Monday, January 30, 2012

Brandon is 4!!!!!

B turned 4 today!!! It's so crazy to think that 4 years have passed already! I remember bringing him home like it was just yesterday, yet so much has changed. Such a strange feeling.

He's an awesome kid, really. He is very well mannered, really good natured, a jokester, hilarious and sweet. He is also very smart and has really surprised us with how quickly he has learned at school. It really shouldn't have been a surprise as he always seems to excel academically.

His stats are: 50 pounds, 3ft 8 inches.

He loves: spaghetti, race cars (hot wheels), playing my iPhone, playing computer or video games, READING, cooking/baking, going for walks, checking the mail, being a helper, bubbles and a million other things.

We had a party at the post bowling alley on Saturday. Mimi and PawPaw as well as MeMaw and PaPaw were able to make it. His best friend Elijah was there as well as his friend Jathan from school and our friend Carson and his Mommy Brittany. It was a great time and spiderman cupcakes were enjoyed by all.

This morning, Daddy and I woke him up at 5:22am TX time (12:22pm German time) and surprised him with donuts for breakfast. He got to blow out the candle since I had forgotten to take it with me to the birthday party. He loved getting the special attention and also loved getting to help me make cupcakes for his class at 6am. I took the cupcakes to his class this afternoon and he really enjoyed getting to share them with is friends. He kept telling his friends that he made the cupcakes and that they were super yummy. :) When Daddy got home from work we took him out to dinner. He requested spaghetti for dinner so we went to Boston's. He loaded up on carbs and capped the evening with a sugary treat. He even got serenaded by a bunch of girls and got all shy. It was really cute. To add to the excitement, he was given a balloon animal by a clown that was at the restaurant! He was super stoked.

All in all, I'd say his birthday was a huge success! He had a great time and there were lots of smiles and hugs of thanks coming my way.

In other Brandon related news, his teacher and I were able to speak today. He was recently tested for mid-year testing and he did AMAZING! He only missed 3 questions out of the entire test and is one of the top students in his class! He is successfully completing work that a 4 year old-5 year old should be doing and this testing was done a couple of weeks ago! We are SO PROUD of him!!!! His teacher wants to make sure she is challenging him and is starting him in a reading group as well as making sure the level of work he is doing is appropriate for him. She is very pleased with his skills and we couldn't be happier! Such an awesome kid!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Going to start the VERY slow process of updating this blog....

So, I've obviously done terrible at updating this blog. Jackson is now almost 10 months and the last time I blogged he was 2 weeks. Ooops. Apparently, having 2 kids, being in school full time, having a husband that is deployed and assisting with the FRG doesn't leave much time for blogging.

SO, I am going back to my facebook page and going through my status updates to compile a post of each month so that I can enter the stuff into Jackson's baby book. THEN, my goal is to update at least monthly again in 2012. Fingers crossed that I stick to my plan....LOL

Here goes nothing......

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 2011

April was a bit of a hectic month for us. Having a newborn, a 3 year old, a husband that is in Iraq, and being in school full time is a LOT of work! Thank GOODNESS for my Mom!!! She came to stay with me for a week because I was NOT handling the stress of a new baby and everything else well. Moms are great. I highly recommend having one.

Anyway, Jackson as a newborn is very involved. He is ALWAYS gassy! After speaking with his doctor, she suspects an allergy to Casin, a protein in milk and recommends switching to soy. After switching, he appears to be doing much better, but is still a very gassy baby. We suspect a touch of colic as it seems that he is very cranky between 4 and 8pm. The other possible condition is acid reflux and so we started prevacid. That medication is TERRIBLE! Jackson HATES taking it, and after tasting it myself, I do NOT blame him!!! It's strong, and NOT pleasant at ALL. He is also on nystatin for thrush and weighed in at 10 pounds on April 6th! Big boy! :) On April 10, he slept from 11pm to 5:45am!!! It was AWESOME, but ended up being a fluke. It didn't last, and was probably just a growth spurt. Little booger. He does seems to favor being swaddled to sleep and actually slept in his crib for the first time on April 22! He's growing quickly!!

