Thursday, September 1, 2011

First day of pre school

A day that has always seemed so far off has now come and gone.  Yes, I must admit a few tears were shed...only they were all shed by mama!  Ashton and Ayden have both been pretty excited, or at least curious, about school.  We visited their new school to check out the playground a week before school started so that they would feel a little more comfortable navigating it alone.  (This is part of their vision condition.)  We got lucky enough to catch their teacher on this day as well.  The next day was the Open House/Meet the Teacher night and the 5 of us attended as a family.  This alone was emotional for me.  Partly because it is another "first" and partly because it hits so close to home for me being a pre K teacher (and loving it!) before they were born.  It was exciting to learn all about their new school, talk with their teacher and meet some of the kids in their class.
The next Monday we had to get up WAY too early to get us all around! ;-)  Before leaving we gave the boys each a gift to open and attempted to get a few pictures...

I tried to dress them a little different for the first week of school in case there where any of those people who can't seem to tell the two apart!
Maybe next year we will actually get a decent picture...

Such a ham!

Once at school, the parents were allowed to stay in the classroom for the first 45 minutes and then were invited to the multipurpose room for a snack and informal dicussion with the director.  The boys did great in their classroom, although a little quiet and timid.  They both told us good bye without any tears.  By the time I went to the multipurpose room and then stayed to watch a 20 minute volunteer video it seemed pointless to go home.  I checked on the boys who were now playing on the playground and decided I would take Jeffrey and go home.  We were home for about 40 minutes and it was eerily quiet!  Jeffrey fell asleep in the car seat on the way home and continued to sleep until about 15 minutes before we left.  I then fed and changed him and we headed back to the school.  I had every intention of going inside to get them from their classroom but, when I got there all the other parents where in the pick up line.  I got a knot in my throat - torn between being "that mom" and wanting to be there for my "babies".  Alas, some sort of magnetic force took control of my steering wheel and pulled into the pick up line!  I was a little early and had to wait for awhile.  It was a long wait because I was so excited to see them and hear about their morning and now I was stuck in the line with no way out!  I finally made it to the front and my boys were brought out to the mini van.  As Ayden climbed in I saw a tear on his cheek.  I guess he was a little worried when some stranger (a staff member) was walking him outside!  In the end they had a great day and told me all about what they had done.  I know for my experience being a pre school teacher that this is rare because a lot of kids don't tell their parents anymore about school than that they "played". 

School has continued to go great!  We are now in the 4th week and they have yet to cry or refuse to go!  The only problem we have had is that they both got sick the second week of school.  I knew it would happen since they have never been around so many children/germs.    They continue to tell me about the songs they sing, books they read, activities they do, who stayed home from school, teachers/staff they meet, and friends they have.  They are a little slow about warming up enough to really talk to their teachers yet though.  They are apparently getting by on one or two words answers for now.  I know they are slow to warm up and they will be talking the ears off of their teachers in no time!  For now they are making up for that lack of talking in the mornings by talking NON STOP in the afternoons! :) 

Ayden with his new teacher, Mrs. Cindy


Jeffrey and I got to participate in circle time too!

Ashton and his teacher "checking in" for the day
You would think with this new "free time" I have I could have blogged about this before now...But, the time really is minimal and I have SO much to do.  I do hope to get a schedule going soon and blog more regularly.  I do have lots of other updates and exciting news and I hope to get to those in the next few days so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New addition means a new name

In case you hadn't noticed we have added a new little one to our family!  Therefore the name of our blog, Double the Love, no longer encompasses our growing family.  I have a few ideas for a new name but I want to make sure I find one that is a perfect fit.  So, I am welcoming YOUR creative suggestions!  No rush, no deadline, no prize if I pick your name...just some creative fun!

< Insert family picture here >
If I had one I would!  Sad, but true!  Jeffrey will be 6 weeks old tomorrow and we have yet to get a picture of the 5 of us together!  Maybe this weekend!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

3 Years Old!

Ashton with his red velvet cupcake on his actual birthday

Ayden lovin his cupcake
Can it really be that my little babies are already THREE?!  Could it really have been THREE years ago that I brought them home weighing only 5 pounds?!  Could it really be that we have made it through the infant days, potty training, the toddler years and are now preparing for preschool?  Could it really be that we have now planned, executed and survived THREE birthday party's?!  Well....the proof is in the pictures so I guess that means that my precious little boys are REALLY THREE!

