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Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

Fuss Face

My affectionate term for Jameson when he was being cranky was “fuss face” and I found myself using that for Coraline this week as well. I am pretty sure we went three or four days without a proper nap, with eyes closed at 15 or 30 minute intervals followed by crying and more crying. And the times she did sleep, I held my breath and felt my face muscles tense, listening for the monitor.

It was pretty much awful, and I am not sure whether Jameson did quite that much crying since we could stop him up with a pacifier. Which Coraline continues to refuse. Seriously, I was desperate and the evenings those days were nearly in tears by the time she went to sleep.

On the other hand, she is sleeping 8-9 hours at night before needing to eat, and doesn’t require any popping back in of pacifiers to fall back asleep. The swaddle never worked that well on Jameson and it had nearly been removed at this point. For Coraline, I think we will swaddle her until she can roll over, so I expect to get another couple months out of it. Is this the price I pay for good night’s rest, a sleepless baby during the day? Thankfully, since Monday she finally has had some good nap time in and is cheerful most of the day again. Here’s hoping we have gotten past the peak of fussiness or whatever was causing such angst in her!

There were a few times that she was friendly during our fussy period, and I worked on capturing them. I will do my best to forget the rest!

Friday night, my brother flew in to experience all the fun, and she got to meet him, the last of my immediate family. He came bearing gifts from Disney, so I now have a cute Minnie Mouse dress to put her in later this summer. I just need some ears…

I didn’t make him change any diapers or hold her for too long, but he was happy to help keep her happy swaddled in her swing after lunch on Sunday.

On Monday, Jameson woke up with crusted eyes and one swollen and red. I knew immediately that he had pink eye, so I spent the day with both of them, dreading her and lack of naps, and Jameson in a whiny mood. I was so very lucky in that she turned around her behavior and was great for me all day, napping first for an hour in the morning and then in her stroller for about three hours in the afternoon while I occupied Jameson outside. We went on a walk with his tricycle in the lead, and the rode around in the wagon on our street while she napped.

Brian had a birthday surprise for me waiting when I got in my car to go to the doctors (which she also slept through!): a new bluetooth stereo installed in my car! Already paired to my phone for easy Pandora streaming. I was so excited, it didn’t even matter when Coraline screamed the whole way home and Jameson couldn’t reach his orange juice sippy.

Monday night was Coraline’s first night sleeping in the crib. On a few occasions she has napped there, and it is very similar to the flat pack and play mattress, so I didn’t expect to have any difficulties except to get used to listening for the monitor again rather than her next to me.

Tuesday was my birthday,  and he stayed home again with us. Though he wasn’t nearly as good as he had been for me on Monday, it wasn’t so awful. I don’t think I am cut out to be a stay at home mom of young children, which I will try to remember when I go back to work in 5 more weeks because I know that I will feel differently when it comes down to it.

We had both children in bed and asleep by 7:30 on my birthday, and I indulged in two glasses of Brian’s homemade apple wine. I wandered around the beautiful outside with Brian while he finished laying our mulch, and then we went in, had a cupcake (or two, in my case), and watched a couple shows. Coraline slept until 4, as has been consistent the past few nights, but I have found when she finally wakes on her own it does take a while for her to go back to sleep. I was back in bed by 5:15 and up again at 6:45 with her, so the last half wasn’t nearly as pleasant (though it wasn’t my birthday anymore, so I suppose she knew that!).

Coraline seems to be in the process of finding her hands, and doing a lot more smiling now that we are past the fussy period. I love her chubby little cheeks and big wide mouthed smiles!

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Coraline Genevieve joined our family on Wednesday 3/13/13 (isn’t that a fun birthday?!) at 11:12 pm (also fun: 11:12 on the 13th).

Monday was my last day working in the office, and I worked from home both Tuesday and Wednesday prior to her arrival. Signs of labor were there, but relatively minimal.

Tuesday, we went to the hospital and were sent home due to “false labor” around 11 pm. Looking back now, it was not false labor, simply early labor! I was having regular contractions that were 5 minutes apart, but they weren’t strong enough. After walking around the hospital for an hour or so, they finally told us to go home and told us to return when my contractions were such that I couldn’t talk through them.

