Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Paige: Two Months Old, Happy as a Lark (whatever that means)

RICHLAND, WASH. -- Paige is the most delightful baby. I had a feeling she would be like this when I was pregnant with her. Mother's intuition, I suppose. When the girl is actually awake, she is constantly smiling and trying to talk to us. Often times I'll be preoccupied with something and glance over to find her staring at me with a huge open-mouth grin. She is such a gem.

A few weeks ago, it was Paige's blessing day at church. My mom, the talented seamstress that she is, made the dress Paige wore out of the same lace as my wedding dress. It looked so lovely on her. Both Isaac and my parents were able to come for the special day. Marin was in heaven with both sets of grandparents in town. She kept saying, "Two mama's. Two papa's," which are the names she calls them.

Our smiley girl

Such a chub, but so pretty

Look at those cheeks! 

Smoother city
Marin tries so hard to be good to her little sister, but sometimes her almost-two-year-old emotions get the best of her and poor little Paige is left in tears. I wish these kids came with a manual. It would sure make things easier. But most of the time she is good and smoothers Paige with hugs and kisses. It's very sweet. But sometimes aggravating.

The day after her blessing day, we took a quick little road trip to Utah. Paige and Marin had both had colds for a while, and Paige often wakes up in the mornings completely congested. The morning we were leaving to come back, we had just gotten on the road and poor Paige was having a heck of a time breathing in her carseat in the backseat. She seemed to be struggling more than usual, enough so that it worried me. At the stoplight just before entering the freeway, I climbed into the backseat to see if I could help her. The poor thing was drenched, working up a sweat trying to breath. I unzipped her pajamas to help her cool down, but it didn't seem to help much. She was panting heavily and soon lost all color from her cute little face and lips. Isaac pulled over into a parking lot and ran into a grocery store to buy one of those nose suction things. Meanwhile, I sat in the backseat trying to get the poor thing to somehow breath through her mouth. She just couldn't figure it out and turned completely lethargic. Her eyes got all droopy, she was taking small rhythmic breaths that almost sounded like wheezing. My poor baby! Isaac finally came out with the sucker, but it didn't do its job very well and we ended up flying down the street back toward where we came to take her to the ER... we/I didn't know what else to do.  Of course, as soon as we pulled up to the entrance and Isaac got her near the front door, she started breathing normally again. Her color came back and she seemed to be okay. But, since we were already there, and totally amateur parents, we decided to take her inside anyway to make sure she was really okay. And of course, she was. Thank goodness. It wasn't long before she was back to her smiley self.

Two Month Stats:
(these were really taken at two and a half months)

  • 14.12 lbs. (96%)
  • 24.5 inches tall (98%)
  • 15.75 HC (87%)

  • Eating: Same
    Sleeping: She's such a good sleeper, when she actually goes to sleep. She's still quite the night owl and often won't go down for good until 10 or later. There have been a few times when she's slept a solid 8 hours straight. But for the most part she sleeps at night in 5 hour stretches or so. During the day her naps are still somewhat sporadic, but she usually has a pretty long nap in the afternoon, sometimes 3 or 4 hours. 

    Wearing: 3 month clothes and even some 6 months. 
    Interesting tidbits: 

    • She is so smiley. Gives us the biggest open-mouth smiles constantly.
    • She likes to chat too. When we look her in the eye she will coo and chatter until we look away.
    • She likes the play mat and swats a little at the animals. But we use it cautiously because Marin likes to lay on it when she uses it too. Urg.
    • When she lays on her back on the ground she will move her arms and kick wildly like she's doing a jig. It's kind of comical and makes us all smile. 

    Thursday, October 1, 2015

    Paige: One Month Old

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- Sweet, little Paige had her one month appointment this week. Firstly, has it only been a month? I feel like she's been around for so much longer.  Secondly, she appears to take after her big sister in the big baby department. She's gained almost a pound a week. Amazing. To commemorate this achievement, here are a bunch of photos from this past month, along with Paige's birth story. Which isn't that exciting, but a story nonetheless.

