Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Big Girl School

Ava recently started at a developmental preschool, and has hard as it is on me, she is LOVING it! Until now we have been doing outpatient therapy. But with Archer and Ava's continuing therapy and social needs, we felt this was the right time- for all of us- to go ahead and start. We chose a school that is very close to our house, and small. We visited several schools, and in the end, her school just felt the most like "home" to us. The staff is WONDERFUL and her teachers and therapists seem to really love the kids. And Ava loves them!
I forgot to take her picture this morning, but I did manage to snap one the last two days before school. Getting used to her new schedule is proving difficult for all of us, but she is getting better at waking up early and taking a late nap. Better than I am doing with the schedule adjustment! It is hard getting up at 600 in the morning after taking care of a fussy baby all night.
I wanted to share some memories from this week- mostly for my own records- but I hope they bring a smile to your face! I know they did mine!!!
*On her first day, I bawled like a baby. But Ava didn't! She went in, and the other kids crowded around her. And in true Ava fashion, she smiled and laughed and hugged about 3 or 4 of them before picking a (very cute) boy to latch onto and plant a big kiss on!!!
* On her second day, we had early dismissal because of an unexpected ice storm that hit. When I picked her up, she had just finished working with a therapist. The therapist was asking about Archer (who was in his carrier, covered up). Ava heard us talking about him, went to his carrier that was sitting on the ground, uncovered him, put her hand on him, and looked at the therapist and smiled! She was showing off her baby brother!!!! My heart was about 10x it's normal size at that moment! Such a sweet- and typical- thing for a child her age to do! It's the little things, really....
* Today, she gave her teacher the biggest hug! Just latched onto her!!! And then a little boy (who was not the same little boy she was loving on the first day- oh my!) exclaimed "Ava!!!" and got up from his toys to greet her!!! He acted like he wanted to hug her but she was still loving her teacher! HAHA!
As hard as it is for me to drop her off, I know that this is going to be so good for her! She is really enjoying it I think, and seems to be very happy there. And I am so glad. I am not sure I would have survived the first day if she would have cried. Thankfully, she went to play with her friends and never looked back at me!!!
Now I know the first time Cole drops her off, it is going to be a TOTALLY different story!!! That girl LOVES her daddy!!!

Ava's First Day of School!!!! 1/14/13
Before school on Ava's second day. Getting some daddy love before we left.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Archer- 1 Month

I cannot believe that one month ago today, we welcomed our second child, our first son, into this world!!! In some ways, it seems like just yesterday, and in other ways it feels like he has always been here! Funny how that works!

I was really awful with keeping stats and updates on Ava her first year, so I really want to do a better job with Archer. So here goes...

Archer's First Month!


Last time you were weighed, you were 9lbs 9oz, but that was about two weeks ago, so I am guessing you are over 10 lbs now!!! You're a big boy!


I have no idea! But you are LONG LONG LONG! When you stretch out, I just crack up! You are so long!


You are now wearing 3 month clothing and size 1 diapers! It took Ava forever to get into those sizes, but you grew right on into them! She was so skinny, and you are a chunky monkey!


Arch, Bub, Bubs, Bubba, Brother, Chubs, Chubby Chub


You are exclusively breastfed, although we are going to try a bottle (of breast milk) tonight. I am hoping that you will take a bottle so daddy will be able to feed you some! You want to nurse every 1.5-2 hours usually, although sometimes (only during the day) you will go up to 3.5-4 hours between feedings. You nurse anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, and sometimes you do it just to calm down and fall asleep. You are now on reflux medicine and that has helped your tummy issues a lot! You have a really loud belly but it doesn't seem to bother you like it did. You are also very gassy regardless of what I eat, but you seem to handle it pretty well.


HAHA! Yeah right! You are not big on sleeping, although the last few nights have been better- or at least more predictable, than before. I might break out the "Happiest Baby on the Block" book soon. It never worked with Ava. But I am willing to give it a try with you, too.

Fun Stuff

*You love your owl mobile that is on your pack & play. That is about the only way I am able to get a shower these days!

*You are pretty spoiled and want to be held ALL THE TIME! I am trying to get you out of that habit because it seems to be ME that has to hold you, and sometimes mommy need her hands!

* You HATE your carseat until the car is moving, then you usually fall asleep.

* You surprisingly enjoy bathtime and it seems to calm you down.

* You scream anytime you get your clothes changed, but getting your diaper changed calms you down, even if you are not dirty! I think you just like being naked!

* You like to be rocked, bounced, swung- anything movement puts you to sleep. Or at least calms you down for a bit.

* You are a bit on the fussy side, but I think it is because you are such a big boy that you just stay hungry all the time. I want to breastfeed you until you are at least a year old, but realistically I am not sure if that is going to be possible. I also think your reflux, while better, is still giving you issues. Although you rarely spit up (praise the Lord!).

* You love to sit up in my lap, look around, and especially look at our faces and the cross wall!

* You hold your head up so well and are very strong.

* You love to have your back patted and I can usually get you to sleep that way.

* You hate pacifiers but will suck your hand or thumb if you can find them- which you are getting much better at doing!

