Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Christian's First weeks

Here is what has been happening over the last week or so. Christian is a doll. He is such a sweet baby, still loves to cuddle, sleeping a lot, but when he is awake he is very aware of his surroundings. He loves napping on the couch in his boppy. Grandma Miller left and we all miss her like crazy. She was so helpful staying up with Christian at night and giving the kids the extra attention they need.

 I think Elizabeth has taken Christian's arrival the hardest. She doesn't say so but she reverted back in potty training, refusing to even pee in the potty. When we tried to bribe her by telling her she can go to preschool if she goes in the potty all the time, and her response was that she doesn't want to go to school she wants to stay home with mom. But tonight we had a breakthrough. I let her look at the preschool class yesterday to see if it would encourage her more, and today she went in the potty all day including #2 for the first time ever!! Yay, maybe we are turning a corner in the potty training. I hope so because I am even more frustrated with her than I was with Jackson. She knows and is capable of going in the potty all the time, and just refuses to do it.

Jackson loves Christian. He calls him "my baby". It is really sweet, and he is constantly giving him kisses and hugging on him. I am really proud of what a good big brother he has become. I am also proud of the changes he is making in his life. Preschool has been such a blessing in his life. He is writing his name and recognizing his it on his own. His pictures are no longer scribbles but actual characters that he imagines. His vocabulary has increased lately as well. The way he speaks and the conversations he carries on with me and other people, it is very mature. I am really proud of him.

Here are some pictures from the hospital and over the past 2 weeks.

Hospital Visits
 Bonding with the Family


Check out this head and neck strength! Only 10 days old.


So sweet.

Jackson has been running around the house like this for the last 2 weeks. New obsession.

We are truly blessed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christian Newborn Shoot

Yesterday I finally got around to taking some newborn pictures of Christian. I have to tell you I am thrilled with how they turned out! Christian has been sleeping like crazy but for the past 2 days he has been more and more awake and of course he refused to go to sleep for the pictures. I waited and waited all day but no sleeping. Finally I tried drastic measures, getting him totally naked (a risk I was willing to take and hoping wouldn't backfire), and rocking and feeding him until he couldn't resist any more. Then time for the pictures. My sister sent me two beanie hats for him, and owl and a football and I had to use both. He is so sweet. He has great skin color so I barely had to do any editing which makes everything easier. Here is how they turned out:

He is so beautiful I had a hard time deciding which ones to print and which one to use on his announcement. I love them all.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Big brother and Big Sister

Just a quick look at the other two kids. Jackson loves his new brother and is so proud to be a big brother to Christian. Elizabeth loves Christian and hates all the attention he is getting. She has been throwing giant tantrums about everything even the smallest issues and seems to be out to cause trouble. We had a short discussion today about how she needs to change her attitude, because she is now a big sister and needs to be a good example.

Here are some quick comments I have heard lately from both of the kids.

Elizabeth came up to me the other day and I asked why she is being so whiny and mean. Her response:
"I'm just not acting like myself lately mom."

Jackson and Elizabeth were playing outside:
Elizabeth: "We have bare feet on"
Jackson: "I don't have bear feet, I have people feet."

These two really are two peas in a pod and bringing a third to the mix has shaken up their lives. Life is an adjustment, and it goes on.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

He's Here!!

On Friday, October 5th we welcomed our newest addition. Christian Philip Stoker was born at 9:20am via c-section. He weighed 6lbs 12oz and was 19 3/4 inches long.

Almost a week has passed and here is what we have learned about little Christian.

-He LOVES to cuddle. He spent the first 3 nights of life snuggled in my arms.
-He is a great eater. He likes to nurse and takes bottles.
-He loves his pacifier.
-He already has his nights and days down. He sleeps 3-4 hours a night, wakes up and eats, and goes right back to sleep.
-He rarely ever cries, mainly just when he is naked. I think that goes back to the snuggling aspect.
-He hates the swing. I am hoping he will realize how nice it is, and change his mind.
-He is tiny. 14% for both weight and head circumference. 49% for height. None of his newborn clothes fit him.
-He has steal grey eyes and light brown hair.
-He likes to nuzzle into my neck
-He is strong. Sometimes he rolls onto his side and he has pretty good head support for a newborn.

He is just the best baby. I love him so much. He has such a sweet temperament to him and even when he cries is it a soft baby cry. I love that he wants me to hold him and that he likes to be with me all the time. It may get old later but for now my little snuggle bug is just what I need. God knew he would fit in perfectly with our little family.

I am recovering quickly this time. I was really nervous about the c-section and kept having dreams that everything would go wrong. Fortunately everything went very well, thanks in part to a blessing from Brandon the night before. His presence through the whole thing was amazingly calming and I felt safe, even wide open on the operating table. We arrived at the hospital at 5:30am for a scheduled c-section at 7:30am. Unfortunately 10 min before we were suppose to go in there was an emergency c-section so we were pushed back to 9:00am. Talk about nerves, just waiting around, anxious for when it was going to happen. Especially after 3 changed delivery dates I was ready to have this baby. 

