Monday, July 31, 2017

A Picture an Hour (sort of)

I thought it might be fun to document a day around our house while we're in the throes of having a newborn and sort of settling into being a family of five. Things will change drastically when Noelle starts kindergarten in less than a month (!!) and Luke returns to work in September. But for now, we're embracing every day with Noelle and Luke at home with us all day!

8:00 a.m.
Little miss woke up around 7:40 and a little after 8:00 was swaddled and put back in the pack'n'play. I don't think the sleeping lasted much longer, but I hopped in the shower and all three littles were awake by the time I was done.

9:00 a.m.
Everyone was downstairs getting breakfast of some sort, or likely requesting a second breakfast. And Noelle as usual wanted some cuddle time with baby sister.

10:00 a.m.
We got to church and about two songs in, Clara started fussing. Noelle came with me to the cry room where Clara ate and slept for the rest of church. I caught up with a few mom friends who were in and out of the room to nurse their little ones as well.

11:00 a.m.
At the very end, baby girl slept on me for a bit, and Noelle and I joined daddy for the rest of the service- which was much needed for me because before the sermon even started Noelle kept asking when it would be over, and could we go home.

12:00 p.m.
After church we headed home with our friend Arthur coming along so he and Luke could go play soccer golf. We got home and Luke fed the kids lunch while I changed. Of course they also devoured their usual snacks  at church while we caught up with a few people.

1:00 p.m.
Noelle and Jonah colored on the easel, a recent re-discovery. Current favorite things to draw: tall buildings and snails.

2:00 p.m.
After quickly tidying up, we headed out to a local riding stable for a festival/fundraiser they were hosting. All of their horses are rescue horses and the kids had a blast saying hi to them. (And my horse loving heart was excited to be there- possibly more excited than they were!)

3:00 p.m.
We bought some tickets so Noelle and Jonah could do a craft, play a game, and go on a pony ride!

4:00 p.m.
We headed home to wait for daddy and our friends to get there. Clara continued her nap in the carseat for a bit, so we were all able to have a little downtime before everyone got there with pizza for dinner thanks to our friends!

5:00 p.m.
We all ate and hung out for a bit while the kids played. Clara spent the time nursing away and hanging out in Daddy's lap.

6:00 p.m.
After our friends left, we got the kids ready for bed and they had some down time while Luke and I headed to the basement to watch an episode of Leverage. Clara of course joined us. :)

7:00-9:00 p.m.
Clara and I got ready for bed and after she was swaddled and put to sleep, I climbed into bed as well. I read a chapter of my book and scrolled through Instagram for a bit, and then turned out the light. At one point when I got up, I peeked in on the big kids and thankfully they were in bed! Good night to all!

Saturday, July 29, 2017


J man has been giving us a run for our money! I love this boy of mine, but some days we're just so done with him before 10 a.m. The tears, the whining, the freaking out if he's "left all alone" in a room. Last night I was in bed with the lights off around 9:00 and kept hearing a thumping noise. Just Jonah jumping off the arm chair in our room (aka my nursing chair.) And then he came into our room/bed at least 4 times, waking us up more often then Clara did. 


The next morning continued with more of the same from Jonah, and Luke, who is one of the most patient human beings I know, was clearly very frustrated. So to give him some time away from children, I packed them up into the van and we headed out for donuts. Apparently in the last 5 weeks (aka since Clara has been born) our local Dunkin' Donuts had a bit of a facelift, which Noelle was very excited to tell Daddy about when we got home with his donut. And to extend our time away from the house we drove around for awhile looking for horses while Clara napped and I sipped my coffee.


Clara has been a bit fussier than her normal the last two days (though still slept her usual greatness last night) and has pretty much been nursing/pacifying herself on me She just falls asleep while she's nursing but won't stay asleep for long if I lay her down on her own. I'm trying to just focus on soaking it in, and praying that she'll go back to being ok sleeping in the swing or rock'n'play by herself!


When Noelle was born, my sister gifted us a knitted Yoda hat because of Luke's great love for Star Wars. We now have a picture of all 3 babies wearing the hat, and I love it! (Jonah on top, Noelle on the bottom left, and Clara on the bottom right.)


