Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sometimes life...

....offers a glimpse of Heaven.
I was playing the piano yesterday and turned around to see this- my three favorite people in the whole world, and I thought to myself, "I am the luckiest person in the whole world!" I want to remember this image so that when the trials come- as they certainly will- I will remember that the Lord has blessed us in abundance, and for that I am grateful. (The only thing that would be better? If Audra would let me do her hair- any suggestions?)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Park Play and Dr Visit

Yeterday it got into the 90's so we decided to take Audra to the park. Some of her friends met us there, and they had a blast playing together!

They have sprinklers which all the kids LOVE. It was a lot of fun, and a great way to cool off in the heat!

Also, Claire had her 2 week appt. yesterday. She is now 8 lb 3 oz and the doctor said she is absolutely perfect (of course, we already knew that!). She does spit up a lot, but shows no other sign of GERD, so we are still watching that carefully but are hopeful she won't have that problem.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our Little Aud-Pod

Audra is so great! We just love her so much- she is such a joy in our lives! And, she is also turing out to be really funny (as most kids are).

The other day I was giving Ben a kiss, and we look down and Audra is looking up at us with puckered lips, wanting to be kissed as well. Of course, Ben picked her up and we smothered her with kisses! It was so cute! Here is her puckering for a kiss:

Then, Ben and Audra have been having a lot of together time. Ben has been so wonderful- he has been doing everything so that I can focus on Claire and meeting her needs. I am so grateful that he has had this time off- he has one more week and then he has to go back to work. I don't know what I will do without him!

Anyway, yesterday Ben built this "fort" for her in the backyard. She absolutely LOVED it and played there for hours. Can you find her in this picture?

Here she is:She has also been a great help with Claire believe it or not. She loves having a baby in the house- at least for now. She will help us burp Claire and then she will burp all of us- including herself. It is so cute!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Best. Baby. Ever.

I know she is only 6 days old, but I just gotta say: Claire ROCKS!!! She is the best baby (knock on wood). She eats incredibly well and is always content. Last night, she woke up ONCE to nurse. ONCE! Granted, that could totally change tonight, but it doesn't matter- the fact that she had such a wonderful night is indescribable. We NEVER got that lucky with Audra- she was still waking up 6 times a night to nurse at 9 months old. This gives me hope. This gives me hope that perhaps Claire will be the greatest newborn of all time and I won't be having nervous breakdowns every other day and/or considering shipping her off to China on a regular basis. As opposed to last time, this newborn experience has been (thus far) dare I say...Pleasant? Enjoyable? Miraculous?

Claire rarely cries- and when she does it is the easiest thing in the world to get her to calm down- just stick your finger in her mouth. That's it. We don't even have to use the techniques in "The Happiest Baby on the Block" because she never gets riled up. It's amazing. She'll sit in her bouncy chair while we eat and just watch us. No crying, screaming, or torturing us. Today I put her in the swing while I showered. Did she cry uncontrollably the entire time like a certain other newborn? NO!

And, when Audra gave her a kiss yesterday, she smiled! I don't care if it was a gas smile, it was a smile nevertheless- and Audra got Claire's first smile.

So, to all of you parents who have done nothing but brag about how wonderful your babies are, I say this: ha ha ha- I now join you:)
****Disclaimer: I know this can all change in an instant. She does have a lot of gas bubbles that I am worried about, but so far they don't seem to bother her. We will have to monitor this closely so our perfect angel does not turn into a screaming monster. But, though colic may appear at a later time, I will continue to treasure this precious time when she is still our perfect and delightful Clair-bear (I know, we tried to not use that nickname, but it was just too cute).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What REALLY Happened

Here is the story of how we got our little Claire.

We knew going to bed Wednesday night that Thursday would bring us another little girl- we just didn't realize it was going to be so dramatic! Everything was, after all planned and accounted for- everything except Claire.

Before we went to bed, I felt a little more mucusy then normal, and I even contemplated calling my friend Kristin who had just had a baby to see what it felt like to have your water break. But, it didn't seem that bad so I didn't make the call and we went to bed as planned.

At 2 AM I woke up and said, "THAT'S what it feels like to have your water break!" (which, by the way, is gross). I calmly said, "Ben, time to get up- we need to go to the hospital," to which he responded, "can't we just wait until morning?"

In his defense, he wasn't just trying to get a little more sleep- though that was part of it. We were going to be leaving in just a few short hours anyway, and we would have to wake Audra up, wake Ben's parents up- it was going to be very annoying. If we could just wait....I decided to call the doctor- knowing beforehand what they would say. Because the baby was breach, if I went into full labor on the side of the street and had to deliver on the side of the road, well- that wouldn't be good for me or the baby. The hospital said to come in immediately and if I felt pressure like the baby was coming to call 911 immediately. So, Ben got Audra (who thought it was great to be woken up in the middle of the night to go see Grandma and Grandpa) and off we went.
As soon as we were in the car, I started having contractions- and they started at 5 minutes apart. It's a 40 minute drive to the hospital, so I prayed that we would make it!

