Wednesday, November 20, 2013

4 Months!

My baby is 4 months. When did that happen? I promised myself that I would try to embrace every moment with Coralee when she was born. After watching Addison grow into the beautiful (almost 3 year old) girl that she is, I realize that I spent a lot of time trying to rush into the next stage of her life because I couldn't wait to experience it. Please tell me I'm not the only one who did this! Looking back, I feel really guilty about this. I feel like I didn't focus on enjoying the stage she was in. I hurried to get her to enjoy solids, I couldn't wait for her to crawl, and walking was something I felt would NEVER happen. 
If you are a first time mom reading this, my advice to you is to cherish every single stage of your baby's life. Don't rush it. Wait to try new things until THEY are ready, not when YOU are ready.
Moving on to the here and now! Since I've tried to embrace every moment, I have really been able to fully enjoy this stage. I forgot how much fun 4 months is! Coralee is such a happy and expressive baby. Unless she's really hungry, tired, or doing tummy time, she is always smiling and babbling. It melts my heart. Every. Single. Time.
I'm amazed at how much her personality is already starting to show. She truly is a very laid back baby and is already so different from her big sister! I am starting to think that she is going to be a lot like mommy while Addison is a lot like daddy.
 At 4 months:
-She weighs 13lbs 8oz (48th percentile)
-She's 25 1/2" long (91st percentile)
-She has outgrown most of her 3-6 month clothing
-She has a contagious, deep belly laugh, but she will make you work for it
-One of her favorite things is to watch her big sister
-She won't take a pacifier but has discovered her thumbs
-Her hands are always in her mouth
-She is reaching and grabbing for things
-She hates tummy time (it becomes an instant scream fest)
-When she's on her belly, she can push herself up
-She still loves to swing
-As long as she's awake, she never quits moving
-When she's laying on her back, her feet are in the air
-She is perfectly content being by herself for long periods of time
-She refuses to sleep if she is being held 
-We've discovered that this baby girl is NOT a cuddler like Addison was (and still is)
-She is bothered by a lot of stimulation, whether it be noise, light, or touch
-Bedtime is a piece of cake for her
-She has slept through the night many times
-She is solely nursing (and we hope to keep it that way)
She brings so much joy to our lives and we are excited to see what this next month brings, but we are definitely not rushing it!  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Trip to Denver

We made a last minute decision to spend part of our weekend in Denver and we ended up feeling like royalty! It's a 3 hour drive so going to Denver is always a huge ordeal and we like to make the trip worth it. We had big plans to watch a friend compete in a MMA competition but those plans fell through for various reasons so the trip ended up being solely about family time. Thankfully, our hotel more than made up for it! 

We have recently started using Priceline express deals to book our hotels and have gotten some really great rooms at really great prices. This weekend was no exception.
Our hotel ended up being a Renaissance hotel and it was quite the impressive building. Our room was on the 9th floor and Addison loved riding up and down in the glass elevator.
I'm normally not too bothered by heights but I will admit that the view from the balcony made me quite dizzy and my protective momma instincts kicked into high gear whenever we walked along the railing! 

However, being that high up means fabulous views of the city!
 No matter the time of day!
Just check out that downtown skyline view with the gorgeous Front Range Mountains in the background!

Even though we were disappointed that things didn't go as planned for our time there, we really did have a great trip. Our good friends ended up in the same hotel as us so we were able to hang out with them for a short while and afterward, we enjoyed a movie in our room as a family.

Addie always loves when we stay in a "ho-towel" and this time was special because she was able to bring her very own suitcase that we picked up for her at Goodwill not too long ago!
 Seriously, how cute is she?

And as a side note, how is it possible that this little girl turned 4 months old last week? Time is getting away from me! I will post more about that later this week!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Consequences of Having an Older Sister

