Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Today is Amy's 30th birthday. I stayed home today to try and make her day a little more relaxing. As a result, I haven't taken this baby carrier off for the past 3 hours. I just finished giving Kip a bottle so that Amy could go off to her surprise massage and get some much needed time alone. Let's just say that neither Kip nor I are used to the bottle. For the first 15 minutes, more of it came up than went down. In the middle of her feeding, I had to stop to give our sick and whining oldest some medicine b/c he was losing it. After her feeding, Kip went poop and more of it went up than down into the diaper itself. Thus, the need for a completely new outfit. In the past hour, I have disciplined Gus twice. He's due for lunch, but I'm stalling as long as possible, hoping that Amy will get back in time to help. Kip is back in the carrier and fighting her nap. Hold on...need to go fix the train tracks again so Gus can settle back down... Back now.

All that to say, I am very thankful for Amy and the hectic job she manages here at home. She's a great mother and still finds the time to be a fantastic wife and friend. I love you, Frau. Happy Birthday! (I think I heard the car pull up. Sweet. She's home!)



Monday, December 21, 2009

Funny Man Encore

Today, while trying to get the house cleaned, I let Gus play with a container of Q-tips. I told him he could take them all out, as long as he cleaned them all up when he was finished.

I came in a few minutes later to find him cramming all the Q-tips back in the plastic cup. I asked him if he was having fun.

He said, "Yes, I'm just cleaning up all these Booger-tips."

(That's what we tell him Q-tips are for: Cleaning out your ear boogers.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Funny Man

Here's a conversation that just transpired:

Amy to Scott: "I wonder how they did this." (Referring to a personalized note pad that we just received.)

Scott: "I'm sure that any printer could do that."

Gus, from another part of the room while playing: "Printer. I want to see a printer."

Amy, under her breath: "Gus Man, you're such a little eavesdropper."

Gus, from the other side of the room: "Eavesdropper. Eavesdropper."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Argh....Sigh....

Life can be so frustrating and yet joyful at the same time.

On Sunday, Kip started having the same food allergy symptoms that we suffered through with Gus for 7+ months when he was an infant. It has been shocking to me how similar my two children have been so far! She even started the symptoms at exactly the same age as Gus (almost to the day!).

I was, at first, devastated. Just remembering how stressful and sad it was the first time made me want to give up this time. I thought that with it being our second time around that I would handle it better, but it's still hard.

It's hard to think that her body is suffering and her immune system is working so hard to defend her against something that it doesn't need to worry about (that's what this type of allergy essentially is: a confused immune system). It is hard for me to contemplate many more months of elimination diets and doctor visits. With Gus, we were never able to figure out what it was in my diet he was reacting to, so I modified and modified, with little success. But, he is completely fine now which is a comfort to know, and he by no means had as severe a case as he could have. There are a lot of things for us to be thankful for. Kip has started smiling and hanging out with us more. Her whole face lights up when she smiles, and it's been so much fun to watch her interact with Gus a little bit.

For now I'd really like to try and continue breastfeeding so I'm not eating dairy, soy, eggs, nuts and fish for 3 weeks. We'll see if that does anything to ease the symptoms. After that, I don't know what we'll do. The formula they suggested switching Gus to supposedly can run up to $100 a week, which does not sound good to me!

I'm praying for a good attitude, complete healing for Kip or at least for us to discover what allergy she has so that I can avoid it. I am learning to process my ever fluctuating emotions through prayer and, as always, these "light and momentary troubles" are bringing me closer to my Savior!

Life goes on...I'm off to try replacing the eggs in some of my Christmas cookies with flax seed meal. We'll see how THAT goes:)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1 month old

It's amazing how fast they grow!! From this...

...to this, in just 1 month.


Kip is doing great. At her 1 month appointment, she weighed 8 lbs 3 oz (25%) and was 21 inches long (50%). Although we've had a few rough nights, overall she's a much better sleeper than Gus was. She's pretty easy-going and loves to cuddle:) She's starting to get interested in stuff around her, like her mobile. She also really enjoys laying on the floor next to Gus!

Here are some of my favorite photos from her first month.

