Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mommy brain

I've got a lot on my plate right now - baby boy, slightly bigger baby girl, busy husband, brother's wedding, wrapping up my post doc, learning to be a stay-at-home-mom without breaking the bank, keeping everyone updated on all that, and a lot of other things that I can't remember. I've heard that it's normal to suffer from pregnancy brain followed by mommy brain, and I think I've got it bad. Based on my experience, I theorize that each child takes roughly 25% of your brain capacity. So I'm down to 75% of 75%, or 56.25%.

I posted my theory on FB earlier and immediately got questions of what that would mean for people who had 12 kids or what about Michelle Duggar? Well, a mom of 12 (like my great grandmother) would have about 3% of her brain left, Michelle is down to about 0.4%. Now this speaks to the great intelligence of moms of so many children. I mean if Michelle can still function to come up with another "J" name with only 0.4% of her brain left, she must have been a super genius in the beginning.

A follow up question was whether my theory implied that the first child would necessarily be smarter than any subsequent children. I think this plays out on a individual basis. In my case, I think Chaselyn took a lot of my book smarts. Which is why she likes to sit and read and isn't fooled when her Daddy and I try to hide things from her by putting them behind our backs. Jacob seems to have taken my ability to stay on task and think about 2 things at once. So, I think these two kids are both going to be smart in their own right. Again, as I posted on FB, I just feel extremely sorry for any future child who takes the useless information portion of my brain that had me singing "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" this morning. (I couldn't decide if happy to only know a few bars of the chorus because it's an awful song or if i was upset that I could only repeat these few things over and over again.)

But I don't really miss my brain too much. I mean I'm still functioning and I'm lerning to better utilize lists to keep everythign straight. And on the upside though Mommy brain takes a little piece of you. You get back so much in return. My brain has shrunk, but when each child was born, my heart grew three sizes that day. Emotionally, spiritually, and _______ (Mommy brain prevents me from coming up with a '-ally' word that conveys maturity), I've grown so much with each child. Just look at these adorable kids, any brain loss is totally worth it.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Flip much?

Many of you have viewed the video that I posted of Chaselyn being introduced to her new (to her at least) slide. Stanton filmed the whole thing using my Flip camera that my fantastic in-laws got me for Christmas. (BTW if there are any other grandparents or grandparents-to-be out there, this is an excellent gift!) We love the flip camera, it's small, sleek, and very useful. I currently keep it in Jacob's diaperbag and I'm ready to whip it out on a moments notice. Unfortunately, it took me the past 5 months to figure out I can't just upload the videos directly to the blog, I need to go through YouTube and link it. Anyway, one of the blogs I follow, Confessions of a Young Married Couple has a giveaway for a $200 Visa giftcard to get your own newest version of the Flip camera. You can enter by leaving a comment on her blog and four other blogs. That's 5 chances to enter. The easiest way is to go to this website and click on the links for each of the 5 different blogs. You have to leave a story of when you wish you had a video camera with you. ***Note, you can post the same story on all 5 blogs, so use your copy and paste functions after you write your story on the first blog.***

Like I said, I really love our Flip camera and now that I know how to upload the videos, you'll be seeing more on here. Plus, it's a $200 Visa giftcard, so it doesn't have to go to a Flip camera. You could use it for groceries, diapers, or maybe a bicycle.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our little ones

We had the check-up at the doctor today for both Chaselyn and Jacob. And just as I started typing I realized that we took 0 pictures. Which makes me extremely sad. I am taking full responsibility, and trying not to make excuses, but we got in extremely quickly (Stanton and Chaselyn hadn't even made it yet). And then we had nurses asking questions to me and having Stanton take the kids down to get weighed and measured.

Chaselyn weighs 28 lbs. 6 oz. and is 32.5 inches tall. That puts her in the 90th percentile for weight, 75th percentile for height, and 80th percentile for height to weight ratio. She's kind of a chunk. But that's ok, she always has been. Her head growth is finally leveling out. She is meeting (and surpassing) all the developmental milestones such as using at least 10 words, identifying at least 2 body parts, walking, pointing to things she wants, etc. There are no signs of autism. And, she didn't even have to get any shots. The only down side is that she has a serious yeast infection right now, but we got a prescription and will get that taken care of soon.

