Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parker: 2 Months

Mr. Parker is 2 months old!

Parker continues to be a wonderful baby.  We are at the early stages of seeing his littler personality come out.  This has been a big month for him.  Lots of smiles and cooing.  Yesterday Jack and Parker had their first conversation.   Parker would coo and Jack would respond to him with a question or some sort of comment and Parker would respond back.  Jack loved it.  He said "Parker is already learning to talk!"  

Parker was weighing in at 13 pounds 7 ounces at 6 weeks.  He'll go to the doctor again on Monday for his 2 month check up.  He is 23 inches long.  As soon as I use up the last of our size 1 diapers he'll need to move into the 2's.  He is going to bed around 8:00 p.m. and sleeping till somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m., going back to sleep after eating till 6:30 or 7.  I'm pretty happy with that.  Hopefully it will stay like that and not backtrack.

 Parker's first time at Rockefeller Center and in front of Radio City Music Hall.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Decorations

Every year when fall rolls around I think about putting up some decorations to make our apartment feel festive.  It seems like each year the time gets away and my good intentions are nothing but that...intentions.  Both mine and Freddy T.'s mom did a good job decorating our homes as kids and more than enjoying the actual decorations I think we came to love the tradition of it all. Our kids are getting old enough now to have fun with activities and decorating so this year I was determined to make some progress.  

It's tricky in our apartment because I can't do much that would require storing things from season to season.  I do have some space to start collecting a few things here and there, but for starters it's a lot of homemade or disposable things this time.  

Let's start with the front door.  I see ideas on Pinterest all the time for decorations on front porches.  I've even pinned a few, although I don't know why, I don't plan on having a front porch anytime soon.  I decided that I could at least have a wreath or some sort of fun thing hanging on our front door.  I found this wreath on Pinterest and figured I could make it myself.  It's not perfect but it does feel inviting when you approach our apartment door.
If you look closely you'll see a green "Angry Bird" golf ball.  The kids went to a birthday party a few weeks ago with an Angry Bird theme.  The golf ball was part of a game they played and Jack snuck his ball in my wreath.  I'll just leave it there, he likes it.

Q-tip and cotton ball skeletons.  I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine and thought it looked fun.  We created a  little "Wyatt Family" to hang out in our window through Halloween.

Left to Right: Jack, Parker, Elliott, Lillie, Me, and Freddy T

We painted pumpkins the other night.  They are proudly displayed on our bookshelf in the living room.  It was a little messy, but worth it for the fun the kids had and the memories.
Elliott has a hard time smiling nice when he is in a silly mood.

This is what Parker was doing during all the fun.
Very Messy

Finished products.  
Left to Right: Jack's, Elliott's, Lillie's and Parker's

I also saw this activity in Family Fun.  We collected dry crunchy leaves on our way home from school one day and crumbled them up to small pieces.  Then with glue we made an outline of a fall/Halloween objects and covered the glue with leaves.  They turned out cute.

These are hanging in their room.

Last, but not least, I do have a little dish towel for each month to hang in the kitchen.  It's not much, but the kids have fun digging through the drawer to figure out which one is right for the month.

I'd like to have a cute/simple center piece on our table, but that will have to wait.  We use our table for too much right now to worry with it.  Maybe that will be a goal for the year to keep the table nice and straight and fun!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Parker's Birthday Story

It's almost 2 months late, but before I forget most of the details I want to document Parker's birth and the days before and after.

Our last picture as a family of 5.

I was certain Parker would be born earlier than his actual due date.  Several things that factored into those thoughts were: 1)I was huge!  If you saw me at all during the last 3 months of my pregnancy you would have thought he was coming sooner too (I had people asking me "any day now?" for months before he was born). 2) All 3 of the other kids were born early. 3)Parker was measuring large. 4) to the best of my knowledge and calculations I thought they had the due date off a week.  

My mom planned to arrive a few days before his due date and stay for 5 or 6 days.  I really wanted Parker to come on because  I wanted her to be here while I was at home after his birth, not just hang out with me still pregnant.  About 4 days before my due date there was still no sign he was coming anytime soon.  My doctor suggested an induction for 2 days after my due date.  She felt comfortable with that and so did I, but I still wanted him to come sooner on his own.  The date came and went and still no Parker.  So Tuesday morning, August 21st, I was scheduled to be at the hospital at 6:30 a.m.  We woke up early, got ready to go and headed out.  My mom stayed with the big kids which was really helpful.  It was nice not having to worry about them while we were away.  The hospital, Beth Israel, is just a few blocks from our apartment and since I wasn't in the throws of contractions it didn't make sense to jump in a cab, so we walked (my choice).  I'm really glad we did that.  It was a fun little walk.  The dark of night was just barely fading and there wasn't anyone out in the neighborhood, kind of like we had it all to ourselves.  Freddy and I talked, reflecting on the other times we were heading to the hospital for the birth of our kids and anxiously anticipating what the day held for us, it was just a sweet time.  

