Friday, September 26, 2008

Amazing Gift

I recently celebrated my 30th birthday. This past year has been a trying one but one that has also been blessed with the amazing gift of our new son. The morning of my birthday I went into Luke's room to get him up for the day. He was a very happy, smiley little guy. I thought what a great way to start my day. It got better. When Luke saw me lean over his crib, he started giggling and smiling even bigger. My heart melted and I told him that was the absolute best birthday gift I had ever received. I know that this year will be filled with the wonderment of having a new baby and watching him grow and learn. I can only hope that next year my birthday will bring another gift as sweet as a baby boy's happy, giggly grin :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love It!!!

I am simply going to say that this is my favorite picture right now.  I absolutely love it!!!

Enjoy every moment!

Last Tuesday as I was dressing Luke for the day I was hit hard with how fast he is growing.  I was trying to dress him in a 0-3 month outfit that no longer fit.  It made me so incredibly sad and I got tears in my eyes.  It is completely amazing to me that he is already 10+ weeks old and weighing over 11 pounds.  The first few weeks were definitely tough and we've just recently really settled in to a routine but I want him to stop growing so much.  He's no longer my tiny little guy that came home from the hospital and I miss it.  Don't get me wrong of course I want him to grow and be healthy but I now understand why people tell you to enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast.  

     September 13th - Just over 2 months old

Family Photo

There is a tradition in my family that started with my sister and I.  We take "self" pictures.  It involves taking a picture of two (sometimes more) people but the trick is that someone in the picture is taking the picture.  One person usually attempts to hold the camera at the right height and angle to capture a good photo.  In the digital age it is much easier to get a good pic because you have unlimited attempts.  Troy and I quickly adopted this tradition because on vacations it comes in very handy especially when the locals don't look too trustworthy.  So the above picture is our first attempt at a family photo.  Unfortunately Luke isn't too visible but we are all in the picture and that's what counts- one happy family!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What a Cutie!!!

We have taken so many pictures of Luke.  I don't have time to write about them all but I wanted to get some of them on here for your viewing pleasure.       

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Bunch of Firsts

As with any newborn, there have been many firsts in Luke's life.  I have enjoyed them all although some were definitely more fun than others.  

  1st Bath: July 22
He really did not mind taking a bath at all.  He only cried a little bit.  He now loves getting clean.  I'm hoping that means he is going to love the water and become a swimmer like me.

   1st Time in the Swing: July 29
Luke seemed to like the swing; however, after about 15 minutes he was done.  He has spent some more time swinging lately but still seems to get tired of it rather quickly.  I was hoping that he would really enjoy the motion because he loves any type of movement.

1st Trip Out: July 30
Our first big trip out was on a Wednesday night after Troy got home from work.  I needed to go to Target but could not go by myself because the temperature was so hot.  So, we went to Target and then had dinner at Panera and then made a quick stop at Barnes and Noble.  Luke did great although he was pretty hungry when we got home.

1st Professional Pictures: August 8
This happened to be on a Friday.  All three of us went and we got some amazing pictures.  I would post a few but we have not gotten them back yet although I am very anxious to.  

1st Walk in the Stroller: August 8
It was a beautiful day and since it had been so hot Troy and I decided it was a great opportunity to see how the stroller worked out.  We took about a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood.  Maggie went with us and wasn't too sure about the stroller at first but now it doesn't bother her at all.

1st Trip to the Park: August 9
It was a rainy day but the Boetcher's were here and the girls needed to run off some energy.  So, between the clouds we went to LaFortune Park for a while.  Luke slept most of the time but the rest of us enjoyed the time outside.

     1st Time in Bouncer: August 13
I hesitated for a while in putting Luke in the bouncer because he was so small.  You can tell in the picture how little he is and how super skinny his legs were.  The bouncer has since become a place were he spends much of his time.  He sleeps in his bouncer at night, hangs out in it when I'm in the kitchen and also sometimes while I'm at the computer (it's where he is right now actually).  He really enjoys it because he's not being held and he is upright.

