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger!  He's still fitting into 3 month clothes, but I don't think that's going to last much longer.  Sleeves are getting short on sleepers.  Buttons are getting harder to fasten on onesies.  He's just starting to get too big for that size.  Looks like we may end up needing to buy a few clothes for him anyway if he grows faster than Rowan did and we no longer have seasonally appropriate clothes in the right size.  Not sure on what his weight is now, but we'll get an update at his four month check.

Killean is turning into a very smiley boy.  He's a pretty happy baby.  Until yesterday, we had only heard good laughs out of him in his sleep.  A couple of time we were holding him and he just started to belly laugh.  The best we could get out of him when he was awake was a little chuckle or a "huh" and that's about it.  Yesterday though, he started to laugh when we finished nursing in the afternoon.  I dont' know what was so funny, but something struck him as funny so he laughed.  Then we were watching Rowan play the drums and saying "bang" and THAT was hillarious.  Laughing and laughing at our brother.  It was awesome to hear.

Trying so hard to get that thumb!
Killean really want to be a thumb sucker.  We'll find his hand in his mouth while he's sleeping sometimes, but he usually keeps his thumb tucked in his fist.  A couple of times though I've been holding him and have seen him pull the thumb out and stick it in his mouth.  I'm pretty sure he'll start sucking his thumb here in the next couple of months.  We try to trade the thumb out for a pacifier, but I realize there's only so much we can do.  Hopefully he doesn't get too attached to his thumb.  If he does, we'll deal with that down the road though.

He's currently going through a growth spurt I'm sure of it.  He's eating more frequently at night so I'm guessing he's working on growing some more.  Trying to keep up with his big brother I guess =)

Rowan...oh yeah, there's another kid in the house.

Rowan is staying ever so busy.  I have felt like I've put him on the back burner a lot more lately-which I knew would happen.  Babies just need a lot more attention and he's more self sufficient.  Generally he does fine.  Sometimes though, you can tell he really misses being an only child.  He will insit on sitting in my lap while I'm nursing Killean.  He won't want me to read bedtime stories or rub his back at night if it means Killean will be with him-he'd rather have me go be with Killean and dad read books and rub back.  He's adjusting though-as we all are.  And he definitely loves his brother.  He likes to see him and is pretty tender when Killean is sleeping.  He's a two year old though, so sometimes when Killean is sleeping it's more fun to pull on a leg or tickle him than let him sleep.
"Rowan love Thomas"

Rowan's current obsessions are: Thomas and friends, Polar Express, train tracks (catching a theme here?), and Play-Doh.  He will stay entertained by Play-Doh for an hour if we let him.  We have to watch lots and lots of Thomas everyday.  And the other night? We had to sleep with our Henry and Thomas toys.  We still also love our pirate toys and our puppies.  When we went to visit Santa, we asked him for a puppy costume (thank goodness Santa lives in the day of Amazon).  Rowan's a smart and sweet little boy who continues to amaze us with all he can do and all he is.
Christmas train window cling fun

Lesson learned:If mom goes to work on laundry while Rowan takes a bath, all bath toys will end up in the bath tub

Fascinated by a new toy that jiggles when you pull it.

The jumper is much more exciting at 2 than it ever was at 9 months or so

Merry Christmas from my littlest elf!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Blessed for Thanksgiving

Play Doh Time
I'm sitting here alone in our quiet house-too tired to get up off the couch and crawl into bed-and I keep thinking about all the things to be thankful for right now.  Maybe it's the holiday spirit getting the best of me.  Or maybe I'm just seeing all the blessings we have.  But right now, life is pretty good and I'm so very grateful for that.  We're mostly settled into our new home.  We've been here less than a month and have had at least one house guest the entire time we've lived here.  I'm not complaining about that in the least.  I'm just noticing the quiet a bit more tonight since there aren't any extra bodies around.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my side of the family.  We welcomed my parents and their dog Skye as well as my brother and his family into our new home. All in all there were 6 adults, 5 children, and 3 dogs here.  We had a full house, but it was so much fun to have them all here.  My nephew Derick and Rowan had so much fun together.  Rowan especially enjoyed playing with Derick's Thomas toys and playing with Play-doh.  After Derick left, Rowan asked to "Play play-doh Derick again".  They became fast friends and it was fun to see them play and interact.

Anna, Alex, and Killean-the 2014 babies
Rowan also bonded with my dad's dog Skye.  He got a kick out of playing with her.  His favorite game: throwing the ball down the stairs and waiting for Skye to bring it back up again.  A close second on his list of favorites was feeding Skye.  I'm not quite sure why feeding a dog is so much fun, but it was.  So he helped feed Skye her breakfast and dinner every day.  It's the little things I guess...