We love you, Kip!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grandmas

We've been blessed to have 2 grandmothers who were able to come and visit us since Kip's birth. It has been wonderful to have extra hands to help mainly with Gus. He has been showered with new clothes, toys, shoes, etc. and has been on many fun outings to see the Choo Choo, the park and the carousel. Thanks so much for coming, Oma and Nonnie!!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall

On Friday, Gus and I discovered the huge pile of leaves that Scott raked the other day. What fun to introduce him to such a great childhood activity! I even got to climb in myself!




Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yoga Master

Within minutes of Kathryn's birth, she struck the Lotus position in order to relax and unwind post-delivery. She's very smart - as we expected - but all the nurses were in awe.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Siblings

Gus came to the hospital yesterday afternoon for his first visit with Baby Kip. It was fascinating to watch him take it all in. He actually sat and held her for several minutes. It's rare for him to sit still for that long unless we're reading. He even made cooing noises (like he does with his stuffed animals) and was extremely gentle with her. He's going to be a great big brother!!

Checking to make sure she has all her body parts....
Ears, check.Nose, check.Mouth....um, let's see...

Holding hands:)So, for those of you who care, here's our story:
On Tuesday, I had contractions most of the day, starting around 7 am. They were easy and about 10 minutes apart until around 3 pm when they started getting more intense . I called Scott just to let him know that things were progressing. We had a normal evening... dinner.... bedtime for Gus, etc. I laid on the couch for a while to see if things would continue or slow down. Around 9, the contractions started getting closer together so we packed Gus up and took him to our neighbor's (Thanks, Reardons!). It all felt a little surreal.
Having done this once before it wasn't as intense as I remembered. I helped pack our bags, cleaned and straightened up the house and timed contractions, all at the same time. We finally decided to head to Women's East around 11, and I seriously wasn't sure if we'd get to stay or not, but once we got here, they found out I was already 7 cm dilated, so they stuck us in a room as fast as possible and got everything started. I was Group B strep positive again, like with Gus, so they had to do antibiotics. I decided this time to get an epidural, but they couldn't start that until the antibiotics were done....and let me tell you, it seemed like they were never going to be done!! So, I labored for about 1 1/2 hours before the epidural (around 1:30) and then was ready to push at 2. It was definitely a completely different experience from last time when I went all natural. I suppose there are pros and cons to both and I'm really glad I've done it both ways!
Anyway, Kip was born at 2:26 am (on her grandfather Papa Gus' birthday!) with the cord wrapped around her neck. They had to cut it before she could be completely delivered. She was very quiet at first and they had to work on getting her oxygen levels up while the midwife stitched me up. After that there were a few hours of nurses checking in and her first bath (which she HATED!). We caught a couple hours sleep here and there. My parents got here yesterday afternoon, and our neighbors brought Gus by. He has definitely been enjoying his time with Oma and Opa:)
Last night, Kip's routine bloodwork showed an elevated level of a protein that could mean a possible infection as a result of my Group B Strep. Because my labor went so quickly, I didn't get all the antibiotics that I really needed, so there is a chance I passed it on to Kip. So they came and took her away in the middle of the night to the special care nursery to start her on antibiotics. It is pretty crazy to have the identical thing happen to both of our kids! Gus' case was a little worse: he did develop a fever and some fast breathing episodes. So far Kip has had no infection symptoms, but is being treated for a mild case of jaundice. She has a IV in her head (which looks so much worse that it actually is) and has to sit under the "grow lights" as I call them with a little mask on. But overall, this experience has been nothing compared to the one with Gus because we know everything to expect. She is even in the exact same bed that he was in at the nursery!!
She is getting more alert and fiesty each time we go to see her. I'm actually feeling a little sorry for her nurse:) She is very vocal about her dislikes (being undressed, sitting under the lights, etc). I am guiltily enjoying getting to really rest and nap, which is one blessing out of all of this!
So, we're very, very thankful to the Lord to have our little girl here. She is beautiful. We love her so much already and will be glad when we can take her home with us to start this new phase of life with 2 kids! Please join us in praying that she'd be released soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good Morning!

While all of you were sleeping, we were hard at work! Weighing in at 6 lbs. 5 oz, towering 19 and 1/4 inches and born at 2:26 a.m., introducing Kathryn Persis (Kip) Noll! The girls are doing just fine. Kip looks like her brother, don't you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Waiting....

