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Blogging vs. The Bachelorette

Almost one year has passed since my last post (again).  Sure makes time fly by, doesn’t it?  In all honesty, when evening arrives and all three kids are sleeping, I have two choices: relax on the couch and indulge in an entire bag of popcorn while watching The Bachelorette or blog.  Obviously, it’s pretty clear where my priorities are. 😉

Quick update of the past 10 months:

  • Camryn Elisabeth Ruth was born December 1, 2013 (10 days before her due date, just like her sister)
    I am planning on writing her water birth story sometime soon!
  • Kaden turned 5 years old and had a Hot Wheels themed party.  He also graduated preschool!
  • Irelyn turned 2 years old and had an Elmo themed party.
  • Camryn is now 6 1/2 months and we’ve started baby led weaning.  I’ll write about that later.

Besides having a new baby, life has been normal over this past year.  I’ll try to write more regularly.  Probably after this season of The Bachelorette is over.

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MIA

The past few weeks have been a little crazy (which is why I haven’t posted in well over a month…)!  I have tons of pictures I could post, but it’s 6:55am right now, the kids and hubby are sleeping and I’m trying to enjoy every last second before the little monsters wake up…so I’ll do a little updating now and a picture post later. 🙂

Here are some things that have happened in the past month:

  • Zach’s Welcome Home party (I forgot the camera…but I do have one picture below!)
  • My family reunion (I forgot the camera for this, too)
  • Zach’s family reunion will be this Saturday (I’ll try to remember the camera this time!)
  • We’ve started cloth diapering almost full time (I haven’t found the right inserts to try a cloth diaper at night yet)
  • Irelyn had her 4 month appointment (she was 14 lb 9 oz, 25 inches long and is growing perfectly!)
  • Made it to 5 months of exclusive breastfeeding 🙂 (I tried some dairy a couple of weeks ago to see if she’s still sensitive to it…she is.)
  • Kaden spent a week at his dad’s house while Zach & I were house-sitting for my aunt
  • Irelyn learned to roll from back to belly (she’s been going from belly to back), has been learning to sit and has attempted to crawl twice!
  • Zach went to Columbus this past Tuesday to take his exam for the Ohio State Highway Patrol (he passed!) We should know if he got accepted into the academy in a few weeks 🙂
  • Irelyn had her 1st taste of solid food [this morning! – video below]

We are trying baby led weaning with Irelyn.  Basically, we’ll be skipping cereal & purees, starting with simple foods such as avocado, bananas, peaches, broccoli, etc and allowing her to feed herself.  The idea behind it is that she’ll learn to chew before swallowing (which will help her to only ingest solids as she is actually ready for them), it is supposed to help her be less picky towards the texture (with a 3 year old that would only eat mac-n-cheese and popsicles if I let him, I love this), plus I don’t have to spend time pureeing and storing foods for her, she’ll just eat what we eat!

We tried avocado today.  She was so excited when we put it on the tray and she licked it for a few minutes – I don’t think she actually managed to swallow any though.

Obviously, Kaden was narrating the entire event…I’ll only bore you with a little over a minute of it. [please ignore my messy house]

And here is the one and only picture I have from Zach’s party.

I’ll post more pictures as soon as I have some “free” time to edit them! 🙂

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Day 18 – Transition to Crib (and some AWESOME news!!)

Okay, good news first:  ZACH IS BACK IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!!!! For the first time in 5 months, I feel like I can finally relax knowing he’s not in a war zone.  The reason he is home early is because he needs surgery on his shoulder.  So, even though he’s back in the US, he probably won’t be home with us for another couple of months.  But within the next month, we will be driving to wherever he is to see him 🙂  Waiting a little longer for him to be at home with us will be a breeze compared to waiting all these months that he’s been in Afghanistan.

Transitioning Irelyn to her crib…this has been interesting.  Since she was born, we have co-slept.  I have one of these cute little “snuggle nests” and she sleeps about 6″ away from me in our bed.  She has always been a wonderful sleeper – after surviving the first couple weeks of nursing around the clock, she wakes up once or twice a night to nurse, I lay her back down and she drifts off to sleep.  I love having her right next to me during the night (because I can easily check on her anytime and because I hate sleeping alone).  I co-slept with Kaden for at least a few hours of the night until he was 7 months old and loved it.