Found his Hands and Real Tears: week of August 18
I noticed during this week that Luke was starting to figure out the he could put his hands in his mouth.  He didn't do it very frequently and still doesn't but when he is hungry but not crying he usually tries to get his hand to his mouth.  It's great because you can see this look in his eyes that he is really trying to succeed.  The other thing I noticed this week was real tears while he was crying.  It had to be the all out really upset cry to produce the tears but noticing them made my heart melt.  Now if there are tears, I know that he is definitely one unhappy little guy.

Started Smiling: week of August 25
This has been by far the most fun milestone for Troy and I to this point.  It was completely amazing!  Luke was now responding to us.  Our favorite new past time became trying to get a smile out of Luke and more often than not he was accommodating us.  SO COOL!!!

1st Babysitter: August 28
This happened to be a Thursday afternoon.  I had an appointment to get my hair done and knew that Luke would not make it through the whole thing without being hungry.  So, I dropped him off with our neighbor and Troy picked him up after work.  Luke was there for about an hour and apparently he slept the entire time.

1st Road Trip: August 29 - September 1
Labor Day weekend we all went to KC for the first time.  Luke did such an awesome job in the car; we only stopped once to change him and feed him.  Fortunately for us he slept the rest of the way.  We had a great weekend with family and friends and the trip home was just as easy as the trip there.

1st Football Weekend with Dad: September 7
Troy has been very excited about football season this year.  In fact, Luke has a KC Chiefs t-shirt because of it.  Troy has planned that every Sunday he and Luke would hang out on the couch and watch football together (also catch a few z's).  So far they are two for two.

Started Laughing: September 13
This is also another definite favorite!  Just last Saturday when I got Luke up in the morning he was smiling and then he scrunched his nose up and giggled.  I think I had the biggest smile on my face and just wanted him to go on forever.  It happened to be a rainy day and Troy and I spent much of it on the couch with Luke trying to make him laugh more.  Every morning since then Luke has woken up all smiley and giggly- the absolute best start to my day.

Slept through the Night: September 13
Another major milestone and a favorite of mine was Luke sleeping from 10:30 pm until 6 am.  I was so pleasantly surprised with this one.  So far the trend has continued and he is sleeping for 7 hours straight at night.  Let's just hope that Luke doesn't decide to change his schedule (although I'm sure my bubble will burst at some point in the near future).

1st Time at Church: September 14
To me this is a big milestone as well.  I have been trying for the past month to get Troy and Luke to church.  Troy was concerned that Luke was too small and would be too disruptive.  Well, after speaking with our pastor Troy decided that we could try it out this Sunday.  All went fine until Luke had some projectile spit up and Troy rushed him out of the Sanctuary to clean him up.  Fortunately this was toward the end of service.  I am looking forward to going again this weekend and hoping for no major happenings.

So, that brings us to current time.  I know there will be many more firsts and I can not wait to see what happens next.  What a joy to see Luke develop and learn!  He is such a blessing!!!

Doctor Appointments

Luke has already been to the doctor numerous times in his young life.  I wish that was not the case but I am glad to have him feeling better.  This is basically a post for me to remember the dates and when he weighed what.

July 25:  First appointment; weighed 5 lbs 12.5 oz (lower than the 3rd percentile for his age); 19 1/2 inches long (10% for his age)

July 29:  We went to see the lactation nurse because we were having problems breastfeeding; Luke had gained 4.5 oz and so was up to 6 lbs 1 oz.

August 1:  We went in for a weight check because his feeding schedule and type was changed after meeting with the lactation nurse.  Luke had gained another 2.5 oz.

August 13:  We went in because Luke had been spitting up a bunch and I was worried he was not getting enough nutrition.  Turns out Luke has acid reflux.  The doctor prescribed some medication and said to give it a week.  Luke now weighed 7 lbs 3 oz.

