Monday, January 11, 2016

cough cough sniffle snort

Woof. Having a baby in the winter with two school aged kids at home is NOT for the faint of heart. Good night nurse. We did good for about the first two months, but then WHAM. And it hasn't stopped. The little man has been sick. Kind of half of his life, which kind of breaks my heart. Nothing serious, for which I am so grateful. But one good scare (emergency room FAIL) and a few nasty colds and a lot of tears on both baby's and mommy's part. I can't stand seeing him sad. And through it all I know he'll be okay and I'll be okay and this isn't the end of the world. But man how I hate it.

This business of raising babies. Gosh your heart just goes through the ringer. I've been keeping records and such and taking photos, but who knows when I'll ever get them here. For now, enjoy my smiliest boy. He is my most favorite boy, my constant companion bobbing on my shoulder, my heart and my soul, and he holds everything that's good in the world in that dimple of his. I'm so thankful for his smiles, the ones he musters out even on the crummiest days, and especially the big open mouthed gummy ones he splashes about when he's well. 

And also. Blue eyeeessss.

He had just finished nursing.
This happy face is the sole reason I continue nursing.
My goodness I love this happy face.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

one month and some

So you're one month {and some} old. I suppose that's the price you pay for being the third baby? Photos are a little late. Sorry 'bout that boy. I promise we all noted it. Because good night we couldn't believe one month was already gone. 

At one month you:

+ Love your mama. This includes laying on my chest for hours of the day, staring at me. I love those big blue (for now? for forever?) eyes staring at me so much. Cannot feel more loved than I do by you little man. You are the snuggliest bug, and I love it so much.
+ Love nursing. Curses. I am not known for an abundant milk supply, and I live in constant fear of running out. Thank goodness you also take a bottle like a champ and were so patient while we figured out the best bottle for you.

+ Pretty much think binkies are for the birds. Daddy can sometimes get you to take one. This is not a problem when I'm around as I can settle you in seconds. Good luck to the poor souls who watch you without me around.
+ Sleep for four to five hours a night sometimes! It's like a dream.
+ Have light blonde/reddish hair. We're all holding out for red around here. It's sort of balding on the top (probably because I'm constantly petting your little fuzzy head).

+ Have blue eyes? I swear they're blue-blue. But there's still a chance you'll join the ranks of brown-eyed babies in our family, leaving my blues in the dust. 
+ Tolerate baths but HATE with all the passion of your soul the lotioning up and getting dressed part.
+ Hate being naked.
+ Love to be warm. You sleep with a heater in your room and are happiest when you're toasty. (Your sisters were quite the opposite in this respect.)

+ Are soooo happy in the morning. You're so smiley and it makes all the lack of sleep that goes on in this house (your sisters are culprits too!) bearable. Can't be mad for a minute with our happy morning baby around.
+ Have horrible gas. What. 
+ Can hold your head up fairly well and love to bob around on my shoulder.
+ Are huge. You wear 3 month clothes and size 1 dipes.

+ Don't mind a wet diaper. Which is handy as a third child. 
+ Smile every time your sister gets in the car after preschool. The second you hear her voice, you smile in your sleep. 
+ Spit up like a champion. We have six thousand burp cloths around the house at any given time. 
+ Rock the dimple in your right cheek. Seriously irresistible.

+ Take one fairly regular nap in the morning. Then want to be held and cat nap all the rest of the day. And I totally pick up what you're throwing down. Sucka.
+ Go by J most of the time. Sometimes Baby Jess. (I'm working on steering people away from the latter only to avoid the inevitable confusion with your Daddy's name.)
+ Have a middle name! Jess Christian Cheney. From your mama's maiden name. :)
+ Are everyone's favorite little man. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

coming home

So I just realized I don't have J's coming home photos here. I love the coming home photos because they're so very similar from child to child. Including the duck butt outfit. Although we rarely get a picture of the actual duck butt. (Here are Lou's. Here are Belle's.) 

I don't think I've ever wanted to leave a hospital after a baby like I did with J. I just wanted to be home with my girls and my little family and out of that awful, uncomfortable hospital bed. I had residual cholestasis issues that very few nurses (or some doctors) even understand, so I was still a little miserable, and I really just wanted to be out of there. 

But here's the strange thing - almost from the first day he was out, I missed being pregnant. To hear me say that is practically blasphemous. But I did. I missed his squirming body, the movements I knew so perfectly. I feel like I knew J while he was in my belly better than I did the girls. And I think that is mostly because of London. In London I relied solely on my gut and what the baby inside was doing. I had to listen so hard and find quiet nights, the train rattling outside our window, to make sure my baby was okay. I prayed a lot that this baby would be okay while in London, that I wouldn't have cause to worry. And that if I needed to worry, could it happen in the States? With my family and help and a doctor close by?

Little did I know, while I wouldn't ever worry in London, I would practically implode upon my return. My health took a plummeting dip, and it was miserable. But I think those London weeks were such a blessing - I learned to know the baby so well, and I knew he was okay, even during the misery. 