Last weekend when I did my "workout" (aka walk/jog) on Saturday I noticed a twinge in my left heel. The next morning I attempted to add a bit more running, and ended up limping home with something going on with my achilles. I of course googled everything, and had/have myself freaking out that I've ruptured my achilles tendon, which oftentimes (according to google) requires surgery, a long recovery time, and physical therapy. I went to my podiatrist on Thursday, and she seemed to think based on how I could move my foot around that it's most likely tendonitis (inflammation of the tendon), or possibly a small tear. I'm in a boot for two weeks, and after my follow up appointment, if I'm still in "pain" (it's really not so much that it's painful, but that I just feel something and can't walk around correctly), then we'll do an MRI which would help diagnose a tear. It's frustrating and am pretty down about it (that time of walking/running in the mornings was much needed time to myself), but I'm also thinking that it's God's way of telling me to just REST. So I'm sleeping in (to the lovely time of 9:30 this morning) and sitting and watching more t.v. 


Noelle has continued her love for crafting, and this morning she had each of us "pose" so she could draw a family portrait. Jonah threw a fit because she didn't draw him first, and I was nursing while she drew me, but I love how her picture turned out. "There are five people in our house now!" is what she keeps saying, and oh how we love it!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

An Elephant, A Pig, and Some Peaches

I can't believe we're getting ready to wrap up the month of July, and a month from tomorrow, Noelle starts kindergarten! I'm so not ready for that, and Luke and I have a trip to Seattle before then, which will of course make this next month fly by even quicker.

This past Monday we met some friends at our local library for a special Elephant and Piggie presentation. We love these books, and hearing Noelle and Jonah's laughter when we read the books makes them that much better. Our favorite librarian and his wife act out 3 of the stories, as well as sing songs with all the kids. Noelle was more into it than Jonah, but still fun for all of us. Afterwards we headed to Chick Fil A for food and playtime with our friends.

This morning we headed to Larriland Farm to do some peach picking. The weather over the last few days has been pretty mild, and this morning was overcast making it a good morning to do something outside (aka Noelle wouldn't be able to complain too much about heat or the sun!)

We picked about 10 pounds of peaches and then headed over to the main part of the farm to check out what they were selling and to say hi to the animals. They each got to pick out two flavored honey sticks, and then fed individual pieces of grass to the goat (who also snatched Jonah's brown paper bag with his honey sticks.)

Sometimes when Noelle and Jonah are having some screen time, Luke and I will go down to the basement to watch t.v. ourselves. Usually it's in the evenings when Clara pretty much nurses on and off for a few hours, so it's an easy way to sit and do something together. It reminds us of when Noelle was first born and we went through the entire series of Friends. We're currently watching Leverage, and on my own while nursing at night, I've re-watched all the seasons of Call the Midwife, Z: The Beginning of Everything (about Zelda Fitzgerald), Free Rein (a horse series on Netflix), and now I'm re-watching Hart of Dixie. That's probably more t.v. than I've watched in the last two years combined!

And of course, this little one is cuddling with us.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Clara: One Month Update

Happy 1 month to our beautiful baby girl!

This girl has been, and continues to be our easiest newborn transition! She is certainly fussy at times, but she's been sleeping great (for a newborn!) and for the most part is content to be held. Looking back to a year ago when we were in the midst of infertility treatments, I'm amazed that I'm holding this sweet baby girl in my arms now! Just another testament in my life of God's goodness and love!

Height and Weight: At her one month appointment today, she weighed 7 lbs, 2.5 oz (3rd%), and was 20 3/4 inches (29%).

Sleep: Nighttime sleep has been great for the most part. I finish nursing her sometime between 8 and 9, and then Luke takes her down to the basement and hangs with her until about midnight. Most of the time he gives her a bottle (pumped milk if we have it, formula if not), but she's had some nights where she just sleeps the whole time she's down there. Once he brings her up, most of the time, she's been waking for a feed around 2:00 a.m., and then sometime around 5:00 a.m. Usually after one of the feedings, I'll pump if it doesn't feel like she's drained me.

She usually wakes for her morning awake period sometime between 7:00 and 8:00, and then is usually on and off awake for a good chunk of the morning. Thankfully we never dealt with nighttime cluster feeding (unlike with the other two!), but between 8:00 and 11:00 in the morning she just kind of eats on and off. I'm more than ok with that! Especially since Luke is home and can help with the other two. (Again, SO thankful to have him with us for so long!) Then she'll usually nap for a few hours from early to late afternoon. In the evenings she again feeds on an off until bedtime.

She did have one night where she gave us about a 5 hour stretch of sleep after Luke brought her upstairs. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep through the whole thing because I kept checking on her, and then I was so uncomfortably full that I needed to pump. BUT we'll take it! Hopefully by the time Luke goes back to work, we'll have some consistent 5-6 hour stretches (or maybe even longer.)

