Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chill baby

Oh my Dexy boy whenever I see this picture I just laugh but it perfectly captures you.
Happy chill baby.
You don't cry, you occasionally squawk.
You have been so easy to take places.
You don't love you car seat, but love your baby sling.
And as long as your laying next to me, you'll sleep endlessly.

This chair constitutes your safe chair in our house.
It got placed on the kitchen island the day you came home as the only place big brother couldn't reach or gain access to you and it remains there today.
It's lovely because I can cook, do dishes, eat meals all with you happily lounging at eye level.
Then when you get sick of the chair, I put you in the sling which you really just can't help but fall asleep in :)

This is on your one month birthday.
Well, to be honest the day after cause I wasn't paying attention to the days.
Man 2 kids does that... but you still looked the same the next day :)
Your one month birthday also constituted my first weekend alone with you two boys.
Dad went off to New York and I had the real 2 kids test.
Can I just say how wonderful you are?
You anticipate difficult situations as a mom, calculate how you'll handle this or that, but there is always the unknown variable (hunger, poopy diaper, no reason crying). I was anticipating 2 difficult situations for this weekend. Bedtime and Church. You my son, did great and rarely have an unknown variable. You happily lay by brother while we put him to bed, and you lovingly slept all 3 hours of church. 
It was after this weekend I feel like I officially got my mother of two wings.
You are so easy going. With you we can go and do just about anything.

I tried weighing you at the grocery store (despite all the sticky fruit remnants on the scale) and it seemed to think you were just about 10 pounds. 10 scrumptious pounds.
No smiles by one month but you sure make up for it in your sweet demeanor.
You eat fantastically, but it is a well known rule for me that vertical positions immediately after eating are a bad idea. 
You will spit just about everything back up, promptly. 
Otherwise all that milk stays put.

I still kiss this fuzzy head all the day long.
Happy one month birthday bug! 

Mother's Day 2012

There are so many pictures in this post, but it was just one of those days that goes down in the books as one of the happiest and I simply have something important to say about so much.
So here it goes.
Holidays are always new thing for us. Being away from family you make your own traditions and we keep trying to figure out what ours might be. What I wanted to do for Mother's Day weekend was spend time with my family. All four of us.
Nate picked the activity, so up to the fish farm we went.
It was a gorgeous summer day, you know the kind you get in May and you can just taste the real summer just around the corner. It was a long and beautiful drive in Northern California. Which means we got the mountains and vineyards and sometimes both on our drive. Nate managed to go the wrong way both on the way there and the way back but we were just enjoying our day so much we laughed about it. The fish farm was intimate an almost our own and really, Brig's sense of wonder at everything we did takes the cake for making a day wonderful.

We packed lunches and a blanket and camped out underneath a big pine.

Dad had a few dollars and got us a couple of ice cold sodas from the vending machine to share.
That constituted about the first 45 minutes of our visit.

I am loving Brig's stage in life right now. 
He is old enough to wonder and do things on his own and finally listens when we tell him he can't do something. Which makes pictures like this where mom and dad our lounging on the blanket while Brig roams. 

 Then Nate and Brig fished.
Nate gave Brig the pole.

Brig took the pole

 Brig caught a fish on the pole.
then.... he quickly dropped the pole and wouldn't let Nate give it to him again.
After the first fish said pole was used by Brig for prodding the very big frogs on the edges.

Brig wouldn't come closer than this to Nate while the fish was alive

Then Nate killed it and our favorite story of the day occurred.
After smashing the fishes head with plyers Nate took the fish to the water to rinse him off. Brig followed the whole while following Nate saying "He's sad" (a phrase he picked up the day brother got home) Nate's response to him was "No buddy, he's not sad, he's dead" 
Then we both started laughing.
One of those parenting moments where you go... probably a better way to say that but that's the truth.

Happy and unsure fishermen.

This bug slept. The whole outing.
After 5 hours I made Nate stop at a gas station so I could wake him up and change and feed him.
Like I've said. He's so easy!

Brig hated the fish when they were laying around, but once they got gutted and put on ice he carried those goods like the spoils they were.

