Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 1, 2010

I will forever be grateful to my friend, Aly, for capturing one of the best days of my life. I love everything about these photographs. I love the flakes of newborn skin, the IV still resting in my hand and the hospital bands adorning my wrist. I especially love the feelings they bring back to me of that wonderful day, the day we were blessed with a miracle.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

misery

I just want to eat this...




or something sprinkled in cheese or made with creamy butter.

Week 2 of this is killing me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Perfection

When I first found out that I was going to be a Mother, over 7 years ago, a thought came into my head. I looked into the future of Motherhood and just "knew" that I was going to be a perfect Mom. I wasn't going to raise my voice, I would have patience galore, I wouldn't let annoying sounds and repetitive songs get the best of me. I'd never loose my cool, I'd take my kids to the park almost daily, I would be totally engaged, tv time would be almost non-existant. Yes, this would come easily for me. I was born to do this. Perfect Mom... that'd surly be me.

So here I am, my oldest is 6 1/2, and I am NOT" perfect Mom", or even close. I have yet to see that Mother that I imagined all of those years ago. In fact, I just got done yelling at my Son as he threw a blanket over Olivia's head while she was climbing up the stairs. So I'm yelling... and Its not even 9am.

I will have nights, usually at the end of a long day, and I will imagine how the next day will go down. Im going to do it, I think. It's going to be the perfect day. Im going to talk with my "nice mommy" voice. Im going to play kitchen and babies with the girls for hours. I will be the opitomy of calm and patient.

I frequently start out days with the resolve that it will be the greatest day ever. That Im going to be the greatest Mom.

And yet, I always fall short. Always. Some days by a LOT. Life goes its way and I get lost in the middle of it. So I let go of my ideal day ideas and resolve that it will have to wait for tomorrow, because today is already too hard.

And then I read this quote from a Mother.

“Maybe it is precisely our inability and anxiousness that urge us to reach out to Him and enhance His ability to reach back to us. Maybe He secretly hopes we will be anxious and will plead for His help. Then, I believe, he can teach these children directly, through us."

It touched me strongly. It is so true.

If there were perfect days, free from frustrations, we would rarely solicit His help. Days of dulled patience and even feelings of failure are always the days that I am most likely to fall on my knees and ask for help. I know that He loves this Children. Loves them more that I can comprehend, more than I love them. (and that's hard to even imagine) And those times of prayer, in behalf of my own short-comings with my Children, are the times that I feel the most inspiration on their behalf.

Its a beautiful thing when you think about it. I know that Heavenly Father is there always, waiting for me to stop relying on my own failed attempts and to reach out for His help. And when I submit to that, those are alway the best days when I have the most determination to do and to be better.

I have a long way to go but I know that He will help me to be the kind of Mother that I strive to be, that these kids deserve. I only need to go to him in my times of anxiousness and frustrations.

I let go of the idea of a perfect day and I hope to have more day's guided by Heavenly Father. Those will be the greatest days for us all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

longer

Its almost 1pm. There are things to be done. Many, many things. Olivia and Charlotte are asleep. Big kids are at School. Dave's getting in his daily dose of reading for his exams (im so beyond proud of him)

There are also some very necessary things to be done. Like a shower. But I would rather be doing this...



Holding my brand new, tiny Charlotte.

So yes, I should probably take this time to put her in her bed, shower, clean the kitchen and throw in the laundry thats covering my bedroom floor.

But Im not going to. Because I've learned that time goes by all too quickly. I can shower later, thats what perfume and deodorant is for. And the kitchen and laundry are patient, they'll kindly wait for me. But this lovely lady is going to be a day older another ounce heavier tomorrow. So Im going to sit here, still in my pajamas, and guiltlessly hold her longer. And Im going to love every moment of it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things...

I have had a few expecting friends ask about my baby must haves. I thought I'd do a little review post on my top products. Those who know me know how obsessed I am with baby product reviews and research... its a curse. These are all my opinions.. just opinions. I hope I don't offend anyone with them.

