Friday, March 30, 2012

Our Baby's Cuter Than Your Baby

Ben says the cutest things to and about his baby brother I had to write them down before I forget them.
Almost daily he proclaims "our baby is the cutest, isn't he."
And when out in public if he sees another baby he will say, and I must mention very loudly, "our baby is cuter."
Yesterday while nursing Jackson, Ben came in the room, kissed him on the forehead and said "oh, I just love you so much."
Whenever I'm changing Jackson's clothes Ben will say "he's just so cute when he's naked."

It's not all love and compliments though.  A few days ago Jackson was screaming pretty loudly and Ben said while pressing his hands tightly to his ears, "I just can't handle baby Jacky right now!"  Hahaha.  The love/dislike (I would never say hate) relationship begins already.

Monday, March 26, 2012

One Month

Considering Jackson turned two months old yesterday, I better get caught up and post about his first month of life.  At one month my sweet little baby seemed much older than he was for a few reasons.  Since you were born, Jackson, you had a maturity about you looks wise.  Your daddy said you didn't look like an infant and many others said the same thing.  Your eyes were wide open from your first moments of life and you have always been very alert since then.  You also have been very strong since you were born  You were holding your head up all by yourself very quickly (unlike your big brother who was so floppy for the longest time).  You could even hold your head up on your tummy when you were maybe a week old.  You even flipped yourself over from your tummy to your back at about two weeks.  Your sleeping habits are that of a much older baby.  At least in my experience with your big brother.  You have been an amazing sleeper since day one.  And by one month you were sleeping at least five to six hour stretches at night.  Nursing has been going well with you and you drink from the bottle effortlessly.  You have a major spitting up problem however, which I will elaborate more on on your two month update.  You have the most wonderful demeanor about you, much like your big brother.  I still can't believe that I have been blessed with two mild mannered babies.  You only cry when you are hungry and when you're hungry you scream.  One loud scream after another until you get what you want: food.  Other than that you are a happy, content, quiet little baby.  You don't even seem to be bothered by the three-year-old in the house who is always getting in your face and smothering you with hugs and kisses (he loves you so much).  You were born with lots of hair and so far you've kept it all.  It sticks straight up in the air, especially when its freshly clean from a bath, and you look like a baby chick.  You loved baths since your first one and even took to showers well; water in your face and all.  Our nicknames we have for you so far include Jacky, Jacky Jack Jack, I call you Honey Bear sometimes, and brother calls you a cutie patootie.  You are such a joy Jackson.  I took these photos of you on your one month birthday.  At the time I told Ben it was your one month birthday and since then he's been saying that you are one, as in one year, which I've tried to correct him many times but to no avail.  It's hard for him to understand how anyone can be zero I guess!
He was done with the photo shoot by this time. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm One Lucky Girl

I don't know why it takes holidays to make us reflect on certain things that we should be focusing on all the time, but it just does.  Thanksgiving reminds us of what we are grateful for, Valentines Day reminds us to show those we love just how much we love them.  Similar to Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's day got me thinking about just what a lucky girl I am.  I am lucky that . . .
My family is healthy (despite the fact that poor little Jackson has a cold right now).
My children are thriving: developing, growing, and learning.
My husband has a great job with wonderful benefits that allows me to stay at home with our children.
I live in a beautiful, comfortable home in a friendly neighborhood in a safe community.
My body is finally recovered from childbirth and feeling better and stronger everyday as I have gone back to the gym.
I have people in my life that I can count on or call on in a moments notice if I ever needed anything.
My children have many great role models in their life and people to teach them things that perhaps I cannot.
And I could go on and on.  Unfortunately more often than not I don't always focus all my energy on counting all the things that make me oh so lucky.  I need to get better at that.  Because when I write it all down it's so clear and evident that I have much to be grateful for.
Happy St. Paddys Day to you.  Hope you can find the things in your life that make you in your own unique way feel like one lucky little leprechaun. : )
My wee little leprechaun

