Friday, January 25, 2013

Newborn Photos

 Our beautiful "baby" girl
 Our sweet little peanut
  I could just eat her up
 She loves the camera
 Down time
 Sleeping baby
And I could eat him up too

 "Nikolaus, just accept the love"
 Maybe he knows mama would be more gentle

 Love those little hands
 And feet

 Our little Viking

 Daddy and son
 Love this one... shows you how small Nikolaus was
 Our little bundle of joy
 Family of four

 Mommy and son

Here are the newborn pictures that my friend, Kara took when Nikolaus was two weeks old.  It wasn't easy getting Natasha and Nikolaus to cooperate at the same time... hence the one picture of Natasha kissing a crying Nikolaus.  But we got some great shots capturing our new bundle of joy and our new family of four! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tasha Tells It All and More Pumpkin Patch

In the car driving to the store:
Tasha: Look at all the colors in the sky and the clouds.
Me: I know, the sun is setting
Tasha: It's so beautiful.

Buckling Natasha in her car seat after petting Goliath (neighbor's St. Bernard):
Tasha: That was a nice doggy.
Me: Yes, he is a nice doggy.  One day we will get a doggy.  Would you like that?
Tasha: Yes
Me: What kind of dog do you want?
Tasha: A brown dog
Me: Daddy wants a brown dog too, like a chocolate lab.
Tasha: So, we can eat it.
Me: (chuckling) No, I'm just describing the color.  The dog would be a chocolate brown color.
Tasha: Oh, we are just going to pretend to eat him.
Me: (I had no words, just laughed)

Before Nikolaus was born:
Tasha: I love you, Nikolaus' mommy.
Tasha: When Nikolaus comes out, I'm going to have a baby in this house.

Pumpkin Patch pictures from our school field trip:
Tasha and Maddie

 Waiting for the train

 Tasha on the train

 Mommy and Tasha on the hay ride

Picking out our pumpkin

Riding the pony

Our little Frankenstein

 I"ll take this one

Watching the train go by... choo choo!

This post was meant for November before Nikolaus was born, so here it is now.  Our sweet Natasha has quite the imagination and it is so fun to see what she will say next.  She loves to sing and dance and story tell.  We are constantly entertained by her and I am sure she will get some smiles and giggles from Nikolaus real soon.  

We also went back to the Irvine Regional Park with our parent and me preschool.  We had a great time on the train and hay ride (which we did not get to do last time).  Natasha and I also braved the haunted house together.  It was very kid friendly... nothing popped out at you.  It was just mostly dark.  Next week is our last class for session one.  We will be going to a gymnasium, so the kids can learn some gymnastics skills.  Then we get a week off and we head right into session 2 the following week.  I have enjoyed these classes so much with Natasha.  It has been so much fun watching her grow, make friendships with kids in her class and start to distance herself from me (not too far and not too long... thank goodness).  I look forward to the next 14 weeks of school with her before she goes off to preschool in the Fall "all-by-her-self." 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Presenting Nikolaus Steven...

 At the hospital... waiting.
 He is here, our little peanut

 Just relaxing

Family of Four

 Big sister, Natasha was so excited to finally meet her baby bro
 On the way home from the hospital
 Relaxing in the boppy
 Natasha checking out Nikolaus
 Uncle Matt finally got to meet his nephew... one week later (he was of course traveling).
 Auntie Lizzy, Cousin Brooks, Nikolaus and Uncle Matt
 Our sweet Nikolaus
 Taking a snooze in daddy's lap
 Natasha's infamous "cheese" face
 First stroll out with both kids
 Natasha and Nikolaus on his play mat

 Checking himself out

 Christmas Eve... family of four picture

Four generations

Grandma Lou and her grandbabies

 One month old... what?!?!

Our little Viking... thanks Auntie Jo Jo

... over 6 weeks later!  I'm sorry it has taken me so long to post pics of our new baby boy, but life with two kids (and the holidays) has kept us crazy busy.  I also want to apologize for any misspellings or grammatical errors... I'm sure Zac will find them and we will fix them.  Our sweet Nikolaus graced us with his presence on November 28, 2012 (two and a half weeks early).  Zac was home for lunch when my water broke at around 2:30 pm on that Wednesday.  I wasn't having any contractions, so I figured we had some time (with Natasha, my water broke and I needed to go on pitocin to start contractions).  Zac needed to head back to the office to grab his work computer and close some stuff up.  As Natasha and I packed up her bag for grandma's house and I got the rest of my things together, I started having regular contractions about 5 to 7 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds.  They were not too painful and I just walked/worked through them.  Once Zac got home (about 40 minutes later), we headed to Grandma Lou's house to drop off Natasha.  She was very excited to be staying at grandma's, which made it easier for me (emotionally) to say goodbye.  That was the last time that we were going to be a family of three and that she would be the center of our world.