Our instructions from the doctor were simply contractions that were 5 minutes apart, so I was obviously disappointed and upset that there were actually additional requirements to these contractions! I felt ready to have this baby, and anxious for her arrival. Not to mention the mild embarrassment (unwarranted, but there nonetheless) by having to return home and relieve Brian’s parents from watching Jameson.

Overnight, my contractions reduced and were no longer regular. However, another sign of labor occurred on Wednesday that left me feeling that it would be in the next couple days at the latest. So when contractions started up again regular, at 4 minutes apart on Wednesday evening, we still spent quite a bit of time debating about heading back to the hospital.

The contractions were still mild, albeit slightly (just slightly) stronger than they were the day prior. While I was still able to talk and walk through them without any difficulty, we were nervous about making it in time to hospital since it’s 30 minutes away, so we decided it was best to go.

Off we went! We even debated in the car about calling the doctor in advance to let them know we were coming again. However, midway through the ride, with about 15 minutes to go, I felt the strangest sensation that was either the head dropping drastically, or my water breaking.

Immediately after that, my contractions went from mild and barely noticeable to exactly the type the hospital had warned about. They were intense, hard to talk through, and were coming faster and faster very quickly. Brian went ahead and called the doctor’s office and left a message with the answering service.

Within the half hour drive, my contractions went from 4 minutes apart to about 2. Still feeling like there was enough time, though I was in severe pain, Brian parked the car and wheeled me back to labor and delivery himself where we waited precious minutes for the nurse to come out and assess me.

By the time I was wheeled back for assessment prior to even being admitted, I was unable to do much of anything for myself. I barely got into the bed from the wheel chair and couldn’t undress myself. I ended up delivering in the hospital gown, but my shirt lay crunched up behind me.

I have very distinct memories of what I said and did during this time, but it’s funny how quickly the pain memory recedes. I remember asking (nay, pleading) for the epidural several times during assessing, wishing they could give it to me immediately. They told me I was at 5-6 cm dilated, and my thought was that that was impossible because the pain I was feeling should surely put me at a 7 or 8! Little did we know that within 10 minutes, I would be completely dilated.

The pain continued without pause, which must’ve been my transition period. They began wheeling me back to the delivery room, wherein I told them I was hot several times over and over, and then suddenly told them I needed to poop. Yep. I said it a few times, as it seems during delivery your brain goes to its very base instincts. What I meant was: hot = feeling like I might pass out; poop = need to push, right. now.

Another quick assessment had me at complete, and everyone got into position. Brian was very calm (claiming he knew the nurses and attending physician had everything under control). He kept telling me to breathe, and mimicked the nurses requests to me. If I could have, I would’ve rolled my eyes at them all. (No, there was not enough clarity in my mind to even swear). Clearly we were not prepared for natural labor, and I certainly didn’t remember the classes we took from when we had Jameson. Breathing? Whatever. I didn’t pass out. I knew I was about to push this baby out without the epidural and would this pain ever end!?

I never made it into the proper delivery bed with the stirrups. Brian and a nurse held my legs as I pushed through the excruciating pain and it was over in minutes. The 30 hours total labor with Jameson and 3 hours pushing was reduced to a mere hour or two and just minutes of pushing with Coraline.

And there she was! And I felt immediate, blessed relief. And maybe a little bit of shock. I did not hold her right away, though they asked me if I might like to. I needed a moment.

Her apgar scores were 7 and then 9, perfectly made with features that reminded us of Jameson but with darker hair and obviously a little lady. Oh, and she was a little bit bigger and less delicate seeming than he was. And a different, stronger cry.

7 pounds, 1 ounce, 20 and a half inches long.

We have no photos of her in her slimy glory prior to being wiped off. We were just a little less prepared with camera this time, for obvious reasons.

Birth in general can be a little gruesome, but Brian said it was a little odd to see me laying on the bed with the umbilical cord hanging out for a good 15 minutes while they waited for the doctor from my office to arrive before delivering the placenta.

I was going to request a mirror this time, but there was no time for that. I did get a peak at the placenta this time, which was exactly as I might have imagined it. And then, I finally held her, remembering this time to ask for the bed to be raised up slightly so I wasn’t completely flat on my back and straining to see her as I did with Jameson. My mind was again in attendance to the evening.

