Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Christmas in pictures

A toy shotgun from Grandma and Grandpa Nichols:

Ollie staring at his Grandpa Reed:

Christmas Eve with the family:

Robot Christmas jammies:

Santa came!

Excited and ready to open presents!

Check out the loot!

Daddy got Buckyballs!

The boys:

Mommy got what she wanted!

Sean all wrapped up in the quilt I made him:

Oliver snuggled up to his Great Grandma Jacobs:

Tay and Aunt Kristi:

There's a first time for everything!

Cute couple!

Itty Bitty missed most of the excitement:

Taylor on the stick horse from Grandma Kaye:

We had a great holiday and hope you all did too!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just another day in paradise...

Today is my first day on my own with both kiddos. (Technically I was solo yesterday too, but I spent most of the day at my aunt's house, so it doesn't really count.)

It's been quite an adventurous day, to say the least. So far today I've been pooped on, peed on, and puked on. I've cleaned up the aforementioned messes and given the wee one a bath. I've thrown a Transformer across the room after stepping on it for the third time. I've transformed said Transformer at least 20 times, half of those times with only one hand since I was nursing at the same time. I've scrubbed Spaghettio's out of my carpet after a certain three-year-old had his lunch.

I sat the wee one on the floor in front of the Christmas tree to make myself some lunch, and when I came back in the living room he was asleep.

I feel like I've been going and going and going all morning, and yet my living room looks like it got hit by a tornado.

I'm tired and stinky and have a song from "Sid the Science Kid" stuck in my head.

And you know what?

I absolutely love my life and wouldn't want it any other way. It's a privilege taking care of these two little ones every day.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2 Week Check-up

Yesterday was Oliver's two week check-up and BOY was he upset about it. From the second the nurse brought us into the examination room he was screaming his head off and didn't stop until we left.

On the plus side though, he's doing great. He's already an inch longer than he was at birth, and he's gained almost a whole pound in just a week!

Here are his stats-
Weight: 8 lbs, 11 oz (48th %tile)
Height: 21 inches (62nd %tile)
Head: 14.3 inches (33rd %tile)

The doctor said he looked great and that his muscle tone is fantastic for a newborn. He can already hold up his head and neck for short periods of time and can roll onto his side (usually when I'm changing his diaper and he decides he doesn't want me to).

Oliver is just coming out of his first growth spurt, which I'm super excited about because nursing every hour was getting old really fast. Last night he actually slept 2-3 hours at a time, and Sean let me sleep in with the baby until 9:30, which was exactly what I needed.

Taylor is slowly starting to warm up to his baby brother and was asking the other day if he could hold him. As soon as I lay Oliver in his arms Taylor insists that he wants to hold his baby brother all day long. It's so adorable to see Tay hold Ollie; it just melts my heart.

I love both my boys so much (oh, and the older boy I'm married to). As tired as I am sometimes, I'd never give this up for anything.

Friday, December 17, 2010

First Bath

Yesterday Oliver's umbilical cord stump fell off, and all you mommies out there know what that means -

Bath time!

I was worried that Itty Bitty wouldn't like being naked in the water very much, but he LOVED it. As long as I kept pouring the warm water over his belly he was in heaven. It was so nice to get him all clean, and he was perfectly content until I started washing his hair. He's just like his big brother and hates having his hair wet.

It's so strange trying to get back into the swing of taking care of a newborn. They're just so tiny and delicate!

And this is completely unrelated to bath time, but it's so dang cute I just had to post it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Grandma to the rescue!

My mom is amazing.


She has spent this whole week at my house, helping me with the kiddos and letting me get some rest and recover. Because of her my house is spotless, my laundry is washed and put away, and I never have a single dirty dish in my sink. I'm so grateful for all she does for me and I have no idea how I'm going to handle flying solo next week.

I don't know of one single person aside from my mom who would use an entire week of vacation time to be someone's maid, but she does it happily. I'm guessing it has something to do with this little guy:

I love you, Mom!!

An Itty Bitty Photo Shoot

Sean and I have officially given Oliver the royal nickname

Sir Itty Bitty, King of the Poopers

Regal, isn't it?

Of course for short we just call him Itty Bitty, which I think suits him quite well.

Last night our Itty Bitty was wide awake and in a good mood, so I busted out the camera and took some cute shots of him.

I attempted to take some pictures of Big Brother as well, but he didn't want the camera in his face and kept sticking his fork up in front of the lens.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I love these two little munchkins so much.

Friday, December 10, 2010

One Week Old

Oliver is one week old today, and it's amazing to me how much can change in just seven days. One week ago today I was recovering from surgery and could barely hobble to the bathroom from my hospital bed. Today I'm up doing laundry, vacuuming, and was actually willing and able to wear makeup. I'm slowly starting to feel human again!

As for little Ollie, he's doing great. We took him in for his weight check and he was already almost back up to birth weight, which doesn't surprise me considering how well he eats. He's been such a champ at nursing and it still shocks me how easy it was this time around.

