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Yes, I am still alive! Things are going good here on the homestead with the two boys…well, three if you count my hubby. We are all getting used to our new addition and the juggling act that it takes to take care of a toddler and a baby at the same time! It is a challenge! We have friends that have kids spaced about the same as ours, and they assure us that the first 18mths are really hard, but that after that it does get easier…18mths, wow, that seems like a really long time.

Being a mom to 2 kids now really makes me admire and respect all the other parents, especially moms, out there in the world who have paved the way and survived. I must say that I am thrilled that I really feel like 2 kids is going to be it for us, and I can’t wait to sit back now and watch the rest of my friends and family have their children instead of us. Maybe now some of them will understand.

Oliver is doing great, still sleeping quite a bit and nursing alot, like every hour to two hours. He is still having lots of waking up/awake time at night, and mom is still a coffee drinking zombie. He is gaining weight really well, last week he was 8.7, and I’d guess him pushing at least 9lbs now. His little bloated belly is hilarious. Ok, laundry is done spinning, gonna hang the sheets out on the line today to get that extra fresh fall smell.

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Much to our surprise, after being admitted to the hospital again after another bleeding episode, my body decided to kick into labor all on it’s own and about 3 hrs later we were blessed with our beautiful new son, who we named Oliver. He was born Sat, Sept 27, at 5:47pm, weighing in at exactly 7lbs. Even though he was only 36 weeks, he is very healthy, lungs are working great, nursing like a champ, sleeping and pooping and peeing like a champ as well. We feel very blessed and lucky to have had everything work out so beautifully. I could go on and on, but now since I’m the mother of two…my computer time has to be quick. So for now I’ll post a few pictures and will recap later when I have more time..(if that ever happens..)

Ethan getting to know his new brother

Ethan getting to know his new brother

Loving the blanket his mommy dyed for him!

Loving the blanket his mommy dyed for him!

Adorable little tongue

Adorable little tongue

Agh, do you have to use the flash dad?

Agh, do you have to use the flash dad?

Play with rubber duckies in the birdbath

Eat lots and lots of Iowa sweet corn

Eat lots and lots of Iowa sweet corn

Play with tractors in the nude, or do anything in the nude for that matter!

Play with tractors in the nude, or do anything in the nude for that matter!

Yesterday at my MW appt one of the things we were chatting about was food, and all the hidden junk that is in it.  Since both myself and my midwife have little toddler sons running around, we are at the same point as far as trying to find them healthy snacks and staying away from the sugar.  It was a really good talk that prompted me to come home and raid my cupboards and look at all the ingredients on certain items and check for all the hidden dyes, and especially high fructose corn syrup.  Yep, it’s in nearly everything alright!  So today I went to the health food store and restocked on all the things I tossed like ketchup, peanut butter, syrup, just to name a few.  Both my hubby and my son are big snackers, and so I am trying really hard to come up with more healthy options for them.  We have been buying lots of fruit, and veggies that I give to them with dip of course…and today I stocked up on nuts and dried fruits..ok so I spent a fortune on them, and knowing my hubby’s appetite, he could probably eat them all in like 3-4 days..but hey, he is the one who pays the bills, so if he is ok with that, more power to him!

I guess more than anything, I like the fact that I am becoming much more aware of what we put in our mouth’s everyday, especially now that we have a already hyper active little boy, who doesn’t need the added sugar in his body.  I am trying to find some sort of middle ground, because I can not control every little thing, and I really don’t want to, but by making these little changes I feel like we are moving in the right direction.

There is hardly a day that goes by where I do not realize how much my little boy is growing up. Like everyone says, it really does happen quickly. Almost everyday is something new. A new word he is trying to express, a new animal noise, a new gesture, a new facial expression, a new scream, or cry, or laugh. The list goes on and on.

Especially now that he is not nursing he seems like he is not my “baby” anymore. It is both joyus and sad. Nap times and bed times used to be such a struggle. Now he just snuggles in next to us and shuts his eyes , wiggles a bit, but eventually falls asleep on his own. I can honestly say, I never thought that would happen! Don’t get me wrong, he is far from being a “perfectly behaved child”, whatever that is anyways…but he is maturing in his own ways. Watching him get excited about the world around him makes me get excited too. Things that I usually take for granted, I now pay attention to.

Last week I left him at Grandma’s house for 6 hrs, and she said he didn’t fuss once. He is still quite the mama’s and daddy’s boy, but he is growing much more independent every day. I am happy that we still have 5 mths together before the new baby comes, but I am also excited to see them interact and build their very own relationship. I have visions of them snuggled up next to each other in our bed, and chasing each other around the house, getting into all sorts of trouble, and creating such beautiful memories.

Little boys are so sweet. There isn’t a day that goes by where DH and I both don’t say how lucky we are to have such a sweet, spirited child.

What a magical morning for my dear hubby. He got to feel the tiny little baby kicks on my belly for the first time. I have been feeling them inside for a while now, but on the outside since sometime last week. You know though, that babies never want to cooperate and let the daddy feel them too…but this morning as I was lying in bed having some quiet time with the little babe, Gabe came in to say goodbye and decided to give it a try. It is amazing how you can actually feel this little lump of baby mass and then all of a sudden, it is moving around followed by a strong enough kick to let him feel it on his hand, and me feel it through his hand!! He actually got kicked twice! Guess the little guy/girl is growing stronger everyday! This is by far my favorite part of pregnancy:)

I just want to start out by saying that when I found out I was pregnant, I was completely open to the idea of nursing all throughout pregnancy and possibly even tandem nursing when the baby arrives…but I think my body had other thoughts, which has led us to where we are today. Mother’s Day 2008 marked the beginning of no more “mamas” for Ethan.

