Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This Boy...

 ... has been such a little star since becoming a big brother. I was so nervous about Owen coming and having to share my attention between Dylan and the baby. "I feel like I'm ruining his life!" was a thought that frequently ran through my head during my pregnancy. The idea of rocking Dylan's world in such a big way had me feeling super nervous and guilty. 

Seven weeks into being a big brother, I can say that Dylan's world, while different, has not been shattered. In fact, he already loves his baby brother so much. He has never once said a mean word to his brother and has been nothing but sweet and gentle toward him. He usually calls Owen "My Baby" and always wants to know where he is, or why he's crying. He has been absolutely wonderful as a big brother. 

Sure, he has his stinker moments- Dylan has definitely had times where his listening skills have gone out the window, or my sweet boy has been temporarily been replaced with a mischievous little gremlin. His time-outs have increased since Owen joined our family, and sometimes he cops some major attitude, saying things like, "You listen to me! I'm the boss!"  He's a three year old through and through- while there are definitely occasional rip-your-hair-out moments, there is so much happiness and sweetness too. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A few things...

Let's start this post with a picture of the baby, shall we? He's so cute, I can hardly stand it. That chubby little face!

Ok, moving on...

There have been a few things that I've been loving over the past few weeks. If you didn't know, I'm off work on my maternity leave (12 weeks long- going back July 29) so I'm enjoying the time spent with my kiddos (plural! I have two kids! Crazy!) and not putting too much pressure on myself to do anything major (like get dressed before 11 am, for instance.)

Here are a few things I've been loving lately:
Oh goodness, this salad is to die for. I've never been one to choose salad when at a fast food joint, but this one is so amazing. I have a Wendy's very close to my house, and I may have gone to the drive through 3 times in the past week for this salad. It's just that good. My co-workers will be laughing at this one, because they know how obsessed I am with this salad. Yum.

While I'm on the food kick, can we please discuss the deliciousness that is the Chobani Key Lime Crumble flip? Holy amazing, this tastes just like really good key lime pie. I've already eaten one of these today, and I'm trying to convince myself not to eat another one until tomorrow. There are a few different kinds of flips, and I'm definitely going to pick some up the next time I'm at Target. 

It's no secret that I love, love, love to organize, and my linen closet was my latest victim. Things never looked terrible, but there was definitely some work to be done. I'm so proud of my efforts- everything is in its place and labeled. Sorry for the janky iPhone picture, but you get the idea. After finishing this project, I immediately sent this picture to my mom, since I knew that she would appreciate my organizing. 

I purchased the Summer Handheld Color Video Monitor just before Owen arrived, and life has been so much more easy and flexible with it. Owen sleeps so much right now, but I didn't want Dylan and I to be tied to the indoors during each of Owen's naps. This monitor has a range of up to 600 feet, so we have been able to play out in the yard with no worries that Owen would be needing me- I just take the handheld monitor out with me and we're good to go. 

What's this, you see? Yep, that's a big stack of paper plates. In my efforts to make my life easier during these early days as a mama of 2, I've fallen in love with the idea of using paper plates rather than dishes that I'll have to wash. Seriously, it makes things so easy, and I'm all about cutting corners these days! Why didn't I do this when Dylan was a newborn?

So there you have it, some of my recent faves. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Owen at One Month.

Oh my goodness, I can't believe that Owen is already a month old. The time has flown by so quickly, and it's been such a great month. Before Owen was born I had the fear that he wouldn't immediately fit in to our family and it would take awhile before things felt normal. I am amazed that he just fits right in and it seems like he's always been with us, if that makes sense. 

Owen has been such a pleasant, mellow baby from day one. In fact, during our first night in the hospital I was really concerned when I woke up at 2 am and was wondering why the Owen hadn't been brought back to me for a feeding. It has almost been 4 hours since he last ate. I called the nurse's station and they said that he was fast asleep and would bring him to me as soon as he woke up.... which they did, 2 hours later. Even then, he wasn't screaming his head off when he was delivered to me, just whimpering a bit. 

Owen has been a champion eater and sleeper- he took to nursing right away and seemed to know that nighttime was for sleeping from the beginning. I keep comparing my newborn experience with Owen to my experience with Dylan, and it seems like all the hard things I had with Dylan are non-existent with Owen. 

I really feel like Ben and I are just able to relax and enjoy Owen, rather than being anxious and paranoid over every little thing. Seriously, I remember calling my mom at 2 am one morning when Dylan was about 3 weeks old concerned that I had already scarred him emotionally by letting him cry for a few minutes. Oh, first time parenthood. None of that with Owen- it's been smooth sailing so far, knock on wood. 

Not to make it seem like everything is absolutely perfect- poor boy sometimes has a fussy tummy and has a hard time with #2, but I feel like I can recognize the issues much better, rather than just wondering why the heck my baby is crying. 

