Monday, January 31, 2011

i heart faces: 'Best Face Photo from January 2011'

This weeks theme at iheartfaces is 'Best Face Photo from January 2011'. 

Choosing just one was SO hard, as I gave birth to a beautiful new baby girl this month, but this picture of my 2 year old Caters is probably my all-time favorite of her- captures her crazy, wonderful, full-of-joy personality.

Hop on over to check out other entries!

Friday, January 28, 2011

four weeks!

Sweet Nora James turns four weeks old tomorrow...
Can you imagine?!
I feel like she was born yesterday... but that she's always been a part of our family, too.
Oh, friends... she is wonderful
I'm so glad that we named her Nora. 
I've always pictured 'Nora's' as sweet and pleasant, simple kind of girls...
and that's exactly what our Nora is.
Easy Peasy. Content. Peaceful.
She's a magnificent sleeper- probably our best yet! She's consistantly doing 6.5ish hours straight at bedtime, nurses for around ten minutes, then sleeps another four.
When she's awake, she's bright-eyed and peaceful. Likes to squirm her long, skinny limbs and look towards the bright windows. You know, normal 4 week old type stuff. :)
Her favorite place is still on my chest. And that's still my favorite place for her to be.
She's a little peaunt, wearing all newborn sized clothes with room to spare in many of her outfits.
She weighs approximately 8 lbs, plus or minus a few ounces.
(I did the weigh myself, then weigh myself + her trick).
Basically... she's amazing. We're all pretty smitten by our newest addition. 
The 'big kids' still love to love on her and Corban is so protective of his littlest sister. They both call her 'Baby Nora James' almost every time they refer to her... and I love love love that. I call her Nora James majority of the time, too, it seems. I love that she has my little brother's name in hers, that though she's never met him, she'll get to tell people for the rest of her life that she was named after her Uncle JD. I love telling people that-- almost anytime someone asks her name, I mention JD. 
Anyway. Just thought I'd throw a little Nora update up. 

I've got to do some quick packing for the older two- Corban is spending the night with Jordan's parents, and Caters with mine tonight, and then they'll return tomorrow afternoon for Cate's second birthday party (finally!). I am so thankful that our parents were free to do this- I think both of them will benefit from some solo attention, and this Mama will benefit from a few hours to run errands with only one baby, and then all night and morning to clean and party prep. I am SO thankful for our families and how good they are to us and our kiddos! We are so blessed!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

an hour out of the house
by yourself
and with a white mocha
do your heart all sorts of good.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


 As we were worshiping during youth group last night, I sat amazed...
Just eight months prior in that very room, I fearfully confessed to one of my best friends that I was seven and a half weeks pregnant... but that things didn't look good. She cried with me, prayed with me. Over the next few weeks, I watched our baby grow, and watched the blood clot grow right along with it. I was put on bedrest, told that there was a 50/50 chance that I would lose the baby. 
But then one week, the blood clot was a little smaller, 
and then just like that- 
it was gone.
And now, here... amazingly, we have our sweet baby girl.
I'm amazed by the Lord's goodness to us, choosing to bless us again with another precious life.
My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.

Nora James... you are such a gift. Such a sweet and miraculous little gift!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

happy birthday, Caters!

It's amazing to me that my beautiful, wonderfully wild, life-loving little girl is two years old today. 
My Caters...
You've changed our world, little girl.
 Never have I known one who loves like you do. 
 You're wild and crazy... a free spirit, so much an individual. 
Oh, how I pray that you'll always be this way.
You've got an amazing imagination and a strong, strong will.
 Strong willed, yes, but you're tender, too.
You're my snuggler, my apologizer, my 'are you okay?' asker. You're as sweet as they come... usually. :)
Baby girl- I'm so proud of you. I love watching you grow, love watching you learn, have loved watching you become a big sister.  You've amazed me with your self-potty-training and your sentence speaking... but even more so with just who you are, that amazing little heart of yours. I love everything about you, Cate Taylor- and we are so glad you're our little girl! 
What a gift you are to us!!