1. Infant Car Seats- I have owned a different seat with each baby. Britax, Peg Perego, Graco and Maxi Cosi. I must say that I am loving my Maxi Cosi that Dave's Parents got us as a baby gift. Its small, lightweight and super comfortable.. not to mention that they have the coolest prints and color options. The weight/ length restrictions are not as high as a few others, which is why its so lightweight and easy to carry, but my kids are never in their infant seats for longer than 6 months so this didn't effect my decision here. Graco is always a safe bet as well, just not very exciting. Its a great car seat though and you wouldn't be at all disappointed if you went with this option.
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2. Convertable car seat- Nothing touches the Britax line. In fact they just came out with a brand new design for all models. I cant tell you how many friends have gone a different route here only to be unhappy with it and buy the Britax anyways. Nothing is safer or more well made. You'll be using this seat for years, just buy it right the first time. This is a great time to buy the older version Marathon or Decathlon as they are all being clearanced out to make room for the 2010 models.
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3. Mamaroo- I sold my swing and bouncers(as this is pretty much all of those things in one) to pay for this beauty. Its the best of all worlds. Check out their website for a video on it... very cool. www.4moms.com
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4. Puj Tub- Best newborn tub. Kinda pricey and I probably wouldn't have bought it if I had several other baby itens to buy. This being my 4th I didnt have much to purchase, it justified this one. One of the best products out there for a newborn. No slipping. Charlotte has yet to cry in this bath, she is so cozy and cradled. And I dont even need to hold on to her with 1 hand like my last baby bath. Love that it drys flat, I hang it from my door hook.
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5. Stroller- Spend your money here if no where else. You'll use this for 4 years.. buy it right. I am in love with my Baby jogger City Select. It can be a single or a double, is jam packed with options and features and maneuvers like a dream. I sold my old double jogger and my single bugaboo to buy this and have never missed either. This stroller will also grow with you if you want to add the other seat. Plus I can use car seat adapters and snap my infant seat in it so it can work like a travel system. If I have Liv I use it as a double. If shes not with me, I just take the second seat out and use it as a single. A dream!!

I love about anything made by Baby Jogger or Bob, and you can always find them in great shape on CL if you're wanting to save money and still have a quality product that will last for years. Key to a good stroller is maneuverability. I can steer my baby jogger, fully loaded, with one hand.

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6. Miracle blanket- check their website for testimonials... I agree with them all. This is one of my favorite products ever and I have used the same 2 with all 4 kids. There are similar products that work great but this is the best one of its kind and will last you the longest because of its size.
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7. Pacifier- I love the one piece silicone gum drops. They are soft and safe but not as huge as the soothies.
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8. boppy lounger- My friend lent me her's and its been a dream. Charlotte sleeps on it each night and she is so comfortable. Its a perfect place for new babies to lounge. Its cozy and keeps them up at an elevated angle without slipping.
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9. Aden and Anais blankets/ swaddlers/ burp cloths- I use these every day, all day. for everything. Love them!! They were a great gift!! This being my 4th I have lots of blankets but these are my all-time favorite.
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10. Medela newborn foam soap- the cure for cradle cap. But use it right away and you'll never even see it on your baby head to start with. 1 bottle will last forever. Im still using the same one I used with Olivia when she was a baby.

11. Beaba Babycook- Steams and purees your food to make fresh baby food. These are on Craigslist all the time for half off. Lots of people have the ambition to do their own foods but dont follow through. This combo makes it easy, especially if you're as lazy as I am.
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12.Ergo baby carrier- I sold my Baby Bjorn to buy this one from Baby Steals (where it was 40% off... great day!) Its amazing. Way more comfortable, love the front and back carry, Olivia loves to be in it on my back which is a nice option. It has a very high weight capacity and the weight is all on your hips so you cant even feel the kids in it. These rarely go on sale but you can find a plethora of them on Craigslist or ebay. About the same cost, or less, than the Bjorn but I fell it is a much better value for the money.
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okay, there are a few favorites.... take 2.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Charlotte's first day of Church

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Today marked the first Sunday of a lifetime, I hope, of going to Church. Charlotte looked so cute in her tiny dress but the darling headband made by a good friend, Amy Almeida, made the outfit. Thanks again Amy, everyone commented on how amazing it was.

