Monday, November 21, 2016

The First Half of the Thankful Month

I am very thankful to be a mother of three.
...and I am very thankful for my mother who I can call and commiserate with how hard being a mother of three can be!

I have been surprised how many "weepy"moments I have had, but with each week, I feel things are falling a little more into place. Of course, then we will have a really tough patch of days, but then slowly resume back to a place of normalcy. 

Like I said in the Halloween post, we have had some bad luck with sickness. But I am thankful to live in a country with modern medicine and access to doctors.

I am thankful for how sweet the boys are to Mae Stanley. Of course they miss Momma's undivided attention, and I know the minute she starts touching their stuff she will become the enemy, but for now, I am soaking up these tender moments. I constantly find them just "chatting with her."

Dressing Girls is Fun

I am thankful for our church, Peachtree Presbyterian. I am thankful the members and staff love my children big. I am thankful for the volunteers who work so hard to make the children's ministry possible. I am thankful my kids love church.
(I am thankful for leftover pizza for breakfast)

Someone was not thankful for choir robes

Thankful we made it (five of us!) to church that Sunday by 8:00
Thankful we found the other shoe
The next Sunday was Gaines's special day. He was presented a new bible. So thankful he is excited and loves to read it.

Thankful for this beauty who braved church two weeks in a row!

So thankful for Nana and Gran, who heard the stress in my voice, and kindly offered to take the boys for a few days. They spoiled them with farm life. Thankful my boys love their grandparents so much. Thankful my parents told me they would continue to do this every six weeks.

Thankful for my AMAZING husband. While the boys were gone he got our house DEEP cleaned. (It took them from 10:00-4:00! Get those germs out!)  And Mae Stanley enjoyed having her Momma all to herself!

 I am thankful for preschool. Those teachers love my boys. The care about them and want them to be the best they can be. They support their strengths and encourage them to overcome their weaknesses. I am very thankful my boys love preschool too. They will tell you (quite quickly) that they would rather go to school than stay home. They love their little friends, and I am thankful they are making friends.

 I am thankful for how much these two love each other. I never intended to have two boys twenty months apart, but I am so glad God's plans are not mine. I am thankful for their individuality, quirks, and loving hearts.

I have so, so, so much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mae Stanley- One Month

Mae Stanley Facts

  • Weight: 10lbs (75th percentile)
  • Height: 22 inches (90th percentile)
  • Diaper Size: 1
  • Clothing Size: Newborn, 0-3 month
  • Sleep: Her naps can range anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. Most of her naps are in my arms, the bouncy seat, or her rock n play. She quickly decided she hated her beautiful bassinet I bought. I have put her down a few times in her crib. At night, she gets very fussy before bed. 9:00-11:00 isn't her happiest.We do a lot of holding and nursing. However, once she is down, I can get anywhere from 3-5 hours with her asleep in the rock n play. And to be honest, if she isn't asleep by 2:00/3:00 am, I let her sleep with me. I don't like it, but I need some sort of sleep!
  • Eat: She eats anywhere from 2.5-3.5 hours. Right before bed I nurse her on demand. We tried giving her a bottle on Saturday. Sister wasn't a fan. We will keep at it.
  • Likes: cuddles, eating, burping, bright toys, her rock n play, talking to her, when Mommy buys her clothes :)
  • Dislikes: her carseat, baths, her brothers holding her, bedtime
  • She honestly is a laid-back baby. She doesn't cry much during the day unless it involves her dislike list.
  • Has light brown hair and blue eyes
  • Looks like Woody
  • But acts more like Gaines as a baby!
  • Nicknames: We still call her Squeak because she squeaks at night!, Miss Mae, Mae-Stay, and the boys (especially Gaines) often refer to her as Sister

Monday, November 7, 2016

Halloween 2016

First off, let me start by saying that trying to find time to blog is not the easiest! But my sweet parents offered to take the boys for a few days to help me out with some scheduling conflicts. The boys were thrilled to go (they would much rather be with any of their grandparents than their crazy mother who has a silly thing called rules and consequences.) So now I have a few moments and I hope to get caught up on blogging and thank you cards!

Now, onto Halloween! 
High-Our first holiday with Mae Stanley!
Low- We don't have the best track record with Halloween (2014 and 2015)

The week before, both boys had colds. Not the best environment for a newborn, but what can you do? Gaines missed a day of school, but rallied in time for his Halloween party on Thursday. Since Mae Stanley is still so little, I didn't want to have her around a lot of preschoolers, so sweet Brooks volunteered to go to his party in my place. I was bummed I couldn't be at his first school party, but Gaines loved having his dad there. I am so lucky to be married to a guy who is willing to rearrange his very busy work schedule to be there for his boys. They don't wear their costumes to school, so I had Gaines on a cute, fall-ish outfit, but he had a potty accident and had to wear his "extra" clothes (aka an old shirt and shorts.) 

