Saturday, June 30, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Sanaa!!

Happy birthday Sanaa! It's hard to believe that you're turning 4 today. I'm sure I'll say that every year when your birthday rolls around. I still remember your birth and our hospital stay as if it was just yesterday. It was a very long day as we waited for you to be born, but the wait was well worth it! 

You can be very goofy at times and then very stubborn. You love to draw and color and play outside. You really enjoyed attending preschool this year and learned a lot. You are doing quite well at recognizing letters and numbers. Some days, when you're in a good mood, you even like to practice writing your letters. 

We have discovered that you are very similar to daddy in your personality which surprised both daddy and I. You really don't like attempting new things that you're not sure you can do. For example, you really wanted a bike for your birthday but now you don't want to ride it because you don't think you can. You also enjoy doing puzzles but get frustrated very easily if you can't get the pieces in the first time. 

We did sign you up for gymnastics a couple of weeks ago and you have been thriving in the class! It has been awesome watching you attempt the various activities your teacher asks you to do. I got to watch you do the bear crawl across the parallel bars all by yourself. You didn't even hesitate! 

You are such a joy to our family and I'm so thankful I get to be your mom.

You are a wonderful big sister to Layla and Malakai.

For your birthday this morning we put you to work by having you vacuum. You did ask to vacuum and of course we're not going to turn down any help. Overall, you are a wonderful helper and when I clean you want to be a part of it.

You also helped make the cinnamon rolls this morning. You enjoy putting the cinnamon-sugar mix on the inside and then help roll it up. Layla also got in on the action.

We love you a lot! Happy Birthday!

(Stay tuned for an interview with Sanaa. I plan to ask her the same questions I asked when she turned 3 plus some new ones. It should be interesting!)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Our little eater

We took Malakai in for his weight check this morning and he currently weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces. That's only 2 ounces shy of his birth weight! The lactation consultant was shocked and so were we. On Tuesday he weight 6 pounds 15 ounces so he gained a good amount over these past few days. The lactation consultant said that they give newborns two weeks to get back to their birth weight but with the way Malakai is eating he'll be at his birth weight in no time. Malakai is also sleeping better. Last night he was only up 3 times. Yay! I'm really surprised that just changing the position in which I nurse him has made such a huge difference in his weight gain and sleeping habits. 

This isn't the best picture but I caught Malakai with a small smile while he slept so I snapped a quick picture with my phone. I know the smile is probably due to gas or something but it sure is cute to see.

Layla needed to try out the bassinet. It's hard to believe that at one time she was as little as Malakai.

I have pictures of both girls sleeping in the bassinet when they were newborns so I took one of Malakai as well. He sure is tiny!

This is currently my favorite picture of the girls. Layla wanted to hold Sanaa and Sanaa let her.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One week old

Malakai is one week old today and it feels like it has been much longer that he has been with us. Part of that could be due to the fact that since last Thursday night Malakai has been sleeping very little at night. The first night (after he was born) was great. I had to actually wake him up to eat. But all the nights after that were not much fun. He was waking up every hour to hour and half. I had hoped that would change once my milk came in but that didn't seem to make much difference. I was plumb exhausted and not much use to Nate during the day so he was stuck taking care of the girls during the day while I tried to nap here and there. 

But everything changed yesterday. We had a follow up appointment with the lactation consultant and got some great information and tips. At first I was a bit discouraged because as I told the lady everything I was doing she gave me positive feed back and said I was doing everything right and that we might just have a baby that was a grazer and would be up a lot. Ugh. But then she suggested I try using the football hold when nursing Malakai. I tried this with Layla and didn't like it as much and Layla didn't like it either so I wasn't so sure it would help. But at the appointment I tried it with Malakai and he ate more during that feeding then he ever has. So yesterday and last night I used the football hold when feeding Malakai and he only woke up 4 times last night! He had been waking up at least 8 times during the night. He slept a good 2 1/2 hours between feedings and I feel like a new person after getting 2 hours of sleep in a row. 

We'll go back to the lactation consultant on Friday for a weight check and then next week he'll have his two week appointment. But so far Malakai is doing great. He had no jaundice unlike Sanaa and Layla who both had to be checked a couple of times to make sure their bilirubin levels were going down. Overall, this first week he has been a fairly mellow and laid back baby. Once he has food in his little belly he's quite content to hang out until he wants to sleep. He also seems to be more alert than our girls were at this age.

