Friday, February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Birthday Trip

Joe's son, Cole, is going to be 5 on Sunday! Last year, Joe had decided to take him to Splash Lagoon (an indoor water park) for his birthday...and he invited me and Ryan and Brooke to come along. I remember thinking, 'wow, this really is serious'. We had been dating 4 months at the time we went. It was (obviously) our first trip we all took together :-).

I wasn't sure how Ryan and Brooke would do, honestly. I knew Ryan wasn't a huge fan of the water and Brooke wasn't even 2 and hadn't even really been swimming much. (Cole is a little fish!) Joe thought they would be fine and them seeing Cole enjoying the water would rub off. He was right! While neither of them were as brave or uninhibited in the water as Cole, they both did have fun.

We arrived Thursday afternoon, got checked in to the hotel adjoining the park, put our suits on, and headed to the water park. We swam and played for a few hours and then went back to the room to order dinner. The kids had a blast playing in the big whirlpool tub (with the jets off) in their swimsuits. Friday we spent most of the day at the water park and checked out the arcade there. We ordered dinner again in the room and the kids played in the tub some more. We headed home Saturday morning. We went to Joe's mom and dad's (where he and Cole were living at the time) and that evening they had a small birthday party for Cole.

It was a great weekend and an awesome first trip together!

After eating pizza and powdered donuts...hehe.

Don't be fooled, that is NOT a look of fear on his face ;-). He is a little daredevil.

She loved the little fountains. Can you tell this was taken late in the afternoon and she hadn't had a nap?

She's clearly too big for this, but she insisted on trying one out.

Cole with his Pittsburgh Penguins (hockey) birthday cake.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flashback Friday - Miracle #2

The last Flashback Friday was about Ryan. Now it's Brooke's turn.

To make a long story short, I was in the hospital for a week battling preterm labor before Brooke's early arrival at 27 weeks 4 days (she made it 4 weeks longer than Ryan with the help of a cerclage and 17p injections). I was worried about possible complications and another rocky NICU stay, but when she was born and I actually got to hear her tiny little cry (a first for me in the OR!) I was over the moon. Then I even got to see her all wrapped up like a burrito with her little hospital blue and pink striped hat on and give her a kiss before they took to the NICU. It was.....amazing. Even though I didn't get to carry her to term, this experience was at least a little more like a full term delivery (versus Zachary and then Ryan being whisked straight to the NICU and getting only a passing glimpse and a quickly snapped polaroid to hang on to and stare at).

Brooke Elizabeth was born at 9:52pm (via c-section), weigh 2lbs. 10oz. and measuring 15in. long.

We got comments from some visitors about how tiny she was. But after having 2 babies that were 1lbs. 5oz. and 1lb. 6oz....she seemed ginormous. And she just looked like a miniature full term baby (with a little less body fat). She only ever required oxygen through the nasal cannula. She had a little bit of an issue with apnea (forgetting to breathe) and bradycardia (heart rate dips), but it resolved as she got closer to term. No infections, no complications. She came home 7 1/2 weeks after her birth, the day she turned 35 weeks gestation. It was quite a different experience for us!

Doing kangaroo care with my precious girl for the first time:

Ryan got to see his baby sister out of her isolette for the first time on her one month "birthday":

And he held her for the first time 2 weeks later:

To date, this is my favorite picture ever of the two of them!

(I feel like I should add that the only reason I didn't post more pictures of Ryan from the NICU is because most of them are saved on floppy disks...yes, you read that right. I really need to find a way to get those transferred. And the rest of them would need scanned in to the computer and we don't have a scanner right now. Someday I will post more!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thank You, Melatonin

I thought I had recently posted about my sleep issues, but I looked back and apparently it was one of those things I just thought about posting about and never actually did.

I can't remember exactly when it started, but it was before Christmas. Sleep had never been an issue for me, but all of a sudden it seemed like every night I was dreaming all night long and even if I slept for 7 or 8 hours, I would wake up feeling absolutely exhausted. Or some nights I would have trouble falling asleep or I would keep waking up from the dreams. I was so tired. All the time. I seriously felt like a zombie. And when I'm tired like that, I get very cranky and easily irritated. You don't want to be around me when I'm like that. I don't want to be around me when I'm like that.

Joe was great, though. (He's always great.) He gave me lots of opportunities to rest or nap or just take a break from taking care of the kids. I couldn't have been very good company most of the time, though. I just felt like I was in a fog and I was SO frustrated. I just wanted sleep. Good sleep. I tried a sleep aid that I got at Walmart, but it didn't help.

Then Sunday I picked up some melatonin at Walmart. I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try. I was desperate. Hopefully I won't jinx anything, but it really seems to be helping. This is the most consecutive nights of good sleep I've had in I don't know how long and I actually feel human again. More like myself and not like a grumpy, exhausted ogre. Yay!

Please let it last!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Baby Got a Haircut!

I had been thinking for a month or two that I really needed to take Brooke to get her hair trimmed because the ends were starting to look straggly. I decided that yesterday was the day. And then somehow I went from wanting to get the ends trimmed to wanting to cut a few inches off. I'm not really sure what made me want to do it, but I went with it. I took her to Fantastic Sam's and when it was her turn, it was a gentleman that cut her hair. I had a feeling that it might not go over well with Brooke. She did end up crying a tiny bit (as she tried SO hard not to), but I think she would have even if it had been a woman. But this guy was clearly uncomfortable with her and he rushed to get done. Later that day after we'd come home and had lunch and she took a nap, I gave her a bath and afterwards I noticed just how uneven and crooked the back was. I took her back in to get it fixed and somebody else did it and did a MUCH better job. Last night and this morning I was sort of regretting getting it cut so short, but now that it's cut correctly I'm much happier with it. And besides, it will grow back!

I cannot believe how much older she looks now! It's not just me, is it?

These are both cell phone pics, so excuse the quality.