Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Last days in the old house; first day in the new one!

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Neighbor Alice meeting Nora for the first time-her, her husband Bruce, and their grandkids played a big part in keeping Joseph and I entertained during the last weeks of my pregnancy.  They have a pool, four-wheelers, a go-cart, a basketball net…basically all Joseph’s favorite things.  Oh an of course a beautiful house and awesome snacks!  They were so kind to have us over lots.

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Cute and cuddly in her Rock ‘n’ Play (thanks Genevieve!!)

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Sleeping on her changing table.

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Smiling in her sleep

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Riding the bus home for the first time on Friday, our last day in the old house

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Watching some TV

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On Thursday one of the nurses from my stay at the birthing center at Porter came to look at our house.  She and her husband decided they liked the house and Brad decided to rent it to them.  On Friday I whipped up a lease and Friday night they came over and signed it.  On Saturday, when Nora was not even 7 days old, we moved.  It was pretty crazy so not many pictures were taken, but here is Joseph setting up his new room.

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My typical view.  Which I maintained for the move.  I was definitely not in any shape to pack or move boxes, so Brad moved most things by himself.  My dad came over and helped a bit and then came over a number of times after the big move to help me finish up the little things.

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Napping in the new house!  Gross belly button and peeling skin, but still adorable.

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My view again.

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I guess I did help a little!  This is me driving between the two houses with Nora on my lap.  That is something I definitely would never have done with Joseph!  (It’s not a real road btw.)

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Passed out on her changing table

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And Brad and Joseph getting ready for our first night in our new house!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

First day of first grade!

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Joseph heading off to first grade!

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I still can’t believe that I was able to bring him! I packed him and Nora up and made it to school by 7:40.  We even walked him in to kick off the year.  And all this when Nora was only 4 days old! (Less really since she was born in the evening).  When Joseph was 4 days old I was still in the hospital.

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Nora napping while Joseph was at school.  Then our friend Ann visited for a bit and brought dinner.  She actually hung out with Nora at our house so I could pick Joseph up all by myself.  This is also amazing to me, since the first time I left Joseph with anyone he was over a month old!  Our neighbors also came to visit that evening.  What a whirlwind!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Keeping it real

I highly value people and blogs that don’t sugar coat everything. 

After Nora was born their was definitely a honeymoon-new-baby-high period where we felt like we could do anything…now we are settling into life as a family of four and it still has it’s awesome amazing moments, but also some challenges.  I can handle it pretty well, until something unexpected goes wrong and throws everything off.

Some of the unexpected events that have thrown me off my rails lately;

  • fleas….AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! 
  • hives (mine), because apparently I am really allergic to fleas
  • car problems which involved over two hours with two kids on the side of the road before abandoning the car for the night
  • dryer biting the dust and spewing sparks
  • having to drive to Maine and back, by myself with the two kids
  • other annoyances—hospital bills, six-year-old attitude, rejoining the ranks of the uninsured, Nora’s numerous poop blowouts a day, a TV we still haven’t gotten working since we moved, professional pics that I should have had a MONTH ago and still have not received, and you know, taking care of a infant—even a pretty laid back one—is draining!

But, the fleas are gone, the hives going away, the car fixed, a new dryer installed, and the trip to Maine was actually fun!  Of course many annoyances remain.  That’s life!  We have a million blessings and I am working on keeping all those in mind.  But, sometimes it feels good to whine a bit.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

First day home

It makes me so sentimental looking at these pictures and thinking of our first days home… so that is why I have been posting a million pictures a little at a time.  Sorry everyone!

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Brad, Nora, and I arrived home Monday evening and grandpa Bernie and Joseph pulled in right behind us after a long, fun day at the Champlain Valley Fair!

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So sweet.

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Out of focus, but here is Nora her first morning home.

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Then Joseph got to open presents!  I had a bag of goodies all set for Joseph that I meant to bring to the hospital, but I was in such a rush when we actually left that I didn’t bring them.  Anyways, Joseph got to open all his big brother gifts our first morning home instead which worked out just fine.   

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Big brother shirt!  I went totally overboard on these gifts, but I was very conflicted about the whole new sibling thing…it’s scary changing your first-born’s life so drastically!  I bought him way more stuff for this event then I have for any birthday or Christmas.

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Bob came over to visit and help out.  He did TONS of cleaning which was such a help!

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Too much going on to care about makeup…yikes!

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But she still looks GORGEOUS!!

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Awwww…

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In the afternoon Joseph’s friends Cole and Alyssa came over for a visit.  Then they took Joseph for a playdate.

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They were so excited to hold Nora!  It was super sweet—their mom, Courtney, actually took them all to TJ Maxx where they picked out some gifts for Nora.  They then played at Cole and Alyssa’s house and Courtney cooked us an awesome meal.  Later that evening their cousin Tanner and his mom and sister took Joseph to the school ice cream social.  It means so much to me to have such awesome friends helping out! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Nora: 1 month

Ahhh—1 month already??  How can it be?