Wide awake and checking out the world. 

All bundled and ready to head home from the hospital. We left the hospital on a cloudy cool day. We're still waiting for summer to arrive here in NW!

A picture with all my kiddos. I'm not sure why Sanaa was holding up that book.

Once we were home Sanaa was ready to hold Malakai. She's been a wonderful big sister and very attentive. In fact when he started crying I told her he was probably hungry so she responded, "Mom you need to pull up your shirt and feed him now!" Oh my. I'm a little afraid of the things she may tell people.

Layla also loves to hold Malakai. Both girls love to help when he needs a diaper change. Diaper changes seem to be a family affair around here.

Layla gets very excited to see Malakai in the mornings. She yells, "Baby!" when I come out to the living room with him. The first morning we were home I heard both girls ask where the baby was when they came out of their room.

Sanaa watching tv and hanging out with her little brother.

This afternoon we finally gave Malakai his first bath at home. He needed it but I've been too tired to even think about doing it. Overall he was okay with the bath.

As for me, I'm doing well and seem to healing from this c-section a lot faster than the last two. Just 6 hours after the c-section the nurses had me up and around. Part of me thinks that may have helped in speeding up my recovery but I have no proof of that. With Sanaa and Layla I was in bed for at least the first day and it seems like I had more pain while recovering. Since being home I've tried to take it as easy as possible. While I feel pretty good I keep reminding myself that I did just have a c-section a week ago and I need to be careful.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meet Malakai

On June 20th shortly after 8am Malakai Daniel was born. He was 7 lbs, 5 oz and 20 inches long. Both Malakai and I are doing well. I'm not in as much pain as I expected after this c-section. The nurses had me up and about yesterday afternoon (roughly 6 hours after my c-section) which was a surprise since the last two times I've been stuck in bed for about 24 hours and then I was allowed up. 

Nate, Malakai, and I shortly after he was born.

Sanaa and Layla meeting their new brother.

Malakai meeting grandpa Lind while the girls looked on.

Grandma Lind and Layla checking out Malakai's hair.

Sanaa was more concerned about me being in a hospital bed than seeing her new brother.

Layla loves her new brother and desperately wanted to hold him. Sanaa said she didn't want to hold him and would wait until she was older.

Taking a snooze.

Aunt Karen and Malakai

Cousin Ariana meeting Malakai

While I'm doing well today, the first few hours right after the c-section I wasn't doing so hot. I had a lot of nausea and throwing up after I was wheeled out of the operating room and back to my room. The nurse and anesthesiologist were giving me everything they could think of to ease the nausea and stop the throwing up. Thankfully Malakai slept those first few hours and waited for me to feel better before waking up and attempting to eat.

The doctor told me that I should be released on Saturday. Yay! Then we get to begin the transition of becoming a family of 5. Since both girls responded so positively to Malakai, I think our transition will go quite well and I'll have 2 extra helpers that want to care for Malakai. In fact, when Sanaa first met her brother she asked if we could take him home now.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Final weekend as a family of 4

It is really hard to believe that this pregnancy is nearly over and that in less that 48 hours we'll be holding our son! I'm ready and not ready at the same time. I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore and feel more like my old self again but I'm not sure I'm ready for 3 kids that will be 4 years and younger. It should make for a very interesting summer and fall.

Nate had to work all weekend which was a bummer but was expected since starting tomorrow (Tuesday) he is taking off 4 weeks. Woohoo! It will pretty much wipe out his vacation time but it'll be awesome having Nate around for an entire month!

For Father's Day I made Nate an omelet (his favorite breakfast) and we gave him a couple gifts. Then he had to head to work. Later in the afternoon after Layla got up from her nap the girls and I drove over to my parents to eat dinner and celebrate Father's Day with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and little niece. My dad loves pies, so I made a strawberry-rhubarb pie and an apple pie. I had only planned to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie and use what I got from our garden but when Sanaa found out I was making a pie she started asking for an apple pie and wouldn't let it drop. Both pies were really good! Plus it was awesome making a pie using what I got from the garden! I can't wait to pick more berries from our garden and make another pie.

The girls enjoying some sun on Saturday.

Reading books. I had about 5-10 minutes of peace and quiet as both girls sat and looked through books. It was unbelievable and I loved it!

