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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Two Weeks

Warning: long blog post, if you want to skip to the end that's where I post what Caroline is up to at 2 weeks and pictures; you'll have spared yourself my novel!)

Caroline is 2 weeks old today - time flies when you're having fun! We are still trucking along and learning the ropes as the days go by. Life is certainly much busier with two. We quizzed everyone we knew with more than one child for months before having Caroline - we wanted to know "Is the transition from one to two harder than the transition from zero to one?" As you can imagine we received an array of answers .... in the end it seemed to be split down the middle and as always a matter of perspective for many (remember, I'm really trying to keep this word in the forefront of my mind during this transition).

I think I can safely say for us the transition from one to two has been VERY different and in many ways easier (using loosely!) than the transition from zero to one. Zero to one ROCKED OUR WORLD - believe me, it deserves all caps. If you're reading this blog chances are you're a good friend of ours or family - you know us well. You know that I'm a control freak, strong-willed, very type A and when things don't go according to my plan - well, oftentimes its not pretty. Hello! - enter a newborn - newborns rule the house - they eat, sleep, cry, poop, or do whatever they want whenever they want to. Forget a schedule, forget a plan and forget being in control. What a lesson for me! However, it has been a good lesson and one that I'm continually adjusting to. God needed to teach me this lesson - and if it took blessing me with two precious little girls - for that I am forever grateful.

So, all that to say, this time - we knew what it was going to be like - we knew that we wouldn't be sleeping, we would not be on a schedule or in a routine for quite some time (probably hands down the hardest part for me) and that often I would lose it (it's that letting go that I have such a hard time with!). But, we're survived two weeks and its been a good two weeks in many ways. Catherine Ellis seems to be settling in and while still interested in Caroline, she's calmed down a wee bit. We are still dealing with lots of melt-downs, whining and fits, but as my mother reminded me - a lot of this is just being 2 years old. We are constantly reminding ourselves that her WHOLE world has changed, she's 2 and being able to process that and cope appropriately is not something we can expect her to do. All in all she has been great - the love, compassion and kindness she shows her sister on a daily basis is awesome to witness. She's 2 - but she sure comprehends that she loves this tiny little baby and is SO proud that she is her baby sister. It's those moments that keep us going :) I just had to include this picture from one morning this week - Catherine Ellis's look sums up how she felt about leaving Mommy and Caroline behind - we felt the same way.

Caroline is a DELIGHTFUL baby. Period. She's so good that it's scary at times. Now, don't get me wrong, she's a normal newborn that is fussy at times and has nights where she doesn't even sleep for an hour or more at a time before she's hungry again, but all that is part of it. She seems to have a very laid back temperament (time will truly tell!) and is up for just about anything. It's so fun to watch her grow and start to become her own tiny little person. She is so precious and has added so much joy to our family!

Before I get into what Caroline has been up to the past week and the milestones she's reaching at two weeks of age, I want to take a minute to thank my AMAZING husband. Wow! I have to take a step back at times and just watch him in action and tell myself that I am one LUCKY woman. I have a husband that has slept on the couch for the past 14 days - he did get a 3 night break when Meme came - but other than that the couch has been this man's home - by choice - this is something he likes to do and gives him and Caroline some great bonding time. He gets up with Caroline all through the night if she cries and he comforts her, he changes her diaper and gets her awake for me to come in and feed, and then he goes back to the couch and does it all over again. I get to sleep in our comfy bed and have uninterrupted sleep for an hour or two and sometimes three! I can not tell you what a difference that makes. He helps get Catherine Ellis ready in the mornings, takes her to school and picks her up and still does all the normal duties around the house that keep us going. He NEVER complains about being tired or sleepy or his nerves being frayed. He is one in a million and I'm so glad God blessed me with him. Thank you bay for all you do for me and our little family.

Now that I've bored you to tears (remember this is my journal and baby book for my children so I want to document it all) here is what sweet Caroline is up to at two weeks:
  • This week has been a hard week for all of us - your tummy is learning to digest and sometimes it's just not fun. But, after 4 days of screaming and aching you seem to be much, much better. Thank you Lord.
  • You are awake a bit more - maybe 20 minutes more than last week - when you are awake you seem to be more alert
  • You have the cutest gas smiles - we like to think you're smiling at us, but we know better:)
  • Your fingernails grow about 1/4 of an inch a day - I'm constantly cutting them
  • You are still sleeping well at night - you typically pull at least one 3 hour sleeping gig for Mommy a night and that is super nice - means I get about 2-3 hours of sleep at one time
  • You still like to be held a lot - you sleep best snuggled up to my tummy - makes sense, you lived there for a long time!
  • You are a trooper and up for a challenge - you attended your Meme's retirement party at 13 days of age and were the best behaved baby there - yes, you out-behaved your sister in a good way:)
  • You travel well - you did great in the car and slept all the way down and back - we know these days are short-lived as you start to become more alert
  • You are not ready for the swing yet -but thank you Meme for trying:)
  • You are a great eater - much like every other member of your family you like to eat - apple didn't fall too far from the tree
Caroline has her 2 week old check up tomorrow - I hope to be back and post her stats - I can't wait to see how much weight she's gained! I'll close with some pictures from the week - two weeks has flown by!