Eating: Like I talked about above, she seems to be more of a grazer. Eats on and off for a few hours at a time, and then has her 2 to 3 feedings throughout the night. She's great with breastfeeding (thankfully we worked that out after a few days of fighting it at times in the beginning), and will also gladly take a bottle. She occasionally gets formula, but gets breast milk if I've kept up with pumping.

Diapers/Clothing: Rocking the newborn diaper and clothing, but really, it seems like she'll be outgrowing those faster than big sister did! Thankfully she's not leaking through diapers (and I'm not changing her in the middle of the night), unless she has an all out blowout.

Social/Milestones: Clara definitely has longer periods of alertness than she did in the beginning, and she'll make eye contact, but doesn't hold it for long. Her neck is getting stronger, and even though we've only done little bouts of tummy time, she doesn't scream through it, unlike the other two!

We've had so many firsts- first time to church (at 8 days old), first walk in the stroller, first movie ($1 movies for the win!), first trip to Chick Fil A, and so many more. Her first bath went pretty well- she was quiet and then cried, but wasn't screaming her head off. Her umbilical cord fell off at 9 days old. She had her first 4th of July- also her first holiday.

Likes: Being snuggled up in a wrap. I found one very similar to the Solly baby wrap on Amazon for much cheaper, and she almost always falls right to sleep when I put her in it. Whenever we run errands, that's usually what I put her in. She likes to eat, but is oftentimes quick to fall asleep on the boob, thus the grazing.

Dislikes: Clara is not a big fan of the carseat. She often cries when she's in it, though sometimes less so if the car is moving. She has her fussy times, but we haven't figured out if it's something bothering her, or if it's just general baby fussiness. Overall she's still pretty content to eat and sleep!

Fun things we've done: We've been able to do so much more at this point since Luke is home. If he wasn't, I highly doubt I'd be able to wrangle all three out to do much, especially if we needed to get anywhere by a certain time. I have taken all three to playgrounds by myself, but that's about all I've attempted. Last week the older two did VBS, and we managed to make it on time for the most part. We celebrated Noelle's birthday with family over, we've gone to our family's houses for cookouts and food, went to a friend's house for a going away dinner, and we've been to library time.

Some pictures:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Clara's Birth Story

On June 20th, I went to what ended up being my last OB appointment. I wasn't any further dilated, but the nurse practitioner could feel baby's head, and guessed that once I went into labor, baby would probably arrive fairly quickly. I also had a growth sono scheduled that day, and baby was measuring in at about 6 pounds, 8 ounces (give or take a few.) I was a little worried that if I went too far past my due date, this really would end up being a big baby!

the last baby belly shot I took at 39 weeks!

On Friday evening (June 23), I took a long walk around the neighborhood catching up with my college roommate, Kristen. She is pregnant with her first, and so of course most of the conversation revolved around pregnancy and babies (which I could probably talk about all day!) We talked for about an hour, and then I got off the phone to help Luke get the kids to bed. According to my Fitbit, I had over 20,000 steps for the day- more than I'd had in quite awhile! I'd been hoping that the more walking I did, the more likely my body was to go into labor.

Throughout the night on Friday, I felt the occasional contraction, usually when my bladder was full. I kept wondering if that's what I was really feeling or if it was just my wishful thinking that we were closer to meeting baby. On Saturday morning, I woke up and did my usual 3 mile walk around the neighborhood. I felt little contractions here and there while getting ready for the day and while we went grocery shopping. We decided that since it was such a beautiful day, we would pack a picnic lunch to eat at Piney Run Park. After walking around there for a bit, it felt like the contractions were becoming more intense/painful, and I told Luke we may need to head home soon.

hanging out at Piney Run

At home, I folded a load of laundry and finished packing the hospital bag for myself and a bag for the kids to take to my mom's. Around 3:20, I decided to start timing the contractions on my Baby Center app. I decided to pace around our room, which seemed to make contractions get more intense. Once I started timing them, they were all about 5 minutes apart.

After about an hour and 20 minutes, and Luke encouraging me to call, I talked to the doctor to tell her what was going on. Contractions didn't feel as intense as they did with Jonah, but were consistently about 5 minutes apart. Dr. Richards told me that since this was my third time, she trusted my judgement and to come to the hospital if I felt like it was time. I was totally second guessing myself wondering if we should wait because I really didn't want to get sent home! But the pain was pretty bad by this point, and Luke was really pushing to go because he was a tad worried about having to deliver a baby in the car.