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, I got to spend some time with my dad butchering an elk.  No-that's not a euphemism.  That's what we actually did.  My dad went elk hunting before coming down here, and he got a BIG cow on the second day of hunting.  You could tell he loved telling the story of seeing so many elk during the trip and the adventure he had with my uncle getting their animals into their vehicles.  Sitting in my new garage with my dad brought back lots of memories of my youth when we spent countless hours on weekends processing the game we hunted.  Helped make my new house feel more like home instantly.

All 5 MacLeod Cousins
Our Thanksgiving meal was supposed to be simple. We thought we had a simple menu...and then I listed out all that we were cooking and Ian reminded me that we did not have a simple menu.  All the food was delicious.  We discovered some quirks about my new kitchen in the process, but everything was perfect-quirks and all.

But no matter how much fun the kids had playing, or how good the food was, the best part of Thanksgiving this year was having everyone at my house.  There's just something about having your family around you that makes a house feel like a home.  It's not often we all get to be in the same location, but for about 36 hours all 11 people in the MacLeod family were under one roof.  We laughed, talked, chased children, and enjoyed each other's company.  It was a wonderful holiday and I'm so very, very thankful we got to have that time together.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Killean-two months

Two Months Old!
Killean is two months old now!  And what a whirlwind it has been.  We've moved into our new house (yay!) so hopefully things will settle down a bit.  Except for the fact that I'm starting back at work...and then there are the holidays...never mind.  We'll stay busy =)

Killean is doing well though.  He's growing and getting to be more alert during the day. Don't get me wrong, he still sleeps a lot, but he's having more times of being awake when we're just at home hanging out.  When he's awake, he's looking around and trying to observe and absorb the world around him. He is starting to smile more and more. He loves when we sing to him and when we make funny noises.  Raspberries almost always incite a smile.  

Fair skin, fair hair.
His sleep is far more challenging than Rowan's was.  Killean is real hit and miss when it comes to sleeping for long stretches.  Some nights he's going about 4 hours between feedings.  Other nights, it's more like 7 or 8.  It's a bit frustrating for me when I'm not sure when he's going to wake up in the morning.  Makes it hard to know whether I should pump or wait to nurse in the mornings.  I'm sure we'll get it figured out when I start back at work for real, but for now it would be nice if he would be a bit more consistent in the waking and eating department.  

Getting Killean to sleep is different too.  He seems to prefer falling asleep in bed with me.  The other night I was rocking Killean in a chair to get him to sleep.  He would doze, but not really sleep.  I laid down with him in our bed and in less than a minute he was OUT.  He even had a little grin on his face in the process of getting him into bed that just screamed "I win, I win!"  I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that.  I swore I would never have kids sleep in the bed with us.  I just feel like it's OK for kids to have their space, and parents to have their space, and beds are areas that can be "mine" and not "yours".  However, Killean seems to disagree. If we put him in his pack and play sleepy, but not sleeping, he won't usually fall asleep.  If we hold him until he sleeps and then transfer him, he'll sleep for a while, but wake up after a few minutes.  If he does manage to sleep for a while, he'll only sleep a couple of hours before waking up.  If he falls asleep in bed with me after nursing, he'll sleep for the 7-8 hour stretches I've been longing for.  Usually he'll sleep this long even if Ian transfers him to his pack and play when he comes to bed. I can't really complain about having some one-on-one time with Killean where we just get to be together though.  It's quite nice not to be pulled one way by a toddler...or cleaning...or whatever and spend some time with my son.  

Sweet Blue Eyes
Killean is certainly a mama's boy too.  Not only does he seem to prefer to sleep with me RIGHT there, but he seems to be much more calm around me most of the time.  I know this is incredibly frustrating for Ian, but there's not much either he or I can do about it.  If Killean is upset, Ian will try EVERYTHING to calm him.  If nothing works, he'll hand Killean to me and I won't do anything different (or sometimes anything at all) and Killean is calm in a matter a minutes...sometimes seconds.  I think a big contributing factors is the fact that Killean has had very few bottles (from anyone, let alone dad) in his life.  I've been the almost exclusive source of food for his two months of existence.  And who isn't comforted by food, or the memory/association of a person or place with a favorite meal?  I'm sure once he starts getting more bottles from Ian this dynamic will change.

We haven't even attempted cloth diapers yet.  With the move and everything it just hasn't worked out.  I think here shortly I will be pulling them out.  I figure even if we only do cloth diapers for some of his changes, we're saving some money and some tress in the process.  I'm not going to lie though, the though of not having to keep up on laundry for two adults, two kids, AND diapers is almost appealing enough to skip cloth diapers this time around.  