Brandon is adjusting.....sometimes not so well, to his new little brother. He has some difficulty understanding that he cannot play with Jackson yet, and is often a little rougher than I'd like. We often remind him to use gentle touches, and try to distract him with other things. Occasionally, there have been some aggressive behaviors displayed and we are very quick to correct the problem. In other areas, B is VERY observant and is a little sponge. He is continuing to repeat things that we say, which sometimes comes back to bite us in the butt. He is so intelligent and he often surprises me with his questions. He asked me about the difference between boy/girl private parts, which was NOT a question I was prepared to answer! I DID answer, and managed to use correct medical terminology and keep a straight face and that seemed to suffice. We'll see......I definitely wished that Daddy was home to help field some of that, but he will be back soon enough.

Easter was a great time! The boys were spoiled rotten by the Easter bunny and had a great time exploring their Easter baskets. Our wonderful friends the Elix family (well, Sarah and Elijah) came over for a yummy Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the boys. They had a great time and Sarah got some quality Jackson snuggles in. All in all, it was a successful Easter despite having a cranky baby and a deployed husband. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

2 weeks!

Jackson is 2 weeks old as of yesterday! Today was his 2 week check up. He weighed in at 8 pounds 10 ounces and is now 21.1 inches long! He has a little cluster of extra blood vessels on his tummy that the doctor said would resolve itself. No other major incidents to report from his check up.

He has been SUPER gassy/fussy lately. I suspected the formula to be the culprit, so I asked the WIC office yesterday if I could try a different formula. They switched us over to Similac sensitive, which I checked with the doctor this morning and was given the ok to start. Hopefully that will resolve the problem because I feel SO helpless! He scrunches his whole body up and screams and occasionally will be able to pass gas. Poor little dude. Let me tell you.....dealing with a screaming newborn and a 3 year old that needs juice/snack/attention by yourself is NOT easy!

Brian went back to Iraq on Wednesday. I miss him like CRAZY!!!! He will be home in approximately 5 months, which seems like an eternity, but I know will pass by quickly. I just hate doing this by myself. It is one thing when it was just B and me, but I am outnumbered! I need someone else in my corner!

Fortunately, my mom is coming to stay for a week the first week of April. Then, when the spring semester is over, I am going to stay with her for 2 weeks in May. I also have a month between the summer semester and the fall semester in July, so I may go stay with her for another 2 weeks. THEN, Brian comes home in August!! So, hopefully my sanity will remain as long as I have these little milestones to look forward to.

Anyway, I should be utilizing this quiet time to work on some homework and start studying. it August yet??

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jackson's Birth Story

Our beautiful baby boy, Jackson was born Thursday March 10, 2011 at 7:03pm. He weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 20.5 inches long. His birth was an amazing experience, and I wanted to put it all down in words so that I would remember all of the details.

His birth story begins with the perfect timing of Daddy's arrival from Iraq. Brian flew in for his R&R on March 7. Brandon and I met him in Dallas to avoid an almost 8 hour layover from Dallas to Killeen. We spent the next couple of days as a family of 3 hanging out. We went to the Zoo, went to dinner, played with toys, and of course there was a lot of snuggling. Wednesday evening my parents came in to keep an eye on B and be here for Jackson's birth.

