Tuesday, September 25, 2012

5.5 weeks... we're still here!

oh i miss you my little blog!

we're almost six weeks deep in this new baby thing and you know what?  things are getting good.  you guys... i've fallen deeply deeply in love with this new little baby.  i mean of course, the second he came out i loved him.  he was a sweet cuddly little baby & he was ours & i didn't ever want to let him go or put him down but he was still a stranger.  now, just in the last week or so this little baby has lodged himself irreplaceably in my heart.

he gives us the biggest, happiest smiles.  he coos & gurgles & makes eye contact & looks happy to see me.  and that?  has made me fall even deeper in love.  so, things are getting good.

in this last week i've taken both boys out to public places {target, grocery store, the mall, etc.} by myself & despite a parker melt down or two, we've all survived.  the boys usually overlap naps for at least an hour or so most days & i'm gaining confidence in this mom of two thing.  life is starting to feel routine again.  we've gone to stroller strides twice now & i'm enjoying coming out of hiding.  it's nice to have a little bit of a life again & i know things will only get better here on out.  because it's pretty hard at first.  but just like everyone says, "it gets better."

also, i've started doing photography sessions again & had three sessions in just this last week!  elliot has been taking a bottle of pumped milk like a champ while i'm gone & that makes me happy too.

and something i'm really excited about?  being in the market for some new tennis shoes & getting real serious about getting healthy & back in shape.  something about a new pair of kicks helps motivate me to get out the door & get my booty moving!  but first i should probably quit this cookie dough & chocolate milk habit i have, huh?  meh, one thing at a time.  

ok, this post has been random & scattered but that's kind of just my life right now.  moral of the story is we're not only surviving, we are starting to get a little normal around here & things are starting to get good.  i'm loving my new life with these two little boys & am so excited for the coming months.  fall, halloween, thanksgiving... christmas!!  this year is shaping up to be pretty sweet.

and now for a couple shots of my cute boys because that's how i do.

Monday, September 17, 2012

one month.

one month down!

they say the first month is the hardest, right?  it just gets easier from here on out, yeah...?  well i'm not gonna bust out the whole "wow, this month just flew by!  how did we get here?"  because that aint true for me.  this month felt like a month.  and then some.  possibly because each day is about 19 to 20 hours long.  we aren't sleeping much around here but ya know what?  it's ok.  this little face makes it all worth it.

here's my little #2 all growed up to one month.

we really, really love this little guy.  i wish i could say things were getting easier but they haven't really.  the thing that has changed is elliot is spending more time during the day awake & showing more personality & i feel like we're bonding with him.  he's making eye contact, he's smiling & he's even letting out the occasional coo.  it makes my heart all melty.

elliot loves to be held.  if he had his way he'd never be put down & if i had my way i'd oblige.  this is where babywearing comes in handy!  when i'm home alone with both boys elliot spends a lot of time being worn in my wrap or when we're out & about he's almost always in the ergo.  he loooves being worn & i like it too.  he's happy to just hang out or sleep when being worn until he gets hungry... then he means business.

elliot is nursing like a champ.  he loves to eat.  he's nursing about 10-11 times a day for about 20 minutes each time.  he goes about two or three hours between sessions around the clock which doesn't make for much night time sleep.  we have yet to have consistent 4-5 hour blocks of sleep... we're crossing our crossables that happens this month.  he's gained a bunch of weight & is starting to get those awesome baby rolls.  he's wearing size 1 diapers & three month clothes, i think he was in newborn stuff for about a week.

how parker is doing:
parker still loves elliot.  he loves to rub his head, squeeze his arm {sometimes a little too hard!} & give him kisses.  he self entertains really well while i'm camped out nursing all day which makes me feel guilty & neglectful.  and then if he wants something & i can't respond as quickly as i used to he may or may not freak out.  so that can be hard.

he was having trouble going down for his nap & then i realized it was because i was taking elliot in there for stories & songs with me.  i've adjusted to putting elliot down for a nap first & then putting parker down alone which also gives us good one on one time.  he's gone down for a 2 or 3 hour nap ever since without a hitch.  we've been amazed at how well parker's adjusted.  he's such a good kid!