Jacob is growing fast. He weighs 7 lbs 14 oz. We didn't get his length, Stanton was holding his head and he was screaming and I was back in the exam room answering questions. But I think he's longer. He was in the 25th percentile for weight, 50th percentile for height, and the 30th percentile for height to weight ratio. So he's a little on the string bean side. He too seems to be doing ok on his milestones. He seems to eat, sleep, and poop in the appropriate amounts. Right now he gets lots of hiccups, which is normal, but sad to watch. His rare bouts of fussing are usually immediately followed by rooting or tooting. His skin is peeling, which means he's shedding that newborn look already. His cord fell off on Saturday, but still had a little more healing to go. Dr. Dewbre said he should be ready for his first real bath in a couple days.

Here's some pics from Jacob's 2 week photo shoot. The first few were taken when we were trying to figure out the appropriate settings.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

18 months and counting

Has it really been 6 months since we threw Chaselyn her 1st birthday party? On the one hand, it seems like just a month ago we were getting things organized for the party in Waco and the party back in Arkansas. On the other hand, it seems like forever ago when Chaselyn was just 10 months and we found out our second child was on the way. But in any event, the calendar doesn't lie. And today is in fact my precious little girl's half birthday.

I can't believe how much she has grown up in just the last month. She is just a sponge learning new things everyday. Her vocabulary is expanding every day. This weekend we taught her "knee" and "be-bow" (you may know it as an elbow and sounds a lot like Chaselyn's form of hippo as well). And she picked it up quickly. She's also been working on her hog call. She can still "Woooooo" just like before, but she's added some arm flinging and "yack yack!" which we know to interpret as "pig soiee!" On the upside, she does the hog call any time she sees a Razorback. On the down side, she also did it when she saw Stanton's Baylor shirt and she still does it for any red football team. We'll work on it and get it straightened out by football season. She's constantly expanding her animal noises. She's recently added elephant, snake and giraffe noises to her repertoire (in case you aren't aware, giraffes make kind of a noise where you stick your tongue in and out, at least that's all Stanton and I could come up with). She has also learned to use "No" and "Yeah" (accompanied by an excited head nod) to indicate her wishes. She doesn't execute 100% effectively, but we're sure she can understand and respond when she wants to. Oh, and I can't not mention her "nana" obsession. Anything that remotely resembles one of these yellow curved fruits starts a session of pointing an yelling "nana". Do you know how many Curious George books we have in our house? Do you know how many other monkey books we have? Do you know how many picture books have bananas in them? It can be a little overwhelming sometimes.
Aside from vocab, her social skills are blooming as well. We immediately noticed a jump in socialization once she settled in to the Toddlers class at day care and it seems that our little girl responds well to change. She has just responded so great to being a big sister (Mom is tearing up now). She has her moments of jealousy and trying to get attention, but she really just seems to want to help and be involved. She gets upset when I'm changing Jacob's diaper or if I'm holding him, but if I give her a job to do for me, she stops whining/crying and does what she needs to do to help. It's amazing. She likes to love on Jacob. We're still trying to teach her to be careful and gentle. It's hard for a little girl though. She's also showed great maturity in warming up to other people more quickly I think. She did great when we left her with Laura when we went to the hospital, she even went out to lunch after church, which can sometimes be a problem when we try to take her. She still runs to her Daddy and Mommy if we're around, but she seems to be adapting better to staying with others. She did not however like the hospital room. She had us quite concerned about her response to Jacob being born, but once we were all back home on her own turf, she got back to being the Chaselyn we love and adore.

A couple comparison shot for sizes of my two babies.Other fun things include her insistence on praying at meal time followed by shouting "MAN" which we know to interpret as "Amen". Her cute little tushy wiggles while dancing. The way she runs with her arms tucked up by her side and sways her bottom from side to side. She is still very much a girly-girl and loves shoes, purses, and "BOWS!"

Can I hold Jacob please?
Yay, my little brother!!
Aren't we adorable?!


