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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Newborn Must Haves

Okay, so I promised that my blogging would get a bit more light hearted soon, so here it is, my newborn must haves post. I've had a lot of my pregnant for the first time friends ask me what could I not live without and what I wish I had never bought. So, I thought I'd make up a little list and post it on here to share with y'all.

1. Swaddle blankets. I bought some Aden+Anais swaddle blankets for Hudson because they seemed to be all the rage right now. They have not disappointed me at all. They are really big, light weight, and super cute. They are kind of spendy (I got mine for a pretty good price on a deal of the day site) but they are worth it. I also really like the swaddle blankets that have the velcro on them for easy swaddling. I admit, I usually end up using the velcro ones because I'm not a swaddle master like Jesse is.

I know not all babies like to be swaddled, but both Hunter and Hudson have slept much better at night when swaddled. So it's not really optional for them in this house. ;)

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


2. Comfy sleepers. These are a must for little babies. I know that it's fun to dress them up, but it's really so much easier to keep them in soft sleepers for the first couple months. My favorites are from Carter's and Gymboree.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

3. Swing. Both of our boys have LOVED the swing. It's the only place that they napped very well during the first few months. This is the current version of the one we have. We like that it cradles them a bit and also goes both side to side AND front to back. Ours does not plug in, it only runs on batteries, which stinks, but I hear that the newer ones plug into the wall.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


4. Nap Nanny. We never needed this for Hunter, but has been a must with Hudson! About a month ago, the doctor told us that he was struggling with reflux and should be at a forty five degree angle as much as possible. Before getting this, he was waking up every hour or two throughout the night. The first night we got this, he slept over four hours straight and is now sleeping between four to six hour stretches through the night. It's been a lifesaver for me especially, I was one tired mama!

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5. Carriers. This is a no brainer for me. I've used a Moby, a Baby Bjorn and an Ergo with the boys. The Ergo is by far my favorite one! I didn't get it until Hunter was almost a year old and it worked great with him in both the front and back positions. I purchased the infant insert so that I could use it with Hudson and he and I both love it. He falls sound asleep almost immediately after I put him in it.

I'm not thrilled with the color of ours (a bluish purple) but I use it anyways because Hudson loves it and it's really comfortable for me, too. It's one of the baby items that I really wish that I wouldn't of wasted money on the cheaper options first.

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6. Burpy Bibs. I just found these a couple months ago and LOVE them! They are by far my favorite burp clothes because they are big, soft, and really absorbent. Oh yeah, and they match the swaddle blankets we have. ;) I haven't used them as a bib yet, but love that they have snaps on them to use them as that, as well.

7. Gripe Water. I had heard of this before Hudson but had never needed to use it with Hunter. From what I've gathered, it's just water with some fennel and ginger, but it really calms Hudson down. I think that it helps with his stomach issues, so we give it to him a couple times a day.

8. Diaper Bag. This is such a personal preference item. You have to go with what is most comfortable and suits your needs the best. We had the Diaper Dude with Hunter and I was pretty happy with it and it was nice that Jesse didn't mind carrying it around either.
But this time around I wanted something more girly. So I bought this Petunia Pickle Bottom bag. I really love that you can wear it as a backpack and the fold out diaper changing station. I can't tell you how many times I have already used it to change Hudson on!
 
9. Pacifiers. Every baby seems to be so different in what pacifier they like or if they will even take one! Hunter liked the Nuk ones, while Hudson wants the Soothies. I'm kind of glad he likes these ones because I was able to buy him a Wubbanub... so cute!!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
 
So there it is, my list on what I wouldn't want to live without so far in Hudson's not quite 2 month life. :) What are you favorite newborn items??
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

When It Rains...

It pours in our family. I promise to lighten up the mood of this blog soon and stop spilling out my sob stories. But man, we just cannot seem to catch break these days.

I might have mentioned it in other posts, but maybe not. Four weeks ago, the water line to our fridge leaked and caused some major water damage to our house. The drywall and flooring was ruined. So a water damage company came and the affected flooring, which turned out to spread into both the living room and dining room as well. They removed all our appliances and the bottom cabinets, too. We had to live in a hotel for two weeks, until the flooring was replaced.