The girls helped set up the pack-n-play where Malakai will sleep for the first month or two. I left the room so I could vacuum real quick and once I was finished I discovered that the girls had found every single stuffed animal in the house and placed it in the pack-n-play. I guess Malakai won't have a spot to sleep after all!
(Caleb and Sarah... notice the big tiger you gave Sanaa? The girls play with it, sit on it, ride it, and carry it around the house all the time!)

This will most likely be the last post before Malakai is born. Tomorrow afternoon Nate and I will be taking the girls over to my parents house where they will stay until I'm released from the hospital. My c-section is schedule for 7:30am (PST) on Wednesday and typically takes about 30 minutes. So, if you think about us during that time feel free to say a prayer that everything goes smoothly and Malakai is a healthy baby. I don't have any worries but you really never know what will happen. Stay tuned for pictures!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pictures from our week

Only 5 more days until my c-section and I have a to-do list for each day as I wait. Today Nate was off so the to-do list had a little bit more on it than the days I'm home by myself with the girls. This was also Nate's last day off before his paternity leave begins. 

We got some big stuff accomplished and I'm quite happy with what we got done. A week or so ago we had some flooring put into the attic above the garage so today we moved a bunch of boxes, Christmas stuff, and suitcases into the attic. That cleared up a good amount of room in our garage and what is left feels a little more manageable to get through. I just might have our garage cleared out before we've lived here for a year! We'll see.

We also removed the girls car seats from the van, washed their car seat covers (they were nasty!), and vacuumed the van. I have been talking with Sanaa about how once Malakai is born she will have to start sitting in the back of the van. She decided that today was a good day to move her seat. So we did. Sanaa is now in the back seat and Layla and Malakai are in the middle.

Here are some random pictures from the past week.
The girls using their new binoculars to look for birds. The binoculars have also gone in the car with us a couple of times this week as we've run errands.

Playing dress up.

Sanaa took her hat off and said, "Yee-haw!"

Princess Sanaa.

One of the benefits of our new house in Oregon is the garden. I really need to take pictures of it and post them, but we have a small strawberry patch, a couple of rhubarb plants, a couple of raspberry bushes, and a couple of blueberry bushes. Plus lots of space for me to plant veggies. This year I only planted some bell pepper plants, tomato plants, lettuce, carrots, snap peas, and some herbs. Next year I'll probably plant more.

But this evening after dinner the girls and I went outside and picked some strawberries for the first time.  It is awesome picking free strawberries from our backyard! Layla had a bit of a hard time understanding that we don't pick green strawberries and when she picked the ripe ones she ate them. By Monday we'll have a lot more to pick as well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

38 weeks

This afternoon I had my final prenatal doctor's visit and since we don't plan to have any more children it was the final prenatal visit ever. I thought about calling ahead since the last two times I've arrived at my appointment I've had to reschedule but I got busy and then it was time to leave. The girls and I walked in to the appointment and the receptionist said, "Hi Rosa. Dr. Emmons is actually here today!"

We waited briefly in the waiting room and then the nurse came to get us. When the doctor came in the exam room she said hi and then said, "Guess what? I don't have any c-sections today!" She also apologized for having to cancel on me the last two times but no one can plan when they'll go into labor. Unless you're me apparently because it doesn't appear I'll be going into labor early. 

The visit went well and was routine. My blood pressure was good (Sanaa helped the nurse check my blood pressure) and Malakai's heart beat was in the 130's. He did wiggle and kick at the doctor again as she tried to listen to his heart beat. He's done that at every check up. I guess he really doesn't like to be poked at. 

The next time I see my doctor it'll be in the operating room as we get ready to meet our 3rd kiddo. This pregnancy has seemed to last forever but now that I have no more doctor's visits left it feels a little unreal knowing that in 8 days we'll become a family of 5. 

I think Sanaa is ready for this pregnancy to be over as well because the past few times we've gone to see the doctor she has asked, "Is the doctor going take the baby out today?"

The pictures below Nate took on Sunday when I began week 38. The second picture is blurry but I like how both girls are smiling.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The fish and rainbow cakes

These are the two cakes I made for the girls. I used one box of cake mix and baked two 8 inch circle cakes. For Layla's cake all I did was print off a fish template from the internet and laid that on top of one of the circle cakes and cut around it. I asked Sanaa what color we should make the fish and she said blue. I would have asked Layla, except the only color she can currently say is blue, so I guess it's good Sanaa picked a blue fish for her. After I iced the cake I let Sanaa help me decorate the cake with M&M's. We used rainbow colors so that the fish would tie in with Sanaa's cake. Layla was very excited about the M&M's and kept asking to eat more.