    My first glimpse at the little peanut. All the nurses kept commenting how beautiful she was.

    The cutest dad.
    Just a day or so old here. 
    Marin meeting Paige for the first time. She was so excited to see the baby as if she were reunited with an old friend.
    She kept pointing and saying, "Look, look, baby!"
    Paige's first visitors! Isaac's mom and niece came to help with Marin. It was heaven having them here! 
    My parents were kind enough to come and help the week Isaac went back to work. My mom stayed a week and my dad came at the end and thoroughly entertained Marin. She couldn't get enough of them both.

    One Month Stats:

  • 11.11 lbs. (93%)
  • 23 inches tall (98%)
  • 15.16 HC (92%)

  • Eating: Lots of milk; with steroids in it apparently. 
    Sleeping: She's been sleeping a solid 4-5 hour stretch the last few nights from about 11pm to 4am (I wish she'd zonk out earlier, but I'll take it). She'll sleep again for 2-3 hours and then be awake for a bit before going back to sleep for another hour or two.  She's usually wide awake mid-morning and zonks back out again from about 1pm to 4:30 or 5pm. This works out tremendously, because Marin takes a nap at 1... so I get some peace and quiet for a bit. Heaven!  
    Wearing: 3 month clothes. Wears some newborn things, but they're getting a big snug these days
    Interesting tidbits: 

    • Gives the sweetest smiles (started doing this around the three week mark)
    • Poops all the time (I know this is TMI)
    • Coos loudly when she eats
    • Likes to squawk when she's on the ground kicking 

    Paige's Story

    Sweet little Paige was scheduled to be delivered via induction on Thursday, August 27. I was praying and hoping she'd just come on her own so I could bypass the painful, annoying and long induction process. It turns out going into labor on your own is still painful and just as annoying. Now I know. 

    Early Sunday morning (I'm talking like 3 am here), I found myself awake, as usual (my pregnancy insomnia was ridiculous) and got up to check on Marin. Meanwhile, I felt some funny cramping pains. They didn't go away, and by morning I knew they were definitely contractions. I told Isaac as soon as he woke up that I was having contractions. He was excited, but I don't think he was entirely sure I was legitimately in labor. Nonetheless, he called his parents to alert them. His mom said they were probably Braxton-Hicks.

    As the day wore on, the contractions obviously got stronger and closer together. I went to church that morning, but by third hour was ready to call it a day. We came home and Isaac had to get ready to go to work. He was on call that night from about 2 to 10 pm. When he left to go to work, he promised to call to check in frequently. I cried when he left. Those pesky contractions were getting painful and it scared me that I had to go it alone with Marin while I was hunched over in pain every few minutes! He called about every hour or so and had me start timing my contractions.  By 5 pm they were so painful and coming every 4 minutes or so. I remember attempting to make Marin some dinner (I sure wasn't hungry) and I kept having to stop and grab the counter so I could keel over in pain until a nasty contraction passed. I didn't know what to do with Marin to keep her entertained and occupied, so I let her watch little kid videos on YouTube (Elmo, Super Simple Songs, Minnie Mouse, etc.). I was so frustrated trying to take care of her and doing in inadequate job that I broke down and cried while I was attempting to make dinner. These contractions were awful and I was so frustrated!  Thankfully, Isaac called around this time and decided it was best if he called in backup at work so he could come home.  He finally got home around 6:30 p.m. We had Marin in bed by 7pm. I was trying to sing songs with her before we laid her down and she broke out in tears when I had a nasty contraction... I don't hide pain well apparently. And whenever she sees me sad, she cries.

    By this time, we had convinced Isaac's mother (who was on stand-by for us) that I was legitimately in labor and she better start heading over from Portland. We called our sweet home teacher's family and they sent one of their teenaged daughters over to stay at our house until Isaac's mom (and 9 year old niece, who she brought along for entertainment for Marin) got there.

