Cheney's newborn pictures

We had Cheney's newborn pictures taken the day after we got home from the hospital. She was just 4 days & still in that "sleep for 20 hours a day" sweet newborn stage. Oh, fine. For the most part she is still in that stage...unless it is between the hours of 5:30pm - 9:00pm. Anyways, back to the pictures. My friend Lauren is an awesome newborn/family photographer and she did all of Griffin's throughout his 1st year. She has a studio in her house with a thousand different props & she does such a great job! I am so glad we had Cheney's newborn pictures done & a few family shots. I will cherish these forever...especially since she is my last baby! I think they turned out beautiful (the subject was pretty easy)--hope you enjoy them too!



Back to School, Back to School...

Well, just like that, our summer has come to an end.  With the birth of baby sister, school really snuck up on us this year! Last week was a big week in our house. Not only did Grayson start 4 year old preschool at our church, but Griffin started in the 2 year old class!
Last Tuesday was the first day of school for Grayson & Griffin. Grayson was excited this year because he knows several kids in his class AND they are "so big" that they don't nap at school. I keep reminding him this is just a school thing. Let's cross our fingers that he agrees with that statement for another year...I love nap time! Griffin was not as thrilled about school but I was! He is in the same room with the same teachers that G started out with and I adore them. I know he will have a great 1st year!
Grayson is in Ms. Cherry & Ms. Judy's class this year. He had a great first week & is excited about being in his new class! It is hard to believe that next year he will be in Pre-K & then off to kindergarten. I know it will go by so fast!
How perfect is this picture? I think it sums up our middle child perfectly! He's a ham! Griffin will be in Ms. Barbara & Ms. Jennifer's class this year. We already love them & are so excited to see him grow throughout this year. I think it will be great for him to have time to be with kids his age!
Here's to a great 2014-2015 school year! 


Cheney: 1 month old

Cheney is 1 month old today!
The Stats:
Height: about 21 inches
Weight: 8lbs 9oz
Clothes: just now growing out of her newborn things & wearing 0-3m & 3 month clothes!
Diaper: size 1
We have successfully made it 1 whole month with exclusively breastfeeding & you are gaining weight like a champ! You are nursing every 2-3 hours during the day for the most part. This has been going on for the last week and I am thankful. You were eating about every 1.5-2 hours and that was exhausting & hard with 2 other kids! This week I started pumping & we are giving you a bottle right before bedtime to make sure you are eating enough. It has really helped with that first stretch of sleep & you had no problems taking a bottle!
You started out the month being a female form of Griffin as far as sleep goes. You would start out in the Rock 'n Play & always end up in our bed.  I would try & try to put you back in your bed but you kept waking up. I really did not want to start that habit! I loosely started following the Moms on Call schedule this week & you've been SO much better! We give you your bedtime bath around 8:45 & you get your bottle at 9:00. You've been sleeping until about 2:00-2:15 which is great! I go to bed when you do, so I am getting a good stretch of sleep and it's wonderful. After that, you always wake up around 5 to eat & then for the day around 7:30 or 8:00. You are starting to form your own schedule & I am just following your lead--thankfully it is a pretty good schedule! You've even been out of our bed all week which is a HUGE plus!
Happenings this month:
-you get loved on constantly by your doting big brothers. They tell you how cute you are, call you a "pretty girl," & constantly want to give you kisses. They love you a little bit. And by little bit, I obviously mean they think you hung the moon...for now, anyways.
-you really like having a bath every night! We give you a bath after your brothers are in bed so it is quiet & you get all relaxed. You don't, however, enjoy getting out of the bath tub.
-you despise the carseat. I should be used to this by now since we are 3 for 3 on carseat hating babies but your screams stress me out so much when we go places! Once you fall asleep, you will usually stay asleep. If you are awake, you are screaming.
-just like your brothers, you have reflux. We thought we were getting lucky the first 2 weeks of your life when you seemed okay. However, the last 10 days or so have progressively gotten worse. We knew you had it because your symptoms were the exact same as your brothers. We went to the doctor yesterday & got you a prescription for Prevacid. Hopefully that will help ease your pain!
-you are starting to smile just a little but you continue to be the serious baby sister! You always look like you are pondering the ways of the world. I can't wait to see what your personality is like!
-you love to snuggle & be worn in the K'tan. That makes life easier while chasing the boys around outside!
-you are SO strong for such a peanut! You hold your head up so well already!
Cheney, you are the perfect addition to our crazy family. You complete us so well! We have loved having you around over the past month & it seems like you have been with us forever. We can't wait to watch you grow & get your own little personality. We love you so much, Cheney girl!