He eats like a champ.  He's eating about every 2 1/2 to 3 hours during the day.  Sometimes he eats rather quickly, other times I feel as though he's latched onto me for an hour.  Thankfully he is content to go for longer stretches if he manages to fall asleep, so life can go on if it's hard to find a place to stop and nurse every 2 hours.  I have nursed him while walking around (looked at a couple of houses WHILE nursing...boom!), but I much prefer the chance to sit...relax...and nurse rather than nursing on the go.  The result of all this eating:  at 2 months he weighed 13 lb 8 oz and measured 24 inches.  That's almost 6 pounds bigger than birth weight!  Way to go buddy!

Getting our work out in
I have wondered if Killean has a sensitivity to dairy.  One of the challenges with his night time routine is that he can be QUITE fussy at night.  It's not quite colic, but some nights he's just mad and we can't get him to calm down.  That has settled down SIGNIFICANTLY in the last few weeks, but for a short time there, I was afraid we were going to have a baby with colic and I was bracing myself for some long nights.  Once he did get to sleep, he was pretty fidgety and didn't seem to settle that well or quickly.  Then I noticed some of his stools were almost a little mucousy too.  The wonderful world of the Internets told me that those were signs of MSPI-Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance.  So I started an experiment and cut out obvious sources of dairy in my diet (milk, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc).  I didn't look at all the labels to cut everything out, but I wanted to eliminate a bunch of the 'big ones' to see if we noticed a difference-and we have.  I have slipped a little bit of dairy into my diet here and there (first time having cheese on a pizza in over a week was GLORIOUS!) and haven't noticed any ill effects.  When we go to Killean's 2 month check next week, I'll bring it up with out Dr. and see if we can get any recommendations from him.  I'm not convinced he has MSPI, but I'm also not convinced he is easily digesting mountains of dairy all that well.  I LOVE dairy products and was consuming a lot of them.  Perhaps 24-32 oz of milk, cheese in at least one meal, and other sources of dairy (milk chocolate, yogurt, sour cream, butter, ice cream, etc) every day was just a little too much for Killean to process.  Until then, I think I'll probably greatly limit my dairy intake for a while just to make things easier on him.  I did the same thing with Rowan, so it makes sense that I shouldn't OD on the dairy with Killean too.  

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Killean-One Month

One Month Old
Killean is one month old now!  I can't really remember, but I feel like Killean's first month went by way faster than Rowan's first month.  I'm sure a lot of it had to do with everything else that went on during his first month.  But anyway...

Killean has been growing like crazy!  He is solidly in 3 month clothes now.  When we went for his 2 week check, he was up 2 pounds from birth weight and weighed 9lb 11oz.  I'm not sure what he's at now, but I'm sure he's over 10 pounds.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was pushing 11 pounds now.  He's getting the cutest little rolls on his hands and arms too...I love the chubby baby he's turning into.

Sleeping angel
His sleep is...alright.  He's starting to sleep better at night.  He's not the most sound sleeper-he tosses and turns and fidgets a little bit through the night, but it doesn't seem to bother him too much.  He will sleep for 4ish hours at a stretch. Sometimes he sleeps about 3 hours, and on a very rare occasion he'll sleep for 5 or 6.  He is starting to be more willing to sleep without being held.  While I miss holding a sleeping baby, it's nice to know he's content to sleep in his swing or bed so I can get something done around the house.

I'm not quite sure what his personality is going to turn out to be.  He seems to be pretty chill most days, which is great since his brother tends to climb on him and disturb his sleep as much as possible.  We see smiles every now and then which just makes me so very happy.  He does have a serious face on most of the time though...and he gets cross eyed a lot, which is pretty funny to see.  He does get pretty upset when he's hungry though that's really the only time we see him upset.  Well...hungry and tummy time.  And he goes from fine to starving in about 30 seconds.  When he gets upset, he cries (of course) and then starts to snort.  He's quite adorable when he snorts and grunts.

Rowan is starting to show an insane amount of affection towards his brother.  Whenever Killean is laying down playing on the ground, Rowan insists on laying down next to him.  He will help to burp Killean after I feed him, and is pretty good about bringing a blanket, pacifier, or toy to Killean when we ask him to.  Rowan is still learning how to be gentile with Killean...and sometimes thinks it's a fun game to give him a pacifier, and then take it away, and then give it back, and then take it away (you get the idea).  I guess that's just a sign of some of the brotherly love they'll display as they get older.

While he's only been here for a month, it's starting to feel as though he's been around forever.  Our family has grown so much with the addition of Killean and I'm very excited to see how our family will continue to develop with him in it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Killean's Birth Story

We're approaching Killean being 'out' for a month, so it's about time I do a little blogging about him.  Guess I should start with his birth story.