So, here are the reasons I’m trying to transition her to her crib.
1.  She’s starting to get too big for the snuggle nest.  She wiggles around and can scoot down to the middle of it, which makes me nervous because I don’t want her roll off the bed.
2.
 She’s getting to big for her swaddle blanket.  I want to move her to her crib while she’s still swaddled, so she can get use to the new bed before changing anything else.
3.  Zach will be home soon.  We have a queen size bed and regardless of what the picture on the website shows, the little bed takes up more space than you’d think.  Since my husband has been gone all but 8 weeks of our year long marriage and we’ve spent most of it with an entire ocean between us, he’s gonna have a hard time keeping me from hugging him all day, let alone at night (which I can’t do if our daughter is sleeping in the middle and we’re both hanging off the edges of the bed). 🙂

Now for our progress so far.  I really don’t know because apparently I’m incapable of leaving her in her bed long enough to find out.  Here’s my one…and only attempt:  I put her in her crib at 10:20pm (same time I usually lay down with her for the night and she sleeps til 4am), I didn’t check on her til 10:40pm (still sleeping peacefully), made myself sit in the living room til 11:15 (she hadn’t made a peep), I tried to go to sleep (failed miserably) and got her out of bed at 11:45pm (we were both happily sleeping next to each other by midnight).  I keep telling myself “tonight will be the night I try again”.  Never happens.  I can actually convince myself during the day that I will go to bed without her and even go so far as to getting her room ready for bedtime.  Then it starts getting dark outside. And 10pm comes, I nurse her and we happily lie down in my bed and are asleep within minutes.  Why ruin a good thing, right?

I will move her to her crib.  Eventually.  Soon.  While I was trying to go to sleep that one night without her, in my attempt to rationalize why I should just give up, I realized I have never slept away from her since she was born (& for 9 months before that if you wanna get technical).  She’s been away from me for a total of 2 hours (it took 3 separate occasions to total 2 hours) and has had 4 bottles (totaling 3 ounces of milk – I’ll have to post the video of her attempting to drink a bottle, she’s clueless).  Needless to say, we both I may have a slight separation issue.  This is actually new to me, I went back to work full time when Kaden was 5 weeks old and I spent a night away from him when he was 7 months.  At this rate, I don’t think  Irelyn will be away from me for more than dinner & a movie with the hubby by the time she’s 7 months.  Oh well…I still have a little time before Zach comes home to work on this. 🙂

She also rolled from her tummy to her back for the first time tonight!  I was practically touching her when she rolled and I missed it because I was reaching for something.  Here she is with her favorite toy.

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7 Weeks!

I’m obviously not very good at being a mother of 2 AND blogging.  That may or may not improve once being a wife finally becomes more than a couple hour a day job.  By the time I take care of both kids throughout the day and they are in bed for the night (or for a few hours in Irelyn’s case), I don’t have the motivation to make my brain work hard enough to write.  Anything I did write by that time probably wouldn’t make sense anyway.  I’ve got some exciting news though…we actually have a pretty good idea of when Zach will be home!  I can’t post much on here, but we are definitely getting closer now…and our paper chain is getting shorter 🙂

Unfortunately, time seems to go so much slower the closer we get to the end of this deployment – and pacing the hall with a fussy baby and staring at family pictures definitely doesn’t help much.  But, we’re finally getting close enough that we can actually start to make plans for after he’s home and I can clean/organize and there’s a slight chance I won’t have to re-do it before he gets here. 🙂

Irelyn is 7 weeks old today!

She’s grown so much and is starting to show her personality (& her temper from her daddy…).  She’s very happy and smiley in the mornings and likes to scream and cry from 6pm-8pm every night.  Thankfully, she limits the screaming to the daytime and only wakes up a few times per night to eat.
Here are a few things I’ve learned about Irelyn’s personality so far:
1.   She’s stubborn and strong willed.  And she definitely isn’t afraid to let the entire world know when she’s unhappy.
2.  She loves to be talked to…and hates having to sit and entertain herself for more than a minute or two
3.  I never have to wonder what kind of mood she’s in.  When she’s upset, it’s like her world is ending.  But, when she’s happy, she’s absolutely adorable and makes every frustrating minute more than worth it.
4.  She HATES her carseat.  The second I put her in it she screams and she could literally go on for hours.  She’s not one of those babies you drive around the block in the middle of the night if they won’t stop crying.
5.  She’s has a pretty good combination of mine and her Daddy’s personalities…so, she’s perfect 🙂
6.  There’s more, but she’s waking up and will probably be ready to scream by the time I click “publish”.

Her two month appointment is on May 16th, so I’ll update her weight and length on my next post (hopefully I’ll get around to that sooner than this one).  Kaden lovesbeing a big brother.  He tells me multiple times each day that he likes having a sister and that he “loves Iiiire-wyn”.  Kaden is definitely one of Irelyn’s favorite people, all it takes is for him to talk to her and she’s smiling and talking.  There’s just one thingdoesn’t like about Irelyn…

Even when she’s crying he’s still pretty sweet (for the first few minutes at least).  He usually gives her her paci, tries to hold it in her mouth (whether she wants it or not) or tells her that he can’t hear the TV and to please be quiet.  When none of those options work, he covers his ears and whines – this makes 6pm-8pm a very stressful couple of hours and would be the reason my brain is too fried to try to blog after they’re both sleeping like angels.