    When we got to the hospital around 7:30, the sweet nurse hooked me up to check my contractions and all that fun stuff. I was dilated to a 4. I couldn't believe I was only at a 4 after all that pain the entire day! She said I needed to dilate to a 5 within the next hour or they'd likely send me home. I pleaded with her to let me stay and when she saw me curling my toes in pain she was kind-hearted enough to admit me right then and there.  Soon thereafter, I got the blessed relief of an epidural. God bless the person who was inspired enough to come up with this miracle drug. The nurse anesthetist happened to be from Utah too. He immediately made me feel better. 

    By 11:30 pm, I was fully dilated and ready to go. My water hadn't broken yet, but was bulging like a balloon (they said), so they popped it and off we went. The sweet little girl made her big debut at 12:04 am late Sunday night/early Monday morning. She weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 21 inches long. All the nurses kept commenting on what a beautiful baby she was. She came out a chubby little thing, but she sure is darling. 

    Since we delivered at the hospital where Isaac works, it was nice he could run down to the physicians lounge that night and get us sandwiches, juice and snacks. 

    The irony behind this day was August 23 was the ten year anniversary of my Grandma's death. She was the one we happened to name Paige after... Virginia. I hope this little girl will know how much this lady meant to me in my life. The name also has dual meaning for Isaac and I since it's the state where our relationship began. Mostly though, its after my Grandma. No doubt she smiled down on us that day.

    Paige has been an angel of a baby. The entire time I was pregnant, I never worried about her and if she'd be healthy or if my labor would go well. I only worried about how Marin would react to a new addition to our family. I'd heard such horror stories about how some kids react. The morning after Paige was born, I was nervous for Isaac and his mom to bring Marin to the hospital to meet her. But the moment Marin walked through that door, she saw me sitting there and was so excited to see me. I don't think she knew she'd find me through that door. She ran to me and I picked her up and held her and showed her Paige laying in the bassinet next to me. Marin got the biggest smile on her face and completely lit up saying, "Baby, baby, baby!" and pointed and smiled the biggest grin. It was the sweetest thing and I was immediately relieved that she was so excited to see this little baby, who she seemed to already know and remember. I get emotional thinking about this sweet moment. She wanted to hold her the whole time she was there. 

    While we were at the hospital, several people from our ward stopped by, our home teacher and his wife and our bishop and his hilarious wife. One of Isaac's kind coworkers even came up with flowers. These two darling old men stopped by too. They said they come to the hospital every week to visit members of the church who are there. Its nice to have such a supportive community. 

    Since we've been home, Isaac's mom stayed several days. She was such a lifesaver. She made dinner every night and kept Marin happy. She brought along Issac's cute 9 year old niece, Makenzie who Marin followed around like a puppy dog. Isaac happened to time it right, and had two weeks off in a row. His first being the day Paige was born. It couldn't have been timed better for that reason. The second week he had off, he was the biggest help. He took Marin to the park, wore her out every day and did every chore around the house. The week he went back to work, my mom came. She made me freezer meals and helped do random things around the house, all the while keeping Marin entertained with fun activities. My dad came that weekend and Marin had the time of her life with him out hunting for bugs and playing games. When they all left, I cried. It is so nice to have such a wonderful family (on both sides) who are loving, thoughtful and dependable and will do anything for you. Oh how I love them all!

    Paige is such a mellow baby. She sleeps much of the day away and so far seems very good natured and sweet. I had a feeling she would be this way. She gives the sweetest smiles when I pick her up after a nap. It makes me melt. 

    Transitioning to life with two kids has been pretty uneventful. I was nervous to be alone with both of them the first week I was on my own. Marin has mostly been sweet and kind to Paige. She likes to smother her with kisses. But she has obviously been adjusting to these changes too. She likes to throw extra tantrums and whine to me. But other than that, she's been a trooper. We even braved story time at the library this week together. I thought it would be months before I dared take them both. Other than a tantrum at the end, things went smoothly. 

    These two little girls have completely changed my world. And I love it so much. 

    Sunday, September 13, 2015

    Welcome Paige Virginia Reeve

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- A cute little girl came into our world at 12:04 am on August 24, 2015. Say hello to this beauty...