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Birth Story

I realized that I better not procrastinate journaling down some of the details from Jackson's birth before they become foggy.  And they will become foggy.  Heavenly Father designed the female brain that way so that we will continue to reproduce. : ) So here it is . . .
It was early Wednesday morning, almost exactly 3 am when I awoke completely soaked.  It was as if a faucet was turned on inside of me.  ANd for some reason instead of having the clear thought that it was my water breaking, I panicked.  I yelled at James to turn on the light because something was coming out of me.  I guess I was just resolved to the fact that I wasn't going to go into labor and that I would be delivering this baby via repeat c-section, which was scheduled for February 1st (they wouldn't allow me to be induced so if I didn't go into labor by then, that's how it was going to go down).  Thus my first thought was that blood was pouring out of me and I was panicked.  But once we confirmed that the fluid was in fact clear, I was filled with excitement.  I immediately jumped up and started getting ready.  Because of my previous c-section I was told to come into the hospital sooner than if I had not had a previous c-section (i.e. when contractions are about six to seven minutes apart, or if my water broke).  Only problem with getting ready was my water bag would NOT stop leaking for several minutes.  But alas it subsided and James and I were very quickly out the door, leaving Ben at home sleeping with his Uncle Jeff in the room next to him.
By the time we got to the hospital and were checked in I started to get very mild contractions.  They told me they would give it six hours and then start me on a light pitocin drip if I hadn't made progress by then.  Once I was settled into my room, James went home to get Ben ready for and off to preschool.  I waited until about 8 am to call my parents.  By 9 am my contractions weren't intensifying so they started me on the pitocin, I think I was dilated to a two at this point.  I immediately started to feel the contractions increase in intensity and frequency.  I "hummed" my way through each one as I sat in my hospital room alone, praying for someone familiar to walk through the door soon, when finally my mom got there.  James arrived back shortly after with little bro-in-law, Jeff in tote.  My first though was I don't think this sixteen-year-old wants anything to do with this scene.  I let it slide for a while because things weren't so bad yet.  But as soon as the pain was causing me to moan and groan out loud, I pulled James close and said please get this kid out of here. : )  Which I'm sure he had no objections to that request.  My sister and new niece, Ashlynn (then six-weeks-old) had arrived too by then and I was so grateful to have my mom and sister there.  I seriously couldn't have gotten through it with out them.  My husband was a bit of a deer caught in the headlights when it came to the laboring part of the process.  I finally just had to grab him and hold on tight to get through the contractions as they had really began to hurt.  I can't really described the pain.  I know some people refer to it as intense cramping.  More like your body ripping apart from the inside.  It was in my back, it was in my abdomen, it was everywhere.  I really thought that I could be tough.  I thought that I could get through it on my own.  I was a bit disappointed when I realized that that wasn't ring to happen.  I was not prepared.  I mean completely unprepared.  I didn't participate in any classes and I had hardly read anything about pain management techniques, etc. so it was really no surprise.  I remember telling my mom in the midst of a bad contraction, "I didn't think it would be like this."  Which she responded to laughing, "what did you think it was going to be like?"  I also remember at this point James saying softly to me, "what's the point of not having the epidural?"  And at that time I had no answer and asked for one.
Aaahhh, sweet relief.  And then a nap.  I slept pretty comfortably from about noon until maybe around 4.  James asked me how I was going to know if things were progressing or getting close (they didn't want to check my progress often because my water broke and it increase the chance of infection every time they check.)  I had the nurse explain to him about the pressure I would feel as the baby's head descended.  Not much longer after that the pressure that I had been feeling for a little while had suddenly become much greater.  I told James to go get the nurse, which he did but he was skeptical that they could "do" anything for me.  Silly men. : ) Sure enough I was fully dilated and we were ready to have this baby.  James immediately called my mom to tell her and my sister that it was time.  Right away the pushing was tough business.  I could feel each contraction enough to know when it was time to push and then would get three good pushes in per contraction.  It became very hard for me to catch my breath in between contractions, so they handed me an oxygen mask, which was wonderful.  It was at the pushing part where James really became a tremendous help to me.  While my mom and sister stayed close to my face and fed me ice chips upon request and encouraged me, James kept his eye on the prize and rooted me on like it was a sporting event.  Which was surprisingly very motivating.  I could hear the excitement level in his voice increase when I was making could progress and it gave me the extra boost to give it my best effort.  In total I pushed for about an hour and fifteen minutes.  Again James' voice was priceless as our baby's head came into his view and I was filled with adrenaline as I gave my last push and suddenly our child was no longer in my belly, but on it.  Then James did what he was completely set against before- he cut our baby's cord.  It was nothing I was going to force him into or make him feel guilty for not wanting to do, but I think this is an important thing for dad's.  It gives them a physical connection to the birth of their child, and I was just so glad that James got to experience it.
Jackson Thomas Greene was born on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:11 pm.  He weighed a very healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces and was 21.25 inches long.  I am so grateful that I was able to experience child birth with him and wouldn't change it for a repeat c-section for anything.  I just wanted to be able to do what my body was designed by Heavenly inspiration to do.  I realized that I was just so blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to carry this child inside of me, as many are not so lucky.  But it was a nightly prayer of mine that Heavenly Father would let me experience the miracle of labor, and it was an experience I will always cherish.  I love you Jackson and so glad that you are all mine, forever!  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Park Day