Well, when we had someone come in the do the drywall and put the bottom cabinets back in, it was discovered that the cabinets were ruined when they were taken out and so was the dishwasher. So, the insurance adjuster came out and agreed that they were ruined and approved for us to replace all the kitchen cabinets, counter tops, and the dishwasher.

Jesse found a local cabinet place online and a guy came out to give us a quote. It sounded good, so we gave him a check for $1500 for him to order the cabinets and counter top. They were supposed to start installing last Wednesday. We hadn't heard from him, so Jesse called him on that day and the guy told us that a couple of the cabinets were back ordered and would be in on Monday (3 days ago). We called on Monday a couple times and left voicemails. He never returned our calls and still has not. I tried again yesterday and his phone was disconnected! He cashed our check and ran!

So...Jesse has been out of town all week and I'm trying to deal with this on my own. I've been running all over town today to start the process over, so there is not an even longer delay in getting our kitchen back. One place told me that ordering the cabinets would take four weeks. Call me crazy, but the idea of having no kitchen for another month is just not going to work! So I went to another place and he's coming to do measurements tomorrow morning and said that he might be able to get them in and done in a matter of days. Yes, please!!

2DA31007-310E-493D-9E9D-31E8336A7D29-9678-000009661CAA4BC1, Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Before the cabinets and appliances were removed and floors were replaced.
 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Without cabinets and appliance (except fridge) but the floors are replaced! This is how it currently looks. The top cabinets are still in, but they will be removed and replaced.
 
So yeah...in the last month we have been dealing with this, Hudson's diagnosis of a hearing loss, and orders to Oklahoma. Oh yeah, and learning how to handle two little ones ;) I might be on the verge of insanity these days.
 
I already feel my faith growing stronger than ever before. I can't help be see the blessing that God has given us. Sometimes I find myself pitying myself a bit, but overall I'm finding the good in everything that God has thrown our way. We are strong and will get through this, even if it feels like I'm drowning at the moment.
 
This song came on this morning in the car while I was running errands like a crazy woman. It really spoke to me and I couldn't help but take a breath and be thankful and sing His praises!

 
 
 
"Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Orders to Oklahoma

Ha! Could anything else major happen in our family right now?! We are still without a kitchen due to major water damage from a refrigerator leak FOUR weeks ago (more on this later), finding out that Hudson has moderate hearing loss, and on Thursday....Jesse got official orders to move to Altus, Oklahoma by January 31st.

Not sure what all to say about this. It's not a surprise, we found out the week after Hudson was born that orders were pending. I feel almost nothing about this move, just....nothing. We have been jacked around about our future for over a year now. Last September, we got orders to New Jersey. Then the program was supposed to move out to McChord, so we were told we would be here for four more years. And then the program was staying and our orders were cancelled. So now, we are going to Oklahoma. I have known change was on the horizon for a while. Jesse has been stationed at McChord for almost eight years, so I kind of feel like we were on borrowed time anyways.

So... Altus, Oklahoma... I will miss my family and friends, but there are some great parts of this news. Jesse will be instructing new loadmasters. That means that he will be home with us for the next four years!! No more deployments, no more oversea missions. We will also have base preference when we leave, so we can mostly come back to McChord after our time in Altus. Yay!! The weather, while very cold in the winter, is very warm much more of the year than we are used to. I'm not going to lie, very excited to have more sunshine in my life.

Altus is a very small town and is really not very close to anything. When Jesse first started talking about the possibility of moving there, I was not thrilled to live in the middle of nowhere. I have to admit, it's starting to grow on me. Life has been pretty overwhelming the last couple months and the idea of things slowing down is pretty appealing. With two kids, shopping and eating out are not on my priority list. I could really care less, actually.

I've spent a little time looking into how far Altus is away from some of my favorite places.

Starbucks - 49 miles
Target- 89 miles
Costco - 172 miles
Nordstrom - 222 miles

Hmmmm. Pretty sad, but I suppose we will survive. Right?

I haven't watched the movie Oklahoma in years, but I think it might be on the agenda this weekend to get me in the mood. Ha!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blessings

Wow, what a world of difference a day makes. I felt like I was drowning when the doctor gave me the news yesterday. It was all I could do not hyperventilate on my walk back to my car. I am still sad, but today, I am filled with hope and gratitude.