By the time we got to the hospital, my contractions were every 3-5 minutes. They checked me in and I was already dialated to a 5, with the baby wanting to come out and come out NOW! Thank goodness we didn't wait to go in! They wouldn't give me any pain meds for the contractions which HURT (I kept asking myself why we women go through this again and again). Unfortunately, the doctor was already performing a c-section, and there was another women on deck waiting to have one- even at 3:30 AM. It looked like it was going to be a long night.

The doctor came in and looked at me, and decided I was going to be next. He bumped the other woman as her issues were not as pressing as mine, and soon we were being wheeled into the OR.

The surgry was not as bad as I anticipated. It helped having talked to so many of you and hearing your experiences, so I knew exactly what they were doing and what to expect. When they finally brought Claire over, it was quite literally love at first sight- we both just fell in love with her- and how can you not? She is so beautiful and precious, and we have been so blessed.

It appears that Clarie was totally fine with her Birthday being July 9th. It was the time she wasn't ok with- she wanted to be born earlier then 10:30 AM. Well, her entrance definitely made for an interesting night- and we wouldn't have had it any other way!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Guess Whose Body Parts

Recovery is going remarkably well- we should be sent home tomorrow. But, for now we thought we would have some fun. Here are some pictures of Claire's various body parts, and we want you to guess who she gets them from:
1. Hair

2. Nose3. Ear4. Fingers

5. Toes

One of them is a trick question- we won't tell you which!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Claire Ann Marriott

Ben here. This is my very first post. Claire was born Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 5:16 AM. She weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces, 20" tall, and had a lot of dark brown hair. She was scheduled to come at 10:30 AM that day, but at 2 AM Christina's water broke and she started to have contractions. Claire was ready to be born. She was still breach, so it was by c-section.

With no further ado, here are the pictures:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Loss, But a Good One

This post may be long- but remember, I'll never know if you don't read the whole thing, or any of it at all!

I have been a little emotional the last few days (and going and watching My Sister's Keeper last night didn't help with that- a total tear jerker, but a great movie- thanks again, Jen- that was a great night!!!!). It has just finally hit me that Audra is no longer going to be an only child- there will now be two little rugrats to contend with. I am not sad for Audra- I know she will be an awesome big sister and she and this new little one will be the best of friends (and worst enemies) throughout their lives. But, I guess I am selfishly a little sad for me.

For the past 26 months it has just been Audra and me. We've traipsed around town doing everything together- just the two of us (while Daddy is at work all day). Yes, as you all know, the first several months were awful, but after that it has been so incredibly enjoyable. I have really tried hard to live in the moment- to cherish the "doing" and not the "getting it done" as they say. I know that Audra isn't going anywhere or anything, but tomorrow everything IS going to change. Of course, I know it is for the better (I know my parents weren't truly happy until I was born- I was the third) and we just have greater things to look forward to, but there is a loss I am feeling right now that it will never again be just Audra and me. And that makes me a little sad. Sad because this time with her has been so wonderful, but also sad for this new baby who I will never get that one-on-one time with. Starting tomorrow it will be, "are the girls ready?" instead of, "is Audra ready?"

When I tell Ben this, he says that we can do date nights individually with the kids, and I know some of you already do that which is wonderful. I think we will try and incorporate that into our household- so that we can really get to know each child individually and they can have that one-on-one time with mommy and daddy that they need. I think that will help.

I am, however, grateful for all the memories I have of just us: going to story time at the library, park days, picking flowers, watching her play with her friends, letting her ride in the car cart at the grocery store. She is such a precious and wonderful little girl, and I love her so much. I already love this baby we are having tomorrow as well, and I am excited to meet her and get to know her personality and watch she and Audra play together. I know it will be a grand and wonderful adventure, one that I am excited for- even if I do feel a small loss for me as being the mom of an only child ends.

Here are some mommy/Audra pics:
And, here is what Audra did for her last day of being an only child:

We went over to her friend Tucker's house (she calles him "Tuckey"- very cute!) and they played in his ball pit and with all of his toys- they had a great time together! This afternoon I think we will have some fun mommy/Audra time and then tomorrow- everything changes! I know that she will be such a wonderful big sister- she is already excited for the baby, and I know that this is what we are supposed to be doing for our family. The Lord has blessed us, and we are grateful for this new stage of life.

For now, I am off to do something I won't be able to do again for a very, very long time: Take a nap.

Saturday, July 4, 2009