how i'm doing:
i feel like i'm pretty much healed from pregnancy & delivery.  i'd say i'm at about 99% because there is the occasional weird pain & i have to slow down a little but for the most part i'm pain-free.  i'm just so, so tired.  i'm kinda getting the hang of the two kids at home-alone thing or at least i feel like i'm getting less intimidated by them & am regaining control.  we have meltdowns & duel crying sessions but i can deal with it.  this crazy life is becoming our new normal.  i have yet to take them to a public store alone... maybe this month?  but we have gone on lots of successful park & playdate outings.

how sam is doing:
sam is my rock.  with working all day & driving an hour each way to & from work, i don't now how he hasn't lost it.  but he is what keeps this house going.  he's given me breaks to get out by myself  twice now & he's done extra housework to keep this place from falling apart in shambles.  i'll repay him some day with meal planning & folded laundry again soon.  maybe this month?  we'll see.

i really do think we're through the hardest part.  brand spanking new newborns are hard but they make up for it in cuddly cuteness, no?  oh my gosh & that smell.  i cannot get enough of elliot's smell!!  every time i pick him up & have to take a whiff of his head.  so, so good.

and he is just so dang cute.

love him.

Friday, September 14, 2012

our week through iPhone - week 96

happy middle of september, friends!  wow, is it really already half way to october?  yes, yes it is.  fall has completely snuck up on me here in the northwest thanks to this crazy run of 80 degree weather we've been having.  not that i'm complaining but i must say, i am ready for jeans & long sleeves, cinnamon spice candles, pumpkin cookies, crisp mornings & well, everything else that comes with this time of year.  can i get a "heck yeah" for the fall??  LOVE this time of year.

in the meantime, we've been using this awesome weather to get out a bit.  last weekend we took a little family trip up to mt rainier for some hiking & we managed to get outside pretty much every other day this week.  oh!  and it was my birthday.  it was such a good day thanks to amazing friends & family who made sure it was a good one.  i have to say, i have the best friends evvvvver.  no really, i do.

oh!  and elliot is one month old on monday.  you may say, "what??  already??" and i say uh, yeah... it's about time.  because i have to say, this month felt like a month & then some to me.  but i'll save that for his one month post next week.

for now?  here's a glimpse into what our week looked like through the camera of my iPhone!


***photos edited via instagram.  do you instagram?  find me @amy_agoodlife & let's picture bond!***
that was our week!  how was yours?  i wanna see, so link up!

Game Rules:
1.  your pictures have to be taken by your camera phone. that's it!  you don't even have to have a picture for every day.  got one camera phone pic of something fun from this week?  link up!

2.  if you want to grab the code below & put it in your post to have the linky with all the thumbnails show up on your blog do it.

and please post a link to my blog so others can come here to grab the code, too.
the more kids who come out to play, the more fun it will be, right?

Grab the code here:

...and get on the linky here:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

it's my 30th birthday, it'd be silly if i didn't blog.

oh boy, the big 3-0.

i don't have many minutes to put together anything big & prophetic about transitioning into the next decade of my life because i have two cute little boys who are doing me a birthday solid & napping at the same time.  it's a birthday miracle... who knows how long it will last.  but i am turning 30 & some day i might wanna look back at this day and see what i was doing.  so here's a quick update.

we're into our second week of this new normal life.  it's not so bad.  i've managed to pack both boys up all by myself twice now & actually leave the house in a car... like a couple of legit outings.  both times were successful & i'm starting to feel like this whole two kids thing might be humanly possible.  parker has been a pretty good kid & often surprises me with how well he's taken to elliot.  he LOVES him.  loves giving him kisses & just thinks every little squeal, hiccup & grunt from him is hilarious.  i can't wait until parker makes him laugh, my heart will probably jump out of my chest.

i'm still not getting a whole ton of sleep but in the world of newborns i think we're doing pretty good.  elliot goes down around 9:30 & usually wakes up around 1-2 & again around 4-5.  he's kinda hard to get back down after both feedings & sam usually takes one for the team & stays up with him for half an hour or so before he has to get ready for work so i can get a few extra minutes of sleep before parker's up at 7.  life is starting to feel a little more routine.  most days i manage to get out of my pajamas & get ready for the day & usually my teeth are brushed before noon, so i think i'm winning.