Nights are pretty rough sometimes. Some nights he'll sleep for two or three hours at a time, other nights he'll only sleep for 45 minutes and then want to eat again. Luckily Sean has been home all week to help me and keep me from having a breakdown when I'm exhausted and trying to stay awake to feed the baby.

Taylor loves his baby brother and thinks he's really cute, but gets frustrated when our attention is focused on Oliver. Sometimes Tay is super sweet and cooperative and helps whenever we ask, and other times he's an absolute monster and spends most of the day on time-out. I'm sure this is a difficult transition for him and we're trying to spend as much time as possible with him so he doesn't feel like he's been replaced.

I am so grateful for my family. I've been thinking lately about all Sean and I have been through and how much we've grown together, and I feel so lucky to be growing a family with him. Our boys are so amazing and so beautiful and I'm so thankful for every moment I have with them. Life is good.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Best Gift

The best gift that I ever got
Didn't really weigh a lot
It didn't have a ribbon 'round
And it sometimes made a terrible sound
The best of all it seems to me
It wasn't 'neath the Christmas tree
And yet, I guess I'd have to say
That it made all the other presents twice as gay
The best gift that I've ever known
I'd always wanted most to own
Yet in my dreams of sugar and spice
I never thought it could be so nice
The best gift that I'd ever get
Was sometimes dry and sometimes wet
Was usually pink but oftentimes red
As it lay so innocently in its bed
The best gift of the year to me
The one I hold most dear to me
A gift that simply drove me wild
Was a tiny new born child...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

Yesterday morning the doctors gave Ollie and I the go-ahead to leave the hospital. I was so excited to leave earlier than expected; it's nice being taken care of and having all your meals brought to you, but after a while being in a tiny hospital room and constantly being bothered by nurses drove me nuts.

As soon as my doctor gave me the green light, my staples were removed (the last unpleasant task of my stay), I signed the stack of discharge paperwork, and we got Oliver dressed in a soft and warm little gray jumpsuit. He looked like a floppy baby elephant and I couldn't stop peeking at him in the car seat while we got packed up to go. We had to put his socks on his hands because the second his little paws were free he was scratching at his face like crazy.

We drove up to our apartment just as my mom and Taylor were getting there as well, and Tay jumped up and down in excitement when he saw our car pull up. I started bawling because I missed my big boy so much and was so happy to finally be home. Once we got settled and I took a much needed shower I sunk into our comfy recliner and I've pretty much been living there since. I want so much to get up and be more productive, but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm recovering from a pretty big surgery and I need to allow myself to heal. The pain meds I'm on make me a zombie sometimes, and one second I'll be awake and alert, and the next I'm snoring.

Oliver has adjusted really well to being home. He sleeps right through Taylor's screams and laughs and roars, which I'm really grateful for because I don't want to spend all my time constantly asking Tay to be quiet.

Taylor really loves his baby brother, but sometimes has a hard time being patient if Sean and I are attending to Oliver. Last night he got really frustrated and said, "Mommy, my baby brother stinks. Can we hide him somewhere?" I'm sure the adjustment period will have it's ups and downs, but for the most part I think both boys are tolerating the other pretty well.

Ollie has continued to be an amazing eater and I've hardly had any problems with nursing. We'll have to take him into the pediatrician tomorrow for a weight check because he lost 11 ounces while we were in the hospital. Once my milk came in his weight started going up, but the doctor wants to make sure he's still gaining.

I am absolutely in love with my little boy. He is such a perfect little angel and I feel so lucky to be his mommy. I have so much to be grateful for. I have two sweet, healthy boys and the best husband in the world. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Oliver John Nichols

Our little Ollie arrived Friday, December 3rd, at 7:52 a.m. via scheduled c-section! He was 7 pounds, 15 ounces and 20 inches long.

It was so strange just strolling in to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning to have a baby, calmly checking in and being shown to our room. A handful of nurses came in and did all their pre-surgery procedures, asking a million questions and having me sign a stack of forms. Then came all the unpleasant necessities - the IV, epidural, and being prepped for surgery. Out of the three of those the IV was the worst; at one point I was in so much pain I almost passed out. Three times the anesthesiologist had to give me medication to raise my blood pressure so I wouldn't faint.

I got more and more nervous as the morning progressed, and by the time they wheeled me into the operating room all I could think about was how much I didn't want to go through with the surgery. My doctor was really nice and calmed me down a bit, as was the anesthesiologist who helped Sean when he nearly passed out while watching the procedure. Picture my 6'4" tall husband in a white jumpsuit sprawled out on the floor in the middle of the O.R. to keep himself from losing consciousness. I could not stop laughing. To his credit, Sean was going on almost no sleep and hardly had anything to eat that morning; he can usually watch things like that without it turning his stomach.