Owen has been on a pretty predictable schedule- eating every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. He stays awake for around an hour before needing another nap. He enjoys being swaddled and loves nothing more than snuggling up against my chest for some skin to skin cuddle time. 

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past month:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Owen's Birth Story.

On May 7 I woke up at 5:15 am to get ready for my 6:30 induction. I was feeling super tired, since I had only gotten about 5 hours of sleep the night before. Despite getting to bed later than I wanted, I fell asleep easily and was able to put aside my anxieties about the next day's events.

My mom and Ben's mom were both in town, so they stayed at the house with Dylan while Ben and I left for the hospital at 6:15. We arrived at the hospital right on time and were able to get checked in pretty quickly. We asked if we could get the same delivery room that we had with Dylan, but it was already being used. 

Our day shift nurse Becky was a riot and made the morning a lot of fun. She had a lot of funny stories to tell and put both Ben and I at ease. I got started on pitocin at about 7:15 and then we were in business! I really didn't feel like anything was happening during the first hour or so- I wasn't feeling any contractions or discomfort at all. A little bit before 9 my doctor came in to say hello and to break my water. For some reason it hurt really bad when he went about breaking my water, which surprised me. I didn't feel any pain or discomfort when they did this with Dylan. Maybe it was because I was more dilated and effaced when I was induced Dylan. Either way, I felt a huge amount of pain for about 30 seconds, and then it was gone and my water had broken. 

After my water broke, my nurse encouraged me to get my epidural sooner rather than later, since labor really starts to pick up once the water breaks. Also, there were three others moms getting induced that morning and I didn't want to have to wait in line for my epidural. 

I had been plagued by one big fear throughout my entire pregnancy: What if my epidural doesn't work? I had heard one too many horror stories (including my sister's) of failed epidurals and I was terrified that it would happen to me. That, compounded with the difficulties in getting my epidural going with Dylan's delivery (it took them 4 tries to get it right) made me paranoid that I would have to have an unmedicated childbirth. Luckily, all that fear was for nothing- my epidural worked perfectly, and the nurse who administered the epidural got it right the first time- hallelujah! 

Once my epidural was in effect I got super sleepy, and spend the rest of the day dozing in and out of sleep. Seriously, I slept through the majority of my labor, or slept as much as I could despite being poked and prodded every 30 or 45 minutes. This was definitely not the case with Dylan- I was anxious and alert the entire day, and I didn't sleep a wink. This time I just felt relaxed and sleepy... and hungry. I think that I ate about six popsicles during the day. Ben watched Oceans 11, 12, and 13 to pass the time and my mom and mother in law came in to hang out with us too. Dylan spent a few hours at a babysitter's house so that everyone could be at the hospital for a little bit. 

Everyone had told me that childbirth the second time around goes by more quickly, but things just weren't progressing that fast with Owen. Around 2 pm I was starting to get a little irritated that things weren't moving along, since two of the other moms who were induced that morning had already had their babies. I think that I was only dialated to a 4 or 5 at this point. The night before, we all took bets on what time Owen would be born. Everyone was thinking sometime between noon and 3, but it was looking like that wouldn't be the case. I was ready to meet Owen and just wanted him to come. 

My mom left the hospital around 3:45 to pick Dylan up, and we promised to call her with updates as soon as Owen was born. Things finally started up pick up around 4- I was dilated to an 7 and it was looking like the baby was going to make his arrival sometime soon. 

I started to feel some major pressure around 5, and pretty soon after my doctor came in the room. I was a little confused, since he didn't come with Dylan until I had been pushing for about a half hour. I asked him if he was just stopping by to say hi or if it was go time. He said that it was time to push and that the baby was ready to come. 

I started pushing at 5:20, and at 5:25 Owen was here! It was so nice only having to do two sets of pushes- it was so much less tiring! I'm not sure how I can describe it, but I just felt so much more aware of things this time around- there was no sense of panic like I felt with Dylan. Keep in mind that I almost had an emergency c-section with Dylan since his heart rate kept dropping with every contraction. There was no drama with Owen's delivery and I felt like things were just progressing exactly how they should. 

After Owen came out the doctor held him up so I could see him and then passed him off to the nurses and respiratory people to check him out and clean him up. Owen cried for just a minute and then calmed down. About 2 minutes after being born he ended up scratching his cheek with his sharp little nails, but other than that he was perfect. 

As soon as I held him, Ben and I were amazed at how much he looked like his older brother. They had the same sweet, round faces and alert little eyes. He was so calm from the very beginning, and I felt really calm too.

All through my pregnancy I was a little concerned that there was no way I could love this baby as much as I love Dylan- how could it be possible? But wouldn't you know, my heart swelled three sizes that day and I amazingly, automatically fell right in love with little Owen.