Sweet Charlotte was such good girl for the entire 3 hour block. She awoke briefly for a bottle and to be changed before she was back to sleep. I loved being back into the regular Sunday routine and I especially loved having this peanut snuggled up on me all afternoon. Pure bliss.

The first hiccup in the road


All of our babies have had various newborn problems. Luke had a severe dairy allergy that we finally figured out when he was about 6 weeks old. He would scream and projectile vomit constantly. Ella had pretty severe reflux and ended up on soy formula due to dietary limitations. And Olivia, well you all know that story too well. She had a dairy intolerance and the worst case of reflux that our Pediatrician had ever seen. This, as you may recall, eventually led us to surgery after a 6 day Hospital stay, several medications, $50 a can Neocate formula and many sleepless, teary-eyed days and nights.

So that is why I say that our babies are hard. We have never know those first few months without diet changes, screaming and wondering what's wrong and what we do.

And then came Charlotte. She was easy. She nursed without difficulty. She hardly ever spit up. She has been a dream.

Until a few days ago. An all to familiar scene. Screaming just moments after she'd fallen asleep, restless, terribly gassy, loose stools. The only positive this time was that I Knew these symptoms well. I took away the breast milk, which I have been working so hard at keeping up for her, and eliminated dairy from my diet. It will take about 2 weeks to get it out of my system entirely and we decided to give her Nutramigen in the mean time. It kills me to pump every 3 hours only to dump it out... but I am determined to give this little girl breast milk so thats just what Im going to do.

On Monday the Doctor wants to see her for possible reflux due to spitting up on the Nutramigen. I can already tell she has it as she fights back spit up and turns red. But red is okay with me, though it makes me anxious. All too familiar to 2 years ago with Olivia. But, again, red is okay. Blue is not.

So here we are again in these familiar days. The good news is that I hardly know better. And that, on this special formula, she's back to being pretty calm and relaxed. Not to mention she slept for 7 hours last night.... not to shabby.

I just hope the next few weeks can go by fast and that we'll be back to breast milk in no time. But man... does this no dairy thing stink!!!

Giving up chocolate and cheese for your baby... thats true love.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

whats in a name?

We went into the Hospital with 2 names. Clara and Amelia. Clara was a late horse but we loved it. And Amelia was a name that we had the entire time, our go-to name. We thought and we thought but the feeling never came on which to use. So, on the morning of August 1st, we headed out the door to Sky Ridge Hospital with both names. If I had to put money on it I was sure we'd end up going with Amelia Elizabeth.

At 1:42pm our tiny, sweet girl came into the World. I thought that I'd take a look at her and surly I'd feel some sense as to who she was. What her name would be. Sure enough, she was born and all I saw was a beautiful baby. No name hit me. I didn't know this little person yet. And I didn't know her name.

Something did happen, pretty much right off the bat. We looked at her and came to a surprising conclusion. "She's not an Amelia." And Dave quickly agreed.

Since we only had 2 names it became obvious that, should one name not fit she would be named the other. So, Clara she was. Wasn't she? I tried to call her Clara. I thought she could be a Clara. But everytime I tried to say it the name sounded awkward. I fumbled with it. When a Nurse asked her name and I said I thought it was Clara, well... it just didn't feel right.

That night, at around 3am, the Nurse brought hr into me for a feeding. As I nursed her in the dim lights of my hospital room we had a little chat. It went like this...

You're not a Clara are you?

But you're not an Amelia either.