how do i feel about turning 30?  well, since life has pretty much revolved around the new member of our family, i haven't really had time to dwell on it with a pity party.  but honestly?  meh, it's just a number.  i think age is more about how you feel & act & how active you are & i plan to make this year a good one.  i plan on getting back into shape, spending lots of time playing with my boys, building my business & enjoying life.  i'm really excited for what this next year will bring.  like, really excited.  30 will be good.

and because a post is no fun unless there are fun things to look at, here are a few pictures of what life around our house looks like lately.  lots of pajamas, messy hair & downtime.  can't complain about that!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

our week through iPhone - week 95

another week down folks.  we didn't get out a whole heck of a lot this week... it was my first week alone with the boys & sam back at work.  so there was a whole lot of babywearing {not sure how i'd survive without my wrap & ergo!}, a few walks to the park & a lot of hanging out around the house.  as i get more used to this new mom-of-two gig, our weeks might start looking more adventurous... i don't know, a park outside of our neighborhood maybe?  baby steps.

here's a few iPics of our week.


***photos edited via instagram.  do you instagram?  find me @amy_agoodlife & let's picture bond!***
that was our week!  how was yours?  i wanna see, so link up!

Game Rules:
1.  your pictures have to be taken by your camera phone. that's it!  you don't even have to have a picture for every day.  got one camera phone pic of something fun from this week?  link up!

2.  if you want to grab the code below & put it in your post to have the linky with all the thumbnails show up on your blog do it.

and please post a link to my blog so others can come here to grab the code, too.
the more kids who come out to play, the more fun it will be, right?

Grab the code here:

...and get on the linky here:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

real life - 2.5 weeks

all the family have left, the holiday weekend is over & sam is back to a normal work schedule.  i had my first full day home alone with both boys yesterday.  i wish i was one of those bloggers that could put on a happy face & say it was perfect & routine & everything went to plan & there were no meltdowns or panicked calls to sam asking for a pep talk.  but i'd be lying.

first, i wish i had written some more of the "real" details of when parker was a newborn in my blog back in the day.  i look back to see what life was like with him at elliot's age & i seem to only touch on the good stuff.  but i definitely remember some low points.  i'm gonna be real this time around.

yesterday had some high points & some low points.  elliot did awesome in the moby for a big part of the day which was a lifesaver.  i was able to change parker diapers, make breakfast & even do puzzles with parker while elliot snoozed in the wrap.  

lowpoints?  elliot woke up every other hour the night before & parker was up for the day at 6:30... about an hour & a half earlier than normal.  it's not fun to start your day off feeling more tired than when you went to bed.  also, a local transformer blew & we lost power just before lunchtime {call me lame but electricity was kind of a big part of my game plan for the day... what was i gonna do with no internet, tv or microwave??  we're in survival mode here, people} & parker hysterically fought his nap with screams & wall kicks.  that was NOT fun.

but at the same time as this two kid business is kicking my butt, i also kinda feel like i'm doing ok.  i'm much more relaxed this time around & not as "scared" of elliot as i was of parker.  i'm already a mom this time, i've done it before.  i feel like i'm enjoying my newborn a little bit more.  i'm not scared of elliot waking up & me not knowing what to do... he doesn't intimidate me like parker did.  everything was new & was my first time with parker, which was exciting & scary all at once.  with elliot, i'm well practiced.  sure he's gonna throw me some curve balls, no doubt, but i'll roll with it.  

i asked moms of two or more on my facebook page how long it took them to get into a good routine with their new baby in the mix & got answers ranging anywhere from two weeks to six months.  i really really hope it happens faster than six months for us.  