Ashton and Ayden are really into all things transportation - typical boys!  So, when we started talking to them about their birthday about two months ago we tried to get an idea of what they wanted to do to celebrate this next milestone.  Trains was a big one but they couldn't settle.  Once one was set on trains the other wanted trucks or airplanes or....So we said we could just do them all.  Our boys don't watch tv/movies and don't regularly get to go to the store to buy/pick out toys.  This really limits what their idea of a birthday is as well as commercial toys, etc to ask for. ( This is NOT a complaint!)  As we asked them what they wanted for their birthday for the past two months they always responded with "A choo-choo train cake!"  They have only had cake a few times and it was only at their birthdays and a few family members birthdays.  To them a cake was what you had for your birthday.  I knew if we did nothing else for them for their birthday, they were going to have a train cake!

A birthday tradition was for me to make them their birthday shirts.  We started looking at shirts online so that I could give them some ideas.  Again, they were old enough this year to give some input so we tried to incorporate that.  It looked like we were going with a train shirt as well.  As the weeks went by I never bought any of the supplies and Jeff thought I should just buy the ones we found online.  I was a little preoccupied with other things, and still kinda wanted to do it myself, so I never did anything about the shirts.  The day before their party my mom and I took the boys to Hobby Lobby and bought the supplies and the shirts.  We switched from the train idea, although the boys did get a choice in fabric color and they both (after 15 minutes and about 5 color changes apiece) ended up with the same color!  In the end the train shirt was never mentioned and they were very proud of their 3 shirts.  The shirts had a circle of race car flag material with the numeral 3 in a race car number font.  On a side note, they still wear their 2 shirts sometimes and nearly always comment about their party or that I made the shirt when they do!

While on this same shopping trip with my mom we bought the supplies for this train cake the boys were still very anxiously awaiting!  I was very hesitant about this and nearly ordered a train cake because I was scared of it not meeting my, or their, expectations.  Last years did not turn out as great as I had hoped and I didn't want a repeat!  Luckily my mom and husband talked me into making the cake as planned.  With all the other work needing to be done at home on Friday and Saturday morning my mom ended up making the cake nearly on her own.  Jeff and I just gave her our thoughts and ideas and she put it all together!  Each boy had his own train engine with 3 train cars.  They LOVED their cakes and loved eating them just as much!

The decorations were a hodge podge of transportation.  We had a Cars movie wall hanging and confetti.  There were balloons with dump trucks and motorcycles.  The train cake and train whistles for decorations.  Black and yellow plates, napkins, etc.  Race car were on the shirts, table centerpiece and we had a pennant flag banner. get the picture.  The boys had a little bit of everything!

We had a large portion of our wonderful family at our home to celebrate this big milestone with us.  It was a very relaxed affair with balloon chasing, grilling hot dogs and brawts in the rain, and opening (and of course putting together) too many new toys and activities!  A few of their new gifts include an indoor trampoline, 2 battery powered 4 wheelers, bubble toys, a sit and spin, 2 Buzz Lightyears, and a cool bridge from the Chuck and Friends line.

Daddy grilling in the rain

The boys had a great day surrounded by family and friends.  The day was focused on them and they loved every minute of it.  They are remembering so much now that I hope they will remember this day as special one just for each of them!

Introducing...Jeffrey Charles III

I know I haven't blogged in way too long but I promise I will get caught up!  I have some blogs in my drafts just waiting on pictures or to be finished up.  But, I couldn't keep putting off introducing our newest addition!
Jeff took my maternity pictures about 10 days before Jeffrey was born.

Jeffrey was born Wednesday May 18th, 2011 at 2:55pm by vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean section)!  He weighed 7lbs 13oz and was 20 inches long.  I am still in the process of writing my (unnecessarily long) birth story.  I will post it when I am finished, but I will give a few details for now.

