Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

When my mom was here, she and Johnny were playing on the floor. John got up and got her shoes and brought them over to sit next to her. She grabbed them at one point and put them away. Then he got back up to get them again and said "You driving a (me) crazy!" I guess he wanted those shoes!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just Words

No pictures in this post, just an update.

  • My mom was here for a week and then left on Saturday. I cried a lot. (I blame the hormones so she doesn't really know how much I miss her on a daily basis anyway).
  • Isaac had an interview with the Kent Fire Department. Please pray that he did well and that the Chiefs look favorably on him. His odds are looking pretty good at this point but we still won't know anything for a while.
  • Jeanine is growing so fast! At 1 week she'd already gained back her birthweight plus a few ounces...and her newborn sleepers are getting a little short in the toes! (That could be because my poor children are born with waterski's though).
  • John is...two. He's learning everything so fast and talking really well now. I love spending time with my boy, but that time is sadly divided now and he's not liking it much. We're just dealing with things one at a time and continuing to work hard at pointing him to the Lord.
  • I'm sleep deprived. Jeanine decided to lure us into a false sense of security really early on by sleeping for 5 hours straight, 5 nights in a row. Now she's back to the typical 3 hour stretches, sometimes 4, doh! I'm coping though, and looking forward to seeing the fruits of our labor when it comes to sleep training down the road.

That's all for now. I hope this post and the several before it find everyone well. I'd also like to say thank you to everyone who has sent food or gifts since Jeanine arrived. We are so thankful and grateful, and boy does it take forever to write all these Thank-You's! Hopefully I'll get around to it before she's in college.

A Giant Among Babies

I can't believe how big John seems in comparison to Jeanine. It's ridiculous.

Meeting Jeanine

This was the morning after she was born when Jim and Kathy (Isaac's parents) brought John back home. We decided he'd be better off going home with Kathy the night before since we didn't know when Jeanine would arrive. John was so excited and just kissed and hugged her for a while. Now he's jealous for sure, but still loves on her and always wants to give her a paci or her diaper cloth.

Jim and Kathy with Jeanine, 12 hours old...maybe

My Cute Niece

Had to share these adorable pictures of my 2.5 month old niece, Jen's daughter Aubrey. She's so cute! I hope we get to meet her soon!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jeanine, Jeanine, and More Jeanine!

Okay, okay, so I know I went a little overboard with pictures but she's so cute I can't help it! These are from oldest (at the top) to newest (bottom) 11 days old, out cold in the Boppy pillow
Alert and observing what's going on
She was drooling with her mouth open on daddy!
Lounging around the house
Both out cold
Yup, she's a tummy sleeper already!
Sweet bliss...
She just ate, hence the look of satisfaction
Just after her first bath, 11 days old and WIDE awake

Sweet girl, lovin' her mama time

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chip Fiend

So yesterday I was giving John some grapes and chips for a snack. I told him he was a grape fiend and he said "No, chip fiend." I guess my attempts at healthy foods are slowly failing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Baby Happenings

Where to start? Well, I guess I can share a little bit about the birth. We had a planned homebirth with our midwife, Nancy. I went into labor the morning of the 14th and spent all day on my feet, walking around the house, doing last minute stuff, and going for walks with Isaac (who came home from a fair), Kathy, and John. We went to the park in the morning, ate at a Taco place for lunch, and then Isaac and I took John for a walk to McDonalds to get some ice cream, yum! By that time things were getting more intense, so when we got home around 3:30pm I decided to sit in our room and read for a while. I got absolutely NO relief from the exercise ball (bummer, since I was assured by many that it helps, thanks JEN!!) so I continued to pace and take short walks in the apartment complex with Isaac. Things continued to pick up slowly but surely and at 6:30pm we decided that it was time for Kathy to take John home with her for the night, since the baby probably wouldn't be there until after his bedtime and we didn't want him around. At 7pm we called Nancy and she arrived around 8pm. I got checked to see where my pains had gotten me so far and I was about 6cm and 100% effaced.

After this I paced and sat on the ball, and my awesome hubby massaged my back for a while during contractions. At 9pm I went into the bathroom and my water broke so Isaac ran me a bath to labor and possibly deliver in. I stayed in there (once again with NO pain relief, doh!) for about 10 or 15 minutes and decided not to have her in there, but when I got out of the tub we realized she was not going to hold on until we made it to the bedroom, so we stayed put! Less than 5 minutes later I was holding her in my arms and she was so perfect and alert! Surprisingly she had a perfectly rounded head and was born pink all over. We sat in the bathroom for a few minutes with her and decided to cut the cord. Isaac did the honors and then we went to the bedroom to get cleaned up.