(pictures taken by me... kristenmcg photography)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's amazing to me how... right... it seems for Nora to be here, to be a part of our family.
Things continue to go smoothly over here.
The 'big' kids really love their new sister. They spent the night with my cousin Monday night and when I walked in to pick them up, Caters came running towards me- just to bend down and kiss her sister, "My baby No-wah" she said. Corban loves to hold her, and usually checks in on her every so often. He'll stop playing for a minute, run to the couch to kiss her, and go about his business. He wants to know where she is at all times... a good protector, that boy of mine. :)
Our days really have been good. I was much more overwhelmed by the thought of handling three kids than I actually have been in handling them all. Really, our days don't look too different than our old normal- You forget how much a newborn sleeps! Nora spends a lot of the morning in the moses basket zonked out, and the rest of us eat and play and watch Curious George- you know, 'normal' morning time stuff. :) We have lunch, and then (so far, anyway... I know she's just 10 days old) all three nap around the same time. Part of me not being overwhelmed has been doing more planning and organizing than what is typical for me, and I've been really trying to stay up on the house. So nap time has allowed for me to get laundry and morning mess picked up- and then today, I took a nap with  my sweet baby girl on my chest. It was really wonderful... until the projectile spit-up covered me and everything but the burp cloth! Ha.
Oh we've had hard moments- don't get me wrong. It's not a cake walk, by any means, but the transition is going much more smoothly than I ever anticipated. And I'm praising the Lord for that!
Nora continues to sleep mostly well. She's had a fussier two days, but overall is really a very content baby. Get this-- she REFUSES a pacifier. What's a mom to do without a paci!??! This is whole new territory for me. :) She sucks her hands often, but has a hard time finding them. I really think she'll be a thumb sucker once she gets the coordination down- whenever she DOES find it, it's there for a good while, and usually puts her right to sleep. We went for her one week well-baby check up yesterday, and she, at 9 days old, was already 5 oz. above birth weight! Another first for me... We've always had to do a few weight checks before, but Nora is growing like a champ and we don't need to go back until she's one month old!
My (other) baby girl turns TWO this Sunday. Yeah, seriously. When did this happen?! I'll do a full Caters post here in the next few days, but I can't believe how this has crept up on me. Corban is at a really fun stage- he loves to learn and we've spent a lot of time working on letter recognition and the sounds letters make. P is favorite, of course, because of pizza, poop, and potty. Ha.
Okay. Time for bed. Boring update, I know, but I want to remember these things.

OH- one more thing, if you're in Indianapolis- do you have any good ideas for a place to do indoor pictures?? I am wanting to do Cate's 2 year pics, not in our house and not in a studio... hmm....

Monday, January 10, 2011

i heart faces: smile

This weeks theme over at iheartfaces is "Smile". I immediately thought of this picture:

Oh that boy of mine... such a joy-bringer. I love, love, love that smile. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

1 week old

sweet baby girl, one week old new...

So in love with our sweet Nora James!

also, my one-week-shy-of-2-yrs-old little girl got her first HAIR CUT today! Just a trim, but it helps a ton.
we're continuing to adjust.
we're being fed lots of delicious food.
still sleeping great.
'real' life starts Monday, when Jordan resumes a normal (but different!) work schedule and I manage three kiddos at home. 
it'll be good. we'll make it.
it's hard to type while nursing. thus the lack of capitals.
with that- hope your weekend is great!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

...and then there were THREE!

These are shots taken by my big brother when we brought the kids in to meet Nora at the hospital:

 They're pretty taken by her- always want to know where she is and what she's doing. Both enjoy holding her, and I melt watching them love her in their own ways... Caters offering blankies and pacis (which is like handing over her heart), Corban whispering sweet 'I love you, Baby Nora's and 'You're my lovebug's as he kisses her little head.
The two of them, though, are doing some adjusting. Corban is majorly protective of Nora, and doesn't want Cate near her. Cate is handling sharing her Mama way better than I imagined she would, but it is still hard. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely overwhelmed by the thought of all three by myself come next week. We'll learn and adjust, I know, but it seems daunting looking ahead. Three kids! :)
With that said, though, I am so completely taken by this baby girl! She is so content and pleasant. I hesitate to even say this for fear of jinxing myself and lynching from other parents of newborns, but three nights in a row she has slept five hours straight (!!). She'll eat, and then sleep another three. (Can I get a 'Praise the Lord'!?!?) When she's awake, she's very bright eyed, just looks around and sucks on her fist. Her favorite place is upright on my chest, and she has loved the sling whenever I've put her in it. She slept on me the first two nights, but last night was just next to me, and she has napped today by herself in the moses basket. I know she's still brand new and all of this can change, but so far- I couldn't ask for a better newborn.
I decided to join along with the thousands of others who do so and have started a 'Photo a day' blog. You can find it at . You can follow it and comment the same way you do this blog. Just fyi. :)
Alright... my house is now silent. Jordan is at a meeting at work, and I successfully and all by myself got three children to sleep simultaneously. I feel like that's worthy of a medal or something... but I'm just 5 days post partum and anything more than getting dressed feels monumental, you know? :)
I am off to re-sort baby clothes, gotta weed those little blue numbers out. :)
Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

introducing.... (with birth story included!)