Wide eyed and alert - for just a few minutes!

Cute gassy smile :)

Big sister loves to "hold the baby" or "hold baby Caroline"

Big Sister is also a wonderful helper (with supervision of course!)

Sweet sister love - this might be my favorite picture of these two to date - Caroline is looking at her big sister and letting her 'hold' her hand and Catherine Ellis is delighted!

We are blessed indeed - hope everyone had a great long weekend - I'll be back with pictures from Meme's retirement party and Caroline meeting her Pop Pop for the first time later this week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

One Week Old

We've survived the first week - which in my book is always the hardest. In fact, it's gotten better and better as the days have passed! I'm feeling a lot better and Caroline is starting to go a little longer between her feeding times which is nice for Mommy:)

I didn't start the blog until the July after Catherine Ellis was born so I have a hard time remembering the first 3 months with her - it's blurry at times. This time around I want to document the early days of Caroline. While there isn't a ton to document, I still want to remember these sweet days when she's so tiny and cuddly.

Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 7 days old

So here is what you are up to after week one:
  • You are sleeping the days away - you are only awake long enough to let Mommy and Daddy know you are hungry - I think you probably sleep 18-19 hours.
  • When you are awake it's only to eat and I have a really hard time keeping you awake. Daddy usually has to step in and take you and go stretch on the changing table until you wake up again.
  • The first night home from the hospital was not as traumatic as Catherine Ellis's - we're not sure if this is because we knew what to expect or if you we a bit easier on us.
  • You go from zero to 90 when you wake up - you're not a slow waker; the second you wake up you start crying to eat
  • You are our little piggy - you were born at 7.7 lbs, dropped to 6.15 lbs before we left the hospital, and less than 2 days later you were back up to 7.5 lbs - the doctor was super impressed and Mommy and Daddy are so very glad the hard work is paying off!
  • You are starting to sleep a little longer at night and go about 3 hours between feedings every once in a while - this is so nice because Mommy can get almost 2 hours of sleep at a time when you pull the 3 hour stretches
  • You are such a good sport with your older sister - she kisses you all the time, touches you, is constantly in your face and you take it all in stride hardly ever crying or fussing when she does.
Big Sister and Little Sister (notice Little Sister's furrowed brow - haha)

Here are a few pictures from our weekend - we've had lots of visitors this past week which is always fun - Aunt B and Uncle C stopped in Sunday to play with Catherine Ellis - they blew bubbles and she had the best time playing outside:

In other news Catherine Ellis has enjoyed reliving her infant days - she loves the fact that Caroline has a pappie (which Caroline is not fond of, but we're still working with her on it because Mommy and Daddy are fond of pappies!), she loves the bop bop (bobby pillow I use for feedings) and she just discovered how much she's missed her infant car seat yesterday. This morning she told Meme while getting ready for school - "No, Meme I not a big girl, I a baby." She's a mess!

Hope everyone has a great start to their week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Highlights from the first few days ...

Wow - what a whirl wind of a week and it's not even been a full week yet! We are all doing well, thank you to all of our precious friends and family that have checked in on us - we are SO very blessed to have you all along for the ride. Your support means the world to us! As well as your prayers. And praying has been something this new Mama of two has done a LOT of this week. I knew I could never fully prepare myself for life with two, but I knew God could - and he has.

He's given us the strength we've needed for those LONG nights up with our sweet Caroline - and let me tell you - she's a late night partier like no other - last night we were up ALL night - I finally got to sleep for an an hour around 7 a.m. But, you know - today has been a great day - amazing that I can function on one hour of sleep and still have a good day - perspective. And thank God he's helped us keep it this week.

So - just a few highlights from our first few days as a family of 4 - I'll do a much bigger update on Sunday. Until then - enjoy:

Homecoming outfit - May 17, 2011
Wide eyed and ready to come home!

Snug as a bug in a rug

David said he wanted our children to know their Mother is ALWAYS on her phone

Headed home

New backseat buddies ...

