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Friday, August 29, 2014

2 Day Hospital Visit

During our hospital stay I was pretty nervous about the amount of weight Tess would lose. She had SO MUCH poop as well as a lot of fluid so I knew both could affect her weight loss. I told the nurses up front that I would not be giving any formula, regardless of her weight loss report. Thankfully when we left the hospital she weighed 6 lbs 10 oz which was only a 6 oz loss and they said that was totally within normal range :) Whew! 

Our hospital has a policy where you go home for a couple days then they have you come back to do a check-up on the baby. We got discharged from the hospital on Saturday and had to go back up there on Monday. With the stomach bug hitting our house it actually all worked out pretty well for that appointment. The big kids were at G-Mama's to avoid getting Tess sick and Zach had come home Sunday so he could rest and feel better. He felt a LOT better on Monday but still stayed home from work to rest up and so he could go to the hospital appointment with me.

The appointment was at 1 and she ate at 11:30 so we just left as soon as she was done eating to get up there early and hopefully get back early as well. Zach picked out her outfit for her to wear for the big's one of Britt's old ones that my mom actually got for her. Love the little bird on it!

She slept in the car on the way there and stayed asleep when we got there too!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, Tess failed her hearing exam. I was pretty nervous about this hospital visit because it's where they would be retesting her. If she failed it again we'd have to go see a specialist. By the time of the appointment I was feeling MUCH better about her passing since
we had done a good bit of talking to her and could tell she can hear out of the left ear (the ear she failed). I also had done my research about it and had talked to some friends who also said their babies failed and then passed the second time around. Even feeling better about it, I was still a nervous wreck when we got there and it was time for them to test her!

I'm SO glad we had kept her asleep in the car seat b/c the nurse took the whole car seat to the exam and said her being asleep would help. She told us it could take 5 min or it could take an hour and we couldn't go with her for the test. Ugh. It was a LONG wait even though it probably was less than 10 min. I was just dying! The nurse came in and didn't tell us right away whether she passed or failed! When she said she passed I said "Praise the LORD!" and the nurse looked at me like I was a crazy person! I guess they really do have to retest a lot of babies and must never be too concerned about it haha. 

We discussed her dirty and wet diapers and I told the nurse that I had stopped tracking them the day we got home from the hospital because the count was like a million. Seriously child had constant wet and dirty diapers. All my babies have been that way which is a HUGE blessing. I heard a lady with her baby say to the nurse that hers had only had 3 poop diapers since leaving the hospital. I'm sure that's a normal amount but I am thankful my kids have always had too many to even track. 

She weighed her and said she was so shocked to see that Tess had gained 4 OZ since leaving the hospital two days prior! YAY!!! She was 6 lbs 14 oz! Only 2 oz shy of her birth weight :) As a breastfeeding mama, nothing makes you prouder :)

The nurse also did her jaundice test and I am STILL in disbelief that the child didn't have jaundice. Her skin is SO dark and pretty!!! How is that possible?!?! Even in some pics I've been editing of her I can see a yellowish tint which I always thought meant jaundice?!! I'm glad she passed the test and I guess she just has naturally dark skin (my little Pocahontas). I did keep her next to the window during pretty much all of our hospital stay. I did that so we'd have good lighting for pictures (I left the shade opened literally all day, every day that we were there. Natural light is the BEST for good pics! I was sweating like crazy but it was worth it haha). I didn't even think about it helping Tess if she was jaundice but Mrs. Charlotte came to visit us up there and commented on how smart it was to keep her in the natural sunlight like that. Maybe it helped without me even realizing it?!?!

She also told us that Tess's breasts are swollen due to hormones and that it's very normal. She said her privates don't look swollen at all (they were in the hospital big time!) and not to be surprised if she had a period. Whhhhhat?!?! I have NEVER heard of newborn girls having a period?!?! She said it could happen. Thankfully it DIDN'T! But I'm glad she warned me b/c if I saw blood down there I would have FREAKED. She did have a little white discharge but that's it. 

The nurse did lecture us a little about doing better cleaning her cord stump with alcohol at each diaper change. I'm sorry but I HATE that. It seemed like it bothered her so I didn't do it that hardcore. I also knew once we went to our pediatrician that he'd tell us not to clean it so often. 

I was SO thankful for such a good appointment!!! We have a perfect healthy baby girl and we couldn't be more blessed!!!