The State of Affairs

Well, this is our first full week with just us & we sure did hit the ground running. We have something going on every day this week so I guess I will be figuring out our new routine pretty quickly!
Summer is just about over & with that brings our busy fall schedule.  Grayson started his new coach pitch/tee ball league the week after Cheney was born, preschool for the boys starts next Tuesday, & my MOPS group kicks off next week! It will be a full & fun fall, that is for sure!
Grayson is loving his new baseball team. We are playing closer to home & they get to do coach pitch. That's what he has been so excited for & he's done so good! I feel like poor Cheney just may grow up at the ball fields. Hope she doesn't mind!
It's so fun watching him play because he just loves it. Not to mention, he's good at it! I think tee ball & baseball have really helped his confidence.
We had Cheney's appointment with the cardiologist yesterday. I was a little anxious about how she would do. Thankfully I had time to feed her once we got there & she was able to calm down. They checked her pulse & the oxygen level in her blood and then it was time for the Echo.  She did great through the entire thing! We learned that Cheney has a VSD (ventricular septal defect) & a Patent Foramen Ovale. Basically, there are 2 holes in her heart. One of the holes (the VSD & what is causing the murmur) is in the anterior margin which just means it will probably take a longer amount of time to close. It also may not close at all on its own. The other hole is something we didn't know about until yesterday. It is something that is supposed to close shortly after birth & hers has not.  As of right now, these are things that are not too concerning. We are really hoping they get smaller before our next appointment in December.  So, basically, we are just in a monitoring phase right now & will determine what is next if these things don't start getting smaller on their own. Have you had enough medical talk?? Whew.
How sweet is that little patient, though?? I wish y'all could see how strong she is. Cheney is not only identical to baby Grayson but also reminds me of him. He was so strong from day 1! Cheney was so alert at the doctor and was holding her head up like an old pro!
I can't leave out our middle child! Griffin starts preschool next week & will be in the same classroom that his big brother started in! I can't believe it is already time for him to be going to school. I know he will love it but it will be strange not to have my tiny toddler sidekick every day!


a quick little update

Well, it has been 2 weeks since we became a party of five & it honestly seems like a lot more time has passed! My blog has been lacking in updates because by the time I sit down at night, I am wiped out!  Cheney has made sure that her inner alarm clock works like a charm & is awake every 3 hours at night & eating every 2 hours during the day. I've been a busy mama! (moo.)

I can't really talk about the true adjustment yet of having 3 kids because I've been lucky enough to have had my mom here since Cheney was born! It has been so nice to have an extra set of hands around the house. This weekend the real fun will begin. Ben & I will officially be outnumbered by the little people in our house!
I think the adjustment with the kids has actually been easier this time. I don't know if it is because we have an almost 4 year old or if it is because the boys have each other to play with. Either way, I don't feel as overwhelmed about this transition. Going from 1 kid to 2 kids was definitely a lot harder than I thought it would be. We've had our moments, but for the most part, the boys have been really good! They adore Cheney & want to smother her with hugs and kisses all day long.
We did go to the pediatrician yesterday for Cheney's 2 week appointment and to re-check her heart murmur.  The good news is that she has grown a half inch already & is up to 7lbs 12oz! She is actually putting on weight faster than her brothers did...maybe I will finally have a chunky little baby! The not so awesome news is that the heart murmur is still there. Our pediatrician doesn't seem too worried about it because everything else sounds great, but we still have to go see a cardiologist. We have an appointment on Tuesday & Cheney will have an Echo done so we can figure out exactly what is going on.  
Bear with me as I find a balance in our new normal. It is crazy & hectic but I know I will get there eventually!