After the placenta came was when things got a little scary. I started hemhorraging pretty badly and Nancy hurriedly got all of her supplies out to stop the bleeding. While laying on the bed I easily lost about 2.5 cups of blood so I ended up with a shot in the leg of Pitocin, an IV bag of fluids and Pitocin, and some Cytotec to stop the bleeding quickly. I was weak and got an immediate headache and was pale as a sheet for about 30 minutes, but once the bleeding stopped things improved quickly and I could hold Jeanine again. I had to stay laying down for about 30 minutes, then I sat up and leaned against the wall for another couple hours until I could stand. This is me still plugged into the IV, which we hung from a nail in the wall.

So anyway that's our birth story. Jeanine nurses like a champ, she caught on right away! The first 3 nights were amazingly hard though because she was up most of the night with terrible gas pain. The poor thing was drawing up her knees and kicking out her legs in such pain, I felt so bad for her!Thank goodness for my mom thought because without her I'd be living off of 3 hours of sleep! Last night was much much better as Isaac was home and had the first "shift". I was able to get some much needed restorative sleep between feedings and ended up with about 8 hours total! It definitely helped me get some energy back, considering I'm still recovering from the blood loss and the birth, naturally.

Ok, here's more pictures, no particular order. Enjoy!

Johnny holding his sissy for the first time...he's in love!

Jim and Kathy with the kids

Sleepy baby

Sleepy hubby

Grandma Julie w/ Jeanine

Closeup of Isaac and Jeanine

Little escape artist...she always gets her left mitten off!

Sweet Jeanine! "Thanks Auntie Jen for my beautiful afghan, it's my favorite right now!"

Big brother having fun with his new light saber!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Little Miss Jeanine

Well she's here! Labor yeah right, but hey, we all go through it so I can't complain. The REALLY bad part was only a few minutes. Jeanine Marie was born at home last night (August 14th) at 9:36pm, weighed 7lbs even, and is 20 inches long. She's already stolen our hearts with her little newborn noises and sweet little face! Johnny came back this morning to meet her (Jim and Kathy Stegman took him for the night) and he is smitten! Here's some pictures to get you all through the day! I'll post more about the birth some other time.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One of My Weird Passions...

Donating Breastmilk!
I'm so excited! My girl isn't even here yet, therefore I'm obviously not lactating yet, but I've already found a recipient family for me to donate breastmilk to. Here's some background on me and my donating passion. While nursing John, my eyes were opened by a friend who watched an episode of Oprah (whom I have my own opinions of, but I guess the show was still pretty good that day) about donating excess breastmilk to babies who need it. I was immediately interested and got myself signed up through the National Milk Bank to be a donor. One blood test later and I was ready. They sent me a hospital grade breastpump and a gazillion bottles and I got started! Once my freezer was full, they sent a really nifty cooler for me to pack and call for pickup. Of course this was all free to me, and I knew I was helping babies in need of breastmilk, which is truly the best thing for any and all babies. After getting a little tired of pumping I decided to quit donating and have always regretted not doing more than I did that first time around.
This time, I did some preemptive research before my little one even arrived (still hasn't, but will soon!). I decided to go through a private party this time around so that I could actually develop a relationship with the family and baby I'd be helping by giving my breastmilk to. I found a website called MilkShare, which is actually just an online Yahoo Group, and signed up to be a donor. Within days I had over 5 different families contacting me asking if they could be my recipient. I went through the e-mails one by one, contacted a couple of them, and finally decided on the best family situation for my milk to go to. Some of the things to consider when deciding who to donate to are: age similarities between donor/recipient babies, health concerns of a recipient baby, is the need a real need or simply a mom overworried (while still pregnant) about not being able to feed her baby (which is rare), location of donor and recipient (relevant to shipping or personal delivery of the breastmilk) and if you click with the family in general or not. As a recipient of breastmilk, you also have to decide if you want to trust the person giving it to you or if you want to pay for blood tests out of pocket to ensure your baby is getting healthy breastmilk.
So...after getting an e-mail from a family in CT I asked a few more questions and decided that they would be my primary recipients. I am so excited for this opportunity! The reasons I chose this family and particular baby are:
1) We are both having girls (I know it REALLY doesn't matter in the slightest, but I felt just a little more connected to them because of it).
2) This baby is being born to a surrogate mother, meaning her "real" mom (who contacted us) won't be able to produce milk for her at all, due to never having been pregnant.
3) The baby is due at the end of November, and mine is due NOW. This means that I will have plenty of time to establish a healthy supply for baby Jeanine and also to begin pumping and saving all of my excess for quite a while before they will actually need it. The timing is impeccable! God definitely knew what he was doing in this situation.
4) The last reason is simple: I believe that a family who knows about the benefits of breastfeeding and seeks out breastmilk as their first option for feeding their child from the beginning has the best interests of their baby in mind, even before she's born. Instead of resigning themselves to the fact that they can't breastfeed themselves (thereby choosing formula), they have proactively taken steps towards obtaining the very best for their baby, and I'm impressed with that!
So anyway, that is what has me excited today and this week, and probably for many months to come. I'm definitely a "closet" milk donator and would love others to become interested in this awesome opportunity to help babies get the best start in life.