August 22:  The medicine did not seem to be helping all that much.  Luke was still very fussy after eating and spitting up a ton.  We went back to the doctor in the hopes of getting a better solution for him.  Luke ended up with a second prescription.  This one seemed to do the trick.  Almost overnight he was sleeping better and by himself as well as just being a happier guy.  He weighed in at 8 lbs 4 oz.

August 27:  This was a follow up appointment to the one above.  The doctor wanted to make sure Luke was still gaining weight and that the second prescription was doing its job.  He was definitely gaining weight.  In five days Luke was up 8 1/2 oz to 8 lbs 12.5 oz.

September 11:  Luke's Two Month Appointment.  Luke weighed 10 lb 6 oz (25% for his age) and was 22 1/4 in long (25% for his age).  Everything looked great according to the doctor.  Luke also had his first shots at this appointment.  I had Troy come with me because I was really dreading this.  Luke did fine though- only one long cry.  He was fussy the rest of the afternoon and next day with a slight temperature but overall it went much better than I anticipated.

Hopefully, now that we have the acid reflux under control we won't have to go back to the doctor before his 4 month appointment in November.

Let's Catch Up

In an effort to reach current time, I am going to quickly (maybe, somewhat) summarize what life has been for us the past 2 months or so.  

  July 21 - 25: My Mom was here to help us get used to having a baby in the house.  She made us some awesome meals as well.  This is the first time she was able to hold Luke.

July 24:  I went for my 2 week check-up with the doctor.  I was having a really rough time with adjusting to this new lifestyle - in other words I had post pardem depression.  I am currently still on some medication and it makes life so much better!!

July 28 - August 5:  The temperature outside was over 100 degrees.  Luke and I did not go anywhere unless we had to- basically just to the doctor.

  July 31 - August 3: Troy's parents came to help us and spend time with Luke.  This picture is the first time Lowell got to hold Luke.

August 3: We starting adding formula to Luke's night bottles in an effort to get more sleep.  It definitely helped; he started sleeping for 4-5 hour stretches.  I began bottle feeding Luke at night because I require a bunch of sleep to function and breastfeeding every 2-3 hours was not allowing me to get enough sleep- just ask Troy! :)

  August 9 - 10:  The Boetcher family came to visit.  Katy is my cousin and these are her two girls.  Mary is holding Luke and Emma is looking on.  Mary could not get enough of Luke; she loved holding him.

  August 15 - 17:  My Mom and Stepdad came to visit.  My Stepdad had not seen Luke yet and was very excited to do so.  This is him holding Luke for the first time.  My Mom and I were able to enjoy a baby free shopping trip and the guys played a round of golf.

August 16:  Luke's umbilical cord finally fell off.  It took forever to get that nasty thing off!

August 18:  My actual due date.  Crazy!!

  August 20 - 21:  Aunt Sarah was here for a quick visit.  We just hung out and went shopping for Sarah's multiple trip adventures.

August 22:  Luke started sleeping in his bouncer at night because of his acid reflux.  We noticed an immediate change.  First off I did not have to sleep with him on my chest for the beginning part of the night (the only way I had figured out how to get him to sleep).  He also slept longer and was able to put himself to sleep as well.  Everyone was much happier with this revelation!!

  August 24:  We drove to Ponca City to meet Nicholas Biery.  The new dads went to high school together.  Just after we shared the news that we were pregnant we found out the Biery's were also expecting just 11 days after us.  Both boys decided to arrive early.

 August 29 - September 1:  We went to KC for the Labor Day weekend- our first road trip.  Friday night we hung out at my Mom's house.  On Saturday we also stayed around so people could stop by to visit.  Sunday we spent the day with my Dad and Stepmom.  This is my Dad holding Luke.  We had a nice relaxing day with them.  Monday morning we left somewhat early to get back home.

  August 30:  The other big event of the Labor Day weekend was meeting Becca Long.  Jen (her mom) and I have been friends since grade school.  We also found out that she was pregnant after we learned that I was.  Her due date was 5 days before mine but Becca arrived on August 1.  It was so fun to catch up with Jen and her mom.  As Troy said, Luke had his "first date" with Becca.