We still had over an hour until her next feeding and child was DEAD asleep. I was feeling so good and so happy I told Zach we should go on a date! I mean why not? Go grab some lunch together while she sleeps! We rarely get alone time just us and her so why not take advantage? He thought I was nuts and reminded me about the pertussis concerns. Oh yeah. That! So we didn't go anywhere and instead went home ;) 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Keeping a Summer Schedule

Today is Babywise Friendly Blog Network Pinterest Day! We are all talking about back to school so be sure to check out the other bloggers for some great back to school tips and tricks!

Back to school time is here! It's always a time of adjustment and transitions for all families. Whether you have a preschooler or a high schooler, the back to school time is always a tad crazy for us all!

I read a lot on Facebook about parents stressing over getting their kids prepared for the first day of school. They realize, a few days prior to school starting, that they've been staying up late or sleeping in late over the summer and that school starting means they will have to get up early each morning!

This year was my first year of having a kindergartener. My son started kindergarten and my daughter started three mornings a week preschool. I also gave birth to a new baby one week prior to the first day of school.

Yes, having a newborn around the first day of school was pretty stressful. Thankfully I had bought all the back-to-school items (clothes, supplies, etc) while still pregnant. And I kept my kids on a schedule all summer so the transition to school routine was a BREEZE.

Whhhhat?!?! Kids on schedule during the summer?!?! Yes! While we had a more relaxed schedule, we did still have one in place and I truly believe it made the transition for both my children and my husband and I easier when school started back.
Here are some ways I kept structure in our lives over the summer and how it benefitted the back to school routine:

1. Keep Naps: Naps are essential in order to keep our home running happily. Grouchy kids = grouchy mama (especially when 9 months pregnant in the heat of summer!). I was more flexible with naps on occasion during the summer. Our nap time is 1 PM but I didn't stress if the kids weren't in the bed until 1:30 or even 2:00 on a few occasions. I wanted summer to be fun but also wanted to keep their routine. If they did go down later for nap, I made sure to not have plans in the afternoon to allow them to sleep later. By keeping naps in place I allowed my children to have their rest and be at their best at all times. It helped prepare them for school because they weren't trying to "catch up on sleep" in the days prior to school starting. By staying with their regular routine they never hesitated going down for naps when the new baby arrived or when school started back up.

2. Stay Home: It's EASY to go-go-go all summer. You want to have fun! Make memories! Who wants to stay at home?!?! I made sure when planning my week with the kids that I didn't over schedule activities. We stayed home at least 2-3 days each week. This allowed for us to have independent playtime, learning time, and just relaxing time at home without being completely overstimulated all the time. It also allowed me to spread out the fun summer things I had planned which always gave us something to look forward to and helped the dreaded "I'm bored" phrase from never happening! By staying home I was able to keep their routine consistent and that prepares them for the daily routine of school. 

3. Bed Times Consistent: Another tough thing to stick to in summer time is a consistent bed time. Why is sleep less important in the summer months?!?! It's not! Sleep for us all (but especially our growing babies!) is important during all times of the year. Yes, it's lighter outside longer and that makes it tempting to stay up later. We have black out curtains in our children's rooms and I've never once heard a complaint about them going to bed while it's still light outside. Of course there were many times during the summer where the kids did stay up later than normal...but it was the exception to the rule for sure. Just like with naps...well rested children make for happier children which makes for a more fun summer for us all. Since they would have to have a consistent bedtime when school started I wanted to make sure to keep their bedtime consistent during the summer as well. 

4. Learning Time: My five year old would sit and color all day long with no problems, but with my two year old starting school this year I knew I needed to set aside time each week to help her learn to sit still, follow directions, and stay on task. On the mornings that we stayed home I had 30-45 min of craft time with the kids. They painted, colored, did sticker projects, played play dough, etc. It helped prepare them for the days of school and helped foster a love of art! I knew my older child would love it, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much my 2 year old enjoyed it too! My older child doesn't nap as long as the younger one in the afternoons so I also started having him do projects in his room when he woke from nap. This would be a great time for him to do his homework once school started and I liked the idea of going ahead and getting him into that routine before it became a mandatory thing. We also started letting him stay up 15 min later (bedtime of 8 rather than 7:45) so we could have reading time together. He would read a book to me and then I'd read some of a chapter book to him. This not only gave us quality time together but helped him practice his reading skills to stay prepared for school.