I woke up on Tuesday morning with contractions that were mild and felt sort of crampy.  They were very regular though, always 5-10 minutes apart.  The boys and I went on about our day going to the park and the store.  By the time I got them down for a nap about 2:30ish, I was not able to talk through my contractions.  Our doula came over about 10:30pm and we did some new positions and took a walk.  We left for the hospital at 2:30am on Wednesday and when we arrived I was having contractions that were about 4 minutes apart (and painful).  I was disappointed to hear that I was only dilated to a 3, but I was 100% effaced.  I had a very detailed natural birthplan that I had gone over with my doula and had approved by my doctor before hand.  I went over this with the nurse after getting settled.  Throughout the remainder of the morning and afternoon several of the desires from my birth plan were proven to be "not meant to be".  I was a little disappointed, but I wanted what was best for myself and my baby and I just wanted the end result to be a healthy mama and baby and preferably a vbac.

My water broke somewhere around 8:30am.  I was not progressing very quickly but continued to have contractions one on top of the other.  Jeffrey's heart rate was not responding well to the contractions so after several others attempts to correct this they thought his cord was wrapped around something or he was laying on it.  So, after my water broke they filled my uterus with saline water and this fixed whatever the issue had been.  By 11 or so I was dilated to a 6-7, but I had been there for several hours.  Jeffrey's head needed to be turned just a little for optimum delivery positioning and I was having involuntary pushing.  Between all of this and the fact that I had been having contractions for well over 24 hours now, they found that my cervix was swelling.  This could be dangerous for both of us and my nurse and doula were afraid if we didn't get this corrected I would be headed for a c-section again.  They both felt that the best option was to get an epiderial.  I had warned Jeff not to let me get one, but this situation had not crossed my mind.  I again wanted to do what would lead us to our end result so I agreed.  I went from hours of very painful contractions to feeling nothing very quickly.  At 11:30am the procedure was over and the nurse said she would give us about two hours to get some rest and she would come back to check on my progress.  At 1:30pm when she returned I was dilated to 9 3/4!  I was so excited!  She said she would update my dr and give me about an hour, unless I felt the urge to push before then.  My epidural was wearing off and I was able to feel the contractions some starting at about 1:30 also.  I was getting ready to page my nurse just after 2pm when she walked through my door.  I was fully dilated and his head was very low so it was time to push!  She called my dr and returned to get started.  My dr was there about 15 minutes later.  I didn't push great until he got there because I was a little nervous about Jeffrey coming before the dr!  With the help of my amazing husband, two great doulas and a wonderful dr and nurses, and after 31 hours of contractions, Jeffrey arrived at 2:55pm as perfect as could be!

He continued to do well in the hospital during our short stay.  There was a little worry about him not peeing, but I think it just got missed.  Anyway, after having to have a catheter to remove his urine and then him soaking me and the bed with was no longer an issue!  My recovery was a breeze and I was up walking around right away (such a change from last time around!).  We came home to some very excited three year olds on Friday!  No, they were not excited to see mama and daddy...they were excited to have their baby brother home!  They love to play with him, lay with him and kiss and love on him!

Katie, our amazing doula

Nana's first glimpse

Papa's first glimpse
Big brothers' first visit

Gigi's first glimpse

Ayden loves to give him kisses

Ashton lovin' on him

Papa's first glimpse
Grandma's first glimpse

Such a pretty baby

The three Jeffrey's

He is now 5 weeks old and is growing like a weed!  I couldn't ever really say that with Ashton and Ayden because they were slow growers.  Jeffrey on the other hand went from 7lbs 15oz at birth to about 11lbs at 4 weeks!  We won't have any official numbers until next week but I bet he will be 12lbs by then!  We got his one month pictures and the older boys' 3 year pictures taken this week so we will be showing those off in a couple weeks!

first "real" diaper

first bath

4 weeks old

I plan to get back to blogging and update about our family and the growth and milestones of our new addition right away!  Until then I will leave you with a few pictures of "our 3 boys"!

Jeffrey's 1st walk

fun in the sprinkler

Ayden is nursing his baby!

Too cool!  Ayden is starting a new sunglasses trend!