Well, our daughter is now officially running late....which is not really so surprising considering I'm her mother:) While we are waiting, we've been keeping busy.

Scott surprised me by signing me up for a floral decorating class at a florist here in St. Elmo. It was really fun and I'm proud of my masterpiece!


It has turned cold here and Gus has enjoyed his walks outside in his new hat and gloves. (Note the white paint on his face, a reminder of our house project, which is now completed!! More on that later.)


It's also peak fall color down here now, so the other day we took a hike at the Nature Center. It's been fun to try and spend some quality one-on-one time with him before he has to share his Mama!



One quick funny story:
We put down a new rug in Gus' room yesterday and it was still smelling a bit "new" last night, so we left his door open to cut down on his VOC exposure. Usually he sleeps with his door closed and hasn't seemed to figure out how to let himself out in the morning, so he's usually still in bed when we come in to get him. Well, last night at 3:00, I heard our door handle jiggling and there he was, out of bed with a couple toys in hand. I took him back to bed and went to look in the den/playroom. I don't know how long he had been up, but he had definitely been playing!! His cars were out and so were some of his "art" supplies. I'm not quite sure how he managed to do all that in the pitch black dark, but I found it hilarious.....until he was still awake in his room an hour later! Needless to say, he is now down for an early nap:)

Friday, October 16, 2009

House of Dust

We haven't posted in a while. Our house has been rearranged due to a little remodeling project that has turned into a medium-sized remodeling project, so the computer hasn't been as easy to use. Everything we had in our den is now scattered throughout the rest of the house, Scott is now dressing up in the attic, there is a fine layer of dust in most every room and the house smells of paint, new wood and drywall. Oh well. It's something we've been wanting to do since we moved in five years ago. We feel like we've been patient until now and with Kip on the way (nothing stirring yet) we decided to go for it. Once the project is finished (please let it be before we bring a newborn home from the hospital!) our bedroom closet will be twice as big, Gus' bathroom will have a linen closet, and our den will have new walls and windows, a refinished ceiling, and new carpet. Hopefully, it will someday be able to serve as a bedroom for one of the kids. For now, we are learning to live in moderate chaos and becoming used to living on "contractor time," which means things don't always go the way we expect or happen quite as fast. Thankfully our guys are better than most, though! Hopefully, we'll have some before and after pictures to post soon! Hmmm...now where did we put that memory card adapter?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Picnic

We had a picnic dinner at Cloudland Canyon last Sunday. It was gorgeous! This beautiful fall weather has been such a relief after weeks of rain.


Admiring the scenery.

Pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres.

Gus spent much of his time picking up some of the largest acorns I've ever seen.

Dinner is served.
Sunset.

Possibly our last group photo as a family of 3!

Monday, September 28, 2009

"Tweet"

Gus decided to usurp one of the cats' toys for his own last week. For whatever reason, he chose to name this little mouse "Tweet" and they have been inseparable ever since. This is officially the first time that he has named one of his toys by himself. It is fun to see his little imagination growing. We're glad that Tweet is part of the family. For one thing, Tweet is easy to bring along b/c he is so small. Another bonus: should Gus lose Tweet, we'll just go to PetsMart and pick up another 3-pack.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Trucks

This weekend, it's been doing nothing but, you guessed it, raining.....so here's a post about last weekend. We went on Saturday morning to an event called "Touch A Truck" that our neighbor told us about (Thanks, Cindy!!). It's basically a huge collection of trucks, just like the ones we've been reading about in Gus' many, many truck books. So last Saturday, he got to see them all for real and play with some wheel-related toys. It was a HUGE hit with our little trucker. I've labeled the various trucks, in case you're not as up on your truck names as we are:)

Pushing a wagon in his hard hat.

Playing on the car mat.

Concrete mixer (a highlight!)

Driving the concrete mixer. Those things are huge!



Tiny red car?


Up close, trucks have REALLY big wheels!


A satisfied customer:)

Cherry picker.

Golf cart.

Waiting for the HYBRID bus. Go CARTA!

Awed by the wheels again.

Street sweeper.

Riding lawnmower.

Tractor.