5. Independent Playtime: Along with learning time I also made sure my children had independent playtime each morning that we were home. We would typically do the learning time activities around 9 am and then they would go to play in our playroom together (so it was more of a sibling time rather than a true independent playtime) around 10 am for about 45 min or more. After that we'd do movie time, then lunch, and then usually we'd have some time to play outside before naps. I liked having the kids go together to the independent playtime. In school they would need to be able to play nicely with others and it was great practice to have them play together. They did wonderful with it and would often ask to stay playing longer! When my older child would get up from his nap I would have him do some learning activity in his room and then he'd have about 30 min or so before his sister woke up to be able to play independently. I am a big believer in the benefits of independent play and I enjoyed listening to him over the monitor and hearing the creative games he came up with on his own!

By keeping these five things in place over the summer my children were very prepared when school started. They both transitioned into the new routines very smoothly. We've had NO issues with them being overly tired, we haven't had any reports home of any issues with behavior, and they have truly enjoyed school!

How do you keep your kids "school ready" during the summer???

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Britt Monthly Summary: July

Here is everything going on with Britt from July!

Daddy Date: Britt and Daddy had a special date night! I don't know if it's true for all families...but in ours we tend to hang out mostly with our same sex child. Zach and Kye do a lot of "guy stuff" together which means Britt and I get a lot of "girl time." We have to make more of an effort to do things with our opposite sex child and I'm so glad we take the time to have dates with them! Britt and Daddy had a great time at Zaxbys!

Shopping Partner: When Kye had golf camp, Britt and I enjoyed a lot of time just the two of us. I knew I was going to be homebound once the baby came so I wanted to go and do as much as I could! We had fun hitting up Goodwill and Carters. My kids LOVE Carters because of the lego table. Britt did AWESOME playing all by herself with the legos while I shopped! She wanted pics of her "tower"
And she didn't even fuss when it came time to clean up!

Her "prize" for good behavior was "riding" Mighty Mouse...

Now that Kye is upstairs we rarely all play in his room so one day while he was gone Britt and I went up there for a bit and she enjoyed playing in his bed with his books and toys :) 
Belly Twins: This month was my last month of pregnancy and my belly was MASSIVE. I couldn't get over how far out my belly button went and I wanted to make sure to get a picture of my belly with Britts. She has the cutest little outie belly button and I wanted to capture our matching bellies ;)
Painting Nails: I never have polish on my finger nails (always on my toes) so when I got my nails done this month Britt immediately noticed and wanted hers painted too. I've always avoided painting her nails but went for it. She LOVED it but whenever she went down for naps or night sleep she still sucks her fingers so the polish would get messed up. I fixed those beasts like 10 times in a few day period. I was glad when they all wore off!!!

Model: This month I also got several new pairs of Crocs in the mail, including some new boots for myself. As I was trying them all on Britt ran into her bedroom then came back out like this ;) Wearing her brothers old socks and rocking some of her boots haha!

Bible Class: This month was a big month for Britt at church. She finally moved up to the next Bible Class. She should have moved up when she turned two, back in Dec. But the teacher of the 18 month old class just LOVES Britt and Britt loves her and I love the way she teaches the kids. So none of us were in a hurry to move Britt from that class ;) It finally got to the point where Britt was pretty much teaching it and she's a full year older than the other kids in there so we had to move her. She's done great in her new class! It was SO sweet on the day we moved her...her old Bible Class teacher cried. It made me feel good to see that our baby is that loved! I promised her we'll be sending another Parker baby her way soon haha!
Home Days: Just like in Kye's post I mentioned the activities the kids did at home to stay busy while we waited for baby to's Britt enjoying the jumping stuffed animal game and the flicking beads one ;)

First time ever playing "house"! :) 
Hairy: Zach and I are both decently hairy. Like I remember having to shave my arm pits when I was like 10. Poor Britt is following in those footsteps. Thankfully her body hair is all blonde but check out the hair on those legs!!!! (and the bumps and bruises...girl is tough haha)
Daddy Time: Zach is an AMAZING father and really, really went above and beyond this month with the kids so I could rest! 

Playing legos in the playroom
popcorn and movie time together
cuddled up reading stories!

Other Stuff with Britt This Month:

  • I always heard that little boys love poop jokes...Kye hasn't ever talked about it!?! But Britt? She constantly jokes about tooting on people and about poop!!!
  • On July 14th she went to bed for the first time without her pull-up on over her panties! No accidents! Since then she's only "wet the bed" twice!!!
  • She got in trouble and had to go sit on the couch. When it was time for her to get up she came to me on her own and said sorry!!! 
  • We went to Wild Adventures and Britt was going under the water and she came and told me that she was baptizing her hair ;)
  • During naps I can hear her talking and singing. I will go in and ask if she's okay and she says she's just talking to her fingers haha. One day I walked in and asked if she was talking to her fingers and she said "no ma'am I'm talking to my thumbs"
  • Britt SHOCKED me this month at her counting skills!!!! Here's a video of her counting to 30 completely on her own. I had no clue she could do this and she almost does it perfectly!!!

