Thursday, December 31, 2015

Jenna 2.0

Age: This post is for 1 year and 10 months all the way through turning 2 years old!!!  I'm going to have to start chunking these into 3 month sections...first, because Jenna's changing a lot less quickly now that she's getting older, and second, because I'm much busier now that I have two little munchkins to look after!!
Milestones: She just started speaking in full sentences every now and then.  Her first one was when we were FaceTiming with Jacob...she was pointing out where everything was (a favorite past time) and then said "And Juliette's Tummy Time is also over there." After months of hearing her say only disjointed words, we both did a double-take! 
We also got rid of the paci!!!  I was sooo anxious about it because Jenna loved her pacifiers.  I actually cried when we started talking about taking them away.  I was probably hormonal, but I just felt so bad!!  The only way she got to sleep at night was if she had one in her mouth and one rubbing against her eye.  I don't really know how that started, but she was always so easy to put down that we just rolled with it.  One time, Jacob was trying to get her to sing Jesus Loves Me before putting her to bed and she finally exasperatedly said, "JesuslovesmethisIknow!  Paci?"  Anyway, when we finally took them away, we explained to her that now that she was a big girl, pacifiers could hurt her teeth so she couldn't have them anymore.  She actually took it really well and hasn't asked for them since, but she DID have a reeeallllly hard time getting to sleep over the next few days.  
Her Favorites: To name a few things: yogurt, dinosaurs, mermaids, sea lions, accessories, tutus, lizards, hanging on things, painting her nails, Sofia the First, stickers, coloring, and...her sister!  For the first solid month, anytime she would walk into a room with Juliette, Jenna would squish her hands onto her (Jenna's) cheeks and say, "Awww Ju-we-ette!  CUTE!"  The first night we had Juliette at the house and she started crying at night, Jenna woke up and started crying too.  I went in there and the first thing Jenna said was, "Ju-we-ette" and didn't stop crying until I explained that Juliette was ok, and babies just cry to tell us they need something.  Juliette is still the first thing Jenna asks about when she wakes up, she always wants to lay next to her on the floor and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to her, and she always is bringing her a blanket or paci or showing her things she's excited about (like The Little Mermaid, followed by her sweet dance moves.)  They are going to be best buds.
She's also obsessed with all things Christmas!  I'm still befuddled as to how she knew that the wreaths at HEB were for Christmas since we definitely had not talked about Christmas at all yet.  NOW we do though...she loves the movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and her favorite CD is Hanson's Snowed In.  In fact, according to Jenna that is the ONLY "Christmas tree music" there is.  Bing Crosby?  Amy Grant?  Trans-Siberian Orchestra?  Get outta here with that noise.  Hanson. is. everything.  (That's my girl.)
AND she loves talking about where things are..."over there" and "right there" are her favorite phrases which is convenient because......
My Favorites: She always knows where everything is!!  As a sleep-deprived mom of two, I LOVE being able to say, "where's my phone?" and have Jenna say, "Table!  Over there!"  Because really at this point, I honestly need help finding my phone AND the table...
I also just can't get enough of seeing my girls together.  Jenna is so sweet with Juliette.  She always holds her hand, but she's not super into actually holding her...she'll ask to do it every now and then but then after exactly 1 second of holding Juliette she says, "ALL DONE!" which, in truth, makes things much easier for me.
A few other favorites are watching her play with friends, hearing about her day (even though I was there for all of it, I just like to hear what parts stood out to her), how she calls lizards "scissors" and scissors "sharps," and how goofy she is!  She KNOWS a few things that always make me laugh, and she'll bust them out randomly when she's feeling silly.  I love it.
Surprises: How easy the transition into having a little sister has been.  I haven't seen a hint of jealousy and she has so far always been really gentle with Juliette.  There was a little bit of potty training regression, but I think that was more because I got really lazy about it and kept putting her in pull-ups.  We're back on track now, though!
Other Notable Moments:  Going Trick-or-Treating for the first time!  We only went to two or three houses, but Jenna got REALLY into it.  She started randomly saying "TRICK-OR-TREAT!!!!! ..........candy, please?" over the next few weeks.  Unrelated to her new obsession with candy, we also had her first trip to the dentist, which went awesome, and moved her into a big girl bed!
Also, she got her first bangs, officially.  They look super cute, but ever since I cut them, I'm paranoid that she'll take cutting hair into her own hands.  I've already seen her try to do it with toenail clippers on her mermaid toy...Lord help me.
Looking Forward To...: The cooler weather!  Between the summer heat and having Juliette, I feel like we've essentially been hermits.  Now that I have my act together a little more, I'm excited for more trips to the park, zoo, walks around the neighborhood, and even just playing in the backyard.  It's so fun to watch her explore!
Showing off her clean teeth after the dentist
She may or may not have won cutest costume at the neighborhood parade and gotten a ribbon that said "Grand Champion"...I'm trying not to let it go to my head
She was really excited about becoming a Godiva rewards member, obvi.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Juliette: 2 Months