By Friday, Woody had the cold so we just spent a low key weekend at home. The dogs got a bath, I tried (and failed) at getting some pictures of the boys and MS, and we enjoyed the unseasonably high temperatures.

"Someone just sneezed on me. Seriously?" -Mae Stanley

Woody's nose had somewhat cleared up by Monday (Halloween), so I sent him to school so he could go to his party. Again, Brooks saved the day and went in my place. Woody is very routine based, and wasn't thrilled that so many grown-ups were at school...including his own father. He slowly warmed up to the idea and quit giving Brooks so many dirty looks for being there.

(Just me, or does Woody appear to be subtly giving his father the finger?)

Thanks Aunt Emma and Jake for this shirt! Woody love it!

When Woody got home from school, I got out their costumes. Of course we had to have some fun with old costumes!

2016- 4 years old

2012- 3 months old

Wearing his lobster head from his first Halloween!

Woody has said since this summer that he wanted to be Snoopy. Gaines has changed his mind 385,847 times. Since I knew Woody wanted to be Snoopy, I wanted Gaines to be Charlie Brown, and Mae Stanley to be Woodstock. Sometimes Gaines would agree to be Charlie Brown, but a shark and a garbage man were always in the running. Since I still had the shark costume my sister had loaned me, Gaines and I agreed that he could be "Sharky Brown."

The Peanuts Gang

Let me tell you, 4 and 2 are fun ages for trick or treating! Woody really got the hang of it, and Gaines quickly followed. They were so excited to get candy. They loved ringing doorbells (7 times and knocking if you weren't quick enough) and yelling "Trick or Treat! Boo! Happy Halloween!" We had the best time. The Byrnsides came with us, and after a few houses, Beth, Mae Stanley and I headed back, while Brooks and Mike stayed out with the boys. Such a fun night!

Then came Tuesday...

Mae Stanley woke up with some congestion. She had no fever, but I called the doctor to make sure I shouldn't bring her in. They assured me to just keep giving her saline. My brother, niece and sister-in-law (who is a nurse) came over to visit (which we all really enjoyed!) and again Leigh Ann assured me that as long as she wasn't running a fever, we were in the clear. My heart broke with how Mae Stanley sounded, but I tried to remain calm. Then, after Gaines's nap, she began to feel really hot. I called my other sister-in law (Savanna) over to watch the boys, and told Brooks to get home because I thought we needed to take her in.
By the time Savanna and Brooks got to my house, he temperature had gone down. Savanna went home, and I went to get Brooks some soup because I thought he was coming down with something. On my way home, Brooks called to say Mae Stanley felt hot, so Savanna was coming back over (sainthood...seriously) and we were going to go to the ER. In my heart, I felt she was probably okay, but just didn't want to risk anything with a 3 week old. We get to the ER and it is PACKED. I mean, just to check in, the line went to the door. There wasn't even a waiting room chair available. I looked in and realized that we would do more harm than good by going in, so we turned around and went home. I just stayed up with Mae Stanley and made sure her temperature didn't go back up.

On Wednesday, Brooks went from feeling bad to terrible. I made him go to the doctor, which he never does. Turns out, he had the flu and bronchitis, and would need to be in quarantine. I really began to panic about Mae Stanley. I called the doctor again, and she assured me that as long as her temperature didn't go up, she was okay. (In all honesty, I began to panic about me too! Brooks is a really big help, and I realized that the next few days I would be on my own!) Mae Stanley honestly was starting to sound better, so I decided to go ahead and take Woody to choir practice. On the way there, Mae Stanley started crying...which turned to screaming. When we got to church, I took her out and saw that she had spit up a lot of mucus, and in that mucus was some blood. I tried not to freak out too much. However, after talking to my mother and mother-in-law, I began to freak out. I called my sister-in-law, Leigh Ann, who was at work. (Moral of this story? My sisters-in-law are amazing. No really.) She told me that it was probably from her screaming, but she checked with the OB and a NICU nurse who all said the same. 

And if that wasn't enough....I got to have a phone conference with Woody's teachers. Nothing major, but it was just one more thing on top of a hard day.

I felt a little better, but Thursday, while the boys were at school, I took her to the doctor anyway. The pediatrician assured me that Mae Stanley was very healthy, her chest was clear, and she had no fever. She also talked to me about my anxiety. I have definitely felt more anxious lately, but after Wednesday, wouldn't you?!

Later on Thursday, my friend, Elizabeth, brought us dinner. I met Elizabeth through MOPS. Our boys are the same ages and we live close. She is so genuine and kind. I didn't panic that the floors weren't swept or the playroom was a mess. Instead I poured out to her how hard the week had been. I felt good just to talk to someone. Later that afternoon, when I went to check the mail, I saw that Elizabeth had placed the sweetest note in my mailbox with a Starbucks gift card. It was a reminder of how even though things might be a little tough, I am surrounded by friends and family (near and far), that I can lean on. Thank you God for giving them to me!

So that pretty much sums up Halloween 2016! It sure was scary, but God is always good!

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