We waited a bit longer for Luke's parents to get to our house to watch the littles, and then we headed out a little after 5:00. I was still timing the contractions on my phone and realized they were slowing down! They were now about 7 minutes apart and I told Luke I was pretty sure they'd send us back home. When we pulled into the ER parking lot, we sat in the car for a moment, trying to decide what to do. (Luke really wanted us to go in!)

After another painful contraction hit, I decided we should at least go in so I could be checked. I really didn't want to have to deal with these contractions without an epidural anymore! As we walked into the ER lobby and waited in the short line, the contractions got closer together. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long and I got wheeled up to labor and delivery.

We sat down at the registration window and I realized I forgot my ID and insurance card at home. Luke has an insurance card, but the lady didn't see my name on it (it's definitely on there!). Thankfully she was able to pull up my info since I'd delivered there before. As I sat there the contractions slowed down again, and all I could think was I should fake it so that they would actually take me back and check me! After about 10 minutes and only having ONE contraction, they took me back to a room, and my nurse helped me change into a gown in the bathroom. The contractions picked up again, and as she helped me to the bed, I was in a lot of pain, and praying that they kept me there! The nurse checked me, and I thought I heard her say I was at 9 cm. I wasn't sure I'd heard her correctly so I asked her how far along I was, and she says 9! I asked her if I can get my epidural, but she said there's not enough time.

Three more nurses came into the room and swarmed around getting everything prepped. One was asking me questions to get some history, telling me to pause as I got through contractions. Another suggested I stand to help with moving things along more, and within a few minutes of doing that, the doctor arrived. They helped me lay back down, and the doctor checked me.

She said "you're a 10!" She broke my water, and then told me to pull my legs back and try pushing when I felt the next contraction. As it came, I was screaming and hoping that I was pushing hard enough. I pushed till the count of 10, and then paused as we waited for the next contraction. On the second contraction, I could feel the doctor helping things along, and only vaguely realized my sister had made it into the room to take some pictures for us. (Heather later told me she heard someone screaming when she walked onto the labor and delivery floor and hoped that it wasn't me- totally was!)

I honestly can't remember if it was the third or fourth time pushing, but baby's head came out, and they told me to stop pushing for a moment. Then I pushed once more, and baby girl came out at 6:33 p.m. and they laid her on my chest. As the doctor lifted her up to me, she said "it's a girl!" I really couldn't believe the baby was a she, and that she was here so quickly!

our little 5 lb 10oz bundle of joy!

Since I missed out on the epidural, I could feel everything the doctor was doing when she delivered the placenta, and I felt some of the stitching up even with the little bit of numbing the doctor gave me. For me, that took away from just being able to enjoy holding my brand new baby, and I would totally get an epidural if we were doing this again. BUT God was definitely with me throughout, and I was really just so thankful for a healthy baby girl!

One of the nurses in the room told me later that after seeing me at the registration desk not really having any contractions, she thought for sure I wasn't very far along. She said next time (ha!) we should head to the hospital as soon as I start feeling contractions. After the doctor was done stitching me up, she came over and told me I did a great job. I laughed thinking about how much screaming and yelling I'd done, but it was good to just be done with the delivery part and was thankful for her encouragement.

We snuggled with Clara for probably close to an hour before they took her over to be cleaned and weighed. The nurse helped me get started with nursing, and Clara did a pretty good job with latching, but fell asleep pretty quickly. My sister ran out to pick us up Panera for dinner, and then the three of sat there eating and staring at our new baby girl while the nurse asked some questions to get all the information filled in. I kept looking at Clara in disbelief that she was already here!

Overall, I am SO thankful for how everything happened. Our nurses were great, I can say I had a drug free birth (though if we were doing this again, I would still choose the drugs!), my doctor was encouraging, and we didn't have to labor at the hospital for long at all. The timing of Clara's birth in our lives has been absolutely perfect- God's timing in every way, including Luke being able to be home for 12 weeks of paid leave, a company policy that was effective June 1!

"But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Slow and Easy

We've been taking our weeks slow and easy. We make plans, but hold them loosely knowing that with a newborn, we may not be able to all get out together. In the mornings I've started to try to get myself into some sort of routine of feeding Clara and then heading out for a walk, more for my mental state than anything else. If she's still sleeping when I get back, I'll hop into the shower and get ready for the day while everyone is still sleeping. Those moments of quiet and being by myself to think and pray are so helpful!