Age: 2 months
Milestones: Social smiling!! It's the best!  And she has slept through the night a few times, which I am definitely excited about
My Favorites: All of her sweet little noises!  I could listen to her all day.  Plus, that dimple!! It just kills me.
Her Favorites: Chatting with us.  She loves just sitting on our laps, smiling and cooing and gurgling.  She is very social and knows her, dad, and big sister always get big smiles.  She also loves being extremely cozy and warm, listening to music, and her swing.
Surprises: How easy she is!  I kind of forgot how much babies sleep and just...hang out.  It's great.  Of course, that's not to say there aren't moments where she's fussy or has giant poop explosions (like the one at church when I didn't have any back up clothes for her OR me OR newborn diapers so I had to put a size 5 diaper on her, cover her with a blanket, and cart a nekked baby around church.  Oh yeah, and hope no one saw the poop on my pants.)
Other Notable Moments:  Her first Thanksgiving...I mean, she obviously couldn't appreciate the holiday to its full extent, but she definitely was on board with the napping part!  
Looking Forward To...: When she can sit up more!  Even if she's just in the Bumbo, I feel like she'll be able to be more of a part of everything.  Right now I feel like my attention is kind of divided between my girls because one is flat on her back and the other is up and playing.  I can't wait until Juliette can be upright and interact with all of us more often!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

...Hello Juliette!!

Honestly, I didn't think giving birth could get any easier after Jenna buuuuuut I was wrong.  Listen, I wouldn't really classify myself as being outstandingly talented at anything, but you guys?  I am really really good at giving birth.  Seriously.  The nurses asked me to come back and do it again the next day.  Granted, it's much easier to be good at giving birth when you have an epidural, but still. I am a birth-giving machine, y'all.

It all started around 12:30 in the afternoon.  I had just spent a delightful morning interacting with the crazy people of Walmart (see previous post) and was settling down for my lunch/nap when I felt the first contraction.  Actually, I didn't know if it was a contraction or if Juliette was just moving around in an uncomfortable way, so I waited to see if there was any sort of pattern to what I was feeling.  If you've never been in labor before, contractions (for me, anyway) feel kind of like period cramps, except instead of being a dull ache that hangs around all the time, it comes on gradually and increases in intensity before tapering off again.  And of course, they happen at regular intervals.  After I felt it again roughly 20 minutes later, I texted Jacob to let him know I MIGHT be in labor.  Not to leave work yet, but just to be on alert.  

By 2:30, my contractions were the same low level of intensity, but were now 2 minutes apart.  I called my OB's office, and the nurse COMPLETELY freaked out.  I tried to tell her that I think that's just how my body does early labor (my contractions were 2 minutes apart with Jenna for a while too), but she told me I should come in anyway.  I started preparing to go to the hospital (making all the necessary calls, getting my things together, etc.) but I was suuuuuper slow about it because I was afraid of going in too early...I really didn't want to get there just to be sent home after they checked me.