For the past couple of months, every time he latched on I gritted my teeth trying to withstand the sharp pains I was getting through the whole nursing session, and if that pain was not bad enough, then the biting started. At first I thought it was not intentional, but here recently I think he would bite me because he was trying all methods to try to get more milk out. I would literally scream in pain and immediatly check to see if he drew blood. All those things were signs that my body was telling me enough was enough. I do not feel guilty, and suprisingly, I do not really feel sad either. We had 16 months of a wonderful nursing relationship.

I was terrified of how naps and night time would go, since I would normally nurse him to sleep. Once again he has suprised me and has not really thrown much of a fit. He just is really restless before falling asleep, tossing and turning in all directions around the bed before snuggling up to me and settling down and eventually drifting off to sleep. And I must add that the past two nights with no nursing have been the calmest, quietest nights for him, almost sleeping entirely through the night, which has practically never happened before. Coincidence, I’m not sure.

Now, a note to say that he does still use a binky sometimes at night, which I think will help us through this rough time for him. Then it will be time to say…”Bye Bye Pacifier” like the book we have been reading for a while now. I think we’ll just take one thing at a time for now. He has always been a child from day one that has had an intense need for sucking. And believe me, the pacifier did not replace the breast for us…he would still nurse every hour for oh..about the first year of his life.

I will be so curious to see what this next child is going to be like. I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I’m hoping we can be blessed with a child that can self soothe. We’re getting there with Ethan. It has just been a really long road to this point. He is growing up, and I see all these changes everyday proving that.

It is so nice to have my breasts to myself again, at least for the next 5 mths. I think we will have a weaning celebration party for Ethan this next weekend. We will follow the tradition of his father’s footsteps on this one. (Gabe’s parent’s had a weaning party for him at apprx the same age, because his mother was pregnant with the next child and couldn’t take nursing and growing a child at the same time…I guess as the story goes, after making it a really big deal for Gabe, he did quit cold turkey after his party)

I feel like I must write this down, so I can remember for years to come the fear I felt when I was so helpless in this situation..I will explain:

Ethan and I met a girlfriend over in the Drake neighborhood the other night for a walk and some coffee. I brought Ethan’s red wagon that he LOVES to be pulled around in. We grabbed a coffee and headed out for a beautiful spring walk down a lovely street. We walked for about an hour and headed back to the coffee shop and stayed to listen to some live music and to watch Ethan get right in front of the stage and watch the very pretty girl sing and play the guitar. He started dancing and twirling in circles right in front of everyone, it was so cute..that lasted for only so long and his patience was running out and he was getting tired, so we said it was time to go home. We parted ways and Ethan and I headed back to the truck to load up. I put him in the truck in his carseat and set my bag that had EVERYTHING in it in the drivers seat, as well as the truck keys. I shut the door and proceeded to put the wagon in the back end and then went to get in the drivers side to go home…but it was now locked. Ethan saw those fun little keys and reached all the way over and grabbed them and obviously hit the “lock” button, because now I was locked out. I tried to stay calm for a while, but I felt so helpless and my child was crying for me to get in the vehicle. Luckily I was parked outside of a independent video store and my instincts told me to go inside and ask to use the phone to call my husband. I tried calling, but now of all times, his phone was completely shut off!! I don’t know any other phone numbers by heart…I hate cell phones by the way…so now I am cussing and explaining to the very nice man working in the store my dilema. He came out to see what kind of locks were in the truck and then said..”Well, I can probably break in for you if you want me to” I said PLEASE DO!!! I could tell he was immediatly excited about the idea of saving the day, and breaking into a truck…he said work was really slow that night. So he went and got a wire and manuvered it down into the window and after five minutes of trying to hook the latch, he got it and the car alarm started going off!! I was so thrilled. Poor Ethan was really frightened, but better now that he had his mommy. I went up to the man and gave him a big hug saying..” I don’t even know your name, but you saved my day!!” He was really sweet, and I am grateful for people like him. Karma, that’s what it is all about:)

Let’s just say I learned a few lessons the hard way that night, but some that I will hopefully never forget.

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I know being a mother starts far before the actual birth of the child, but there is nothing quite like holding your child in your arms and getting lost in the amazement of this miracle of birth. I will never forget what that first day was like for me, it was truly amazing…and then the sleepless nights began. Being a mother has been the most rewarding and challenging job I could ever imagine it to be, and for that reason, I respect and admire all mothers around the world, especially my own mother for putting up with me for all those years! Happy Mother’s Day to all!

No more baby face for our little boy, he got his first real haircut the other day! Ok, not professional, I did it, and it does need some work in areas, but he does look awful cute now. He is changing so much everyday it is a blast. Right now he is really into trains. He love Thomas The Train, and we maybe watch it like 2 times per week. I bought him a used set of wooden train cars from Craigslist, and he loves them. Everything is “Choo Choo…” He is not much into speaking actual words yet, but he is definatly into his sounds. He knows what the cow says and what the duck says. His interpretations are so cute. I think it is just in little boys nature to know what sound cars make, as he is a pro with the loud humming of the car engine. I can’t wait till the weather gets better so we can spend much more time outdoors. He loves playing with his daddy’s disk golf disks and putting them into the basket. Also riding in his big, red radio flyer he got for his birthday, thank god for the straps in it, or he would have jumped out weeks ago!