The week Killean was born, I was contemplating driving up to Omaha every day that week for a meeting for work.  Monday of that week I had a doctor's appointment.  At that appointment, the doctor said we were about 4cm dilated.  At that point we were certain Killean would be born that week, so I opted out of driving to and from Omaha for work.  Instead I figured I would wrap things up at work and then get geared up for a day or two of phone duty before he was born.  Well Killean had other plans, I ended up working the full week...and getting more frustrated every day that we were STILL pregnant.  I was over it and ready to be on leave.  Instead, Killean decided he wanted to stay on the inside for a while longer.

I came home on Friday knowing that I was not going back to work on Monday.  I had no more work to do, and I didn't really feel like asking for more work to do from my coworkers, so I decided to start my maternity leave...even if Killean wasn't born for a few more days.

We spent that night just hanging out.  I went to bed around 11:00 that night.  I woke up at 1:00am (yup, 2 hours later) and had to go to the bathroom.  I was very confused when I went to the bathroom because my shorts were wet.  After my brain woke up a little bit more, I realized my water had likely broken.  I stayed up for a little bit longer to see if my water had actually broken...and yes, it had.  I told Ian (who hadn't been to bed yet) that it was time for us to head to the hospital.  I woke my mom up and let her know we were headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital and checked in and were all ready to go.  The nurse did have to verify my water had broken, and in doing so discovered that there was meconium in my amniotic fluid.  That of course made me a bit nervous.  The nurse explained that having meconium in the fluid meant we would have a larger audience during delivery-a couple of NICU nurses and a respiratory person would be there in addition to the normal nurses and the doctor.  If Killean cried at delivery, there wouldn't be anything different about his care after birth.  If he didn't cry, he would have to have some extra care.  Nothing was mentioned about a potential NICU stay, but I figured that depending on what the evaluation after birth showed, that a NICU stay was possible.  My first thought was "Great, both of my boys are going to end up in the NICU after birth"  Everyone was very calm about the fact meconium was in the fluid though, so that helped me calm down and know it doesn't mean anything bad was going to happen.

Even though my water broke at 1:00, my contractions weren't really regular even by 4:00.  So we decided to start walking the halls and see if we could get them going. The doctor wasn't feeling like we had to get going on pitocin right away (awesome) so we had time to get labor going on our own.  Contractions started to pick up a bit, but they still weren't that close together.  After about an hour and a half of walking the halls we were checked and were between 5 and 6 cm.  The contractions were only about 7 minutes apart, but getting fairly intense.  I went into labor not 100% convinced I'd had an epidural, but not 100% against the idea either.  At this point, realizing contractions weren't that close together and not sure when pitocin would be administered, we opted to have an epidural.  It went in smoothly and I started to go numb pretty quickly.  Contractions were picking up at that point, even though I just felt some pressure and no pain.  Killean was not dropping quite yet, so the nurse had me lay on my side to try and get Killean to drop down.  Nurse also told me to let her know when I was feeling pressure down by my rectum as that was an indicator he was in position.

We didn't have to wait long (we only got about half way through Wreck it Ralph) before I was feeling pressure. We buzzed the nurse and she stopped in for a minute. She had to go and get something...or check on someone else..or do something...I don't know, but she left and said she's be back. Well the pressure started getting greater so we buzzed again after about 10 minutes.  They checked and we were ready to start pushing.  They got everything set up and I pushed through a contraction and a half before they told me to stop and called the doctor. Doctor came down after about a minute and I pushed through one more contraction and Killean was there at 9:29 am on a beautiful Saturday morning.  He cried (best sound ever!!!!!) and we knew he was going to be just fine.  The longest umbilical cord known to man was wrapped around his belly and neck (twice!), but we eventually got him untangled from the cord.
Checking out my beautiful baby boy

The nurses put him on my belly/chest immediately which was awesome.  We had requested skin to skin time with Rowan, but didn't really get it.  This time we got it right away. It was amazing.  Killean started nursing and stayed latched for a long while.  We didn't find out his weight/length for a while and that was A-OK.  We headed up to the recovery room with no mention of checking his blood sugar or anything.  I was so grateful that Killean's color was good, lungs were working, temperature was good, and was all around healthy so that we didn't have to go through another NICU stay.  Though I was a little nervous about bringing home a 2 day old baby since we didn't have to worry about weight loss in the first week of life with Rowan, but we guessed we'd figure it out.