Cheney: 1 week old

Cheney is 1 week old already! These pictures were actually taken when she was just 4 days old. Look at that brand new little squish!
At birth Cheney weighed 7lbs 6oz. When she was discharged from the hospital she weighed 6lbs 14oz. We went to the pediatrician on Monday & she was already above her birth weight at 7lbs 7oz! I was so impressed! Grow, baby girl, grow! Right now she is wearing all newborn clothes but I know those newborn footies are already tight. I am trying to play dress up as much as possible before she outgrows clothes!
So far our nursing experience is going great! We had a few problems at the hospital, but I think we have figured everything out and are in a pretty good groove right now.  Cheney loves to eat (hence the weight gain) and just feeds on demand all during the day.  Sometimes she will go 3 hours but it is mostly 1.5-2 hours in between feedings during the day. She started off at our house doing 4 hour stretches at night but has now turned into a newborn:) The past few nights she has been sleeping 2-3 hour stretches at night.
One thing we learned in the hospital was that our sweet girl was born with a heart murmur. We were really hoping it would correct itself by the time we saw our pediatrician on Monday. Unfortunately, the heart murmur was still there. Our doctor said everything else looked great & it most likely is something that will eventually correct itself. We go back when Cheney is 2 weeks old. If it still there, we will be making a trip to the Vanderbilt Cardiology unit.  We are praying we can avoid that!
Cheney has been such a good baby. She sleeps a lot during the day & is only loud when she's hungry or when she is getting changed. She gets smothered with hugs and kisses all day long! Grayson & Griffin sure do love her. Grayson constantly tells me that "Cheney is SO CUTE." Griffin always wants to kiss her & is very concerned about her pacis.  They are very proud big brothers! Cheney is also the stereotypical 3rd baby because she is 1 week old and has not had a bath since she left the hospital. Oops!
It is hard to believe that Cheney has already been with us for a whole week.  It is also hard to remember life without her--she fits in perfectly with us! We love our sweet girl!


The Story of Cheney

As I guess you have figured out, Cheney did not decide to come on her own and waited patiently for her scheduled birthday. Ben and I woke up super early on the morning of August 6th because we had to be at the hospital by 5:30am.  We left our house while it was still dark & for the last time, we walked into the hospital to have a baby.  They got us all checked in to our room, hooked me up to the IVs, & we waited. It is really strange waiting around & watching the clock knowing that in a couple hours I will be holding a brand new baby in my arms. It is just so surreal. A feeling that I will likely ever forget. Another funny thing about this morning was that while I was being monitored, I asked the nurse if I had just had a contraction. I had been feeling random tightness off and on but didn't know if they were contractions. Turns out, I was having contractions AND they were 4 minutes apart. Pretty funny, right?!
At 7:15 they told me it was go time. They wheeled me back into the OR & Ben had to wait outside in his scrubs. I hate that part of it. I wish he was allowed to be in there during the anesthesia part--it is my least favorite! I had anxiety this time about the lidocaine shot that comes before the spinal. I remember how badly it burned last time. The spinal was actually worse this time. It took at least 15 minutes & felt like an eternity to get it all worked out.  Not gonna lie, it hurt. They had to do the lidocaine twice because they could not get my spinal centered.  I remember telling myself over & over again that I would never have to do this again. Ha! Once they finally were finished, they were able to lay me down & Ben got to join me. I was actually feeling good for about a minute or two and then all of a sudden was SO nauseous.  I remember this happening with Griffin except they all said I wouldn't actually get sick because my stomach muscles wouldn't work due to anesthesia.  This time was different. I felt sick & I did end up getting sick. I don't recommend that when your body isn't able to move and you are lying on your back. Ick.

Once I got pumped with some medicine to ease the nausea, my doctor was able to begin the surgery.  It is so strange having surgery but being awake. I remember having to ask the nurses if it had actually begun & they laughed and said yes.  It took a few minutes but I vividly remember my awesome OB finally seeing Cheney's face. She kept talking about how cute she was and how she had pretty much no hair. I could not wait to see her with my own eyes!

At 8:04am our baby girl came into this world and, goodness, did she let everyone know! Cheney had a great set of lungs from the very beginning! Also, I need it to be known that the first thing I made my OB tell me was that Cheney was indeed a she. haha!

This was our first moment with Cheney. I definitely thought she looked a lot like her brothers!

Cheney went to the nursery with Ben and our families got to see her through the window. I felt like I was in the OR for such a long time while they finished up. I was beyond ready to get my hands on our baby girl!

They finally brought her back around 9:15. We were able to spend an hour just soaking up every ounce of newborn sweetness. Cheney was absolutely perfect. We were able to nurse & have some skin-to-skin time and just bond with her. It was nice to have those quiet moments before we introduced her to everyone!
We brought our families in around 10:30. Our boys had been hanging out in the waiting room & were ready to see their new baby! Grayson was very cautious of the whole hospital part. I don't think he was expecting to see me in a hospital bed. Griffin was pretty smitten & fascinated from the beginning. He wanted to give Cheney lots of kisses! I look at this picture and see our complete family. It is still pretty surreal!

Everyone was in love with Cheney & pretty excited about adding a girl to our mix!

We had a couple of superheroes stop by the room so that was fun. Cheney is pretty much the coolest baby sister ever & got her brothers personalized superhero capes & masks. They were excited!
Seriously. Could she be any sweeter??

So, here we are! May, Party of Five. Crazy & complete:)