Everything went very smooth with the delivery. The doctor said I have a little bit of scaring but not too much and she did her best to minimize any further scaring. Thankfully I am a quick healer and should be fine to have more children in the future.

My mom is visiting right now for two weeks and it has been such a blessing to have her around. She gets up with Christian sometimes during the night to give me a few more hours of shut eye. Right now I am feeling pretty refreshed and not like I am going to pull my hair out with two kids and a baby around. Everyone is getting along nicely for the most part. Jackson adores the baby. He always comes by to check on him and give him kisses on his head. Elizabeth is a bit jealous. I pointed out that she was being particularly whiny yesterday and she informed me that, "I'm not acting like myself mom." Seriously cracks me up. I am sure when he is a little more active she will like him more.

Monday, October 1, 2012

September 2012 in Review

September is such a busy month in our family. So many birthdays (Lizzy, my dad, my mom, Brandon, and Kailey) and all our life changes the month flew by. Thankfully we didn't add another birthday to the mix (the baby is still in my belly until Friday, more on that later). First we celebrated Elizabeth's birthday. It was very low key this year. Just our family, presents, and her choice of pink cupcakes. She was really proud that she turned 3 and enjoyed all the birthday attention. Some of her favorite gifts this year were a pink ballerina dress from Grandma Stoker, and pretend hair equipment that includes a hair dryer that turns on with batteries, a fake curling iron and straightener, and some fake lipstick. She has played beauty parlor with me nearly every day since she received the gift.

And she is finally on the road to being fully potty trained. She pees in the toilet nearly all the time but has yet to poop. I am hoping that will follow soon.

Jackson is really adjusting to preschool. His teachers are amazing, helping me every morning to make sure he feels safe and he rarely cries anymore when I drop him off. I hope it continues when the baby comes but you never know with new changes.

We have been doing our best to spend a lot of family time and enjoying the cooler weather. This last weekend we went to the children's museum Explora. The kids love it there and I am so thankful I have a membership because we can never see the whole thing in one trip. This time we focused on our favorite exhibits below like the PVC pipes and the air blowers. 
Elizabeth loves the cave that changes color, I think she would stay in there the whole time if I let her. I really enjoy watching them create a fort out of the PVC pipes. Jackson is such a thinker and loves trying to figure out a puzzle. I think he might be an engineer some day.
Then we went upstairs to check out the sound area. On the patio they have big satellite dishes that you can whisper in and talk to each other. The kids thought that was AMAZING! And then we played with the bubbles which I think is the highlight of the trip. Elizabeth was so excited that we found them, she came running up to me waving her arms and yelling in her sweet little voice, "we found them mom we found the bubbles."
It was a great day together and I think the kids actually learned a lot.

Yesterday we celebrated Brandon's 32nd birthday. The kids were so excited to help make the cake and put the candles on. They even sang Happy Birthday to him, I think it was the best present he could have asked for.

I am so grateful for my family. They keep me sane and support me, even when I am going through a tough time. This pregnancy has been a nightmare. Not because of my actually body or the baby but the doctor drama is really getting to me. I switched from my original doctor because I didn't like her bedside manner. The doctor that I switched to was amazing. Sweet, knowledgeable, and I felt like she actually cared about me and my health needs. Then she informed me 2 weeks before my due date that she was moving out of the state and I had to find a new doctor. After calling a few recommended doctors and not being able to get an appointment I finally found a doctor that I like and think will be a good fit for my situation. Everything was scheduled for my c-section (the second time I had to schedule it because I was originally scheduled with the doctor that left me). Babysitters all set up, work leave put in, and mom is flying in a few days after so she can help when I get home from the hospital. Then I get a call last week informing me that they have to push my surgery from Wednesday to Friday, just 2 days before my due date. Not to mention I didn't find out the actual time of the surgery until this morning when I asked the doctor at my weekly appointment (no call to inform me of a time before then). Next I am scheduled to go to the anesthesiologist for blood draws and she informs me that they can't use my blood samples because it has to be within 72 hours of the surgery.

 So many changes in such a little time period is not good for a pregnant women in her 39th week. Also my surgery is scheduled for 7:30am which means I need to be at the hospital by 5:30am and I was freaking out because I don't know who can watch my kids so early in the morning and how they are going to react when I am not there when they wake up. So I came home this morning and cried my eyes out. I think I had been holding all my frustrations and anxiety in for so long that I just exploded. Probably scared Brandon to death that something had happened but I just couldn't take the emotional drama any more.

Thankfully the ward is so amazing and has stepped up to offer to help us out. It is so hard being away from family in a situation like this. I am really nervous about the operation. I hope all these changes and inconsistencies are just business issues and not a reflection of the doctor's actual medical skills. I need Brandon in that operating room to help me through it, hold my hand, and make sure everything goes okay. Let's just pray I make it to Friday without going into labor before then. That is the last thing I need to go into labor and have more complications.

Here is a picture of me 5 days before delivery. I cannot wait to get rid of the big belly and meet our new addition.