    Paige Virginia Reeve
    8 pounds 4 ounces; 21 inches long

    She's named after my Grandma Candrian, Virginia Cox Candrian Webster. She's got a head of dark hair, long, skinny legs and a very chill personality. Her big sister, Marin, loves to smother her with kisses and hold her (until she cries).  We are so grateful she's part of our family.

    Friday, June 26, 2015

    18 Months Old: ABC & 123

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- As I dropped Marin off at nursery a few weeks ago at church, all by herself for the first time, I felt never-before-experienced pangs of guilt as a parent.  People just drop their kids off and except someone else to watch them? This is a new concept for me that I wish I was much more familiar with. I can hardly believe she is already a year and a half old! It brings me so much joy and also a little sadness. My little side kick is old enough to brave it on her own a bit. 

    She looks so sweet and innocent, doesn't she? This was taken on her big Sunday going to nursery all by herself.

    This girl is such a delight and a terror all at once. She's so sweet and loves to give hugs and kisses. And the very next minute she'll be arching her back in fighting rebellion over something she can't do, or something I want her to do that she has no interest in doing (changing diapers or getting in her carseat for instance).

    I am enjoying my final months with it being just me and her. She'll never remember this time as an only child, but I will treasure it always.  
    Picking flowers in the mountains on our trip to Utah this past week
    My mom made this darling dress for her

    Eighteen Month Stats:

  • 29.5 lbs. (98%)
  • 35 inches tall (100%)
  • 18.31 HC (57%)

  • Eating: Still picky, picky, picky. This frustrates me tremendously. She still eats applesauce like its candy. Almost every time I ask her what she wants for breakfast, she says, "pie." And then smiles really big. Such a jokester, who inherited my dangerous sweet tooth. 

    Sleeping: 7pm to 7am give or take an hour or so. She's been waking up earlier due to the summer early morning sun coming up around 5 am. Ugh. Her naps though have been especially delightful. They are the longest they have ever been in her life.  Anywhere from an hour to up to 2 and a half.  

    Wearing: 18 -24 month old stuff usually with with some 2T thrown in for good measure.

    Tricks and New Skills/Interesting tidbits:
    • This girl has her alphabet down pat. We've been working on it for months and finally, around 16 months or so, she started stringing them altogether. We were making our way back from Portland one night back in April, and thought Marin would sleep the entire way back. Instead, about half way through, she woke up very bright-eyed and started reciting her ABC's like a pro. She can even identify all of her upper case letters and most of the lower case ones. I'm really quite impressed with her ability to soak up everything we try to teach her. I'm giving Isaac's genes credit for that one. Please watch the below video to see her alphabet in action (also, note, that since this video was taken back in May, she has improved significantly and no longer skips letters). 
    • She can also count and identify numbers up to 10, and says other numbers after that, but generally not in order.  
    • Her favorite thing to say is "uhoh" and usually says it two or three times in a row whenever she says it. Just for effect, I guess. It generally indicates she's found something out of place, she did something wrong, or is questioning something she sees. A few weeks ago I was in the kitchen making dinner, and left her in the family room to watch Elmo for a few minutes of peace and quiet. Suddenly she declared, "Uhoh, uhoh, uhoh!" I assumed it was because the laptop battery died. Several minutes later, however, I discovered it was because she had found a pen and scribbled all over one of my new sofa pillows. Irk.
    • When I sing to her at nap or bedtime, I will leave out the last word of every sentence and she will fill in the blank. The same thing happens with books we read a lot. I'll pause somewhere in the story, and she will fill in the word I stopped on. 
    • Every preposition she uses is, "off." No matter if she means on, up, down or out. And if she can't move something, she declares, "stuck!"  
    • Isaac is her buddy and she loves to play with him when he gets home from work. But... ughhhhh... the second he tries displaying an actual parenting role, and not playmate role, she flips out. Full on flips out. Forget having him put her to bed... it is a full on meltdown complete with hyperventilating, sweat and tears (she cries so hard she actually heats herself up to the point of sweating). I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this and hope this phase ends quickly. I hate it. So much. 
      Marin loves to climb all over Isaac. It warms my soul to watch them play together. 
    • This girl loves being around other kids. I feel bad that we don't have many (or any) friends here in the Tri Cities, because I know she could sure benefit from some playmates. Thank goodness we have nursery now at church, and swim lessons where there are other kids around. 
    • Marin also has some strange fear of men. She's fine around Isaac (minus the bedtime/parenting thing), but any other man she is extremely hesitant of, this includes grandpas, uncles, etc. 
    • She's also growing more and more independent. She loves to try to dress herself before it takes too long and I just do it for her, which she doesn't always appreciate. She could sit for a good 30 minutes at a time trying to put her shoes on her feet. She also loves to put mine and Isaac's shoes on too. 
    We started swimming lessons a few weeks ago and despite the look on her face in this photo, she loves them
    This girl LOOOOVED getting so much attention from her cousins (and grandparents) in Utah this past week. She hugged the "kids" and gave them kisses numerous times a day. She was in heaven having playmates for a solid week.
    Up in the canyons in a dry river bed
    We went to an amazing new splash pad numerous times near my parent's house, complete with waterfalls and a river. She loved it. 
    She likes to go in and outside over and over and shut us out and then stare through the door window smiling at us
    I've been nervous about how she might react to a new baby around our home in a few months. While we were in Utah, she watched me hold Brittany's baby frequently and didn't seem to mind at all. In fact, she loved going up to him and kissing/tormenting him. I hope she has the same reaction to her new sister. 