Mr. Bright Eyes
All in all, Killean's birth was pretty uneventful and a relatively relaxing experience for me.  I was in labor for about 8 1/2 hours (same as with Rowan) and can't complain about that for one bit.  I won't say child birth is easy, and I'm not trying to imply that it is, but I didn't feel as though there was any pressure to get him out within a certain amount of time or really worry about any potential complications.  Maybe it was because I had "been there, done that".  Maybe the different hospital and staff made a difference.  May I was just delusional from having 2 hours of sleep before embarking on labor rather than a full night like I had with Rowan.  Who knows...but it was a very different experience and a positive one as well.  I'm so very grateful for that, and feel amazingly blessed to have another healthy baby boy to love and care for in our family.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

And then he was TWO!

I'm Two Years Old!
It's hard to believe that two years ago Ian and I met Rowan for the first time.  I truthfully have a hard time imagining what life was like before that.  Most of the times that's a good thing...though Ian and I were reminiscing the other day about how meals out used to be a fun occasion where we didn't have to worry about keeping a child in his seat, making sure he eats, cleaning up the inevitable spills and messes...but I don't mind messy meals Rowan yells "mama!" when I walk in the door after work or feel his really good hugs.  He continues to amaze me and is making me laugh more and more every day.  Which is good, considering he's also a full fledged toddler now with all the challenges they bring.

LOVES the train at the zoo
I think the biggest thing that strikes me about Rowan at this age is his vocabulary.  Oh. My. Goodness.  He has so many words!  And he's putting together 2 and 3 word sentences!  I know that's 'normal' at this age, but seriously...his vocab is off the charts.  He parrots EVERYTHING and is able to come up with words on his own.  He narrates things he sees on TV or in the car.  He requests we turn the music and air conditioning on in the car.  He identifies objects in books.  He tells us 'stop please' or 'no thank you' when he's done being tickled by the tickle monster. It's crazy!  He makes my mom heart very, very proud.

Blowing out birthday candles
He's also becoming fairly independent.  We can ask him what he wants for a snack (usually by giving him options) and he'll tell us.  If he wants his juice or milk, we can tell him where it is and he'll go get it, even if it's in the fridge.  He'll also put his milk or juice back in the fridge if we ask him.  What what?  I think some of these tricks will be QUITE helpful here after his brother comes.

As wonderful as his independence can be, it is certainly a double edged sword.  He LOVES the words 'no' and 'NO!!!!!!!!!!!'.  He also has a mind of his own when it comes to playing with some toys or games.  If he wants to play with a toy, he'll play with it regardless of whether or not it really is his toy.  He also likes to make lots of noise...a trait I fully blame his father for.  He still likes to throw toys or swipe them off the table when he gets mad.  I know he'll learn to control his anger as he gets older, but man...that day won't come fast enough.

Focused on water colors
We made the TERRIBLE mistake of legitimately losing his pacifier about a week before his birthday.  We planned on taking it away sooner rather than later, but were waiting since he A) only used it at nap/bed time and B) had enough changes in his life with the move this summer and baby brother in a few weeks.  However it got lost one day, so we decided to be done with it.  The first night, you wouldn't have known the different.  Every night after that...yikes.  His bedtime routine used to be so easy.  Bath.  Diaper.  Books. Bed. No fussing.  No rocking.  No nothing.  Just lay down in bed and he was out.  Without the pacifier he needed rocking or back rubbing or having us sit in his room until he fell asleep. BUT, we had to leave the room first so he would get PISSED and then he would go to sleep.  If we just tried to rub his back, rock him, or stay in his room reading until he fell asleep, it became a game for him and it would take over an hour to get him to sleep...and we'd still end up making him mad because we'd have to leave the room knowing the process was becoming a game for him.  The last couple of nights have been better.  Tonight I put him in bed and left the room without him crying.  Ian went to check on him and rub his back for a while, and he wasn't falling asleep.  So Ian left and Rowan didn't cry.  It's not perfect yet, but tonight we may have turned a corner...or it could be a fluke.  But...I'll take even a couple of easy bed time nights we have so sorely missed.

Jake's Pirate ship...a new obsession.  Yo-ho!
Other than that, he's still our sweet little peanut.  He's about average for height-34.25 inches but a skinny butt at 23lb 6oz.  Our doctor says he's following a good curve, and he still eats like a champ (most days)...he's just a skinny, skinny boy.  He is working on his last molar to have his full set of teeth.  Yup...all 24 of them.  Nice that we'll be done with teething until he's older.  Now we just need to get him into the dentist for a meet and greet.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Time to breathe

Little entertainer
Finally...I feel like life has afforded me a few moments to breathe.  These last few months have been nothing but crazy.