Sanaa asked for a rainbow cake this year. There are many ideas on the internet as to how to make a rainbow cake, but I wanted something small since I didn't want a lot left over. Sanaa's cake was definitely more time consuming than Layla's but Sanaa was very excited when she saw the finished outcome so it made the time I put into her cake very worth it. 

I used the second 8 inch round cake I baked, cut it in half and "glued" the two halves together with icing. Then I covered the cake with a crumb coat. Once the crumb coat was dry I attempted to lightly mark fairly even rows for the different rainbow colors. Then I began filling in the different colors. That took awhile since I was coloring both sides and had to mix the different colors. 

For the finishing touches I dumped marshmallows on either side for clouds and wrote her name on top. I've seen better clouds, but I was too tired and Sanaa has been asking to eat marshmallows a lot lately so I figured marshmallows would make good clouds.

Both girls loved their cakes! I always enjoy seeing their reactions when I make their birthday cakes. I also enjoy being able to make their cakes. I know these are no where near professional, but my girls love them and I'm hoping that in the future Sanaa (and even Layla) can help me make the cakes for each other. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sanaa and Layla's birthday party

This year we decided to hold one party for both girls and only invited my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, and little niece. I had thought about doing two separate parties for the girls but after thinking and talking it over it made more sense to keep things very small this year. 

From the beginning I wanted to make Layla a fish cake. She gets very excited when she sees a "Ishy." She'll even scribble on paper and show it to me and say, "Ishy!" I was hoping that Sanaa would also want some type of ocean theme but when I started talking to Sanaa about her birthday she first wanted a princess/ballerina cake and then changed her mind to a rainbow cake. She finally settled on a rainbow cake and then it was up to me to figure out how to combine a fish cake and rainbow cake. So I went with a rainbow theme and made the fish cake fit in.

We only did a little decorating by hanging streamers and balloons from our front window in the dining room. The girls loved the rainbow colors and when Sanaa saw it she gasped with excitement and said, "Wow mom! It's so beautiful!" 

Opening the presents was chaos. The girls pulled out one item and they were ready to play and forget about everything else. We told Sanaa that she had more items in her bag and she literally came over to the bag, lift an item out, said, "Oh wow!", and threw behind her on the floor. Then she returned to our back door to look for birds with her new binoculars. At one point I told her that she still had more to open and Sanaa responded by saying, "No mom. I need to look at birds right now." This made my dad proud! He is a birder. A week or so ago my dad and his brothers made a short trip to eastern Oregon for the sole purpose of bird watching, so it's really cute that Sanaa seems to be taking up this hobby.

Sanaa's big gift from us was a bike. She is a cautious child and has not asked for a bike until recently. We'll see how she does. Once we raised the seat on her bike, she got upset and kept saying she couldn't get on the bike. Then she got frustrated with not being able to pedal. She kept pushing the pedals backwards and braking instead of going forward.

Layla on the other hand thought Sanaa's new bike was awesome and hopped on up all by herself even though she couldn't reach the pedals. If the bike seat is at the lowest setting, Layla can reach the pedals, so a new bike for Layla may be in her near future. I had hoped that Layla would be fine with Sanaa's red tricycle, but I was very wrong. She wants nothing to do with the tricycle and desperately wants to ride Sanaa's bike. Layla is pretty much Sanaa's opposite and is not afraid to try anything new.

The girls also got a bunch of doll accessories and some plastic dolls that they can give a bath to. Layla immediately took all the clothes off the dolls and began potty training the doll. We'll see how quickly the doll learns.

Layla also tried out the small potty. 

I gave Sanaa some of my old ponies (My Little Pony) that I found in my parents attic. She is into watching My Little Pony and was very excited to see the ponies.

I'll do a separate post on the cakes but each girl had their own cake. Sanaa had a rainbow cake and I turned Layla's fish cake into a rainbow fish cake.

A shot of the girls, my parents, my brother, and sister-in-law eating some cake. My little niece wanted some to eat too, but she's not quite old enough.

The girls had a lot of fun and at least for this year having their party together worked out really well. I may not get away with doing this next year, but at least it worked out this year.