This is what I turned around to the other day. A sweet baby covered in price tags. At first my instinct was to scold older sister for doing this but then I realized she didn't do it to be mean. In fact, she probably did it because of how much she loves her little sister. Let me explain.
Addison has an obsession with stickers. I think all 2 year olds do. So when she saw the price tags on mommy's new project, she thought they were fun stickers that she could play with. Now normally when she finds a sticker, she sticks them on herself, but this time she decided Coralee would like to have some stickers too. So where did she put them? On baby sissy's face, of course!
Lately, the Lord has been teaching me how to "deal" with my oldest child in a patient and loving matter. She is very strong willed (like her father) and I am quickly learning just how different we are. I think that is partly why I struggle to know how to always react with her. I find myself getting frustrated with things that she does when I really need to step back and look at the whole picture. I am thankful that I was able to do that yesterday when I saw the "horrifying" thing she'd done to her sister. I was able to step back, look at the situation, and then laugh at how cute it really was! And let's be honest, was it really hurting her sister? Nope, not at all! In fact, I think Cora was actually enjoying the extra attention!
The reality is, Addison truly adores her little sister. She is constantly loving on her and even though it may not be in the way that I think she should, it's the way that she best knows how. Whether it be through rough hugs and kisses or putting stickers on her face, it's how she shows her deep love for her sister. That realization fills me with so much joy! 

Seeing my two girls together really makes me recognize what a blessing it is to have a sister. A blessing I never experienced (because I was blessed with a brother), and one I am so thankful that my daughters get to have! I know this is not the first (nor will it be the last) you have heard this, but I am so excited to watch their relationship grow and develop!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

We took Addison and Coralee to the pumpkin patch in early October and we had so much fun. We've gone to the same place for the past 3 years and every year we are impressed with it. This was the first year that Addison was able to fully understand and enjoy it though. She was so excited about getting to pick out a pumpkin and take it home. It was all she could talk about on our way there!

Addison absolutely loved the tube slides that they had this year.
She was a little bit cautious when it came to the tall one but decided to try it out anyway. Let's just say, she didn't want to try it again! 
It must have scared her quite a bit because she immediately headed back for the small slide and refused to even look at the tall one! 
She always loves to check out the animals and this year was no exception.
She probably could have spent the entire length of time just watching the baby chicks run around!
We also played the duck racing game. Basically you pump water down the pipe and race rubber ducks to the bottom.
We took a little hay ride to the pumpkin patch and then mommy and daddy helped Addison pick out a couple of pumpkins. She really enjoyed helping us cut them off the vines but due to mommy and daddy's pickiness, she quickly grew bored with the process.
Cora obviously cared less about the pumpkin patch but was cuddled up against mommy so she was perfectly content being there! 
 Walking through the tall corn was something that Addison talked about for days. 
But I think her absolute favorite part of the whole experience was the giant corn bin!
We attempted to get a decent picture of the girls together but neither of them were really up for the task. Addie was exhausted and wanted to go back to the corn bin and Cora was getting hungry. I decided to just be happy with what we got! Some battles just aren't worth it and they are such cutie and can make any picture look pretty stinkin' adorable.
 Take 1.
Take 2.
Take 3.
Yup, we give up!

We really had a great time at the pumpkin patch this year and we look forward to taking our girls again next year!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Coralee's Birth Story

I officially want you all to meet our newest addition, Coralee.
Since she will be 4 months in less than 2 weeks, I figured now is better than never!

It all started on July 13th. It was a Saturday and Nick actually happened to be home that day. He had promised me the day to work on projects for the nursery since my c-section was scheduled for the 22nd and we had a ton to do still. We went about our morning and afternoon working on various things here and there. Nick had just finished painting a shelf for the nursery when he decided to go outside and mow for a bit. I was feeling a little strange so I decided to lie down and rest for a bit.

Around 5:00 p.m. I got my first painful contraction and it lasted for about 30 seconds. I thought it to be a bit strange but decided to just wait and see if it happened again. Sure enough, about 5 minutes later, I had another one. And then they just kept coming about every 4-5 minutes. I didn't want to alert Nick just yet so I got up and walked around to see if they would stop. When they didn't, I decided it was time to start packing a bag for Addison. I had, thankfully, just finished packing our hospital bag the night before but hadn't had a chance to pack anything for Addie since we weren't planning on me actually going into labor before my mom arrived from Iowa.

Nick then came into the house and I said "I'm not sure yet but I think I may be in labor." He of course brushed it off since I had never felt actual labor before (Addison had been a scheduled c-section as well) and assumed I was just getting myself worked up over nothing. He then decided to take Addie for a 4-wheeler ride over to the neighbors house and said he'd be home shortly. I, however, was getting more anxious since the contractions were starting to get much stronger.

It was around 6:30 and I was to the point that I had to stop and breathe through them so I decided to page the OB that was on call. It wasn't long before the OB called me and so I explained to him that I had been having strong painful contractions lasting about a minute every 4 to 5 minutes. I then told him that we lived an hour from the hospital and I wasn't sure what to do. He said I needed to head there immediately. Of course, this put me into panic mode because Nick wasn't home and I wasn't finished packing. I could see Nick was outside at the neighbor's house so I yelled at him and said it was time. He then frantically grabbed Addie and came back home.