What is your name baby?

And I sat for a bit as I stared at this beautiful, soft, tiny, feminine Daughter that I helped to create and it came.

In a whisper I asked...

Are you a

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And in that dark room as I held my baby I knew. It was a sweet, peaceful moment.

Yes she is a Charlotte. Now, what would Dave think?

I had liked the name Charlotte for sometime. Even before I was pregnant. But when I would put i on the table Dave would push it right off. I was a little nervous to tell him that I knew what her name was but it was her name. I hoped he'd feel it like I did and that he'd come around. Not just come around but love it.

That next morning he called to tell me he was on his way. I couldn't wait. I exclaimed that I knew her name and that she was a Charlotte. I think he said something to the extent of... "we'll see..."

He came in the hospital room shortly there after and, again, I told him her name. He sat with it for a minute and immediately asked what her middle name would be. I though to myslef, "this may be easier than I thought"

So we thought for a few minutes about a middle name. We threw out a couple, they all would have worked fine. And then it hit me. I was so excited about it I almost jumped out of my skin.

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And Dave was about as excited about it as I was.

Ryan... I loved it. My Brothers name is Ryan and he's about a good a person as you'll find. Smart, clever, kind, funny, classy, thoughtful, a great Father and Husband, handsome. He's the guy who you love to introduce as a Brother because you feel like being related to him makes you a better, cooler person. He's one of my best friends and heros. I adore him almost more than I adore anyone. Naming one of my Children after him felt right and wonderful and exciting. It was a perfect fit. Even now as I type this I get excited about her middle name because it means so much to me.

So, Charlotte Ryan she was and Charlotte Ryan she certainly is. Its a big name for a tiny girl but she couldn't be anyone else.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Im in love

with this tiny angel....

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cant believe she'll be 2 weeks old tomorrow.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ella's 3rd first day of Pre-School

So, here we are. First day of Pre-School... take 3. The thing about starting School when you're 3, as Ella did, and having a December Birthday, as Ella does, is that you get to go to lots of Pre-School. Which she, luckily, loves.

She is attending School at a local Elementary, Prairie Crossing. Its an excellent School and she loves being at a "real" School, like her Brother. She will be going 4 days a week for 3 hours (imagine choirs of Angels singing) Ella needs this just about as much as I do.

I have to admit, I was a bit tearey-eyed as she got in her line and skipped off. I think it was seeing her at a real Elementary School and realizing just how grown up she's getting.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

getting big

I know this sounds crazy but I just got very sad. When you find out why you're going to laugh at me. I don't care.

My baby's umbilical cord stump just fell off. I went upstairs to change her and there it lay, inside her pink and brown pajamas. I found myself staring at it and then over at her newly revealed belly button. And i was sad.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Charlotte Ryan... week 1

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Oh how much joy this tiny girl has brought with her.

I keep looking at the clock and remembering what I was doing this time last week. Not knowing what this little one would be like, look like, be named or bring to our Family. What a difference that first week makes.

It has been such a pleasure getting to know Charlotte. She is sweet, loving, cuddly, content, curious and.. simply put, good. She eats good, takes a bottle as well as nurses great, falls asleep easily, sleeps wonderfully (only woke up 1 time last night) enjoys being in her car seat, swing and ergo baby carrier.

She loves to be outside especially. I will take her out and swing with her on our little glider and she really seems to enjoy it. If she gets fussy she will calm down immediately. Thankfully, at this point at least, she really doesn't get very fussy. She seems pretty calm and laid back. But when she does cry (especially when she wakes up hungry) she will go from 0 to 60. And for such a tiny thing she surly has a good pair of lungs on her.