We don't know anything else to say except that you are the most amazing little girl! You still fill us with awe and wonder on a daily basis. Seeing your ability to learn new things and to problem solve makes us so proud. And you are becoming such the little communicator. We can't always understand what you are saying, but keep trying, you'll train us before too long. We want you to know that you are so very special to us and we still hang on your every word and relish in all of your new tricks. And although we were worried about how you would react to having a little brother, you've shown us that you already understand that having a little brother is not a burden, it's a new way of life and you welcome it with open arms. Chaselyn, you are just an inspiration to us and we're sure you will be a great example for your little brother. We love you more than you'll ever know.

Mommy and Daddy
(or as you call us, "Momma" and "Dah")

And now, the money shot...get ready for heart melting cuteness...

p.s. I'll update tomorrow with Chaselyn's 18 month stats and Jacob's 2 week stats after their doctor's appointment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Extremely Blessed

Since about the day I found out Jacob's due date, I had been praying that my Mother's day present would be the best and most appropriate Mother's day gift...our new baby. I had a feeling throughout my pregnancy that Jacob would come early. And not only was he here in time for Mother's Day, he came early enough so that I could sit comfortably at home and hold him and feel good enough to play with our other wonderful bundle of joy. On top of that, he timed it so that I got to be with my mom on Mother's day. God has perfect timing indeed.

For my second Mother's day, I got to love on my 2 fantastic kiddos. The day started out nice and slow. Stanton, Jacob and I all slept in while Granny, Papa and Rachel entertained Chaselyn for a while in the morning. I heard there was some reading and other playing, but I know her first stop was a few trips down the slide we got from Uncle Josh and Aunt Heather.

After we got up and relaxed we went for lunch (Papa's treat). First stop: Olive Garden - 1.5 hour wait. Ummm, no thanks. Second stop: Bari's- we were there at 11:40, but they didn't open until noon. So I guess it was a 20 minute wait, but much more worth it. Despite Chaselyn being overdue for her nap, she did very good. And the minor meltdowns were handled in stride by Papa. After lunch we made a quick trip by Wal-Mart to get a few things for Jacob and some little things for Chaselyn. By the time we got back it was well past nap time for Chaselyn. Not too much later Granny, Papa and Rachel had to leave. It was sad to see them go. But they all had to get back for work on Monday (Yes, even Rachel gets to join the real worldfor her 19th birthday).

Then, there we were. Our family of 4 all by ourselves. It was a nice beginning, peaceful, both kids were asleep. Stanton and I were actually able to sit and rest and break in our new Netflix for Wii subscription. Then after nap time, we had a wonderful evening of play time, a nice dinner of yummy leftovers from the week of cooking by the grandma's, and great story time. Somewhere during playtime, Chaselyn gave me one of the most special presents. We tried to recreate the preciousness on camera, but it was a one time deal. Chaselyn and Daddy were playing a game with an empty paper towel tube. Stanton would make a noise and then Chaselyn would copy. It started out with raspberry noises, then growls, then hoots, and then it happened. Stanton said "I love Mommy!" into the tube and Chaselyn mimicked "Ah ahhh Momma!" It was the sweetest, funniest, most precious thing. A very special mother's day gift.

Stanton went a step further and got me some other prizes. I had seen an outfit at Sears a while back that said "Mommy's Snugglesaurus" on it. Jacob has already racked up quite a bit of clothing for himself, and any gaps that may be there have been filled by loaners from friends. So I passed on it at the time. But when I had Jacob in my arms and especially when we have nice cuddle time, I knew I wanted that shirt for him. And so Stanton went and got it and surprised me with not only that shirt, but another outfit set that says "Snugglesaurus". I'm sure this will embarass him like crazy when he's older, but for now it's just too darn cute.

The day ended with a movie and cookies prepared by my fantastic husband and even placed on our "Special Plate". It was truly a fantastic day! The only way it could have been better would have been to share the day with the other fantastic Moms in our lives, especially Stanton's mom.

And before you start thinking that clothes for the baby is not enough for a Mommy of two, there's more. Here's a sneak peek of my real Mother's day present.

So, a Happy Belated Mother's Day to all you mom's out there. I hope you had a blessed day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Jacob Stanton is born!

We welcomed Jacob Stanton into the world at 2:06 pm on Sunday, May 2, 2010. Another Sunday baby that started out very similar to the one born nearly a year and a half ago, but he had his own surprises. :)

So here's the story, if you want to skip ahead, the adorable photos are below. Don't worry, I won't be offended if you skip over my writing. In the past few days I have found my calling and it is producing adorable babies (not writing).