Luckily, we did not hit rush-hour traffic yet and made it to the hospital around 4pm.  My contractions were the same, but we had to wait for a room.  I guess it was a busy day because I ended up in a triage room.  I don't think they believed me when I told them that my water broke.  I guess I didn't seem in enough pain.  Once I changed into my lovely hospital gown the nurses finally came in and hooked me up to the fetal monitor and the monitor to track my contractions.  At that point I was 2 to 3 cm dilated, but not leaking any fluid.  The nurse performed a painful test to see if my water did break because they did not believe me.  Supposedly it is rare for your water to break first before contractions and definitely rare for consecutive pregnancies, but I told them this is how my body does it!  My nurse asked me on a scale of one to ten (3 being not too bad, 5 being needing an epidural and 10 being kill me now) how I felt. I said 5.  Zac and the nurses laughed and said no.  It seemed to them that I was too happy and smiley at that point to believe me.  So, I settled for a three.  The nurses then left (I was still not hooked up to an IV at this point) and within an hour I was begging for an epidural.  I had Zac call the nurses station and have them come and check me again.  My nurse said that the results from that painful test were negative or inconclusive, but she said that I was in active labor and it was time to get into a delivery room.  I was dilated to 5 or 6 cm at that point and they were pretty quick setting up my IV, but then I had to get out of bed and into a wheel chair between contractions... not fun.

Once in the delivery room, the other nurse who was taking over said that the anesthesiologist would not come until I finished a full liter of my iv.  Well, that was not okay with my nurse from triage.  She got on the phone with him and told him I would be done by the time he gets here and sets up... as they are bending my hand at the wrist to force the fluid to flow faster.  From what I recall, the anesthesiologist was quick.   I just love how he said I will feel a shock and it could hurt... Dude, that is nothing compared to the contractions I was experiencing!  I was so relieved that the epidural worked almost immediately.  The nurses could tell it worked too, because my whole mood changed.  After I got settled, I was ready to take a little snooze and just let my body rest until it was time to push.  The nurse checked me again and said I was a 9, so I knew I didn't have too much longer.  Come to find out after my little cat nap that I was actually dilated to 10 and ready to go, but my nurse wanted me to enjoy the epidural for a bit and rest.  Looking back, if they had checked me once I got into the delivery room (before the epidural), I probably would have had to do this naturally... Thank goodness they didn't though!  By 8:30, the doctor arrived and I was ready to push.  Nikolaus just wanted to come out because in one contraction and one push, his head was out.  Dr. Flora had to stop me from pushing since he was coming so fast and she didn't want me to tear too much.  At 8:46 pm, Nikolaus Steven was in my arms.  He was such a little peanut weighing in at 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 inches in length.  It was hard to believe that Natasha was ever that small (well slightly bigger, but you get the picture).  Nikolaus also came out with dark hair on his head (and forehead and some on his back... He definitely gets that from my side of the family.  Good thing he is a little dude)... he is absolutely perfect.

After they cleaned both Nikolaus and I up, he was back in my arms for skin to skin time and to practice breastfeeding, which he took to naturally.  We spent an hour or two in the delivery room before transferring us to the recovery room.  Since it was late, we had no visitors that night. This worked out well for us since we were all exhausted and in need of a good nights rest.  However, how can you ever get any rest when the nurses are constantly coming in to check yours and the baby's vitals?

The next day we got many visitors, including the most important visitor, big sister Natasha!  She could not wait to meet Nikolaus and give him hugs and kisses.  She even got to hold him for a bit.  Natasha did great, but we could tell that she knew not all the attention was on her.  But, she dealt with it fine and has been ever since bringing him home.  We left the hospital the next day after Nikolaus' circumcision.  It was good to be home and try to get into some sort of routine.  I think the hardest part has been trying to get Natasha to bed on time.  But, we are working on it and she has been going to bed at a more reasonable time.  The only other issue we had to work on with her was letting daddy take care of her needs instead of having mommy do everything for her.  She still wants me to do things, but she has gotten better at asking daddy for help.

Our sweet Nikolaus is 6 weeks old and is just a joy to have around.  His neck is getting stronger, he enjoys tummy time and is starting to grab at objects.  He has so far been an easy baby, despite his gas issues.  Nikolaus is also giving me three to sometimes five hour stretches at night.  But he is sleeping in bed with me or on my chest... my babies like to snuggle.  Yesterday we had his 6-week wellness check and he is doing great.  Here are his stats:

Weight: 10.5 lbs. (25th percentile) - up from 7.2 lbs. from his 2 week check
Length: 21 2/3 inches (25th percentile) - up from 19 1/2"
Head circumference: 38 1/2 cm (50th percentile) - up from 35 1/2 cm.

He is not cooing yet or smiling at us, but we should be seeing that in the next couple of weeks.  Dr. Cox said it was common to have a delay since he was an early baby.  But we are in love with our little peanut no matter what and can't wait to watch him grow... But not too fast!  Thanks for checking in on our family of four and I promise to be better about posting pictures.