Watching the kids with her has been such a hi-light of this week. They love to hold her and check up on her constantly. She is the first thing they want to see in the morning and they love to give her sweet kisses throughout the day. Olivia has been amazing. I was a little worried because she loves to sit on our laps and is quite a Momma's girl. She has done beautifully with the transition out of "baby". She loves to hold Charlotte and especially enjoys helping with her bottles. Its pretty cute! Plus she's become a little Daddy's girl throughout the last little while and I think Dave is really in heaven. 3 girls who dote on him... not such a bad gig.

The best part is that little Charlotte loves me. Sounds silly and insecure of me but its true and I love it. She turns her head towards the sound of my voice, she calms down quickly when I hold her, she cuddles right into my neck and falls asleep with me daily.

She loves me and I adore her.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sleeping Charlotte

video

I love the newborn stage. I love the tiny body that molds into mine. I love that they sleep for hours on end and I love holding them for as much of that time as possible.

I love this little angel. Thus far our best newborn yet (which isn't too terribly hard to win the prize of with my newborn's)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First bath at home

Charlotte Ryan loved her first bath. She didnt make a single peep until we took her out and wrapped her up. The entire Family wanted in on the event and gathered around the sink to watch, it was pretty cute.



Loving life in her Puj tub. These things are fantastic! Perfect for a tiny newborn, no slipping and sliding. We love bath time!!!

August 1, 2010

I have been very lucky in my labor and deliveries. I love them. I envy others who get to give birth. I have been excited this entire time for this day. Charlotte's birthday. And it was the very best delivery in just about every way.

We checked into the Hospital at 6am. I was surprisingly well-rested, thanks to a night of Unisom. I was feeling good and calm. I was feeling happy.
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We were checked into our room and I got all ready in my horrible hospital gown (I saved my cute one for pictures that evening) By 7:30am they had just started me on pitocin. I wasn't feeing any contractions until 9:30am and even then they were quite small and totally bearable. I told Dave they weren't strong enough to have sent me to the Hospital had I not already been there. So life was good. I was getting more excited. And best of all I was in no discomfort.
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My Doctor said she was going to come in to break my water at 10am. She said to go ahead and get the epidural if I wanted to have it because things would probably go relatively quickly after the water was broken. I am all about the epidural so I did a little drug cheer and awaited my favorite Doctor, the anesthesiologist. He came in about 10am. They had a little problem getting the last of the tubing through. He tried for about 10 minutes, which is a nerve wracking thing... being hunched over, naked back exposed, someone digging around your spine with a needle. Finally another Dr. came in to assist. He had the same problem. They had to take everything out and start all over again. This was not what I wanted to hear but I was grateful to have it all over and could feel the beautiful numbing in my legs immediately. Heaven.

Dr. Barikno came in at 10:30ish, broke my water and shot the breeze with me for a while. I love her.

So I slept more, which was pretty much how I spent the entire morning. It was the best napping I'd had in months.
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They came in to check me at 1:15pm and I was at a 7. I thought to myself, this may take a while longer. And even made a joke about how sorry I was to be keeping my Dr. from her Family on a Sunday. Within 15 minutes I was at a 10. They brought in all the gear, called the Doctor and got me ready to push.
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I pushed for literally 30 seconds and there she was. The most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. Seeing her the first time was the experience of a lifetime and I will never forget it.

I couldn't believe how tiny she was. Even then I was guessing maybe 7 pounds. I couldn't wrap my head around it when they called out her weight. Who has a full-term 5 pound baby!? Crazy!!
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They had to take her away pretty much right off the bat to regulate her temp. They want them to be at least 97 degrees and she was about 95. Plus she had her cord wrapped around her neck so her breathing a little strained.

As I was left there alone, awaiting my lunch, I was left alone with my thoughts. Happy. Thats all I could really feel. Just so, so happy and grateful.

Now... all we needed was a name. (next post)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Welcome...



Charlotte Ryan Wirthlin

5 Lbs. 6 oz. 18 1/2 inches long.

Baby Olivia

Baby Olivia
bright eyes

My funny Ella

My funny Ella

My handsome Luke

My handsome Luke

O'Paris

O'Paris