I woke on January 1st, 2011 before the rest of the house because of contractions coming every six minutes. I was overjoyed, thinking that maybe just maybe this little one would come on 'its' due date too. I got out of bed with eager anticipation, only to plop on the couch and have the contractions stop. Again. It made for a rather grumpy morning.
I had been pretty sick the days prior and was still pretty lethargic. I slept off and on most of the morning, read a book on my phone, played with the kiddos. Around 3:30, I talked Jordan into taking a quick walk outside with me- I was getting stir crazy and figured it certainly wouldn't hurt anything. We walked for maybe 5 minutes and came back inside and relaxed.

Around 4:30, I noticed that contractions were back, but I refused to acknowledge them and most certainly wasn't timing them- I didn't want to re-enter my foul mood. My mother-in-law made chocolate chip pancakes and we ate. Around 5:30, as I was sitting on the couch, I felt a small trickle (gross, sorry), and thought that maybe my water was leaking. I went to the bathroom about 900 times trying to determine whether or not it was. I eventually told everyone what I thought was going on- but told them not to get their hopes up- and hopped in the shower. My contractions were definitely regular by this point (though I still refused to time them, and still doubted that I was in labor), but I had tested positive for Group B strep and was nervous about having time for antibiotics, so I called the doctor.
He advised me to go ahead and come in... better safe than sorry. As we loaded our stuff up, I was becoming increasingly suspicious that this was indeed labor. I couldn't believe it! We were at Jordan's parents house, so the hospital was about an hour away. About 30 minutes into our drive, my contractions picked up intensity and were coming every 3 minutes. By the time we got to the hospital, I was having to concentrate through them and had no doubt that we were having a baby that night.
The doctor had us going to triage first because of my uncertainty when I called. We got to triage, I went to put on my gown, and my water broke all over the floor. The nurse took her sweet little time asking me way too many questions that didn't matter a bit, and I was hurting and ready to get settled. I knew we'd be moving floors and going to a different room, and I wanted to get there NOW. I finally asked (maybe a little rudely...) if we could speed things along. She answered (rudely) that if 'we had to hurry she'd just go ahead and check me then.' I smiled and said, "Great!" She checked my cervix and much to my surprise, I was 7 cm dilated.
We quickly got moved to our room.
By this point, it was around 8:30 or so. We thought this baby would be here fast with how quickly things had gone. My contractions continued to pick up in frequency and intensity. Things were going smoothly- I was able to relax and breath (and moan) through them. I don't remember the timing of things, but after what seemed like forever, I was checked again and had made no progress. Another bout of forever with contractions coming one on top of another, and no change again. They also determined that she wasn't positioned correctly and that what was slowing things down- her forehead was butted up against my pelvic bone and she couldn't descend because of it.
I was completely discouraged and knew it could take a long time... I got the epidural. Man oh man... it was so nice to be able to relax a little. It was probably 9:30 or so at this point.
The baby's heart rate had been dipping with the contractions from the moment we were hooked up to the monitor. It wasn't a problem because it would return to normal as soon as the contraction ended. Around 10:30, though, my contractions were coming continually with no break- and the baby was in distress. I still hadn't progressed any farther, and the baby's heart rate was dropping lower and lower without returning to it's previous baseline.
 They put oxygen on me and sent to prepare the operating room.
 Thankfully, things quickly turned around. The doctor was checking me and the baby's position, and discovered that part of my bag of waters was still intact. He broke this, and within minutes I dilated from less than 8 cm to complete and ready to push.
I was ready to push shortly after 11, but they wanted to give the baby 'just 5 minutes' to recover from the distress. It was a loooooooooooong five minutes. At around 11:15, they had the bed broken down, everyone in position, and finally gave me the go-ahead.

Two minutes later, my heart expanded in a way unexplainable...
as we laid eyes for the first time on our brand new 
baby girl.
Our sweet Nora James, 
born 1/1/11, 11:17 p.m.
7lbs 5 oz
19.5 inches long
 I can't explain the way it feels... again... to love a child, another precious gift. My heart is... overflowing. We are so in love, so excited, so blessed by this baby we've been given.
Sweet Nora James-
we are so glad you are here! You are so, so loved.

(all birth photos courtesy of my dear friend, Erin Maguire. Last picture of her sweet face was taken by her Mama)