 Me and this one on my mother's day weekend.

While Dad was cleaning out fish I took this one up on the hill and taught him how to roll down it.

He loved it, but if I didn't get him started he would do the funniest side roll, that wasn't rolling, the he totally thought was rolling.

I just couldn't help but laugh.

Oh how I love being a mother.
The best thing about this day was that I experienced all these fun things with Brig, you know first time type things, and I can't even say how lucky I feel that I get to do first timers all over again with Dex!
So please Dex, wait and let me teach you how to roll down a hill. 
I want to be the one to see that silly joy on your face.

*on a more historic note Mother's day marked my official entrance back into the world. We went to church, I resumed church callings, and now we are 4. For some reason going to church marks for me when I am ready to be back to normal.

Friday, June 29, 2012

2 Weeks of Bliss: part II

Part II of the blissful weeks goes to Nate's parents.
Can I just say I love having another family?
That I love being a Clark?
I joke with Nate that at this point his family is the biggest plus about being married to him.
 My parents left on a Saturday, Jon & Cass and Jayson & Julianne came up Saturday night, and Sunday?
 Coleen and JayDee arrived.
They both stayed in our home, which is a rarity, and though I am sure it wasn't as comfortable as other accommodations may have been (Jaydee trying out his inflatable mattress & sleeping bag in my living room ha!)
They pampered and spoiled us (new porch swing, new baby cloths, and new dressy for mom)
They took Brig on outings everyday to give me some time to my self
Indulged Brig in any treat or activity he would like (after two weeks of this he puked in his sleep after day 2!)
Coleen made the most fantastic meals out of what I had in my fridge (A rare gift indeed!)
And we all watched a movie or Bill O'Reilly together every night

And of course we did the Grammy routine
- Get that baby asleep and hand him off to Grammy
- Let Brig watch a movie at bedtime so she could get her snuggles in
- And most of that done in her lovely after 5:00 wardrobe :)
But I really love this picture because it is so Grammy.
Sleeping baby, and her hand on their head.

And this man?
Sure love him!
And he only holds babies in his left arm due to the non-working right bicep these days ;)
He was wonderful. Such a trooper for hanging out at my house most days. All day. He took Brig on long walks, did the grocery shopping and was there to get along.
He taught Brig a new trick as well the "pull me up". So dang cute when Papa puts out his hands and Brig tries to pull him up.

My boys have two sets of beyond wonderful grandparents who truly love them and their parents
And although I know in the world of in-laws it can turn into a compare this, compare that kind of game. There is nothing to compare with my family. They both love in such different ways that is unique to them and it makes their relationship with my kids so very unique and special. It is amazing to see Brig recognize this already. And for me?
I feel so lucky and blessed. And so thankful to have had 2 weeks with our family.
Cause our family is wonderful.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2 weeks of bliss: part I

Looking back on this whole Dex birthing affair it was difficult horrible end of pregnancy, crazy not-paige birth, then I had 2 weeks of absolute bliss. 

Part one goes to this favorite mom.

She got on the plan first thing after Dex was born. He wasn't alive 13 hours before he met his Nannie and here is him meeting her.
I posted this on Instagram and Kennan keyed it
"All is right in the world now that Mom is there"
and it was.

I love these pictures I snapped on the last day my momma and daddy were here.
When Brig and Dex look at these eons down the road they will be able to see for themselves how much Papa mike and Nannie love them. That my friends is something priceless.

(Brig, I loved Nannie's underdogs too when I was little)

My mom just knows what to do.
She cooks, she cleans, she does baby whispering and child rearing, and treats her own daughter like a princess. I really feel like I cheated getting my momma here with me for a whole 8 days. I am so sorry Brooke that I took her after only 48 hours, but I hope you know I did not take one of those days for granted and will always look back on this time as blissful.
My Brig loves that Nannie and really was quite the Nannie sponge.
If there were three things a Brig would take away from the Nannie stay it would be:
1. "are you kidding me" said after one crashes trains, and with an iron fist
2. The Nannie builds a mean track. Really though, it's a skill.
AND lastly, maybe most importantly
3. Accidents Happen. The birth of Brig's favorite roundhouse tune and *orchestrated play
*more on this later

My daddy came to retrieve the Nannie and stayed 2 nights.
Although the dynamic completely changes with his presence, I am so glad he came and met my boy.
He was a great train mate and Ipad sharer as well.
That makes Brig happy.