The recovery this time has been simply amazing, and dare I say it, even easy so far. I was up walking again within an hour or two, prior to being taken to the recovery room. I was not loopy with pain medication or shaking at the end of labor. We were simply in awe of the fact that we had arrived at the hospital just about a half hour before.

As Brian said on the way home when we were released just a day and a half later, we’ve waited for a table at a restaurant for longer than that. Miss Coraline was obviously anxious to meet her family! And we feel so blessed to call her our beautiful baby girl.

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Last Saturday, we headed down after swimming lessons and lunch to my parents house. (After being dunked for the first time! Thrice!) It was my mom’s birthday, and we were due to celebrate not just hers but three December birthdays at once. Holly is first on 12/4, followed by Jameson and then my mom on 12/22.

Jameson was okay during the trip. He no longer sleeps in the car, as we discovered several times throughout longer car rides this holiday season, but with plenty of snacks, books and the ipad, he was okay. He was excited to open gifts when we arrived. I am pretty sure he thinks December means an endless supply of unwrapping gifts.

Holly

No one had a problem with allowing him to assist in opening all the gifts, not just his own.

Disney Gifts

Jameson got a few Disney gifts including a plate and new hat from Meemaw and Grandpa.

Hat

I was surprised that he took right to his meemaw, grandpa, uncle and aunt, since it had been awhile. I guess we talk about them enough that he felt he already knew them! Although it should be no surprise he took right to Aunt Holly since he is around a lot of young ladies working at his school!

Unwrapping

My delicate unwrapper neatly tossed all the wrapping paper to the nearest adult to put in the trash.

Firetruck

Jameson opened a new eyeball shirt from Meemaw and promptly did a monkey imitation, complete with eee eeee ooo ooo and hands in armpits. We tried to get him to do an instant replay for the entire rest of the holiday. No dice!

Monkey

No birthday celebration is complete without dessert!

Meemaw enjoyed a red ice cream cupcake and painted her lips bright red with it. (I was smart and chose white for Jameson and I, haha!)

Dessert

Dessert

The following day was spent in relaxation and enjoyment of the entire family together for the first time in a long while for Christmas. Jameson loved playing with his relatives, and created new games.

Blocks

He played “pokey carrots” with grandpa, which had us all in stitches, at least until the 6th or 7th round when we wondered how long the game might last.

Carrots

Carrots

He also played with Uncle Tyler and Grandpa’s old matchbox car set.

Cars

That night we went out to see Christmas lights at the nearby recreation center, but that’s to come!

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We weren’t originally going to have a party for Jameson, but I got it in my head to make some invitations and it was all over after that.

elmoinvite-web

We did tone it down quite a bit as compared to last year, and banners and party favors were purchased at a party store. They make it so easy! We also invited quite a few less people so the house wasn’t so crowded.

The other Elmo touches were brought in by our cupcakes and fruit tray, inspiration courtesy of Pinterest.

Elmo Cupcakes

Elmo Cupcakes

The cupcakes themselves were a box mix (had to make something easy!); the mouths are Oreos which were tough to cut right. The eyes are large marshmallows, cut in half, and topped with store-bought brownie icing pupils. The noses are candy orange slices.

The icing was the hardest part. I borrowed a fancy icing tool from a friend and used a star tip to get the fur effect, and by the end my thumb was numb for a day or so! We used the red food dye in a tube from the bakery aisle to get the very red color, and used the majority of the small tube for it.

Elmo Fruit Tray

Elmo Fruit Tray

We thought we would half left-over fruit for sure, but as it turns out, young kids love fruit! And parents love giving it to them. We had no fruit left! Brian also made little hot dogs, buffalo chicken dip and a jarlsberg cheese dip. We didn’t actually have that much food left over this time.

And that was about it for Elmo decor! From there, it was all about Jameson, his friends, gifts, blowing out the candle and capturing all those moments on camera.

Playing with Grandma

Jameson’s cousin Griffin loved playing with the boys. He played fort, ball, and assisted wherever he could! Jameson and Jonathan loved him.

Playing

Playing

Lily, another one of the older kids of the bunch (though only by about 6 months or s0!), also wanted to be a helper! Jameson didn’t mind at all. He’s pretty expert at opening gifts now, but extra hands never hurt!

