Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Audrey's Newborn Pictures

There is nothing sweeter than this precious little pumpkin. I can't believe how much she has grown in the last three weeks! Here are her newborn pictures taken by Alisa Joy Photography.

Miss Personality

Have I mentioned how much I adore this little girl? She continues to surprise me everyday with how much she has matured in the last four weeks. She is still so incredibly sweet with Audrey and is a big help to me.
She likes to hover over Audrey and we find ourselves saying almost daily, "Grace, not so close. Grace, kiss her on the head, not the mouth. Grace, Audrey doesn't eat macaroni yet." I will take an involved, clingy, sweet big sister any day.
Here are the shots Alisa captured a few minutes before we started Audrey's pictures. I can't get enough of my sweet girl.

Recovery and the last four weeks

After four weeks, I feel like I can officially say I am "recovered." The past week has been so much better than the first three and I feel like I am getting back to my old self (in a new, squishy body). I am up more, I am back in the swing of nursing again, and I have finally stopped taking medicine.
For the record, the second c-section was not easier for me and the recovery was not any less difficult than my first. Of course, that may have a little something to do with the fact that less than five hours after my staples were taken out on the day we came home from the hospital, Grace fell headfirst into my right side. My nurse thinks she may have caused a deep tissue bruise and not to be surprised if I always feel a bit "off" on that side. I think the poor girl cried harder than I did and asks me all the time, "Mommy, you feeling okay? You tummy is feeling better?" She is such a sweetheart.
My mom stayed with me the week I was in the hospital until the Monday afterward and was such a big help with Grace and taking care of me. Then my precious sister came out for a week and a half and spoiled all of us completely rotten. She cleaned, she changed nearly every diaper, cooked, took Grace to PDO, got up with Audrey at night so Dan could sleep, and a million other things I could list. She left last Monday and made me wish I could afford a full time nanny! 
I have been so blessed that the store is doing well and I have four AMAZING girls who have taken the responsibility off of me and onto their shoulders. I have not had to worry about a thing and it has been nice to have the last four weeks off of work. I am starting to feel the itch to get back in the swing of things, and I think I may start going up there a few days a week starting next week. I need to have conversation that doesn't include the following words: poop, diaper, schedule, feeding, nursing, pumping, and pacifier. 
One of the hardest parts of recovery was not being able to pick up Grace. At least five times a day I had to tell her "Sweetie, mommy can't hold you right now," and it broke my heart. She had a hard time and it was so difficult for me not to be able to pick up my sweet girl. I have struggled with the guilt that Grace has somehow been neglected in all this and the melt down happened last week. It was about 10 at night, I was feeding Audrey and all I could think about was holding Grace. I went to Grace's room, woke her up and cried while I rocked her. Maybe it was thinking about her not being a baby anymore. Maybe I was feeling sad that I was missing a big part of her growing up with all the attention I was paying Audrey. Maybe my hormones just took hold of my body and turned me into a big sobbing mess of a mommy. It was probably all three, and I rocked Grace in her bed and sobbed while I asked God to teach me how to love these girls like He wants me to love them. I am still figuring out how to divide my attention and finding ways to make Grace feel special during this transition, but every day gets easier. At night when she wants me to rock her and sing to her I know I'm doing at least a little something right.
Most days I feel pulled in two directions, exhausted on a level I have never felt, and completely overwhelmed. The awesome thing is that with all of these feelings comes a love so deep it takes my breath away and reminds me why I wanted so much to be a mother of two.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Big sister

It is an incredible thing to watch your baby become a toddler. It is even more incredible to watch your baby not be the baby of the family anymore and see how grown up she has become.
Grace LOVES Audrey. LOVES her. I was worried about how she would react and handle the transition but I didn't give her enough credit. She has had a few moments of being "off" but I think it had more to do with being off her schedule and passed back and forth between grandparents. 
A few sweet things:
*Mimi taught her what everything was on the changing table so she would know what to bring me if I needed her help. She calls burp cloths "birthday clocks" and it makes my day every time she says it. "Oh mommy, here's you birthday clock for Audrey Cake."
*She likes to kiss Audrey on the mouth and not the head like we ask her to do. Thank goodness Audrey is the most laid back baby ever and doesn't seem bothered by two year old hands all over her.
*When we were in the hospital I asked Grace if she wanted to kiss Audrey and give her "sugars." Grace promptly went out in the hallway with Daddy and returned with two sugar packets from the cafeteria. "Here you go, mommy. Here's Audrey some sugars."
*The minute she gets home from PDO she wants to "tiptoe" and be "reeeaaalllll quiet" and go see Audrey.
*When Grace is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the hot dog dance comes on at the end, she likes to grab Audrey's hand and make her do the dance too.
*I thought it might cause some awkward questions if I nursed in front of Grace but she seems to be okay with the simple fact that Audrey gets her milk from mommy. Grace reminds me every time I'm nursing that she doesn't get her milk from mommy, she gets it from a cow. Moo.
*She calls her sweet girl, sweet Audrey, sweet baby, angel, and says "awwwwww" every time she sees her.
*If Audrey is crying she says, "Oh Audrey, you don't be so sad. You okay sweet baby?"
*Grace has a hard time understanding why Audrey can't sleep in her big girl bed with her, why she doesn't want to sit in her chair and watch Toy Story, and why she doesn't want to eat bites of spaghetti.
*In the mornings she comes in to our room and asks me how I'm feeling and if my band-aid on my belly is still hurting. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Official Hospital Pics

I am a lucky gal. Not only do Dan and I have the ability to make some beautiful baby girls, I have an amazing friend and photographer who can capture the process. Alisa photographed our time in the hospital with Grace and thanks to scheduled c-sections, she was able to photograph our time with Audrey as well. There are only 30 or so of my favorites (not an easy feat to pick only 30 out of 150).
A little face time with my sister right before we left the room
Audrey was going crazy in my belly right before we went back. I remember thinking, I can't believe this is the last time I am going to feel her in my stomach...
Tom wore the same shirt he wore the day Danny was born and when Grace was born. How adorable is he?

Visiting with Jen for a second before they took me back. We have the same birthday and now our little pumpkins share a birthday, too!

I never realized how much Dan looks like his mom until I saw this picture

Sweet, squishy face at one hour old

Grace was so excited to meet her Audrey Cake!

Sweet and talented photographer friend- Alisa Joy. Thanks again for capturing the most amazing moments of our lives on camera!