The best part of the blissful week was that Brig got to know and love his grandparents better and I only had to worry about one delicious little baby.
Don't get me wrong, that Nannie got her Dex time.
Night 4 to be specific, he would settle for no one but her and wound up spending most the night sleeping with her. A lovely break for both Mom and Dad.
And her pancakes? Deliciously crispy just like I had them as a kid and I think we had them 5 out of the 8 mornings she was there. yum.

And my Dad, he was on good behavior and really played lots with Brig.
This picture? I keep telling my parents how old they are :) I mean they are getting old but I say it endearingly and kind of in a surprising way because I know they are old but I see glimpse in them like this all the time where it could be my 19 year old silly Dad sitting in a rocking chair. I will always see their young hearts.

Oh momma, thank you for the greatest baby gift you could every give a daughter. I will cherish this time forever and yes I do recognize how incredibly spoiled and selfish the whole affair was, but OH! it was wonderful.

Friday, June 8, 2012

little bug

 Am I being so unfair because I am not documenting how much I love my Dex?
I feel like I am so let me introduce my little bug.

I call him my bug. 
Short for snuggle bug.
He loves putting his arms in this position, all snugly and secure.
It melts me. I try to swaddle him in this favored position but usually his arms break free and that never makes a little bug happy. 
He loves a warm body, particularly his momma's warm body, any warm body will do but I know I am the preferred :)
Because he loves a warm body, he hardly leaves my side.
I would say 90% of our time together is spent laying down snuggling, next to my warm body.
It lulls him to sleep hungry, poopy, doesn't matter laying next to his momma will put him right back to sleep. I have to be careful of this.
I was always to nervous to have Brig co-sleep with us and for some reason felt like I needed to get my infant into a serious schedule and habits right from the get go. Then I read somewhere that you can't spoil infants (0-3 months). It's the 3 month mark that they become babies and start needing routine. I am   taking that philosophy this time around. If Dex wants to be held, by goll it would be my pleasure! If Dex would prefer sleeping next to me versus 1 foot away from me, by goll come on over Dex! If Dex would rather ride around the store/the park/the house in momma's sling well, he just weighs about 10 pounds and what's that to the 30+ I was carrying being pregnant? So you see, I am indulging every whim I can with him because A) I know how fast this goes now! and B) There definitely are those times he just gets to cry when I'm taking care of the rest of life (i.e. brother, driving in the car, making dinner, etc).

The next thing about Dex? 
He's just velvety
I think you can see it in this picture.
Brig was bald Dex has hair, and it is strawberry blondey velvety delicious.
And it grows on his ears and arms.
It all make this bug very snugly.

I love his cow-licks on the back of his head.
I thought they would go away after a couple weeks. 
They're still there :)
He also has very goopy eyes which I hate! 
It is so sad, but the Dr says it just clogged tear ducts and it can last till about 12 months :(

He is perfect.
He is an angel baby.
He is a good baby.
I kept telling myself Heavenly Father had to give me an angel baby this time around, half joking of course, but he did. He hardly cries, he eats more like every 3-4 hours, sleeps well enough, has better bladder control than Brig, and really just fits perfect.

AND now for his two week stats which coincide with these pictures:
Height: 19.5 in (the are terrible measurers) 
Weight: 7 lbs 13.5 oz
Head: 34.5 cm

He was well, not quite to birth weight, but well.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

brotherly love

It is amazing how innate it was for Brig to have an affinity for this baby brother. I'm sure every parent anxiously awaits the introduction. In the hospital it took Brig about 3 minutes to show his affinity.
In that 3 minutes he came in, saw mom, showed me his train, glanced at the baby, tried to head out into the hall, drove his train along the window-sill then Nannie unwrapped little brother and Brig was sold. On the toes to be specific. 
Since then he has also been come to be known as the brother assassin.
A happy, I love my brother assassin; but a brother assassin.