Opening Gifts

Opening Gifts

Opening Card

I had dad help with most of the unwrapping so I could capture the moments on camera. Jameson was very serious about his gift opening, rarely pausing to relax. This was one of the photos where I actually caught a reaction from him.

Books

Jameson got some new books from mom and dad!

Mr Potato Head

One of the other big hits was the tools. Brian said yesterday Jameson was playing with his toy tape measure and wrapping it around his head (like they did at the doctor’s office just last week!)

Tools

Brian’s Uncle Mike and cousins Gabrielle and Griffin gave Jameson extra large gifts!

Big Gifts

Big GIfts

Perfect for his current love of the Lion King and wild animals! Jameson got a couple wild animal playsets. We can’t wait to get these set up for him!

We followed gift opening with dessert!

Dessert

Blowing out Candles

Jameson actually blew out his own candle! Way to go Jameson!

Eating Cupcakes

Cupcakes

He knew they were Elmo cupcakes! Jameson’s friend Jonathan also knew it was Elmo and got very upset when his dad pulled off one of the eyeballs, it was too funny!

After dessert, it was play time again!

Playing Keep Away

Included in the party favors (which I may or may not have forgotten to mention to the first party-leavers, oops!) were whistles, which I’m sure all the parents loved. Jameson’s doesn’t leave his mouth!

Whistles

We had been telling Jameson “Happy Birthday” all day long, with his response occasionally being “happy day”. Without prompting, at bed time and after goodnights, he told me “happy day!” so sweetly. Yes it was Mr. Jameson!

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It’s that time of year again! This year I got an early start on making up a list of toys and games I thought would be appropriate for him.

To be clear though, he’s not really playing with many toys. Our evenings are made up of “wrestling”, running around, playing with his stool, watching tv and looking at books which he likes to read “mysef”

laptop-camera-music

Kid Laptop | Kid Camera | Music Player

In the tech toys, staples are the kid size versions of laptops and cameras, or even the kid-proof case for your own ipad. If you’re strapped for cash, Jameson also has a recycled mouse (cord cut) and keyboard that he enjoys pounding on and standing on.

There are cheaper kid cameras than the one here, but I like this one since you can swivel the lens so you can take pictures of yourself. I take a lot of photos, and Jameson frequently takes my iphone to say “cheese” (and also “hello”; glad he recognizes it’s a phone too). I figured this is a little beyond his  abilities right now, but it will be fun for him to grow with over the next year.

I liked this music player because you can add real songs to it and it will hold up to abuse. I would consider getting some kind of headphones too. This kind of gift will work well for next year too!

magazine-book-game

Magazine Subscription | Books | Matching Game

Does your child like to get the mail? I started a subscription with Jameson’s name on it, that I was really hoping he’d get into. So far, no dice, but I still think he’ll enjoy getting mail just for him this year.

Specifically, I’m talking about books that relate to daily activities like brushing teeth, switching to a new bed, going potty, and eating vegetables. Jameson has really enjoyed reading about these types of life activities that he can really relate to right now.

The matching game is a really relevant gift for his age, and a step up from the regular blocky puzzles they probably already have. You can just do a couple cards at a time to not overwhelm them.

potato-doodle-pack

Mr. Potato Head | Magnadoodle | Backpack

Body parts? Yes.

Of course, a magnadoodle is at your discretion. If you pick one, I would definitely make sure it doesn’t have loose magnets. Jameson is great about not putting things in his mouth yet, but I wouldn’t trust him that far. I like the fact that he can doodle and draw with this without much supervision at any time. Art doesn’t have to happen at the kitchen table. Since he’s not great about sitting still, I am hoping this will encourage him.

And let them start carrying their own stuff! They’ll enjoy the novelty of it, I swear.

puzzles

Latch Board | Alphabet or Numbers Puzzles | Build-It Yourself Vehicles

In the puzzle realm, improve dexterity with a latch board type puzzle, or their letter and number recognition with the alphabet puzzles.

I spent a long time searching for a vehicle that I thought would act for both regular play and puzzle/thinking skills. A lot of build-it sets are for older children, and I thought this one settled right where I wanted it to. I can’t wait to see how he interacts with this toy.

doctor-train-food

Doctor or Vet Set | Wooden Train Set | Play Food

For pretend play, there is always doctor or vet sets (the vet sets frequently come with an animal, which is a bonus).