Slow morning with my girls

The kids wake up when they're ready, sometimes Jonah first, sometimes Noelle. I nurse Clara again when she wakes up, and feed the kids breakfast downstairs while we let Daddy sleep in for a bit. This past week we had a few mornings where the big kids just played at home for awhile, and a few mornings where Luke took the big kids to do something or all of us went somewhere together.

On Monday, we had Noelle's 5 year well check and Clara's 2 week (16 days) appointment. Both girls were looking great, and thankfully there were no shots for anyone! Clara weighed in at 6 pounds 1 oz, surpassing her birth weight and almost a 1 pound weight gain since leaving the hospital. Luke and I were pretty proud of her! She did get her heal pricked, but they let me nurse her while they did it, so that helped some.

Picking flowers in our PJs in our backyard jungle/garden

On Tuesday, Luke took the big kids to the YMCA for an art class. They had a blast, and proudly showed me their work when they got home. Tuesday evening we headed to Chick Fil A for cow appreciation day, and then to 7-11 for free slurpees. Lots of free food! On Wednesday, we all headed out for the $1 movie to watch Penguins of Madagascar. Noelle and Jonah thought it was hilarious, and baby girl slept or nursed the entire time.  On Thursday, Noelle got a birthday card in the mail with some money from her great Aunt Cindy (on the Wiedeman side) and so we all headed to Dairy Queen after dinner for some birthday ice cream. I ate way too much, but it was delicious!

vanilla with sprinkles!

Summer birthday party season has started, and we missed one the day I had Clara and had another one today. It's so fun celebrating our friends, and we have a few more to look forward to, including cousin Holden's 1st birthday!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Week 2 With Three Kids

While our mornings are slow, we've also been trying to get ourselves out the door a couple of days during the week to keep things normal for Noelle and Jonah. I'm definitely remembering how long it takes to get out the door when you have a baby who nurses on demand, and a million things to make sure you have in case you need them. On Wednesday I even made it out the door for a MOPS playdate with all three by myself- we were only a half hour late and somehow managed to leave one of the sliding van doors wide open the whole time we were at the playground. 

Playing with chalk outside the library

On Monday, we took Daddy to our favorite library time. Clara slept in the ergo the whole time, and the big kids had fun picking out books and singing and dancing with Mr. Chris. Since it was Noelle's birthday, Luke took her and Jonah to get froyo while I nursed Clara in the car. That evening we had our families over for pizza and strawberry cupcakes. I'm pretty sure it was the perfect day for Noelle.

Fourth of July was pretty quiet. We hung out at home, ate the delicious food that people from church have been bringing, and just had some good downtime. Which of course gives me time for lots of newborn snuggles. We've also been reading books, watching TV, and playing with toys (especially new birthday toys!)

Yesterday was rainy so we headed to the mall to play in the play area, eat our packed lunch, and go for a ride on the carousel (paid for by a gazillion coins out of their piggy banks.) Luke also joined the YMCA this week, and we're hanging out at the pool for the second time. Since Luke is home for the summer, we figured we'd join a pool so he could give the kids swim lessons, rather than paying for them to go somewhere. Luke even got them both goggles, which Jonah was especially excited about!

Sweet miss Clara is continuing to do so well! She gets fussy when she needs to get some poop out or when she's hungry. But overall, she's pretty content. I go to bed sometime between 8 and 9, and Luke takes her down to the basement. He usually does a feeding at some point before bringing her up around midnight so I get at least a three hour stretch of sleep. Lately she's then been eating around 2 and 5, and then wakes up between 7 and 8. She's already sleeping better than 6 month old Jonah was! We're praying it continues this way, but I know that things could always change. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Maternity Pictures

I am thankful my sister has such an eye for taking pictures. Pretty much every framed picture in our house is one that she has taken of our family or the kids.

Below are the pictures she took of us on June 17 when I was 38 weeks (and 4 days) pregnant. Fun fact- my dress is a maternity dress I ordered after winning a giveaway on someone's blog. Noelle's dress-obsessed self especially loved that I was wearing a dress.

She has been so excited for another baby! Even the last few weeks of pre-K, she would hug Jonah and me good-bye and kiss my belly.

My first baby!

This little man- turning three has been an adjustment for us all, but he still sure loves his mama!

that lip!

I truly love being pregnant, and miss having a pregnant belly! But mostly, we are so happy little miss Clara is here!