it's hard not to wish away these early days of no sleep, very little social activity, no working out & a baby that hardly interacts.  these early days are hard & i'd be lying if i said i didn't think a lot about getting to elliot's three month mark where i know life will be a little more normal.  but at the same time, i'm resisting.  i'm really trying to enjoy all the little things about my curious, wide eyed newborn who curls up in a ball on my chest to sleep, makes all kinds of silly snorts, grunts & squeals & wants really not much else in life other than to be held, rocked & fed by me.  elliot is such a sweet baby & i'm trying to soak up every single moment because even though these days are long & feel endless, i know they'll be over before i know it.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

elliot's birth story.

i'm gonna try & keep this as short as possible but there are no promises this doesn't get wordy.  really though, there isn't too much to elliot's birth story... it was a pretty textbook, straight forward & simple delivery.  no complications, not a whole lot of crazy/stressful moments, just a lot of contractions, an epidural, some pushing & a cute baby at the end.  and that's how we like it.

so i was scheduled for an induction at 7:00 am friday morning.  we spent thursday doing everything we needed to to prepare for elliot's arrival... the house was clean, groceries were stocked & our hospital bags were packed.  we picked my mom up from the airport at 2:00 pm, went out to an early dinner & then headed home.  and then...

8:45pm - sam leaves to go play basketball.

9:00pm - my first "real" contraction.

9:30pm - i send sam a text letting him know i'm having regular contractions but he doesn't need to come home yet.

10:00pm - sam comes home from basketball anyway.

11:00pm - sam & my mom go to sleep, i stay up timing contractions & bouncing on my yoga ball.  c'mon baby!

12:30am - i wake sam up & tell him it's time to get ourselves to the hospital... contractions have been consistant since 9:00, are coming at about 4-6 minutes apart & are painful.  i take a peek into parker's room to see him one last time as my one & only.  next time i see him, he's gonna be a big brother.

oh, & i stepped into the bathroom real quick to take one last belly shot.  elliot had dropped so much, he was basically falling out of my shirt!

1:00am - we get to the hospital & i expect to go to an exam room to have my cervix checked before being admitted.  they take us to a labor & delivery room & admit us immediately since i was scheduled for an induction in the morning anyway... wow this baby is coming soon!!

1:30am - i'm all settled in our delivery room, iv is hooked up & we're ready to go.  they check me & i have high hopes for some serious progress since i've been laboring for four hours & my contractions are legit.  i'm at a THREE.  what???  i've dilated one centimeter since i was checked a week ago.  i'm not happy.  we turn on a movie... "moneyball."

2:30am - the nurse comes in to do my bloodwork so i can get an epidural.  she says it'll be about another hour after that for the bloodwork to come back & i get some relief.  ugh.  contractions suck.

3:00am - the nurse gives me a shot of something.  she tells sam & i it'll take the edge off the contractions & i'll feel a little loopy.  we both thought it was weird that she gave me this painkiller without much discussion but i was hurtin' so i didn't ask many questions, either.  i definitely felt like i was floating after she injected it in my iv & the contractions were much more tolerable.  wish i could remember what that stuff was.  whatever it was, it was a hell of a drug.

4:00am - the nurse comes back in to say the anesthesiologist was on her way... heck yes!

4:30am - half an hour later {basically what felt like FOREVER} the anesthesiologist walks in.  i have to sit on the edge of the hospital bed criss cross applesauce huddled over a pillow while the anesthesiologist places the ginormous needle in my back.  i'm not allowed to hold sam's hand during contractions while this is going on & i have to give myself a pep talk when each contraction starts so i can get through it.  at the beginning of each one i say to myself {in my head} "you can DO this" & then watch the clock because each contraction was almost exactly a minute.  about forty five seconds in the pain would start decreasing & i knew i was gonna make it.  whew.

the epidural brought pretty much immediate relief & i no longer felt the contractions.  i had the anesthesiologist check the catheter about five times before she left to make sure it was still in & working.  i really really wanted my epidural to work this time.

after the drug-lady left, the nurse checked my cervix.  i was at an 8 & she said this baby was coming soon.

5:00am - the nurse is checking me... i'm at a 9 & then whoa!  my water spontaneously breaks.  she lets the doctor, the resident & the baby's nurse all know we're not too far away.  she tells me to give her a call when i feel the urge to push & then she leaves sam & i alone.  i'm kinda scared to death at this point.  at least my epidural is still working!