We also got Jameson a wooden train set. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on it yet unless you know your child adores trains, because eventually you’ll just upgrade to the electric ones anyway. But it allows kids to build it and play with it, so it’s another win in my book!

If the child already has a workshop or kitchen, then this will just enhance it. If not, play food works well on it’s own or with a little kid-size shopping cart. We’ve had fun teaching Jameson what “pretend” means.

bilibo-dice-vac

Bilibo | Kid-Size Versions of Adult Stuff | Kid-Size Versions of Adult Stuff

As I said, Jameson doesn’t play with a lot of his toys regularly, so this not-toy is right up his alley. It can be whatever he wants it to be! Which will probably be a hat, since he has been putting most things on his head recently.

Jameson is into dice, which are obviously too small for him to play with without close supervision, so I bought him these hard foam dice just over choking size instead.

The vacuum! You don’t have to spend a lot on the Dyson version; this cheap one Jameson has had for a long time already and loves. We are getting him his own little broom this year, and I am willing to bet it will be a top toy as well. Not to mention, it will continue to encourage him as my little helper!

*I have not used or experienced all these products, but I think they’re great ideas. As always, consider your purchases carefully and note any age specific warnings and details.

P.S. Looking for gift ideas for a 1 year old? Check out some of my suggestions.

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Little Gym

The weekend prior (Nov. 10), we had a birthday party to go to at the Little Gym! I was pretty excited to go, since Jameson has never been in a real gym like that, and I thought he would love to climb around. I was right!

Jameson loved climbing over the gym materials, and walking along the balance beam as if he’d already done it before!

He was one of the younger children there, but he enjoyed watching the bigger kids run and jump around too, and taking his own turn when the space cleared up.

They got out the parachute, and he wasn’t sure what to do at first, so I walked him over and helped him hold on to one of the handles. After that, he followed along himself really well!

He didn’t scramble underneath or into the middle with the other kids, but sat on our lap for those activities. I am enjoying my timid little boy while it lasts! I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s jumping in like the rest.

Just this week he seems to start understand how to jump, but that weekend it was all still a mystery for him, and he continued to lift one leg up really high and taking a big leap to try and jump!

After a bit more free play, they rounded up the kids to have snack and open the birthday girl’s gifts. Jameson drenched himself in a cup of water, but luckily we had an overnight bag with spare shirts in the car, ready to take him to grandma’s for the night while we finished more of his big boy room!

He ate all the icing from the cupcake and clearly enjoyed it. He told us he had fun, and we enjoyed watching him run around.

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Sasha’s Party

Saturday, we had a little birthday party for Sasha, who turned 10 years old on October 1. Many of her favorite people were there, and it was conveniently timed that Jameson napped through the arrival of most of them, so she could greet everyone herself with no interruptions!

She did get a couple treats and toys out of it, but mostly it was just a gathering involving extra belly rubs! We had photos up of her along the stairs and mantle, and displayed her pedigree chart on the table along with photos of her mom and dad.

Then Jameson woke up and stole to show!

Lily came over with her brother, who was a champ the entire time.

Jameson showed off his skills with the empty dishwasher tab canister. Yes, we saved it for fun. Jameson also likes to bang with his drumsticks on the other side, since it obviously makes more fun noises than the plastic drum he has.

My parents even drove all the way up for a couple hours, though Jameson didn’t say “Meemaw” as he had for the first time just the night before during FaceTime!

I made pumpkin pie for dessert (Jameson only wanted the whipped cream), a crust-less version which recipe I got from Laura and Dave, who also came with their daughter Rylan.

Meanwhile, Lily and Jameson started running around the dining room table, which I thought was pretty hilarious. Lily did fall and burst into tears, but all was well!

I love Jameson’s sneaky face in this one. He appears to have stolen all the cloths from the baby wipes case that Rylan was playing with.

Sasha alternated between her bed and the front door, being exhausted by watching out for all the children!

It was time for my parents to say goodbye, which signaled the beginning of the end of Sasha’s party. We had plenty of left overs of pulled pork, raw veggies and pumpkin pie throughout the week.

The crowd left a really tired puppy! And Jameson has enjoyed looking at all the pictures of “Sashy” all week since we left them up.

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