Let's see...what are the highlights.  Found out I was potentially getting a job transfer to Lincoln back in February.  That became official in April.  So we started the process of getting our house ready to be put on the market.  That meant a whole lot of cleaning, organizing, sending stuff to good will, putting stuff into storage, new carpet in the basement, new flooring in the kitchen, refinishing the deck, yard work, and a whole heap of other small tasks that amounted to quite a lot of work for both Ian and I.  Ian did a whole lot of the work just because I couldn't, but we both felt like we were working non stop for the last couple of months.  All with the hopes that when we put our house on the market it would sell quickly.

Painting with a friend
Well our hard work paid off.  We put our house on the market on May 23rd and we signed a purchase agreement on the 25th.  It was absolutely crazy!  We ended up having quite a bit of back and forth with the buyer to get all the details worked out, but it FINALLY became officially about 2 weeks later that this person was going to buy our house and we were going to close on the 26th of June.  It's all just a blur of working, cleaning, a few moments of fun here and there for birthdays, and then boom...we sold our house.

And while selling our house was quite the blessing, it  also was a bit scary because we had to immediately switch gears from moving out of our house, to finding a new place to live.  We didn't want to feel rushed into buying another house, so we planned on renting for a little while.  We struggled with finding a place because of our dogs (two big does is a bit tricky when looking for a rental FYI).  But we managed to find a place and moved in a few weeks ago. Ian's done a lot of work getting us all settled into our place, and it's starting to feel like home.  I'm not sure the dogs agree since we lost the fenced yard, but there is a BEAUTIFUL dog park not to far from our apartment.  So I think as long as we take regular trips there, they'll forgive us.

Sprinkler fun
And now, I get a moment to actually sit and relax and enjoy where life is taking me.  That's been very difficult to do lately.  I've been very focused on job transfer and housing stuff I've had a very hard time connecting with this pregnancy and the fact that we're having another child.  It's been difficult for me emotionally to feel excited about this pregnancy.  That's been very hard for me to admit and accept, and has caused all sorts of other feelings of guilt in me.  I didn't personally feel 'ready' to be having another child and I wasn't sure if we as a family were ready.  There's so much that comes with adding another family member into the mix and I felt like we had just started talking about having another child and BOOM, we found out we were expecting.  It was a lot to process all at once-especially for a type A person who likes to have some thought go into things before a major change is enacted.  Within the last 6 months, we've had a lot of change.  We found out we were adding another member to our family, we were going to be selling the first house we bought and made into a home together (where lots of memories were created), I was going to be leaving the office and coworkers I genuinely liked being around on a daily basis for another location, we were moving 50+ miles away from our friends in Omaha, and we were going to be moving into a small apartment which meant a HUGE lifestyle change.  So much in our lives looks different today than it did 6 months ago, and I had no idea that THIS many changes were going to be happening all at once.  All of that just amounted to a gigantic amount of feelings (both happy and sad) that I had to work through.

My beautiful first born
And now I feel like some of the processing has been done and I can actually sit back and enjoy the fact that in a little less than 3 months (ack!) Rowan is going to be a big brother.  We're going to have another baby boy in our family!  While that means twice the diapers, messes, sleepless nights, and tears it ALSO means twice the smiles, laughs, hugs, kisses, and precious moments.  And I get to see Rowan and his brother develop their relationship.  I'll be honest, Ian and I were both a little bummed we aren't having a little girl...but for me, all that 'disappointment' went away when I realized Rowan is going to have a brother 2 years younger than him.  They'll get to have adventures together.  I'm sure they'll get into a lot of mischief, but that's what kids do.  And at least they'll be doing it together.  Still have no idea what we're going to name him, but I suppose we have a few more weeks before we have to get that figured out.

So here's to 2014 being the year of changes in our family.  Life does move pretty fast, and I'm beyond grateful right now that I have a chance to sit...relax...and enjoy where we're at.  Life is good-I just need to remember that even in the midst of craziness.

Chess pieces bigger than him

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Brithday List

One of the reasons I love birthdays is that we as a culture choose to celebrate them...often times in grand fashions.  They are happy occasions.  (Oh yeah, and there's usually cake)  My family would always let the birthday person choose dinner that night, make them their favorite dessert, and of course give presents.  We usually got to bring treats to school too to celebrate with our friends and have a birthday party.

My birthday is next week (the 15th), and I'm super excited for it!  I usually celebrate a birthday month, but I'm a bit behind already so I'll settle for a week or a half month.  But I have to admit, as I've gotten older, it's been harder and harder for me to answer the question "what do you want for your birthday?"  I have always liked the surprise of gifts-not knowing what it could be and finding out what people think I would like and/or use.  Well this year, I have complied a list of things I want for my birthday.