The One That Got Away

So last night as I sat alone in my living room watching tv (on my birth ball), my cats started going nuts over by the entryway closet. This used to be their litterbox closet so I thought maybe they were confused and I brought them both to its new location to remind them where it had been moved. They still came back out and laid by the closet so I ignored them. A few minutes later I saw something out of the corner of my eye running across the living room floor and it went right between my feet into the corner, closely followed by the cats!! It was a spider with a body as big as a silver dollar piece, I KID YOU NOT! I jumped up as fast as possible looking for something to kill it with, thinking about the aweful sound it would make if I squished it, and the disgusting amount of guts that would come out of a spider that big and get splattered across my carpet if I got up the nerve to actually do the deed. I ran to the kitchen for the fly swatter (it has a long handle) and when I came back all I saw was the spider running behind the entertainment center! It was gone and still very much alive in my living room. Several things crossed my mind:

1) Spiders are vindictive. This one knew I was coming to kill it and would now be hunting me in my sleep.

2) Now I have to put a towel underneath the bedroom doors so that it can't snuggle up with me or John

3) Spiders move...where is it now!? I'm so afraid now that I'll open a box of cheerios and it'll be staring up at me saying, "What?! My cheerios."

Oh what's a girl to do?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

It has begun...

Isaac's crazy season has officially kicked into high gear. He left today for Bellingham, WA for 7 days and 6 nights; the first of many long home shows away from home. We're still waiting on Jeanine, but now let's hope she'll come after next Sunday so that Isaac will for sure be here! I think she's a stubborn little one like me, so that'll probably be the case. Otherwise, we're all doing just fine. Please continue to pray for Isaac and his work, and that the baby comes soon.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Where, oh where is our baby girl?

I know, I know, it's not even her due date yet and I'm getting impatient! I just can't wait to go through the experience of birth again and have our little girl here to hold. For the last 3 mornings I've woken up thinking I might be in labor, but as soon as I get busy with my day things settle down and crush my hopes and dreams (just kidding)! So she's obviously starting to get ready for her entrance to the world...on her own time. Please continue to pray for us as we get thoroughly prepared for Jeanine! Oh and by the way, the camera is ready; this means don't expect ANY pictures until the birth because we don't want to waste precious memory space and battery life on everyday stuff!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Where's Tom?

So yesterday morning I had a guy looking in our dining room window while John and I were sitting in there, and Isaac was/is out of town! As soon as I saw him he ran away and I didn't get a good look at him at all since I was immediately in freak-out mode, but I did call the cops. They came and took a report which went something like this: black male, dreadlocks, baggy grey sweatshirt. Sad I know, but I was too concerned about getting John out of the room than with getting a proper description. Hopefully he was just checking to see if anyone was home, perhaps because he was going to steal stuff, not peering in maliciously at me! Needless to say I didn't sleep well last night, but that's not much different from any other night lately...hurry up baby!
As for Isaac, the craziness has begun! He's away this weekend at a show, back for 6 days (during which we hope Jeanine is born!), then gone for 7 days 6 nights at another. That is only the beginning of the end-of-summer/fall madness that will be Isaac's work schedule, but monetarily it's already paying off and God has been blessing his work. We hope to get almost entirely debt free this fall so that we can spend our money more wisely on lasting Godly things in the coming months/years. I know this next few months will be hard on all of us, but it will be well worth it in the end, since our children are still too young to remember daddy being gone so much right now.
Isaac also got a job interview with the Kent Fire Department mid to late August, woohoo! They are interviewing 29 people, making a hiring list from those candidates, and beginning an academy in January '09. Please pray that the interview goes well and they look favorably upon Isaac! What a blessing it would be for him to be able to start a new job with the new year!