Thursday, July 14, 2016

The first 6 weeks with Stella home (June & July)

In the days since we have brought Stella home and we have been a family of 4, we have been super busy!  Alex and I really wanted to make a point to keep life fun and exciting for Nolan and try to make the transition as easy as possible.  That means going out and about and to the fun events we used to take him to.

When we got home, we gave Nolan one of his big brother presents he didnt yet open at the hospital.  It was one of Mommy's Usborne Books, The New Baby.  We said, "Look Noley!  A book about babies for Noley!"  He took it and set it on Stella.  Awwww sharing.

The day we got home from the hospital was also Max's (my baby brother) graduation party. Stella was born on his graduation day so I wanted to be sure to congratulate him at his party.  We got home from the hospital, put Nolan and Stella down for a nap, took a nap ourselves, made the graduation card, and headed to the party.  I wore Stella in the Moby and she slept the whole time.

The following day, was Sunday at Cheesefest.  It is free to get in and the kids can go on the rides and to the petting zoo. Alex worked during it last year and I took him.  He had a blast last year so I wanted to give Alex the chance to take Nolan this year.  So we packed up the family of 4 for the first time and went!  Nolan had a blast!  The double stroller made her maiden voyage!  We have some learning on how to best get the stroller into the car, but we are all learning together!

Monday we went to the doctor for Stella's Weight Check (6lbs 13oz up 2 oz from leaving the hospital).  We then went to visit Great Grandpa.  Daddy is getting good at holding 2!
Wednesday was the first day Nolan even really acknowledged his sister, and then he was just about the sweetest brother ever!!

Wednesday also brought newborn/family photos!  Thank you EllieFay Photography & Design!

 Wednesday was also mommy's first day home with both kids.  Alex worked 2-10 so really it was only a couple of hours.  It went really well! I even got them sleeping at the same time so I could study up on Usborne Educational Consultant (so I can host book fairs, and sell to schools & libraries).

Thursday morning at 2am I woke with some pretty intense cramping in my lower abdomen that was all but gone since Stella was born.  It was rather uncomfortable so I was not able to go back to sleep.  After trying for a while, I woke Alex and told him I was really worried.  He got up, I called my mom, and we had my mom come over to sleep on our couch so Nolan could stay home and we would take Stella with us to the ER.  We were in the ER 2am-6:30 and after suffering through an ultrasound, a vaginal ultrasound, a pelvic exam, and blood work it was decided I was to go home and take tylenol for the pain.  There wasnt really anything wrong that they could see based on all the tests.  We were walking out, literally in the hallway, when someone stopped us to say our Doctor (my OB) called back and wanted us to wait. We went back in our room only to find out he was concerned that I was at a higher risk of a uterine infection-endometritis due to the extra bleeding I had after birth.  That being said, I was put on a vigorous round of 3 antibiotics one of which was a painful injection in my hip muscle, I was told they weren't sure I could nurse on these antibiotics.  I would need to consult my pediatrician and ask about what to supplement.  THAT is when I lost it.   I am not one to care how other people feed their child as long as they are feeding their child....but nursing is SUPER important to me.  I sobbed and sobbed.  We finally left at 8am.  Alex went to work, he had no more paid leave, and Alex's dad came and got Nolan so I could sleep.  I woke when Stella woke, fed her, and then we both went back to sleep.  I hadn't taken my meds yet because Alex was bringing them home from work so I was still nursing and then pumping after to try and have some to give her instead of formula.

Friday, I called the pediatrician and asked about supplementing and such.  They needed to call me back.  I gave bottles alternating between formula and pumped milk.  I packed both kids up and went for a walk down our road and to some rummage sales.  The doctor finally called back and we found out I WAS able to nurse on my meds!  No more supplementing needed (but good news, Stella takes a bottle of both formula and breastmilk if needed)!  I was ecstatic!  Now it was time for Alex's class reunion!

Alex was class president so it was up to him to plan (with the rest of the
team) the class reunion.  I really wanted to go with him so we dropped Nolan off with my mom and took Stella with us.  There were severe storm watches and far north of us there were tornado warnings, but they did not come as far south as us.  Stella and I were having a good time, but at 8 I was tired and ready to go home.  That was a busy day for us!  So I kissed Alex goodbye and was walking to my car when the tornado siren started going off.  I am in the middle of a park with an 8 day old baby.  Crap.  So I turn around and go back with Alex to the kitchen/shelter in the park.  I call home and Nolan was
already in bed, but he was not asleep yet.  They were monitoring the weather.  Then our neighbor calls and says there was a funnel cloud spotted 5 minutes away and to get in the basement now. I told her I was at the park, but I was going to call my mom to get in the basement at home.  She already was.  Nolan was happy playing with all the school toys I had brought home from my classroom but hadn't had a chance to put away yet. About then, Stella  needed to nurse.  So there I sat in the middle of a tornado warning, at Alex's 10 year reunion, nursing Stella on the floor of the park shelter.  One for the memory books.  Half an hour later, weather service gave us the all clear and I went home.