We called some friends to see if they would be able to watch Addison for the night and began loading up the car with everything we thought we might need. We dropped Addie off and began heading down the mountain around 7:30. The next hour seemed to drag on forever since the contractions were getting very painful and were occurring about every 3-4 minutes.

Of course, once we got to the hospital, the valet parking had closed and Nick dropped me off at the ER while he went to park the car. Talk about frustrating! I got myself checked in and since no one offered to give me a ride up to the third floor, I had to stop walking every 3 minutes while I had a contraction. Finally, Nick caught up with me and was able to help me up to the OB ward but it was a little bit irritating that no one offered to help me before that. Thankfully, that was the worst of our experience there. From then on, we actually had a great staff to deal with.

Around 8:40 I was dressed and hooked up to the monitors so that they could see how things were going and if I was actually in labor. I was definitely having very strong contractions and they were 2-3 minutes apart at this point but my cervix was completely thick and closed. All that work for nothing!

Since I was supposed to be having a c-section, they legally had to try to stop the labor since I wasn't yet 39 weeks along so they hooked me up to an IV and pumped two bags of fluids into me for the next hour. They told us the likelihood that we were going to have a baby was pretty slim since things hadn't happened with my cervix in the 3 1/2 hours I'd been in labor. This was frustrating to hear since I was in a lot of pain. The contractions did start to slow down a little but they weren't weakening any. In fact, they were getting much worse. Nick enjoyed watching the contraction monitor so he could see just how strong they were and, according to him, they were bad (like I really needed to be told that).

2 hours passed and my OB arrived to see how things were going. He talked to me a bit about how I was feeling and decided to check to make sure things hadn't progressed. We were shocked when he said my cervix was 100% thinned and at 3 cm! The next few minutes were a whirlwind as he explained that there was not stopping the labor and they were going to start preparing me for a c-section. We called our families and the nurses came to prep me.

In less than 30 minutes, I was prepped, ready, and headed for the operating room! They sat me on the operating table and began to give me the spinal. Since I was having so many contractions it was very difficult for me to relax enough for them to get it in correctly so they literally had to stick me in three different spots. I won't lie, it was extremely painful! Once they got it though, the pain was gone and was able to FINALLY relax. They began the operation and at 11:35 p.m. Coralee Nicole was born!
Hearing her cry was such a joyous moment. I can't even explain what I was feeling at that moment. She was finally here and she was completely healthy! They brought her over to me and I was able to hold and kiss my baby girl for the very first time. She was so tiny. She weighed 6lbs, 1 oz and was 19" long.
I was exhausted but still had a long night ahead of me since I had to spend an hour in recovery and then get settled into my own room where I could finally get some rest. I was still filled with so much joy though that none of this really bothered me.
Overall, the experience was an amazing one and I wouldn't change any of it! I am thankful that I was actually able to experience real labor. It was something I feared I would never be able to do. I still hope to have a natural childbirth with my next baby (if we are blessed with one) but I am just thankful that I have 2 beautiful healthy girls either way!

And I put together a little picture and video montage in honor of our sweet baby girl!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Twenty Thirteen!

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. It's hard to believe how fast time is flying by. I mean, I had my baby over 3 months ago! What? I haven't mentioned that on here yet? Sorry...I will have to tell you that story at a later date! 

Anyway, this year for Halloween we decided to dress the girls as cute little cows! 

One of the fun parts about having two girls is that I get to dress them alike so of course they had to have matching costumes! Coralee didn't appreciate her costume too much but Addison absolutely loved being a cow!

We took the girls trick-or-treating on Main Street yesterday evening and Addison had a blast! It was so fun to watch her independently walk up to every store and politely ask for candy (with mom or dad by her side, of course). Her favorite part was picking pieces of candy out of their bowls and putting them in her little pumpkin. She refused to let me carry her pumpkin for her even though it was leaving red marks on her hand once it got pretty full. Now, when she asks for a piece of candy, she wants to choose it on her own and she is always so excited about her selection! I love to see the look of joy on her face when she tears the wrapper open. She doesn't get candy very often so this is a special treat for her!

It's hard to believe that we have celebrated three Halloweens with Addison. Our little girl is growing up so quickly! We are really excited to watch these two girls grow up together and see how their relationship develops.