More pics of my beautiful girl!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kye Monthly Summary: July

I know the blog has been Tess overload here lately and it'll probably be that way for awhile seeing as my world is pretty much revolved around her and her needs right now ;)

Here is everything that happened with Kye in July! I was MEGA pregnant this month so there wasn't a whole lot of stuff going on!

Date with Mommy: I really wanted to make sure to get a special date with each kid before the baby was born. For mine and Kye's date we kicked things off by going to JCPenney. I randomly have started to really like JCP! You can get AWESOME deals. I let him pick out some clothes for "back to school" It's hilarious what he ended up with. A tank top (with "85" on it of course) that is way too big and probably won't be able to be worn for like two years, a yellow golf shirt, and matching socks. I ended up getting it all for only $8 total ;) Guess he has cheap taste like his mama!

After our shopping we went to Steak and Shake for dinner! We had some GREAT talks. I really wanted to have that alone time with him to be able to talk about feelings. I asked him how he felt about the new baby coming and also about school starting. He said he just felt SO HAPPY about the baby but that he was nervous for school. He was nervous about how hard it would be and all the extra work he'd have to do. It was a really good talk and I'm glad I was able to give him that special time. 

We got the special birthday milkshakes...YUM!
Who orders hot dogs at Steak and Shake?! And who doesn't love cheese fries?!?!
I have to mention Kye's tank top...Zach went with me and the kids shopping at Gap Outlet and whenever I go shopping with Zach I end up with some random stuff. I just think it's sweet when he picks out clothes for the kids and I end up getting whatever he likes ;) He bought Kye three tank tops. THREE! And they were $7 each which I would never in a million years spend on one tank top...let alone buy three of them at that price. Of course when we went to have Kye wear it he didn't like it! I wanted to return them but Zach really, really likes these dang tank tops haha so I made it fun and said we were having "tank top day!" I wore a tank top and so did Britt ;) It worked and made him like them!
Another tank top day ;)
I loved my special date with my boy!
Even though we had milkshakes with our dinner...we still hit up The Mix!

Glad I was pregnant ;)

Shell Necklaces: This month Kye finished making all the shell necklaces for everyone in our family :) He loves giving to others and loves doing crafts which I think it so neat. He's got such a great mix of qualities...he LOVES to play sports, wrestle, and build things with Daddy but also enjoys doing crafts, helping me in the kitchen, and cuddling. He is gonna be an awesome husband someday!
"Man Shower" Kye had his first legit shower this month! He has taken them before but they've been with Zach. So this was his first solo shower and he really liked it! Once the new baby is big enough to be taking baths with the older kids I know they won't all be able to take a bath together (hello, no space!) so it'd work out good if Kye could be showering by that point!
Homework: This month I made sure to give Kye "homework" to do in his room after naps. When his light would come on at 3 he would do some work at his desk. It's a great way to prepare him for the homework he'll have at school and he LOVED it! He wakes up, makes his bed, then gets to work :)
Home Days: Once I got far enough in my pregnancy where I was just SO READY for the baby to come...we were kinda out of ideas for things to do haha. We got creative! We made up a game where we spread out all of Britt's stuffed animals all over the downstairs of the house and then they raced and had to jump over the stuffed animals. They loved it!

We also got out some beads and they made up this game where they flick the beads and try to make it to the other persons tray. Yes, I'm still finding beads all over my house. Oops!

It got too hot for me to be outside very much so whenever Zach was home it was outside time ;) I love watching the kids play together and seeing the fun they have with each other made me so excited to be giving them another sibling!

Kye was SO helpful around the house leading up to the baby's birth! He has chores to do every day and whenever he did something in his room or bathroom he'd ask me if he could do that same thing around the rest of the house. I def didn't mind having such clean toilets ;)
Other Stuff with Kye this Month:

The only other thing I have from the month is that Kye made up a song for me. Part of the words were "our mom is the best mom ever! Even if she can't smell or walk or do anything" haha thanks Kye ;) 

I also have a couple videos! Kye was practicing a lot for the new baby and loved to swaddle's a video of his swaddling skills! 

Also this month Kye mastered being able to dive ALL the way to the BOTTOM of our deep end of our pool! Here's a video! 

My handsome big boy!

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