Saturday was a scorcher with a heat index of above 100*.  We decided to beat the heat before it got at its worse by going to the splash park.  Nolan loved it and Stella did really well.  I planned on wearing her in the Moby, but we forgot it in my car.  We ALWAYS take my car to events, but we took Alex's because it had all the soda in the back from the reunion.  I didnt think of that and the Moby and the stroller were both in my car so I had to hold Stella.  Thank goodness my new CoverMe Poncho came in.  It is super light weight and it worked great to cover us and to be used as a nursing cover.  It worked great to cover her carseat as well!  This thing is awesome!  Afterwards, we went to a brat fry.  Nolan is such a big boy eating hot dog like a big boy!  This kid makes my heart swell with pride and makes me feel like I am doing a great job after all!

Sunday we decided to take a day trip up to the cottage.  It was a lot of fun! We made a list of all the things we forgot to put on our list for our long camping trips, but we made it!  Stella slept almost the whole time under her CoverMe Poncho again.  It lets the air in but it keeps the sun off.  Mommy is all about this multi-use thing!

To get your own CoverMe Poncho, click HERE

On Monday, Stella asked Brynn and Scott to be her Godparents.  They said yes, and we are super excited for baptism at the end of July!

Our friends, the Wundrows, were moving this weekend so we had a pool party and did art projects for father's day!

We celebrated Father's day with a photoshoot for daddy!  Daddy was working so we went to Grandpa Gloudemans' with out him...but sent him photos while we were there!

Both kids like to be touching me.  I am not going to lie, I love the cuddles!

Our morning routine consists of Stella wakes at about 5:30 to eat, but goes back to sleep.  Nolan gets up around 6:30 and comes in and watches Mickey until Stella wakes up.  Then sometimes we just cuddle!
Taking the kids for walks is fun!  Nolan loves going in his wagon and Stella LOVES being in the carrier.
It was a Wednesday night and Alex was working like normal.  It was 9:00 and Stella woke up and vomited everywhere.  I am not talking spit up, but real vomit.  It was crazy. It was everywhere.  I threw the bouncy seat cover, all the blankets, etc in the laundry, and was just sitting back down to rock her when Nolan woke up crying. I went to check him and he had thrown up all over the crib.  He was burning up too.  I covered the floor in towels and put him on it and was rocking both of them.  It was then he threw up again.  I threw the dirty towel in the crib on the dirty sheets, put a new towel down, put Stella in her crib, and discovered Nolan had thrown up again.  I got Nolan to watch the iPad on his Mickey couch and I began clean up.  I threw those towels in the crib, put Nolan on new towels, threw everything in the laundry, took Nolan's temp (101), gave Nolan tylenol, and went back to rock Nolan.  I got Nolan to sleep and went to check Stella who had fallen asleep in her crib.  Both kids were sleeping and I was making our bed when Alex got home.  Mom win.  Turns out, the fever lasted another day and then was followed up with the joyous Hand, Foot, Mouth for Nolan.  I am pretty sure Stella avoided most of it due to nursing, but poor Nolan was left to fend for himself.  Poor guy had blisters for days.  They got pretty bad.  They are just going away 3 weeks later.

When Stella was feeling better, I caught her being quite strong during her tummy time!  She was lifting her head and even going up in a plank like position.  She was done planking by tape time, but super proud of this baby girl!

With everyone feeling better, we went to Chickenfest!  Nolan loved the train. Stella was a trooper in the carrier and we saw the chicken too!  The next day, we went to the farmers market and left in time to go to the Chickenfest parade. 

Following Chickenfest, we went home to get ready for our anniversary date!  Alex and I celebrated 5 wonderful years of marriage!  Cannot believe how lucky I am and all we have done/accomplished in our 5 years of marriage.  Grandma and Grandpa Gloudemans came over to watch the kids and we went to dinner at Pullmans and then mini-golfing.  I got a hole in one on the last hole and won us a free round of mini-golf next time!  It was really nice to have some time to talk to have some fun, and to get out, but after 3 hours this mama was ready to get home to her baby (and I forgot my pump).  Stella is a mama's girl so she was very ready for mom to be home when we got there!  