So, now we are into September.  Life has not been nearly as busy.  The weekend of the 5th - 7th was spent entirely at home and pretty much on the couch.  We needed some down time as a family.  It was great to relax and hang out.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

July 19- Luke Comes Home!!!

What an amazing day!!  It started out a little crazy as we (Troy, my sister and I) were trying to finish getting everything ready for Luke to come home.  Troy was running errands and Sarah and I were doing laundry and cleaning a bit.  I also wanted to make it to the hospital for the 11 am feeding which we did- barely.  It took me about 5 minutes but I eventually noticed that Luke no longer had the IV in his head.  I absolutely hated seeing that in his head everyday; it made me cringe every time.  When we arrived, the nurse went over everything with us but at that point we did not know whether Luke had passed the sleep study test or not.  Everything else was a go save for Luke's circumcision- poor guy.  

Troy signing the paperwork for Luke's circumcision.  

One adventure of the day was Troy and Sarah getting the car seat base secure in the car.  It took several attempts but they were finally successful with Sarah pushing with her feet on the base from the front seat of the car and Troy tightening it in the back.  I wish I would have seen that :)  

After the 11 am feeding the doctor was going to come in for the circumcision and we took that opportunity to go have lunch.  When we got back, Luke was fine and we learned that he had passed his sleep study and so would be able to come home.  I was beyond ecstatic!!  We had to wait a while before we left; one because we had pictures taken (not worth the time) and two because the doctor had to discharge him and we had to go over tons of paperwork and instructions with the nurse.  
About 3 we loaded Luke into the car seat for his ride home.  All three of us were so excited to be taking Luke home.  Troy drove while Sarah and I sat in the backseat with the car seat in between us.

The drive home took only about 15 minutes and was uneventful.  When we got home, Sarah took the animals (dog and cat) outside so we could bring Luke in without them going crazy.  We brought Luke inside and walked him through the house telling him what each room was even though he was sound asleep.  After that we put him in the pack n play and let the animals back inside.  Daisy (cat) didn't do anything and has pretty much ignored him since then.  Maggie was very curious and was sniffing him and looking at us like what's going on here.  For the rest of the afternoon we took turns holding him and taking naps.  We also talked with all of our family members to share the excitement of Luke's homecoming.  

After dinner, Sarah and Troy went to rent some movies since we knew we wouldn't be going anywhere for a while.  That night we watched "The Bucket List".  I held Luke through the whole movie; I couldn't put him down.  I was so happy to have him in my arms and be at home.  At some point during the movie, I looked down and was in awe.  Our son was finally home with us- well worth the wait!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

July 15-18, 2008- The Routine

After I came home, my routine was established quickly.  I obviously wanted to spend as much time as possible at the hospital with Luke.  Because I was getting up to pump during the night, getting to the hospital before 10:30 was tough so that became my goal.  Luke had a feeding everyday at 11 am so I was always there for that.  Depending on what I/we wanted to accomplish for the day, I would stay for the 2 pm feeding and then go home for a while missing the 5 pm feeding and returning to the hospital for the 8 pm feeding.  Troy's parents stayed with us until Wednesday and then my Dad and Frankie were here Wednesday through Friday.  This was invaluable because Troy was back at work and I was not able to drive because of my c-section.  During this week, the nurses cautioned us that Luke may not be able to come home for a while yet because he was having a hard time with his feedings.  To our surprise, Friday afternoon they said if the doctor would order the sleep study (to make sure Luke didn't have apnea) for that night and Luke passed, he would be able to go home on Saturday, July 19th.  We were thrilled and slightly unprepared.  We accomplished several errands that afternoon including a very expensive trip to Babies R Us to finish getting what we thought we would need.  That night my sister Sarah also came into town.  We spent much of the evening putting the finishing touches on Luke's room- it was great for me because I had not been able to participate in preparing his room because I was in the hospital.  We went to bed with very high hopes that our son would be coming home with us the following day.