Yesterday when driving Ben to preschool in the morning he asked if we could go to the park later?  Being that it was already nearly 70 degrees at 9:30 in the morning, I agreed that a park day would be a wonderful idea.  I packed up a picnic lunch and we headed straight there after school.  It was so warm outside that it honestly felt like summer almost.  And the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom.  I enjoyed getting some good shots with my new camera (Happy Birthday to me-- I got a Cannon Rebel and love it)!

After a while Ben wanted to play in the sandbox and a nice lady overheard him and offered him some of their sand toys to play with.  He spent the last half hour or so that we were there playing in the sand with a group of kids and chatting away to the lady, who was one of the children's grandmothers.  I just sat there listening to him and thinking about how much preschool has changed him.  He is so social now and I'm just so proud.  It also cracks me up how much he gravitates towards adults.  He was mostly conversing with the grandma, over the children.  So funny.  And I was so proud of him when he said goodbye to her and thanked her for letting him use the toys.
We ended our day at the always classic Foster Freeze for ice cream cones.  Loving this warm March weather and hope it lasts.  Yesterday has me really itching for hot days.  Swimming is sounding nice. : )

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jackson's Baby Blessing

While I have so much updating that I need to do, I wanted to blog about this most special day while it is still fresh in my head.  This morning in front of many members of our family James gave Jackson a beautiful baby blessing.  He was perfectly quiet and still through the whole thing and I felt the spirit so strongly.  Then both James and myself bore our testimonies.  I spoke about how becoming a parent for the second time has reminded me just how scary it is being a parent.  How much as parents we worry for our children's safety, happiness, and well being-- seemingly constantly.  And that made me think about how Heavenly Father must feel about all of His children here on earth.  It made me want to commit to more thoroughly living my life in such a way to minimize His worry for me.  To give Him some peace knowing that I will make it back to Him again.  And I want to teach and raise my children in such a way that they don't cause Him too much worry.  And James spoke about how it dawned on him today that a small prayer he said while on his mission serving in an Ann Arbor married ward; surrounded by cute young families, asking for a cute family for himself one day- has indeed been answered.
Beautiful flowers from Nana Lin and Papa Mike. 
The dessert spread with photos taken by my friend, Wendy 
My beautiful niece, Ashlynn! 
Jackson and GG 
Bentley 2008 
Jackson in the same blessing outfit  
After Sacrament we headed to the house and enjoyed some wonderful time with both sides of the family.  Then we had some amazing families over from the ward.  They have all been so wonderful, supportive, and helpful since Jackson's birth that I wanted to have them over to enjoy this day with us and to thank them for all that they have done for our family.  It was such a beautiful day with sunny weather to match and Jackson was an amazing boy.  We love him so much and he has brought more peace and love into this house than I could have imagined.  There has been no added stress, just more peace, honestly.  He is a really good baby and he actually brings out the best in Ben, who absolutely adores his baby brother.  My heart could almost burst seeing them together and how much Ben loves him and constantly wants to be with him.

The Reilly Family 
The Flashberger Family 
The Greene Family 
Meeting Uncle Jay