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    Marin's News

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- Marin and I had a little fun putting this video together... Take a peak:

    Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    15 Months Old: No, no, no

    RICHLAND, WASH. -- I remember not so long ago whenever I'd hear little kids say, "No," I'd think how annoying it was that they'd say it so frequently. I'm pretty sure I made a mental note to use the word "no" as little as possible whenever I had kids, just to keep them from saying it.  Turns out, that is definitely not how it works.  Say it once, say it a million times... somehow those little stinkers figure it out and it becomes their favorite thing to say regardless of what you try to do to stop it. Thus, that word is the theme of my life lately.  Though, I will say whenever Marin actually means "yes," she'll correct herself immediately following her recitation of the word, "no."  It usually sounds something like this, "no... yesssss."

    In other news, Mother Nature has apparently kicked Winter to the curb (finally), so we are enjoying spending more time outside. It has been glorious. Marin loves, looooves, LOVES being outside and will cry when its time to head indoors.

    Marin loves coloring with chalk, though it is a tad messy.

    She loves every kind of ball and kicking the soccer ball around
    Loves playing in the dirt and rocks, but doesn't like getting dirt on her hands.

    Fifteen Month Stats:

  • 28.8 lbs. (99%)
  • 33 inches tall (99%)
  • 18.25 HC (83%)

  • Eating: Picky, picky, picky. I hate it.  She eats applesauce like its candy. And loves to eat slices of cheese. Everything else is hit or miss these days. 

    Sleeping: 7pm to 7am. We are down to one nap a day and she'll sleep anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. 

    Wearing: 12 -18 month old stuff with some 18 and 18-24 month thrown in the mix.  

    Tricks and New Skills/Interesting tidbits:
    • Marin is obsessed with the ABC's or the "A,B's" as she calls them. We have ABC books she likes to read over and over again. I put up some cute little animal ABC decals in her room and she loves to stare and point at them. She recognizes letters everywhere we go, even on signs at the store. She'll loudly declare, "AB's, AB's."  She knows about half of the letters... we are working on the others.  I think she knows what some of the other letters are, but can't quite make those sounds yet... like "W" for instance. 
    • She used to be the friendliest little thing I've ever seen. Now she won't leave my side. We used to have to block her in at church from running away from us. We don't have to worry about that anymore. She's not interested in being more than a foot away from me. I'm hoping this phase doesn't last long... but if she's anything like me, it'll probably last until she's 18 (I was SUCH a home body).    
    • We had a little break for a few months where having a bath was just a thing to cross off our lists. But now, bath time is Marin's favorite time of the day again... until she has to have her hair washed and then she wants out. 