I was quickly admitted to the hospital and in no time hooked up to all the machines and started the Pitocin.  When I was first examined I was only 2, maybe 3 centimeters, no real change since my last appointment.  The nurse said I could request an epidural at any point and when I reached 6 cm my doctor would break my water.  After an hour my contractions were picking up and strong, so I went ahead and requested the epidural.  As it turned out there were 2 emergencies in the OR that required the anesthesiologist.  Two hours later he finally came in.  My contractions were really strong and I was very uncomfortable.  The epidural was great and I was able to relax a little after I got it.  It didn't take away all the pain, but it certainly took the edge off.  As time went on the doctor broke my water and once that happened things sped up.  Around 3 p.m. I was checked again and at that point fully dilated.  I really appreciate my doctors approach this time.  She told me that soon I should be feeling lots of pressure and when I did to call her and I could start pushing.  As soon as she left the room I started feeling more pressure.  I felt kind of dumb telling the nurse because it seemed weird how it happened soon after the doctor left the room.  The pressure was increasingly getting worse.  In no time the doctor was back and we were ready to have this baby.  I pushed for a total of 1.5 minutes and Parker was born.  It was the most painful birth out of all my kids, but the fastest by far.  I can't explain the emotions that came over me as soon as he was born. I started crying and could not stop.  I was relieved and happy and amazed and exhausted.  Here was this little boy that caught us by surprise the December before and the baby we've been waiting to see for 9 months.  I was sad that this was probably the last time I would ever experience a moment like that again and so thankful that he was healthy and perfect.  Since he is our 4th child my perspective was so different than with the other kids.  I knew this was a sweet moment that would pass all too soon and that these first moments of meeting our son were precious and priceless.  Some of the feelings come back even writing it down in words.

8 lbs. 15oz.  Wow!  That explains a lot!

Very proud Daddy!

We did it!  What a relief.

The next hour or so passed by and the doctor and nurse had finished all the post delivery "chores" and it was just the 3 of us.  My mom was on her way to the hospital with Jack, Elliott, and Lillie and we were waiting to get moved to our room.  We used Freddy's I Pad to Skype with Gran (Freddy's mom) since she was in Tennessee and could not be there to see Parker.  Can't believe we were able to do that, kind of crazy.  Once I got moved upstairs we settled into our room and the rest of our crew showed up.  Jack was excited to see Parker, but a little reserved.  Elliott asked a hundred questions and could not wait to check Parker out.  Lillie was nervous and a little taken back by it all.  She was quiet and didn't want to hold Parker because she said she was scared.  After about 30 minutes Freddy took the kids home and my mom stayed back with me.  It was good to have her there, but a little bittersweet since I knew she had to leave the next day before we could go home.  I'm just grateful she got to meet Parker.  

Jack, Lillie, and Elliott meeting Parker for the first time.
 Me and my Mom
 Elliott holding Parker for the first time

Jack holding Parker for the first time
 Parker and Nay Nay 
 Family of 6!  I still can't believe it.

Parker was a champ in the hospital.  He was so good.  He immediately ate well and our stay there was pretty normal.  Once while I was feeding Parker, in the wee hours of the morning, I had the TV on trying to keep myself awake and the show Friends was on.  It was a very old episode and I'm not sure exactly what the story line was but Phoebe was in the hospital for something.  At one point they showed the outside of the hospital and it was a shot of the main entrance to Beth Israel, the very hospital I was in.  It was kind of funny and sort of weird!  We were able to come home mid morning on Thursday the 23rd.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and since I felt pretty good we strolled (very slowly) home, same route we had walked a few days before.  Parker was in his stroller and it just felt good to be outside and out of the hospital.
Finally home!

Lillie holding Parker for the first time.  She finally warmed up and asked if she could hold him.  I think she was proud of herself.

In the days/ weeks to follow my aunt and uncle came for a several days followed by Freddy's parents.  A few weeks after that my grandmother came and spent time with us.  Our church family provided meals here and there for a few weeks.  I'd say the transition from a family of 5 to 6 has been pretty smooth.  It feels like Parker has been here forever.  We are so grateful for him and for the Lord for his faithfulness.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

1st Grade and Pre K- September 6, 2012

This is late, but 2 weeks after Parker was born the "big" kids started back to school!
Jack is in 1st grade.  He was excited to start back to school.  I'm really thankful that he enjoys going so much.  His teacher's name is Mrs. Pascale.  She comes with a good reputation and so far it's been a good year.  He told me over the summer that he was going to be the smartest kid in his class because he had the best Kindergarten teacher.  He loved Ms. Morris last year.  He also tells everyone now that he has the best teacher in the whole school.   I'm thankful for his perspective on his teachers and his respect for them.
  Lillie and Elliott started Pre K this year at Jack's school.  Their teacher is Mrs. Cornoni.  She is fully of life and energy, perfect for a bunch of 4 year olds!  They like school a lot.  It's only for a few hours in the morning, but it seems to be a good fit for them. One funny story about Elliott, he has a new buddy in his class named Diego.  They were friends pretty quick.  When I first told Elliott his name was Diego he looked at me in disbelief and he calls him "Go Go Diego."  

Freddy T. takes all 3 to school most mornings and then I do the pick up rounds.  I'm really enjoying the time at home with Parker in the mornings while everyone is at school.