The test results that finally sent me to the hospital didn't come in til the middle of the night. And of course because I rarely slept, I was up. I saw the number and knew that I'd be having a baby the next day. (I was in the high risk zone - of miscarriage. I know. I prefer to not think about it.) So I did some laundry, cleaned the bathroom, ate a snack (Jess used to call me his "little bison" - I'd roam around and graze all night), and then laid down on the couch with my hand on my belly, in the spot I knew he knew. And I felt him nudge me until the morning.

Perhaps it was London, perhaps it was just the waiting I did for this boy, but I miss him in my belly. I miss how familiar he was there. That said, I love him out even more. And those little (big) kicks and jabs on the outside are just as familiar as they were on the inside. Only now I get to cuddle that wriggly baby and tell him how very glad I am that we made it. 

So glad we made it.

We made it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

worth the wait

I really don't even know how to start about this little man. For years I've been so afraid to have a boy. Such unknown territory. Not to mention diaper changing procedures. But I can't get over how he fits in my heart and my arms as if he's always been there. I know that in comparison to many of you, our wait to get this baby is a mere fraction of time, but it was longer than I thought I'd have to wait. However, in so many ways, the waiting - the storing up giant wells of love and patience and hope and anticipation - the waiting is what solved my worries. Turned them into hope. And hope has big brown/blue eyes that stare right through me.

This time around, I knew more what to expect in recovering. And although I still beat myself up a little bit about what I am or am not doing "right" or "wrong," for the most part, I've been able to sit and stare and soak up the smell of baby. (What is that smell really? Magic? Pixie dust?) I still have the major hormonal swings of a post pregnant woman, but in the down swings, I remember the up swings, how five minutes ago my heart was about to burst with all the happiness.

He's been here for two and a half weeks. And it seems simultaneously like forever and just a minute. He is absolutely everything we needed exactly when we needed him. God's timing in this one has been impeccable - of course it has been - and I'm so incredibly grateful for the years I waited and hoped and believed in a baby. He is all of those wishes and hopes in a tiny, cooing body. He is everything. And we are so happy he's here. 

This is just a bunch of photos taken during his first few weeks. I realize blogging is on its way out, but I sure use this blog for nostalgia's sake. So photo dump it is. And yes, he looks very much like his sisters plus some hair on his head. And face. And back. Hairy little man. :)

As my babies do, J got to spend some time on the bilirubin lights.
We anticipated the nightmare we experienced with the girls -
a screaming baby and the inability to do anything about it.
Nope. Not this dude. If he could have an arm (or two) out
he did. not. care. Slept the jaundice away, lickety split.

I know. I know. He's six days old here. And already loving that daddy.

She is everything that big sisters are made of.

Can I have ten of him?

I was graciously gifted a bunch of clothes from a friend.
This shirt was among them.
She had no idea how appropriate it is for this little family.

The dimple makes its appearance.
And now we're all dead.
Oh my he's the cutest.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

all dressed up

I was sitting with the girls at the Tower of London, eating some ice cream before trekking back across the bridge to our apartment. A little bribery if you will. And as the pigeons swooped down around us, gathering bits of old food, I asked the girls what they'd want to be for Halloween. Annabelle had several ideas (flamingo, Maria from Sound of Music, Eep from the Croods movie, etc.) but Lou had just one. "I wanna be a pigeon!"

You see, the pigeons of London were some of Lou's very best friends. She chased them around that town for weeks, and when others did the same, she chased after them, telling them to be nice to her pigeons. Apparently only she was allowed to terrorize them. She loved the white pigeons, however, and would always move reverently around them.

So of course she wanted to be a pigeon. Over the next few months, I kept working on ideas with the girls, and Lou never wavered. She'd be a pigeon and she'd walk "like this," she'd say, while crouching down and doing her best pigeon imitation.

Her costume is made from swan wings (Target), a feather boa (Zurcher's), and clothes from her closet. And I think it's the most magnificent thing in the world. She was so very proud of her pigeon get up, and we just love that she isn't afraid to be Lou. Or a pigeon.

Annabelle took some time to decide. It was fairly agonizing for her. But then we watched the new Cinderella movie, and she was sold. She wanted to be "the new Cinderella." Thanks to China, I scooped up a "new Cinderella dress" on ebay for $15, found her some sparkly shoes, and we were set. She was so proud of the way it twirled and how she looked "just like the new Cinderella." And indeed, isn't she beautiful? And so very grown up?

This is what happened when I told him the ferengi were coming.
#trekkie #nerdalert #proudofit
And don't forget little J. Say hello to our very own Captain Jean-Luc Picard. My sister (also a Trekkie like Jess and me) sent me this onesie before he was born. And how I hoped it would be a boy and that he would be early so he could be Captain Picard for Halloween. I assumed either way, I'd have a bald baby so girl or boy, Picard it would be. But then he came out with hair. No matter - he rocked that Picard costume like nobody's business.

All in all, another successful Halloween. What cracks me up every year is I really hate this holiday, yet every year it gets more fun with these babies around. The pictures below are from all the festivities, including a parade at Lou's school and the traditional visit to Grammy.

If it seems like Lou is never in photos with baby J, you would be correct.
In the two weeks he's been home, she's had two illnesses. One of the barf variety.
She's basically going to spend the next six months quarantined.

Outfit number two after a certain sir blew out of the first one.
Thank goodness for kind friends and their cute Halloween outfit gifts.


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