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A week late—but so cute.  The smile!  The chub!

Personality:  She continues to be a laid back, happy little girl.  For the most part.  As she has gotten older we have seen a little bit more fussiness and demandingness come out, but just a little.  This past weekend I took the two kiddos to Maine BY MY SELF.  I still can’t believe I did it, but it was totally made possible by Nora’s flexible nature.  She barely fussed at all. 

Physical:  She is chunking up much like her brother, though maybe not quite as quickly.  At her one month appointment a couple days ago she was 11 lbs 2 ozs and 23 1/4 inches.  She also seems to suffer many of the same skin ailments and sensitivities as the rest of her family: she often gets baby acne and she now has eczema too.  Boo.  But, best of all, she totally smiles!!!  It is such a beautiful smile and we see it so much now.  To be honest, she has been smiling since she was very young and it even seemed like social smiles—as in she looks right at you and gives a big huge grin.  However, all the books say that is not possible.  Anyways, lately she has been giving everyone lots of smiles and I’ve received lots of confirmation it’s not “just gas.”  Very exciting!

Eating habits:  She loves to eat!  But she still is a VERY efficient eater.  One of the so-called “hoovers” (as in the hoover vacuum, because she eats so much so quickly).  Every once in a while she spits up a huge amount, which was concerning me a bit, but the dr. said not to worry and it hasn’t happened in the last two weeks again…The dr. has also really encouraged me to keep right on nursing her as much as she would like.  She also continues to love her paci.  We sometimes try a bit to cut back on it, but haven’t had much luck.  If she doesn’t have it she tries to suck on her hands and fingers but ends up gaging herself.   Obviously she’s gaining awesome and we enjoy nursing, so that is what matters!

Sleep:  Her sleeping isn’t as amazing as it once was, but still pretty decent.  She wakes 2-3 times at night and usually goes back to sleep easily.  During the day she loves to sleep in the car (hence the easy trip to Maine).  She almost always falls asleep in the car, which includes bring Joseph to school and picking him up.  She also loves to sleep in her bouncy seat and swing.  Every once in awhile her tummy seems to bother her and make it hard for her to fall asleep, then she gets a bit mad.  But even her mad isn’t very mad!

Nicknames: Noranator, Sissy, Baby, Zibby, Norabelle, Stinkerbelle, Nora B.

Mom stuff:  Healing pretty well—better then I expected!  I can’t believe how normal I feel and how quickly.  Unfortunately the weight is not magically melting off my body—I still have 12 pounds to hit my pre-pregnancy weight.  But I’m not too worried; in fact I feel awesome!  I vaguely plan to join weight watchers or something in the future… But I am just so happy with how well we have transitioned to a family of 4.  I love our new house and our new family, Joseph is enjoying school and sports and friends, and it has been the most gorgeous fall! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

the rest of our hospital stay ;-)

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Sunday morning photo shoot—just a 1/2 day old!

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Big brother Joseph came back to visit

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Bob brought Joseph (who had spent the night with him) and great grandma Nora with him.  I was very surprised and excited to see my gram.

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This is my nurse  Wanda helping Joseph.  She was great with him, taking the time to answer all sorts of questions and really explain things.  She was actually a big part of my birth experience; she was with me one day before delivery for one of my non-stress tests and we talked for quite awhile.  Ends up she was the first ever VBAC at Porter hospital! Then she was also my second nurse during delivery and then again the next day. I am so grateful to have benefited from all her help and advice!

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Joseph held Nora (who was at that point still unnamed) for quite awhile.

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He loved holding her and looking at all her little features.  He did not like seeing her feet or her umbilical cord stump though!

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Wanda and I

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Joseph finally let great-gram Nora have a turn

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Then I suggested Bob should give it a try!  He was a little nervous.

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Next, grandma Debbie came to visit! 

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Some more time with dad

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This nurse was my primary nurse during delivery.  She also had had a vbac!  I really loved all the nurses so much.

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looking a little jaundiced. 

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After her first bath

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Monday morning and enduring some tests (while I took a long shower and put on real clothes!)

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Then my aunt Patricia and cousin Killian came to visit

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My friend Michelle also came by (she is Joseph’s best friend’s mom)

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Just before heading home

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Some pictures of my room—I am so, so happy I decided to use Porter (the small Middlebury hospital where I was born) instead of Fletcher Allen (the much bigger Burlington hospital where Joseph was born).

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Getting ready to head home

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And we were on our way!  Thanks Porter for the mostly awesome experience!

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Oh, yeah-on the way home Brad convinced me I could handle a trip to Kinney’s, since there were some things I wanted to pick up.  That was interesting.  A couple people even figured out that we were on our way home from the hospital!