Well, it’s time for me to get Kaden in bed for his nap before Irelyn wakes up and thinks she’s starving.  I’ll put more pictures in my next post!

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Irelyn’s Birth Story

She’s [finally] here!  Irelyn Kay was born on March 16, 2012 at 2:02pm.  Since I wrote Kaden’s birth story 3 years ago, I thought I’d do the same for her. Thankfully, Zach wasn’t busy and we were able to Skype during my entire labor and delivery!  We’d planned on waiting until after Irelyn was here, but I’m so happy we got to experience it together.

At 7:30am on March 16th my aunt Heidi, Kaden and I went to my doctor for her to strip my membranes [to see if that would be enough to get things moving while she was available for my water birth].   We found out that I was 4-5cm dilated, she stripped my membranes, then told me she’d send me to the hospital and break my water later that day if I wanted…well duh!  So, I was very thankful that I had actually gotten everything packed and loaded into the truck before my appointment, just in case.  Heidi went with me to get checked into labor & delivery, then took Kaden to my other aunt’s house for the day.

Zach’s sister, Tavia, came up to the hospital and walked the short U-shaped hallway with me for an hour – at this point, I was having contractions about every 3-5 minutes, but nothing very painful.  At 10:00am my doctor called to let the nurses know she’d be up in an hour to break my water.  My stepmom and doula both arrived at 10:30am and at 11:10am there was no turning back!  After having my water broken things picked up quickly [I was 5cm at this time].  By 12:00pm I was contracting every 2 minutes and had to hang on to the rail in the hallway to get through them.  Around 1:00pm I felt like I was in enough pain to get into the tub.  My goal was to make it to transition (7cm) before getting in the tub, then I was hoping the water would be enough to help me handle the pain til it was too late for an epidural.  Before getting in the water I asked the nurse to check me – 7-8cm and 90% effaced!

I got in the water [which helped tremendously!], it helped me to work through the pain and definitely helped Irelyn to get into position faster.  After about 40 minutes in the water I started to feel some pressure, so I had to get out of the tub and wait in bed to be checked…the contractions were just about unbearable by this point, but I was at 9cm and 100% effaced!  This is when I found out the my doctor was currently in surgery.  I wasn’t able to get back in the water – the nurses said I was too relaxed and only the doctor can deliver the baby in the tub.  So, with the help of my doula and my stepmom helping me to stay calm during the worst contractions, I tried to hold out for the other doctor in the practice to get there.  I don’t remember much from this stage of labor besides a lot of breathing and pain!  The doctor arrived just in time and I was finally able to start pushing.  Of course, technology decided to start failing us at the most important part of the day – Skype kept losing the call [yes, while I was pushing] and everyone kept yelling at me to stop until Zach was able to see again lol.  So, after 3 pushes, Irelyn was here!

Having her on my chest, knowing Zach watched the birth & heard her first cry and knowing that I was strong enough to do it without any drugs was the best feeling in the world.  The nurse [who actually doubted I’d be able to have a natural birth at the beginning of the day] kept saying she couldn’t believe that I’d even had an epidural with my son! 🙂

My doctors & family were absolutely amazing throughout the day.  Without everyone’s support, there’s no way I could have done it.  After Irelyn was born, they immediately put her on my chest, covered us with a blanket and didn’t even cut the cord until it stopped pulsating (and Irelyn’s “Duh” (Heidi) got to cut her cord!).  Irelyn spent the next hour nursing while I talked to Zach.  She didn’t leave me for the first hour and a half of her life – we didn’t even find out her weight/length until she was almost 4 hours old! She has a full head of hair and looks almost exactly like her daddy – all she got from me are her lips, chin & toes.

Irelyn Kay Sully
7 lb 10 oz
20 1/2 inches
March 16, 2012
2:02pm – or 10:32pm where her daddy is at 🙂

I’m so thankful the labor was short (5 hours total and only 2 hours of hard labor) and everything went well.  The past week has been great, the only thing that could make it better is if Zach was home with us.  We’ve been able to Skype every day and it’s amazing how she recognizes his voice – as soon as he starts talking, she tries to open her eyes to find him.  I’ve had a lot of help from Heidi and my parents this week and am almost feeling normal again.  Just one more week and Kaden will be back home with us and will get to see his baby sister more – then I’ll post pictures of them together.

Here are a couple pictures of Irelyn this week and I’ll post again in a week or so!