Big sister helping feed baby sister her first ba-ba - we're trying to think of ways to include Big Sister

Mama is a little nervous, but Little Sister was a great sport and Big Sister was so proud of helping feed the baby

Oh and just for kicks - I graduated on Saturday!!! WOO HOO!! Just had to add that for good measure - we're SO glad grad school is over!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Big Sister meets Little Sister

We've been attempting to prepare Catherine Ellis for her little sister's arrival for months now - reading countless books, talking about babies, why Mommy's belly is getting bigger and why little sisters are so great. She's caught on pretty quickly, but at two to conceptualize the meaning of a new person joining our family is hard. We've not been worried about how she would do, instead curious about what the first meeting would bring.

As usual, she blew us away with her immediate attraction to her sister, her welcoming kisses, her sweet pats on the head, face and arm - saying "It's okay baby" - so sweet! We think these two will be great friends soon!

Here are some pictures and videos from the meeting of the sisters today - enjoy!

I wanna hold the baby

Hey Caroline!

So excited about little sister

Giving baby sister one of many kisses ...

Rock a bye baby ....

Checking out baby sister

Another kiss for baby Caroline

Here is a bit of video from Catherine Ellis and Caroline meeting for the first time today - it was precious - Catherine Ellis is going to be a great big sister and Caroline is a wonderful addition to our family that we didn't even know was missing until she arrived!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Introducing Caroline Elizabeth Cain

Born Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 4:41 a.m., 7.7 lbs, 20 1/4 inches long

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.”
James 1:17

Monday, May 9, 2011

25 Months & 38 Weeks

Today Catherine Ellis is 25 months! We can hardly believe it! In just a few short weeks she'll be a big sister and we are sure a great one!

May 9, 2011 - 25 months

Still working on our 'cheese' pose!

Catherine Ellis had her two-year check up this morning and did great - no shots so that is always a plus! Here are her stats:

28.8 lbs

34 inches tall

She's in the 50th-75th percentile for weight and 50th for height

She met and exceeded all her milestones for 2

We are so blessed to have such a healthy and energetic 2-year-old!

I'm also 38 weeks today - 2 weeks until Baby Cain's due date - May 23rd! We're just about ready for her, but I would love for her to wait just one more week until I can get through my last week of class and graduation on Saturday. As of this morning, there was no new progress -still 1 centimeter dilated and no effacement - but we know she can come whenever she pleases - so we shall see!

38 weeks!

In other news we had a great weekend celebrating our friend Caroline's birthday - there was a bouncy, a huge gym to run around in and balls - what more could a 2 year old ask for? We had a wonderful time catching up with friends and playing - thank you for having us Caroline!

Oh the joys of a bouncy!

So much fun (and thank you Aunt Wren for my cute as pie owl dress!)

Running and playing with friends and bouncy balls

Practicing my slow pitch ...

Happy 2nd birthday Caroline!

Eating with my friend Hayes - we've not quite master the posing for pictures yet:)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous Mom's out there and especially to my mother! Mom, you are a true example of the self-less love Mother's give to their children until the end of time. Thank you for being extraordinary and continuing to show me the way, help pick up the pieces and find the joy in life! I love you dearly!

A little fun - Me and my Mommy early 1980's:

The day I became a mother - hands down top two best days of my life (the other would be marrying my fabulous partner in life!):

A friend posted this earlier this weekend and I want to share - it's so true!

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.
Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; is not proud; is not conceited; does not act foolishly; is not selfish; is not easily provoked to anger; keeps no record of wrongs; takes no pleasure in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. ~ I Corinthians 13:4-7.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What a big girl!

We've been talking about being a big girl for quite some time at our house! Catherine Ellis has been warming up to her big girl room for several weeks now, learning about big sisters and little sisters and practicing attributes of being a big girl (not whining, using our words to explain why we are upset or need something, etc.).

Catherine Ellis's room is finally complete - so I'm going to post a few updated pics for those of you that actually care (I realize that's a very small number!):

Final product

You can't read what the frame says, but I wanted to capture it because we had it made by a local artist - it is one of our very favorite (passed down from my mother) songs: you are my sunshine

No room is complete with out a wall monogram - right?

Completed big girl bedding

So this past weekend was the BIG weekend - we moved Catherine Ellis out of the nursery into her big girl room and she has mastered this transition beautifully!! I don't know what we were so worried about! Honestly, I've been the one that hasn't wanted to move her for months - her room has been ready for sleeping for 5-6 weeks now and I've just not had it in my heart to move her. I know that all babies grow up, but it has just happened too fast for this Mama. She is my first-born, my moon, my stars, my world. She is my cuddle bug that I love to rock with at night as we read stories and then turn out the lights and go to sleep. She is forever my baby. Being pregnant and having to move my 2-year-old has been a challenge.