Alex got me the beautiful anniversary band to go with my wedding set for our anniversary.  It is so beautiful and I am beyond grateful for this marriage and everything that this set represents!
I officially became the stereotypical stay at home mom this day.  I put on my "cute leggings," debated a Starbucks (line was to long and I already had coffee), and baby wore through Target.  Things were going great and we were in the check out line when Stella decided that waiting to eat until we got home was NOT an option.  So I got out of line, scurried over to the cafe, turned Nolan so I could reach him, loosened by Ergo, put on my cover and started nursing and feeding Nolan snacks.  We were going about naming the colored tiles on the wall when a mother walked up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and thanked me for nursing in public.  Today, I was a stay at home mom and I loved it!

Stella is sharing some of her first smiles!

Construction has begun on the 2 houses across the street and Nolan is in pure heaven.  He spends a majority of our morning cuddles in the window watching now!

Nolan is watching what mommy and daddy do and talking more and more. Here he is learning how to shoot the hose water by putting his finger over it and then says "water flowers" and then watering them!

Stella had her 3 week cardio check up!  She is doing very well.  She gained a pound since her 2 week check up (8 days before!) and she is a pound over birth weight.  Everything sounded good but because of the hole in her heart they cannot clear her until 6 months when they can see better on an echo.  She was a cheerful little girl during the appointment though!

 We went to Mascot day at Memorial Park in Oshkosh. After the Easter bunny incident of 2016 ;) and then the chicken at chickenfest, we weren't sure if this would be his dream day or his really could go either way. We decided to try it anyway.  He had a blast! He gave high fives to everyone, hugged Minnie, tried a s'more from hu-hot, and LOVED riding the train!

Just being adorable being siblings!

1 Month Old 

Likes: Mommy's milk, warm baths, mommy, smiling, and laying and staying at the sky/lights 
Dislikes: Other people holding me when she is awake, being hungry, being over tired 
Sleep: typically 1 long nap in the AM and 1 in the PM catnaps in between.  Bed around 8 with Nolan, feed and change her at 10 when we go to sleep. Wakes about 3/4AM to eat. Wakes 6:30 to eat, sleeps until about 8. 
Eat: nurses about every 2 hours unless sleeping.  Nurses 6-8 minutes on one side (alternating sides for feedings).

** The quilt was made by my 2x great grandmother, Stella.  My Great Grandma, Granny, was so very special to me and her middle name was after her mother, Stella.  Since we didn't love the name Illene, but we did like Granny's middle name, Stella.  That is when we decided that Stella would be a perfect name for our little girl.  We thought it would be so sweet to take her monthly photos on the quilt of her namesake! **

Stella also celebrated her first holiday, Fourth of July! We spent the holiday at the two cabins so for the first time ever I took a holiday photo not on the holiday!  It had to come at some point right--may as well come at second kids first holiday! Haha at least it wasn't late!

 Sunday was Festivus (for the rest of us) at the Vanden Heuvel cottage!   Water fun, food, and family!

 haha we tried

Once the festivities ended on Sunday, we headed over to my parents cottage at Pelican Lake, another hour and 20 minutes north.  We arrived at bed time and spend 2 more days up there!  Can't say Nolan loves being woken up for fireworks,  loud fireworks, and sparkles are a little scary to!  Maybe next year!

The Kid's Tree
we bought this tree when Nolan was born and we want to take our kids pictures by it every year to watch them all grow together!  Stella by the tree, then Nolan with Stella by the tree!
hahaha Nolan cracks me up!  What does a piggy say?

We were home for a whole 3 days after 4th of July and we went back up!

We all fit!  2 rear facing kids, 2 dogs, and 3 days worth of stuff!
We went on our first mommy group/play date today!  Stella is 6 weeks and Nolan 22 months.  We went to a park and it was really fun! I am really excited to get to know these moms better and to be busy with my kids while home with them!  Also it turns out Nolan knows how to do way more than I knew he did on the playground! He was climbing ladders, climbing on skinny tall things, going off on his own but coming back to check in, helping mommy, and then falling asleep in the car and not moving when I got him in bed!

Daddy was leaving for the races with Grandpa ( you can hear Nolan incessantly saying bye in the background) and Stella was fussy so I was doing the bicycle with her legs...and she laughed!  This is the end of it and not nearly as good as I heard her do but its only half as funny when you do it with one leg and tape with the other!

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