I want people to do something good for another person or the world.  I want my friends and family to perform some service to help make the world a better place.  I would LOVE it if among all my friends and family (and whomever they share this list with), all of the 29 things (in honor of me turning 29) on this list are done sometime next week.  Most of them are pretty small.  Some are a bit bigger.  A lot don't require much (if any) money.  But I can promise even the smallest of gifts on this list can mean the world to some people.  So will you please help me get everything on my birthday list sometime between now and the 19th?

I am going to do all of these sometime between my 29th and 30th birthday.  I want to make sure I've done my part to help make the world better.  If anyone wants to check off all 29 with me, that would be the best birthday present ever! 

Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I can't say I came up with this idea all on my own.  It's been a compilation of quite a few different people and things in my life, but I would really love if my friends and family would help me give some of these gifts next week.  It's really all I want for my birthday.

Thank you, and happy giving!

1. Pay for the order of the car behind you in the drive through
2. Offer to babysit so new parents can have a night out
3. Send a real card or letter in the mail-not for an occasion, but just because
4. Donate blood
5. Call a friend or family member you haven't spoken to for a while
6. Volunteer to help out a neighbor (yard work, cleaning, cooking, running errands, etc)
7. Become a mentor to a youth
8. Donate clothes/house hold items
9. Recycle!
10. Plant a tree/flowers/garden
11. Bring dinner to someone who may need a night just to relax
12. Tip generously and/or leave a note of thanks
13. Thank uniformed personnel for their service
14. Say sorry to someone you've hurt, even if they don't deserve it or you didn't do anything wrong but because they were hurt
15. Donate toiletries to a homeless shelter, diapers to a women's shelter, food to a food bank, pet food to a humane society, and/or money to a charity you support
16. Do a chore someone in your household HATES to do
17. Go out to lunch/coffee with a friend to hear their story
18. Take public transit
19. Donate books to a school or daycare
20. Plan a date for your significant other around their favorites
21. Make something (yarn crafts, fabric crafts, art, etc) for someone
22. Visit a nursing home
23. Give someone flowers or a plant
24. Take your dog to the dog park (aka Doggie Disney Land)
25. Give someone who needs it a hug
26. Let someone jump in line ahead of you at the grocery store
27. Buy local
28. Frame some art done by your child to proudly display on the wall
29. Turn off devices for a night to really 'be with' your family

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Old MacRowan had a farm

Guess Rowan has managed to pick up a few animal sounds along the way. No idea where the pig came from though...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh yeah...

...and then there's this:

Daddy duck, mommy duck, baby duck, baby duck!
Yup!  Rowan's going to be a big brother!  Again, this baby 'ruined' my plans for running a half marathon in Kansas City in April, but I guess I won't complain too much.

We're due towards the end of September, about 2 weeks after Rowan's birthday.  I guess when Ian and I had talked about having kids 2-3 years apart, we decided to shoot for almost exactly 2 years apart.

Generally I've been feeling good.  All the pregnancy symptoms I had with Rowan are nowhere to be found.  A whole new host of them are.  I am SUPER crabby about 14 hours of the day (thankfully that's getting better...I don't know how Ian would deal with 25 more weeks of a crab-a-potamos living in our house).  If I don't eat, I start to get some major gagging and dry heaves going on.  I was during the first trimester.  My energy is coming back now that we're about 15 weeks long, but it's still not 100%. I am also feeling way bigger way faster than I did with Rowan.  I looked at my profile today and saw a definite belly.  Looking back at 15 weeks with Rowan and I BARELY had a belly.  At this rate, I'll be the size of Texas when we're due.  Oh well.  Give me reason to break out the maternity clothes a bit earlier I guess.

Ian and I are really excited to see Rowan become a big brother.  He loves little babies though he does have a hard time sharing mom.  He had a hard time waiting to be held when I was feeding my newborn niece or nephew, but I can't say I blame him.  He'll adjust as we all will when another little one joins our house.  And who knows, maybe by 2 it will be a little bit better.  It may be worse, but at this point we'll just have to take it day by day and see what the sibling relationship develops into.

18 months

Oh, that mess?  Yeah...I did that.
Well, Rowan is 18...ok almost 19 months old.  He's quite a busy little boy, though his favorite games are to dump toys out of buckets and spread them around the room.  Then you do the same with books.  Then the same with the trains in our bins.  Then you pull things off the couch or table.  In other words, we like to make a mess.  He's pretty good about cleaning them up when you direct him to...some of the time.  Ok,  he's better about it for me than he is for Ian, and he really only listens if I help him clean up...but I'll take what we can get.