Archer, we love you so much! Happy one month birthday, sweet boy!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Archer Vincent Brewer

Yes, we are still alive! To say that we have had a busy past month would be an understatement! Things have been very crazy for our family in the last month, some good things and some (sadly) not so good things. But right now, I want to talk about our sweet baby boy!

 was born one month ago tomorrow! But the story started one month ago tonight. So I wanted to share more about his birth story!

Once we found out our sweet boy's due date (12/23) my entire family kept hoping and wishing for him to be born on 12/12/12. Well that morning started out just like every other morning. But about 2:00 that afternoon, I started feeling really crampy. So I laid down and drank some water. But a couple of hours later, the contractions were still coming, and starting to get regular and stronger. SO we called Labor and Delivery and I told the nurse my history and what was going on. She said that we should come in and get checked. I was so worried that I was going to be sent home and all of the nurses would think I was just a crazy lady trying to have my baby on 12/12/12. My mom got to our house about 6 and we headed up to the hospital. By the time we were almost there, I knew we would be staying. The contractions were starting to get VERY strong- enough that I was in tears with a few. And I don't cry for pain. So I knew we would stay.

We got to L&D, and went to the triage section so they could monitor and check me. I was at a 4 and 70% effaced. And, as the nurse put it, I was "banging out" contractions. So the doctor confirmed- this was it! We were having a baby!!!

We got into a room and got all hooked up to monitors. By that point, my mom had arrived (I think my dad or sister was with Ava) and I was still uncomfortable, but nothing I couldn't handle. But since it was looking like it could be a while, I opted to go ahead and get the epidural so I could get some rest before the show started! So I got that pretty quickly- about 10:30. Then we waited. And waited. And WAITED. Midnight came and went, so no 12/12/12 baby. At that point, I really didn't care! I was so tired and HUNGRY! By 6 the next morning, I was 100% effaced, but still only at 5cm. So the doctor ordered pitocin. About the time I was getting my pitocin, the doctors changed shifts and my regular OB came on call. Dr. Wiedower is awesome and she also delivered Ava, so I think Archer was just waiting for her! HA!

About that same time, we had decided that Cole should go on to his 7:00 am doctors appointment that he had scheduled. It was nearby, and we all thought it would be another 3-4 hours before it was even time to push. We were all very wrong...

I should probably explain, too, that my body responds REALLY WELL to medication. It doesn't take much to have an effect on me. So once the pitocin started, my water broke, and I went from 5cm to 6cm pretty fast. Then about 7:30, the nurse rushes in and calmly- but quickly- tells me that the baby's heart rate was dropping and they needed to take some counter measures. Now I know this is fairly common. But when it is YOUR baby, it doesn't make it any less scary! So as they were putting me on oxygen, rolling me over to my side, and turning off the pitocin, I was praying my baby was okay and mentally preparing myself for a c-section. But soon his heart rate had returned to normal and he was looking happy again, and I was still at a 6. Then, not 10 minutes after that, I feel an excruciating pain in my lower stomach- you know, the part that is supposed to be NUMB?!?! Well it was really intense. So my mom called the nurse. I described the pain, and she decided to check me again and call the doctor. When she went to check me, her eyes got BIG and she looked at my mom, and said "You need to call dad (Cole) right now." Then she looked at me and said "You are at 10 cm and I can feel hair. You need to try not to push." Come to find out, his heart rate dropped because I had started the process of dilating, and ended up going from 6cm to 10cm in about 10 minutes! Then things started happening really fast! My mom called Cole, and he was still at the doctors office, but was leaving right then. The nurses started rushing around and we found out that my doctor was caught in traffic (a good case for why doctors should have dashboard emergency lights!). My mother-in-law arrived and was helping keep me calm(ish). And I kept being told to "NOT PUSH" despite the horrific contractions and pressure I was feeling through my epidural. And let me tell is hard to do with an epidural. If it wasn't for that, the nurses would have been catching him!

After what seemed like forever, my doctor walked in and I was allowed to go ahead and start pushing. Ahhhh..... It felt so much better to push, but still not good! I pushed for about 20 minutes, and then my sweet boy made his entrance! Sadly, he did so about 5 minutes BEFORE his daddy got back! So my mother, mother-in-law, and my wonderful doctor and nurses welcomed him with me! My mom even got to cut the cord, which was amazing for her!

It was chaotic, painful, wild, and nothing like Ava's birth. And nothing like I had planned, in so many ways. But it was so very special and a moment and day I will never, ever forget!!!

Archer Vincent Brewer was born at 8:37 am on 12/13/12, weighing 7lbs15oz and was 22" long!!!

Archer, we love you so much and are so blessed to have you in our lives!!! You are a gift from the Lord and, although your birth didn't go as I had planned, it went as the Lord planned and you are here! And for that, I am so thankful!!!

Happy (almost) One Month Birthday, sweet boy!!!
Our sweet boy! Just minutes old!

Meeting his daddy for the first time!
Archer and (one very tired) Mommy

I will post more about him (and all of his One Month fun facts) tomorrow, but I will say that Ava is in LOVE with him!!!