Bright and early Thursday morning (4:30am) Brian and I got up to head to the hospital. We reported for my induction at 6am. After getting all checked in, I was hooked up to monitors and given my IV. When the doctor came in and checked me for the first time that morning, I was at 3.5cm and had thinned out a bit more than on my appointment on Tuesday. I was started on pitocin (at 2) around 8:15 and it was ordered to be turned up every 45 minutes. They said they were going to take it relatively slow since I had a c-section with B and they didn't want to put too much strain on my scar. After the pitocin was started, the contractions began to pick up slowly, but they weren't bad and I barely noticed them. Over the next few hours the contractions started developing a nice pattern of every 4-6 minutes and as the pitocin increased, the pain with them also increased. It wasn't unbearable, but there were definitely times that I had to stop and focus on my breathing when they came. I HATED being stuck in the bed, but because of my c-section they had to keep me monitored as much as possible. Thanks to the WONDERFUL nurses (Hanna and Jessica), I was able to be monitored via a "tube top" looking contraption that allowed me to sit on the birthing ball to relieve the pressure of sitting in bed. After they let me get out of bed, I was golden. At this point, my pitocin had been turned up to 10 (out of 20) and they were waiting on me to feel more pain before they checked me again. I asked at what point my water would be broken and the doctor came in to discuss it with me and check me again. The doctor explained that they could break my water, but that would mean that I was not able to leave the hospital and return for another induction and that if the induction was looking like it wasn't going to work I would be forced to go into a c-section. I was ok with that option and fully expected them to let me labor on the pitocin for awhile longer; however, they decided to go ahead and break my water. I was NOT expecting it to happen at that moment, but after the doctor checked me I was between 4 and 5 cm so I had made good progress and the doctor thought it would be a good idea to break my water around 3pm. After my water was broken, she checked me again to see if it had dilated me anymore and I was at a 5-6 cm dilated. While she was checking me, she noticed that Jackson had his hand on the top of his head, so she tried to move it. He stubbornly left it there and when she grabbed it, he grabbed back! She recommended that I turn on my sides to help move him and get him to move his hand. At this point, I requested the epidural, so the anesthesiologist was called. I was SO worried about getting the epidural because it was SUCH a terrible experience with Brandon's delivery and didn't work anyway. So, I was beyond relieved when the epidural actually worked this time! They had to stick me a few times to get the epidural placed correctly, but once it was in, and the medicine took effect, I was golden. The epidural went in around 4pm and I started having some blood pressure problems due to the epidural medication. They quickly remedied the blood pressure issue by lowering the head portion of my bed. The epi also made me really nauseous, but I will gladly take nausea over terrible contraction pain, so no complaining from me! Around 6 I started pushing. I couldn't really tell that I was pushing, but the nurse kept telling me I was doing well, so I just kept doing what I was doing. At 7:03pm, Jackson made his entrance into the world!! He was placed on my chest immediately after delivery and I cannot even begin to describe the miraculousness of holding your child for the first time. It is a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Jackson scored a 9 on his apgars and the nurses just kept commenting on how pink and alert he was when he was born. It was an amazing experience and I am SO grateful that I was able to successfully have a VBAC.

After Jackson was born I began to hemorrhage. My uterus would not clamp down and firm up. The details of that are kind of sketchy because everything seemed to happen so fast, yet so slow at the same time. The doctors and nurses were pushing and massaging my stomach so hard.....again, thank goodness for the epidural. The doctor that delivered Jackson asked for another doctor to come in and help. That doctor then called for the Staff OB to come in and help. There were a couple of nurses that took turns massaging my uterus along with the doctors that were massaging my uterus internally. They gave me extra pitocin in my IV as well as 2 shots of some medications that I cannot recall at this time. They continued to massage my uterus taking turns when they got tired. Another dose of one of the medications was ordered and they started discussing taking me back to emergency surgery to remove my uterus. Thank GOD my uterus started to firm up and things finally calmed down. I began to shake from the hormones/epidural and the nausea returned with a vengeance.

After things finally calmed down enough, I was able to hold Jackson and feed him for the first time. He latched on and began nursing like a champ. Soon after nursing Jackson, nausea reared her ugly head. Fortunately, my steadfast husband was there to help! Actually, it was MUCH less severe than with Brandon. I threw up every 30 minutes during my entire labor with Brandon and only once with Jackson. So, Brian got off easy this time. :)

All in all, the experience was amazing and I just cannot believe how lucky I am that all of my hoping and planning worked out. It seems like everything fell into place perfectly. Jackson is doing great. Nursing is my it was last time with Brandon. We'll see how long I can keep it up, but it causes SO much anxiety for me that it may not be worth it. I stress about it a LOT and I'd rather be stress free because Jackson picks up on the tension and it makes it worse. Plus, with school this semester and summer.....aye.....I don't know. It stresses me out just thinking about it. We'll see. I am going to wait until my milk has officially come in before I make that decision.