      We took a little trip to Seattle and Portland for my birthday this year. It was incredibly sunny the whole time we were there. It was beautiful!  But slightly chilly... Poor little Marin caught a nasty cold there. 

      Golden Garden Beach in Seattle

      Practicing her musical skills on Grandma Reeve's piano

      Her happy place. 

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Thoughts on My New Job

    BOSTON, MASS./RICHLAND, WASH. -- I started this post a long time ago back in Boston and just re-discovered it. So, thought I may as well finish it, because its been a long while since I sat down to write...

    "This is it," I thought as I walked out of my office for the last time. I had just dropped off my laptop after informing my PR agency a few weeks prior that I would not be coming back after maternity leave. I thought I would get emotional. Like, really emotional. Not because I was sad about leaving this particular job, but because it signaled something more for me. This was the end of my career. My decade-long career in communications. A career that zig-zagged me all across the country from Washington state to Washington, D.C. and back again. I worked the entire communications spectrum from reporting to press and public relations.  As a working woman, I always thought it would be so painfully boring to be a "stay at home mom." What do they do all day, I wondered so many times. And how on earth could it possibly be fulfilling? But I was surprised the day it all ended. I didn't get emotional. I didn't even shed a tear.

    I suppose I could say things like, that's because my heart was overflowing with the prospect of what lay ahead of me, more so than mourning what was behind me. And I guess that really is true, albeit rather corny. I had quite the ride in that crazy career of mine. I lived my dream of being a news reporter (you can check out some of those nerdy moments here) and had the time of my life being a press secretary in the United States Senate for Senator Bennett and Senator Roberts. And I'll be forever grateful that a PR firm in Seattle hired me when I had no agency experience and then were more than willing to let me transfer to their Boston office just four months later. Talk about a tremendous blessing!  And now it is done. It has been for a little over a year now. And I love it.

    My new job belongs to this little one. And another new one who will join our family at the end of the summer.

    Day one of my new job

    Marin has stollen our hearts in a huge way. Isaac and I are so in love with her. We are constantly amused by everything she does. And she is such a good girl... so calm, happy and sweet (most of the time, at least). When she is awake we are constantly talking about how cute she is and how much we love her. When she is asleep, we are constantly talking bout how cute she is and how much we love her. Basically it's all we talk about (sometimes we squeeze in a healthy round of political discussion).

    I'm already nostalgic about her growing up too quickly. She used to be that small little girl up there. A year later and our sweet little girl is off the charts. I have loved watching her learn and grow and the way she observes the world around her with such big, curious eyes.

    When I ever get sad about not working any more, which isn't often, its easy to remind myself that this little girl is far more important than any conference call or press release.  Sometimes I can't help but wonder, "What happened to my life?!"  It is certainly different from how it used to be just a year ago, that is for sure. But I never imagined I'd love it this much. Or love her this much. It's wonderful.

    I love this kid of mine.
    So, as I climbed into my car with Isaac and Marin that day I left my job, I couldn't help but think that some people would think I was nuts for leaving my communications career behind. But the only emotions I felt as we drove away were a calming peace and deep burning happiness and the thought, "This is really why I'm here."

    Recently, I was at a dear friends wedding. I swear nearly every person I knew from Washington, DC was there too. I was catching up with one of those acquaintances who was telling me all about her new gig in the House of Representatives as the press secretary for a pretty prestigious committee. I kept reiterating over and over again how awesome it was she was doing this and what a neat time it was to be there. She agreed, but then quickly said, "Let's be honest, Andrea. I'd rather have your job." I remarked that she was free to baby-sit anytime. I instantly regretted saying something so painfully stupid. We were interrupted by more friends who wanted to chat, and I never got to tell her what I really meant to say...  What I really should have said was this, "Don't worry. You'll get to be a mom eventually. Its inevitable. For now, enjoy making these really great memories you'll be able to tell your kids all about some day. They'll think its pretty cool their mom got to do something so incredible."

    And that pretty much sums it up for me. I've gotten to live the best of both worlds. I had a really fun career I am thankful for every day. And I have a lot of great memories from it that I hope to share with my kids one day.