5:15am - i call the nurse & let her know it feels like i need to poop.  she says that means it's time & calls for the doctors & baby nurse.  she talks me through a couple pushes which weren't at all painless... i could feel that kid making his way through.  however, i don't feel the contractions & that's pretty freaking rad.

i asked the nurse how long it would be until elliot was out & she said that depended on how hard i pushed... so i decided to push really, really hard.

5:25am{ish} - the doctor is talking me through the pushing.  and they tell sam to hold one of my legs.  wow, so this is what it's like to actually have a doctor talk you through it!  {the doctor didn't show up to parker's delivery til he was out... that's a whole other story} she slows elliot down so i don't tear even though the pressure of him in there seems unbearable.  i keep saying "i just want him out... i just want him out!!" and they keep telling me i'm doing a good job & it won't be long.

it was about now that sam almost passed out.  he asked for someone else to take my leg & has to sit down... he's pretty dang pale.  and then...

5:33am - elliot oliver nielson is born.

he was immediately placed on my chest & i just kept saying, "you're our new baby!"  i don't remember if he cried right away, i just remember he was so warm & i couldn't believe he was out.  it was over & we had all survived!  the relief i felt was amazing.

he was bathed, dried, weighed & measured.  8lbs, 6oz & 20.5 inches.  i just couldn't believe our family had grown by another member.  he was our baby... we had more than one now!  how could that be?  it's still shocking.

later in the day my mom brought parker to the hospital.  he has been amazing with elliot.  he doesn't interact with him a whole heck of a lot {he IS a newborn... what can ya do?} but he always makes sure "baby elliot" has his blanket, gets in his carseat when we go places, gets to go on walks with us & always points out when elliot is crying, sleeping or awake.  at naptime or nighttime parker always wants elliot in his room for prayers & stories & HAS to give elliot a kiss goodnight on his head.

i can't wait for the day these two make each other laugh & actually interact.  i know that'll be the big sibling payoff.  but it makes me so proud to see parker adjust so well thus far.  i'm gonna have to write a post about this topic all on its own but just know... so far, so good.

elliot is two weeks + three days old today.  he's been a super mellow & sleepy baby {like most newborns are} and doesn't require much so far besides mama's milk, sleep & snuggling.  he sleeps well at night when swaddled & nurses like a pro.

my recovery has been slower than i'd hoped.  i thought i should be back to 100% after a week because i swear that's how it was with parker.  either my memory is off or chasing after a toddler while recovering from labor has slowed the healing.  but now, after two weeks, i can finally sit on the couch upright like a normal person {not a chair... still have to sit with a pillow on a chair} & was able to walk with both boys down to our neighborhood park.  i can't wait for the day i get to run again!!  t minus 4 weeks.

the adjustment to two kiddos is another post all in itself.  but the truth is i still don't really know... i've had help every day since the day elliot was born.  my parents were here the first week & a half & then sam's parents were here another five.  having an amazing family is amazing.  they have been more help than words can say!!  they have helped give parker lots of attention, keep my house from falling apart & have put meals on our table.  they've done countless loads of dishes, laundry & changed diapers.  so how am i adjusting?  ask me tomorrow when sam goes back to work, the parents are gone & it's just me & the boys.  i'm scared.

and obviously, big props go to sam.  since my arms are pretty much constantly filled with elliot, sam has taken over pretty much all parker duties.  things we've always split 50/50 have now completely fallen on sam.  this is on top of going back to work when elliot was five days old.  also, he's helped with elliot in the middle of the night even when he's had to work & obviously helps out with elliot wherever else he can.  but with a baby that just wants to eat every couple hours & only one person can provide that, there's not really a ton he can do.  so it's all him & p-ray.

and consequently?  that makes me miss parker.  again, another post all on its own.

ok, so this has turned into a short novel.  good thing i made no promises regarding this post's length.  if you made it all the way through you deserve a medal!  i hope you at least enjoyed the pictures.

elliot is such an amazing little addition to our family.  we are so excited to watch him grow into the little brother & can't wait to experience all the baby/crawler/toddler milestones over again & watch our two boys become friends.  we already love him so SO much.
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