As I knew it would, all my fears and trepidations about the surgery flew out the window when I heard Oliver's first cry. The doctor held my little purple baby over the drape so I could get my first peek at him and I was instantly smitten. As soon as they had him cleaned Sean brought him to me. My first thought was, "I can't believe how tiny he is!" My second thought was, "He looks just like Taylor!" So many of his features resemble that of his big brother when he was first born.

I kissed Oliver on the head and then Sean went with him to the nursery while they finished with my surgery. I was then taken to my recovery room where I was able to rest for one long hour before I would be admitted to the Mother/Baby wing and get to hold my little one for the first time.

One thing I was so happy we did differently this time around was ask that no one be waiting at the hospital when Oliver was born. That way we had some time alone with him and could get settled and ready before anyone showed up. It was also a means for me to try to establish breastfeeding in a more calm environment. I've been amazed at how well Oliver has done with nursing; he took to it right away and we've hardly had any problems at all. In fact the only problem I've had is that at times he wants to nurse constantly. I'm so happy that things have gone so smoothly with him.

Recovery has been faster than I was expecting, but it's still been a process. The first night after Oliver was born I was on a Morphine drip which yielded some pretty hilarious results. Apparently when I'm on Morphine I drift in and out of consciousness and talk in my sleep. At one point I proclaimed very loudly and sternly, "Nobody cares about Norway!" I also rambled about being in the same time zone as someone else, and said something about not being able to kneel a certain way. At one point I woke up yelling, "Ow!" Sean asked what was wrong, afraid my incision was bothering me, to which I replied that I'd just been hit in the chin with a baseball. I was the comic relief of the evening, to say the least.

Being in the hospital for several days has been rough at times. I miss the comforts of home, being able to rest without constantly being interrupted with doctors and nurses, and above all I miss my Tay Bug. He comes up at least twice a day to visit, and he's always excited to see us and sad to leave. I'm not quite sure what he thinks of his baby brother yet; we'll have to see how he reacts when we bring Oliver home with us.

My sister came up on Friday and took the first photo of us as a family of four. I'll skip all the snarky things I could say about a certain woman in this photo who looks like she got hit by a train.

One of the things I absolutely love is when Oliver is wide awake and alert for a while. He's got such big beautiful eyes and the sweetest little face. I'm so in love with him!

We should be headed home either Monday evening or, more likely, Tuesday morning. I can't wait to get home and settled and spend some quality time with all three of my boys. I've still got quite a bit of recovering to do and I know I'll feel better just being in my own environment.

Thanks to everyone for the congratulatory emails, phone calls, texts, and visits. We love you all!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ready or not...

Tomorrow morning I will officially be a mommy of two, and the date of December 3rd will forever have a much bigger significance to me than it ever has.

It's so strange knowing in advance the exact day your child will be born. It's nice in some ways and more stressful in others. I know I'll hardly get any sleep tonight; in fact I haven't slept well for the past week. It's nice being able to be totally prepared though. We've got a sitter set up for Taylor, our bags packed, infant car seat installed. We're as ready as we possibly can be, although as most parents know, there's nothing that can really prepare you for a baby.

I'm so excited to meet my little man. I want to know what he looks like, what he sounds like. I want to know if he looks like his big brother. I want to hold him and get to know him (though I feel like I've bonded with him for months now). I'm excited to introduce my boys to each other and to see how Taylor reacts to his baby brother. I can't wait to see my husband hold an infant again. There's something about seeing your husband hold your baby in his big strong arms that makes you fall in love with him all over again.

Motherhood is such a strange thing. It's the hardest, most stressful job on the face of the planet, and at times I wonder why on earth anyone would choose parenthood. But then there are so many moments when you realize that you'd never be this happy doing anything else. I love being Taylor's mommy, and I know I'll love being Oliver's mommy too.

For those of you wanting updates while we're in the hospital this weekend, I will have a laptop and we'll be updating this blog with pictures and info about our new little man. Thanks to all of you who have supported me through this pregnancy. I love you all. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Decorations

I don't normally put up holiday decorations before Thanksgiving, but I decided to make and exception and put them up a week early this year just in case I went into labor.

One of the things I love most about having our own home is being able to decorate for the holidays. There's something about surrounding myself with festive decorations that really lifts my mood at this time of year.

Here's our tree this year. Each year we let Taylor pick out his own Christmas ornament, something that relates to his interests at the time.

Here's the one he picked this year, which I think pretty adequately sums up his personality:

Here is Oliver's first ornament. I get a little choked up every time I see it.

I'm so excited to have four stockings this year; it really makes it feel like this will be our first Christmas as a complete family.

Don't you love this cute advent calendar? I got it at Target for $2.50! I'm thinking about buying little mini candy bars to put in each pouch. It'll give Taylor an added little treat each time we move to the next day on the calendar.

Taylor and I made a paper chain this year that drapes all the way around our living room. This is a tradition we did as kids with my mom and I'm so excited to do it each year with my own kids.

I hope you're all enjoying this great time of year! Oh, and I'll be sending out Christmas cards as soon as we get pictures of the new addition. :)