I loved his immediate concern for the baby. With the arrival of the baby he learned a new phrase "he's sad" and was very concerned when he was sad. At 6 weeks, he sleeps through the "he's sad" moments but he did have them! He was ecstatic when baby got in the car with us to come home and loves when brother sits on him to watch shows. He keeps trying to figure out how to play with brother, which is why he is a brother assassin. His ideas include:
-vigorously shaking baby's arm
-trying to snuggle with baby by rolling on him
-taking baby's binkie
-playing "this little piggy" with very little toes and very hard tickles
 -kissing brother on the mouth cause who doesn't love that rooting reflex?
-trying to give brother underdogs in his swing
-trying to climb in the crib with brother
-removing any shoes, socks, hat, or mittens from baby
-pointing out body parts, such as eyes, with poking
-mimicking "charlie bit my finger"

I think those are good highlights of his assassination attempts

But he genuinely loves this baby and baby is never far from his mind.
If I don't have baby with me within a few minutes Brig is asking "where's baby?"
And when we're leaving, he always checks if baby is coming along
  (it's really disconcerting to Brig when I put Dex in the sling at the store, he can't see him and thinks I'v left him in the car)
Oh Briggy, I knew there was a reason while I was pregnant I kept saying to you "Just hold on, I'm trying to get a brother here for you"

Being pregnant is hard

these are my thoughts that I really want to remember. 
That being said it may read like a sob story.
You've been warned.

Being a mother is my favorite thing I have found on earth. Bottom line. I knew after Brig I wanted more babies. We we're lucky enough to get pregnant this time when we wanted to. I have always wanted my babies close. In my opinion siblings are the greatest gift we can give our children and I l-o-v-e being only 16 months apart from Brooke. It has shaped me, and most the time I like me.
Having said all that, I can not believe how incredibly hard this pregnancy was. This coming from someone who has text book pregnancies too. Two years apart for kids sounded perfect but being pregnant with a under 2 year old kicked my butt. I never once worried I wouldn't be able to share my love with another child or wondered if the timing was right for another child. What plagued me constantly was that having another child was a sacrifice of the quality of my mothering to Brig. I couldn't help feel like Brig was who was suffering. 
I was tired all the time. By 30 weeks I didn't feel like I could move. Even before that I would let anyone haul Brig for me if they offered. I kept telling myself that I needed to save up all my "free pass" cards for when the baby got here and I would really need them. So I tried to soldier on as best I could. 
There were a few circumstances that made things a little shaky for me in the end. In December I got called as the Young Women's president of our ward. I love the calling and accepted willingly but that and being a wife and mother was hard and nothing is worse to me then feeling like I am doing a bad job. I can't tell you how many times I told Nate I was sorry I was just sucking at life. But really, I was. Lots of TV for Brig, orneriness to the people I serve with, no dinner being made, messy house, Nate doing all the child rearing in our home etc. etc.
And Brig.... Oh how I love that boy but ohhh how he wouldn't listen. The problem with a just under 2-er is that they are capable and independent but really bad listeners. Brig wanted to walk and do everything himself but if he was approaching something dangerous  (i.e. the road) he wouldn't listen at all. Discipline was futile. I reached an all time low about 37 weeks when I got stuck 5 houses away from home. I let him take his little racer car on a walk down the street. The problem was, when it was time to turn back and go home Brig thought otherwise. He wanted to chase the cat into the neighbors house. Here I am huge and pregnant and not able to chase him and carry him home plus the racer, him not caring if I walk away, a street between us and home, and I just broke down. Cried my eyes out on the street. We did eventually make it safely home, but I think I will remember that for always. 
Bottom line, this pregnancy I felt like I was doing a bad job at everything. 
Then I had that awful experience with the deliver.
Them it was all over.
I got the most beautiful perfect baby.
And he is so much easier outside my tummy. Life is so much easier not being pregnant.
Hindsight? Those free passes were needed weeks before I had a baby.

Now that I am un-pregnant I just want to say.
Being pregnant is HARD!

But how soon I know I will forget it all for this!