He is breaking into toddler hood quite well-including the hesitation to share his toys, shaking he head no, screaming when he doesn't like something, and hitting when he doesn't get his way.  He's definitely testing his boundaries, but responds well to redirection.  That or if we take something away for a few moments he gets mad, but then behaves when he gets it back.  Guess this is where the 'real' challenge of parenting begins huh? 

Goofy little boy
Rowan's still a peanut-weighed in at 21 lb 3 oz at 18 months.  He's pushing 22 pounds now, but he's just a little guy.  Skinny as a rail, but generally eats well.  He'll go in spurts where he eats a lot, and then go in spurts where he boycotts food.  We can usually get him to eat cheese and popcorn during his boycotts though. Well balanced I know, but on a day where he boycotts food we figure calories are calories.  We know in the next day or so he'll be back on track eating and he'll get a good balance of food in. 

Walking at the zoo
He has JUST started to walk.  He's a real stubborn little boy when it comes to walking.  He'll happily walk along with you holding one or both of your hands, but he's real hesitant to walk on his own.  This week (a week before he turns 19 months) he has started to walk on his own for more than 3 steps at a time.  We still have to walk near him or give him something to carry as a distraction, but he's taking a lot more independent steps.  I'm sure we'll have a runner on our hands soon though.  Then it will be time for park days and playing outside...come on spring!!!!!

His words are coming too.  He says please, up, out, mama, dada, nana, banana, cheese, eye, hi, and help.  There are a few other words he 'says' that don't sound right at all.  His word for 'cookie' is WAY off base, but he knows what he's saying and kind of makes the sign along with his word (thanks Rena!).  Most of his words are mostly vowels or soft consonants. But my goodness does that boy jibber-jabber.  We have NO idea what he's saying, but he certainly tells stories.  He tells jokes too.  Ian says he'll be jabbering along and then start to whatever he said had to have been hilarious.
Rowan loves Church.  Church...tolerates Rowan.

We did make the decision to get tubes put in his ears this week.  He had back to back double ear infections in February.  That, paired with his struggle learning to walk, limited vocabulary, and constant fluid in his ears-we figured tubes wouldn't be a bad thing.  He handled the surgery well, but was MAD AT THE WORLD when he woke up.  He managed to calm down fairly quickly, once we got back to the room with mom, dad, and a little Elmo on TV.  It's only been a couple of days, but we're looking forward to seeing the changes in his balance and talking. 

So that's that!  We're still pretty amazed by our little boy.  Cannot wait for the nicer weather so we can play outside more!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas Whirlwind

Santa came!
Christmas this year was amazing. And exhausting.  I'm so thankful that we got the opportunity to visit so much of our family and see Rowan experience Christmas this year.  He was such a trooper on the long travel to and from MN.  Just like us, he got sick and tired of being in the car, but his mental breakdowns only lasted a little bit when compared to the hours he spent in the car.  Our biggest struggle those days in MN was sleeping at night.  Rowan, Ian, and I were all in the same room.  Only problem is that's a real rare occurrence for us...and Rowan didn't like it all that much.  Rowan didn't sleep that well while in MN, which means we didn't sleep that well.  We survived, but we were all relieved and happy to get back to our house and in our own beds.  Santa came and brought Rowan some awesome goods he'll enjoy time and time again. 

Sledding rules!
While in MN, Rowan got to have his first experience with snow.   He absolutely loved sledding in the 3+ feet of snow we had at my Nana's house.  He definitely did not like sitting in the snow, but sledding was awesome.  He got mad when we took him out of his sled to adjust his sitting posture or to go inside.  Too bad he didn't understand at the time that staying outside-in 10 degree weather, even when bundled up for too long isn't a good idea for a little boy.  Oh well.  Chalk it up to another traumatizing experience we put our son through and fodder for his therapy sessions later in life. 

The start of Vesper Family Christmas
After we got back to NE, we got to have a second Christmas with Ian's side of the family.  We enjoyed the time in Lincoln with all of Ian's family.  Traveling back and forth between Lincoln and Omaha had it's own set of challenges, but we all got to sleep in our own beds and Rowan and mostly normal bed times. 

Christmas Eve
Despite the lack of sleep and miles in the car, I wouldn't change anything about Christmas this year.  Rowan was spoiled by his family and has all sorts of new toys and books to play with.  We got to make some wonderful memories with our parents.  I feel like this year we got to really sit back and soak in the miracle of Christmas.  It's not every day that we have a Holiday that celebrates family and sacrificial giving as much as Christmas.  I'm thankful we got a chance to really celebrate.  I hope you all had a good holiday season as well and 2014 brings you immeasurable amounts of hope.

Walking walking
Santa present #2


Drumming fool

No Christmas would be complete without a cameo from Spiderman and Iron Man