For those of you who know me, you know I have a hard time letting go. I just couldn't imagine not rocking my sweet baby to sleep, not holding her every night. But, I've done it, I've let go and as hard as it is (and bittersweet!) to realize she is no longer a 'baby' - I know she'll always be my baby. I cry every time (seriously, every time) I read the book "Love You Forever." If you're not familiar with it the bottom line is that its a story of an infant growing up and in each stage of his life his mother finds him at night and rocks him and sings "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." There are no truer words than those - so I want to document this time in my life as I'm letting go of my first-born baby and allowing her to blossom into a beautiful independent toddler - and here is exactly what I want to say:

Catherine Ellis, I'll love you forever, I'll like you always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be!

My precious child, we adore you to the moon and back - there is not a system of measurement large enough in this world to capture just how much you mean to us. You are the joy of our lives. As we close in on the last few weeks of our time together as a family of three we want you to be able to look back and know how infinite our love for you is! May you always know how much we adore you dear child.

Okay -whew! Had to get that out of my system - thanks pregnancy hormones!! All that to say Catherine Ellis has breezed right into her big girl bed and room and has continued to show her parents that she's ready for her new role in life!

Just look at how happy she is to be a big girl!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

24 fabulous things ....

We're a bit behind - but better late than never! Mommy and Daddy still can't believe I'm 24 months old - 2 whole years!

24 months

I'm such a big girl these days (more on that later!) - here are 24 fabulous things I'm up to these days:

  • I've learned to put my hands on my hips - especially when charming my Daddy!
  • I can talk in complete sentences - I start most sentences with "I" instead of the typical toddler beginning of a sentence with "me"
  • My newest phrase is "Don't aggravate me Daddy!" - and I can say aggravate well
  • I can walk up and down steps by myself
  • I can put my shoes on by myself
  • I sing non-stop - if there is ever a lull or silent moment - I start singing - I know all sorts of fun songs (thank you Miss Stephanie and Miss Sabrena!)
  • I have a joy for reading - I often sit in front of my bookcase and read books out loud several times a day
  • LOVE water - LOVE playing outdoors - anything outside is a good thing
  • I'm quite the sous chef - I help Mommy "stir it up" all the time and I love grocery shopping - I am always helping Mommy pick the right ingredients
Grocery Shopping with Mommy - always ready for the paparazzi

Helping Mommy "stir it up"
  • I'm also quite the "helper" with Daddy - anytime he's fixing something around the house, I'm right there to help him
Helping Daddy repair the lawn mower

Assisting Mommy at work
  • I'm doing really great with potty training - I tell Mommy and Daddy I need to use the bathroom most times - the only thing we're still working on is pooping in our diaper - for some reason we prefer that to the potty - certainly don't understand the logic in that
  • I'm into EVERYTHING - if there is something that I can get into - I'm into it in less time than it takes to blink your eyes
  • I can step up my step stool all by myself and wash my hands and brush my teeth
  • I have quite the need to make sure everything is just right and in it's perfect spot (Mommy is totally guilty of passing along this trait!) - when I sign in with my photo in the morning at school, I have to have everyone lined up straight on the same line
  • I'm eating more foods these days and anything Mommy and Daddy have I at least want to try
  • Yo Gabba Gabba and Upside Down Show are two of my favorite tv shows at the moment
  • I am very interested in my baby dolls - I've named them Sallie and Baby Sister - I feed them bottles, make them take naps and undress them all the time
  • I love kisses and hugs - and if you give me a kiss I say "kiss me on my lips"
  • I love babies - I'm so sweet and gentle with them. The only thing I'm not good at is sharing with babies - will be interesting around our house in a few months!
  • I can count to 11 easily
  • I can recite Bah Bah Black Sheep - verbatim - thanks to my week with Meme!
  • There is not much you can get past me - I remember everything! If Mommy goes a different way home, we have to talk about whey we're "go this way Mommy". I know Thursdays are 'eat chips night' (Mexican) - if we miss it - it's not a pretty sight
  • I can melt down and pitch quite the tantrum within about 10 seconds of something not going my way (Mommy and Daddy are hopeful that the 'terrible twos' will pass quickly!)
  • I am going to be the best big sister ever! Mommy, Daddy and I have been reading books about big sisters and little sisters and I'm so excited about being a big sister (I've already got the bossing around down pat!)
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works…” Psalm 139:14