I am in awe of how many people reached out through e-mail, texts, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to show their love, support, and prayers for Hudson and our family. THANK YOU! Your words mean so much to us right now as we cope with this.

Hudson slept from 8pm until 1am and then ate and went right back down until 6:30am. That is much better than usual! I guess we all needed a good night of sleep. This morning, I was immediately in a joyful mood. I went to pray and all I could do is to thank God. My heart has already been changed by this experience. I prayed to God yesterday morning that I would thank him for any outcome. And I did not intentionally do that this morning, but that is all that would come out. Prayers have been answered.

I've been holding Hudson this morning and he smiled for the first time, over and over. He is a happy, healthy little boy. It brought me so much happiness and peace to see him smile. The timing couldn't of been more perfect.

Yesterday, I went through a moment of feeling shame that I would have a child with a handicap or disability. This morning...I couldn't be more proud to be his mom. God must see me so differently than I see myself. I see myself as being weak, impatient, self centered. How in the heck does He see me fit to be this child's mom? How am I worthy to deserve this beautiful and unique little boy? But nonetheless, God's plan is perfect and I am humbled and honored that we are strong enough to be able to rise to the challenge of being his parents. I am weak and unworthy but I have every confidence that with Christ, we can do this and we can do it greatly. We will be his advocates, his teachers, his support, and his biggest fans. I do not know anything about how at this moment, but we will learn.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hearing Test

So....where to start? Well the day after Hudson was born, he did not pass his newborn hearing screening test at the hospital. They figured it was amniotic fluid that hadn't cleared out and had a schedule an additional screening. Fast forward a few weeks and he didn't pass a second screening. I still wasn't that worried. I wasn't told not to bring other children with me, so Hunter was in the room and was not doing a very good job of being silent. The tech said that can cause some issues during the hearing test, but still referred us to see an audiologist.

I asked a few people to pray for Hudson's ears. And I continued to do so daily. I asked God to give him perfect hearing and to let the next test go smoothly. I woke up this morning and prayed. But this time it was different. I suddenly felt only the need to pray for His will be done and to give our family peace in whatever God's plan was for Hudson. I prayed that I would thank Him for being so faithful regardless of the outcome and to give all glory to Him.

This afternoon, Jesse stayed home with Hunter while I took Hudson to his appointment for more extensive testing. He needed to sleep during the testing, so I kept him awake and unfed for a couple hours before the appointment. While in the waiting room, I took a picture of him and posted it on Instagram asking for prayers. I sat in the waiting room and was comforted by all the kind words and knowing that there were several people out there praying for us at that very moment.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App


Once we got there, the doctor had me change him, swaddle him, and feed him. He fell right asleep and I was able to hold him during the hour long testing. The testing measured his brain waves while different sounds at several volumes were played into his ears. I watched the doctors face during the testing and I thought I sensed some sadness in her eyes as she conducted the tests.

At the end of the testing, she told me that he has moderate hearing loss in both ears. It is permanent and he will need hearing aides. She said that it is so great that it was caught this early because he will not be delayed in his speech or learning nearly as much as if we didn't find out until he was two or older. I tried to keep it together, but a few tears rolled down my face. How could this be happening?!

I made it to the car and then just cried and cried. I finally called Jesse and continued to cry before I could break the news to him. He just felt bad for Hudson. I had a million thoughts running through my head. "Will he feel left out at school?" "He won't ever be able to join the military." "What if kids make fun of him?" "What if he's about to get hit in a parking lot and he can't hear me when I yell for him to watch out?!" Yeah, us moms are a bit crazy.

I've cried off and on tonight. It's rough and I can't help but just be sad for my little guy. But, I am thankful that I haven't felt mad or bitter, nor have I questioned God. He has a plan for my littlest guy. And His plans are perfect, mine are not. We will be blessed by this, not condemned by it. I will still pray for miraculous healing, but if not, I know that it will benefit Hudson in ways that I have no idea about right now. I pray that Jesse and I welcome this challenge and that it makes us more patient and stronger. I pray that it will teach Hunter about compassion. I pray that it will make Hudson stronger than he would be otherwise, that he will have an amazing testimony to share one day.