I am off to get some sleep.....apparently newborns are not fond of sleeping at night, though they sleep for crazy stretches during the day. :)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

First Movements!!!

Just a quick post:

Tonight I felt baby kick for the first time!!!!! I remember what an amazing feeling it is, and am SO glad that I have the opportunity to get to experience the joy of pregnancy again! It makes it so much more real when you start feeling movement! I cannot wait to meet this little one!!!! I absolutely love being pregnant!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2nd Trimester and a family update.

As of today, I am officially in my second trimester!!!! I haven't blogged about this pregnancy until now because it seemed strange at first. This pregnancy has felt extremely, I wanted to wait to blog about it. I did mention it on facebook, but blogger seemed so much more official to me.....I'm not really sure why. It makes no sense, but it made sense in my

SO, I am 13 weeks and 3 days today and am due March 19th. I've been so lucky this time around. I've had minimal nausea and other negative pregnancy symptoms. I've had many food aversions. So far, I cannot really deal with Mexican food, burgers, onions and garlic, Italian food (shocker) reality the aversions change depending on my mood. As far as cravings go, they are like the aversions. They change depending on my mood. I've wanted pineapple, mashed potatoes (same as with B), watermelon (which didn't work out so well), and Chinese food, particularly rice. I'm sure there have been more things I've wanted, but that is all I can think of right now.

On the baby front- everything is looking great! Baby's heart rate is typically in the 160s. I ~may~ have felt some light kicks, but I am not saying definitively so. All of my appointments have gone well, and at my 3 ultrasounds I have had so far, there has been lots of growth and development!

Brian and I are super excited to be bringing another baby into our family! We've tried explaining the concept to Brandon, but he is still not completely grasping it. I assume that is normal behavior for a 31 month old. When we first told him that Mommy has a baby in her tummy, he insisted he had a baby in his tummy too. It was very cute. Now, when I ask him where the baby is, he points to my tummy, so perhaps he is beginning to understand a little better. I plan on reading him a variety of books about the subject, and introducing him to as many experiences with babies as I can before this little one comes along. He's probably the most easy going child on the planet, so I am sure that he will adjust relatively well.

Brian deployed in the middle of August, and we have been adjusting to life without him here. We are adapting to the best of our abilities, but we do miss having him around. He will be gone until mid-August 2011....the time can't go by quickly enough. Brandon has responded quite well to him being gone. He asks about him regularly, and we talk about where Daddy is and what he is doing. He seems to be ok with the fact that Daddy is in Iraq working hard. We say Daddy Prayers every night, and kiss Daddy's pictures all the time. He has gotten to talk to Brian a few times and loves it every time. Hopefully, once Brian gets his computer, we will be able to skype with him and they will be able to see each other.

Brandon is growing like a little weed and is just the smartest little boy I know! He weighs about 42 pounds and is about 40 inches tall. He wears a size 4T/5T and a size 8-9 shoe. He is known as the "little Einstein" of his class and the education specialists are bringing in higher level (3-4 year) work for him to do because he is bored with what they are learning in class. Every time I hear someone compliment his intelligence, Brian and I are just filled with joy. He's amazing, and everyday he does something else to amaze us. Some cute little quirks he has lately are:
-singing the theme songs to his favorite shows
-calling himself, "so weird."
-telling me, "I told you" when he wants something. For example, "I told you I have to get juice." He gets that from me because when I tell him not to do something because he can hurt himself but he does it anyway, I tell him that I told him he was going to hurt himself.
-when he jumps, he leans over as far as he can, puts his arms behind him and stays in that position for a LONG time, then jumps.
-he points out EVERY tractor (and reminds me that they move sand), school bus, big truck, motorcycle (of bike as he calls it), and helicopter (pronounced helitocker) he sees.
-his favorite thing to do is watch the dump truck pick up trash.
-he loves Thomas the Train, Ni Hao Kai Lan, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Monster's Inc.
-he loves to color, play with play dough, lace beads, paint, run, jump, swim, read, and play with his trains.

He is an awesome little boy. :)

We are all doing quite well, and are looking forward to the new addition to our family!