By 4:30, our friend Joel was over to watch Jenna, Jacob was home from work, and we were on our way to the hospital!  For the most part, we held off letting people know because I really wasn't sure if I was actually in labor and I didn't want to have to send out a second "JK NEVERMIND!" text later on.

Apparently, October 12 was a popular day for giving birth, because there was no room left in triage for me and we were put straight into a room (score!)  I still felt really silly being there because I rated my contractions as being a 1 or a 2 on the pain scale and when the nurse examined me, I was 4.5 cm dilated, which wasn't that different from my last OB appointment.  (By the way, can we talk about that pain scale for a second??  I hate being asked to rate my pain because it's so relative!  In the grand scheme of things, a 10 is probably like...getting your arm sawed off and I've never felt anything like that, so how can I judge where I'm at??)

Anyway, our nurse was so great, and reassured me that as I was 40 weeks, having regular contractions, and dilated halfway, she would make me sign an AMA if I wanted to leave now and I should really stay.  I agreed, but asked for my water to be broken just to make sure things kept rolling along.  I still felt like it couldn't be real that I was actually in labor, so at one point I asked, "Just to be clear...I'm definitely going to have this baby in the next 24 hours?"  She laughed and said, "You're probably going to have the baby in the next 6 hours." Huge relief. That finally gave me the confidence to tell my mom to go ahead and book a flight, and to have Jacob spread the word that it was go time!

Oh, also our nurse was amazing because as soon as I said I wanted to stay, she made sure to get my IV drip and paperwork going RIGHT away so I would be ready to get my epidural at the first hint of any increased discomfort.  God bless you, Amber.  It worked out perfectly too.  She came in to check on me maybe 20 minutes after having my water broken and asked how I was doing.  This is pretty much how it went down:

  Nurse: "How are you doing?  Do you think you're ready for your epidural yet?"
  Me: "Umm I don't know.  My contractions are a little more intense, but I don't think I'm in active labor yet."
  Nurse: (gives me a look) You're 6-7 cm dilated.  You're in active labor.
  Me: Oh ok well...yeah let's go ahead and get the epidural then.

By the time the epidural was put in and working like a charm, I had only had about 3 or 4 actually painful contractions.  Then all we had to do was wait!  I mean really, could it have been any easier??  That was around 7:00 and we were getting kind of hungry, so Jacob and I ordered some food from Cheesecake Factory to eat when everything was said and done. Then we just hung out, chatted and periodically checked the Cubs score (they won, by the way. Maybe Juliette will be a lucky charm for them!) 

Shortly after 9:00, the whole labor and delivery entourage came in.  I was at 10 cm so they had me push through a contraction and there was her head!  The OB told me to wait until the next contraction, but then she looked up kind of unsurely and said, " want to push now?"  I shrugged and said something like, "Might as well" or "Sure, I could push."  Maybe 30 seconds later at 9:07 PM, she was born at 20 inches, 6 lb. 15 oz., and with an APGAR score of 9 and 9 because we're high achievers like that.

They saw a little bit of meconium in the amniotic fluid earlier on, so I was preparing myself for them to take her away to examine for a while before I could see her (that happened with Jenna and it was really hard for me) BUT they made it a point to hold her up and let me see her right when she was born.  I totally lost it and started crying.  Honestly, I probably cried more than Juliette did.  
What a big baby.  Me, I mean...not the actual baby.
Then we just got to snuggle and take pictures and eat Cheesecake Factory....I mean, can you imagine anything better?
Wait, yes I can.  The next day when Jenna came and our whole family was together for the first time.  THAT was better than anything else I could possibly imagine.
There I go, crying again! 

Welcome to the world, Juliette Elize!!  We love you a whole lot!