Please pray for Hudson, that God's will, will be done and that we grow as a family through this. We have to schedule another testing, get a referral from the ENT doctor, and then will be going to Mary Bridge to get Hudson fitted for hearing aides. I will make sure to keep you all updated.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Life with Two

I'm not going to lie or sugar coat it....life with more than one child is no cake walk, it's hard! It's chaotic and stressful, as well as rewarding. Some days I feel like I'm rocking this mom of two gig and other days I feel like I'm drowning and failing miserably.

I've had several days that I am all alone with both boys and am out and about all day. We might be running Hunter to preschool, then I run errands with Hudson, pick up Hunter, take Hudson to the doctor, etc. Those days surprisingly are the ones that I feel most confident, I feel like I can handle anything they throw at me. It's the days at home when Hudson is crying and needing all my attention while Hunter is yelling that he went poop and needs me to wipe his bottom, that's when I get overwhelmed. Or I'm dealing with a blowout diaper and Hunter is whining and asking for a snack for the tenth time in the last minute that I became tied up with a poop explosion that only a bath will fix.

But...it's so rewarding at times. I love the peaceful times when I'm nursing Hudson and Hunter is curled up under my arm. Or when Hunter and I make up nicknames for baby Hudson, like "Sir poops a lot" or "Mr. Crabby Pants", or "Little baby peanut". These boys bring me so much joy. I try to take a deep breath and remind myself of that during the stressful and overwhelming parts of the day.

I'm still adjusting to life with these two boys, hopefully it will start feeling more routine soon. Right now, I'm just trying to take one day at a time...who am I kidding, more like one hour at a time. Eventually, we will get in the swing of it and life will go more smoothly.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hunter's Construction Party at the Pumpkin Patch

This last Saturday, we celebrated Hunter's 3rd birthday with family and friends. It was a beautiful fall day in the PNW! I had originally planned a construction birthday party at our house, but due to some unexpected construction going on there, we moved it to a local pumpkin patch. It turned out better than we could have hoped. There were wagon and ATV rides, a big slide, and hay mazes for the kids. Hunter had a wonderful time!! Now for a photo dump... ;) 







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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hunter since Hudson's Arrival

I've had a lot of people ask how Hunter is doing with having a little brother. "Does he just love being a big brother?!" Hmmmm...I'm never quite sure how to answer these questions.

We have had a bit of a rough time with Hunter since we brought Hudson home. He's never shown any signs of aggression towards the baby, nor does he seem to directly resent him. I think he's kind of mourning the loss of having all our attention, though. It's come in the form of potty training regression and becoming a bit mouthy.

Hunter's had been fully potty trained for months...and then we brought Hudson home. The first few weeks were rough. Hunter would pee his pants at home while I was nursing the baby. That seemed to be when he mostly did it. It seemed like it was his way of demanding attention when I was tied up with Hudson. I had a really hard time finding the balance between letting it go because I knew he was going through a hard time and holding him accountable to being potty trained, like he had been before. We put him back in pull-ups for a bit, but he happily just peed in them. We told him that in order to go to school he had to act like a big boy and pee in the toilet, but he didn't seem to care. Finally last week, I turned off the TV after he had an accident. We sat in silence for several hours. He didn't like that at all and we have only had once accident in the last six days. That accident was yesterday and he was told he would only get water in his sippy cup for the rest of the day (no juice or milk). Oh my, he did not like that at all!! So I think we are making progress (finally!) to being fully potty trained again.

Oh the mouth this kid has developed! Over the last few weeks, he likes to say "No way!!" to our requests, "You be quiet", and pointing his finger at us in defiance. It's extremely frustrating to both Jesse and I. I truly think he wants as much attention as possible and will take it even if it's negative. Jesse started taking away a toy every time he was disrespectful. The other night, Jesse had quite a few toys piled up on the couch that he had taken away! But...it's getting better. Yesterday, Hunter pointed his finger at Jesse and immediately said "I sorry, Daddy!"

So, it's been hard, but it's getting better. As I type this, Hunter is laying on the bed watching TV while Hudson naps next to him. Hunter does love his little brother. He kisses his head, gets excited when Hudson grasps Hunter's fingers, and likes to talk about "when baby Hudson gets older". It's pretty darn cute.

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Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App




Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.
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