I woke up to use the bathroom at about 3 AM. I quickly stumbled to the bathroom as I felt a gush of "water" coming out. Just as with Chaselyn there I was in the middle of the night with my water breaking. The difference - I was actually having some minor, irregular contractions and Stanton was somewhat responsive. We called the grandparents immediately and they decided to jump in their respective cars to get here as soon as possible. Stanton and I said a few prayers and tried to go back to sleep. We got up around 7:15, called our friend Laura to arrange care for Chaselyn. She told us that she and Austin had just been discussing us previously that morning and how she was "on call" for whenever we needed. We actually put the whole life group on call. We got Chaselyn up and ready for church and an afternoon with Laura. We sent them off Chaselyn crying in the backseat and I tearily went back into the house thinking of how much I was totally messing with the kid I already had. (We later found out that Chaselyn was not eternally scarred from the experience, but in fact she behaves better for Laura than she often does for us.) But then again, it was a little too late to be having doubts now.

Stanton and I got our things ready sent out mass texts and were on our way. We made it to the hospital around 9:10 and were set up in the room by 9:45. I was between 2-3 cm dilated when I was first checked and was started on pitocin to help progress. Stanton and I were alone until around 11ish when all the grandparents showed up. They all made it in plenty of time, a little tired, but super pumped by adrenaline. MaryAnn stopped by around noon with family in tow, but unfortunately Caroline wasn't allowed to come back. But we got a sweet momento note that will stay in Jacob's baby book. The Cox's were only able to stay for short while and by 12:30 they were gone and Stanton and his parents were gone to lunch. By this point I was feeling the contractions and beginning to have to concentrate through them, but feeling fine enough to talk about Arkansas baseball and anything with my parents. Things were going fine. And then the contractions started increasing in intensity and decreasing in rest time inbetween. I was breathing through them and then breathing and clinching the rail and then telling my dad to call and get Stanton back in the room. By 1:15 Stanton was back and before too long I was requesting that the room be cleared except for my mom and Stanton. Then in a matter of minutes I went from having Stanton ask for some drugs to panicking because I couldn't make it. Before the drugs got there I sent Stanton out again to tell them to come check me because I felt like pushing. By the time the nurse came in she said she would give me the drugs first (hooray for quick acting IV medication). Then she checked me and said I was over 9.5 cm dilated. I told her I needed to push and she told me not to until Dr. Wang came in. (Note to any nurses or ob/gyn's if your patient says "I need to push" don't just say "Don't push" give her some idea as to how to prevent the body's natural response.) Dr. Wang showed up shortly and so did Jacob. The whole thing went by so fast. I feel like the time between getting the drugs in my system and Jacob's birth was approximately 10 minutes. I don't really know, but it was fast and furious. My mom and Stanton did an excellent tag team job of keeping me focused. I really did freak out. Mainly because in my brain labor would last a while and I couldn't sustain the pain for that long. Had I known he was coming so quickly, I think I would have handled it better.

Jacob came at 2:06 happy and healthy. One little cry to let us know he was ok and he was perfect! Because I had gotten the drugs shortly before, I was still very loopy. I had to focus to stay awake and to take it all in. Stanton was super happy that my mom was there not only because she was able to help me calm down, but also because she was smart enough to grab the camera and start snapping photos. So this time, we got pictures of Stanton holding Jacob for the first time. (We also discovered a glitch in the hospital technology in which the operating lights are focused using a flashing blue wand which is apparently very similar to the light produced by a camera flash.)

Recovery for me has been a little worse, apparently Jacob's rapid entry into the world will leave me with quite a scar. But it's so totally worth it.

Jacob is so different from Chaselyn in size and looks. He came in at 7 lbs. 1 oz. with lots of dark brown hair and dark eyes. They say that he is the same length that Chaselyn was when she was born and the same headsize. But, we have our doubts. He just seems so much littler.

Big Sister is doing as well as can be expected. She's been off her schedule and so she's been a little rambunctious. But she touches Jacob sweetly and softly. She has shown some signs of jealousy when Jacob is being held, but for now there's enough hands on deck to distract her or hold her.

So all is well here. We're taking the gang home tomorrow. We'll see how things go from there.