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Monday, February 26, 2007
I haven't written in a while. I haven't felt very inspired. I feel like all my days are the same now. Take care of James, play with Annika, watch some TV (probably too much) and not leave the house very often. I know I could tell you all the cute and adorable things Annika does or I could tell you how often James wakes up during the night. However, by the time I sit down at the computer at night after Annika goes to bed and James is sleeping, I've forgotten most of it. I'm guessing that has something to do with my broken sleep that I'm getting. It's not very conducive to having a good memory. Maybe I should start writing things down throughout the day.

Tonight I'm going to talk about preschool though. Kris and I want to send Annika to preschool this fall. We think she's ready. However, all the schools in our area have a September 1st cut off date for admission and Annika won't be three until September 7th. (This will also be true for kindergarten and most likely Annika will go to preschool for three years and start kindergarten when she is almost six years old. I'm okay with that.) I called three schools I would be comfortable with her attending, a Lutheran church, a Catholic church and Community Education. The Lutheran church said their September 1st deadline is firm and they are already full for this fall. The Catholic church said they would accept Annika and they have openings. I could stop in any time to register Annika. Community Education said their two morning classes (M-W and T-Th) are full but their T-Th afternoon class only has three kids registered so far and they usually admit 12 kids per class. Because of her age, Comm Ed will put her on a waiting list and if they have room, they will admit her. So, Kris and I needed to weigh our options. What did we end up doing? Putting her on the Comm Ed waiting list. It all came down to money. The Catholic school would have been over $1800 - for preschool! Comm Ed will be $1150. Kris and I just don't have the extra $700 for a guaranteed spot for this fall, especially with me taking six weeks of unpaid maternity leave this spring. Kris faxed our registration to Comm Ed Friday afternoon. I talked to them today and was told they are putting Annika on the T-Th afternoon class waiting list. They still only have three students registered. I was also told they they usually let students within a week of the cut off in, a grace period if you will and that they give preference to kids inside the school district. Annika is just barely in that grace period but she is and we're also in the school district. I'm hoping this means she has a good chance at a spot in the class this fall. I was told to call back at the end of March and they could give me a better feel for this fall. My only concern with this class is Annika's napping. She still takes an afternoon nap. However, lately she hasn't been going down until 2-3pm and usually naps for 1-2 hours. Preschool would be from 12:30-3:00pm. Hopefully those two days a week she could take a nap when she got home from school and she wouldn't be too tired at school. Of course, maybe by September she won't be napping any more anyway. (Please don't let that happen!)

Posted by Kristina at 2/26/2007 09:06:00 PM

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Thursday, February 22, 2007
I just uploaded a bunch of pictures. Have fun!

Not much going on the past few days. Annika is sick again. She had a fever last night. The highest reading I got was 100.8 so some Tylenol with cold medication it was and then she was back asleep. Today it was just a runny nose and couch. Hopefully she kicks this to the curb without getting the rest of us, especially James, sick. She insists on kissing him on the mouth any time his eyes are open. We've convinced her, for the most part, to leave him alone when he is sleeping which means when he is awake, he is fair game. She just adores him and is constantly giving him kisses, hugs, holding his hand, etc. It's sweet usually but not when she's sick!

James is doing well. Two days of nose massage has cleared his blocked tear duct. It's so nice to see him open both eyes! His eyes are still a deep blue color. I wonder if he'll keep them or change to brown like Annika. Everyone in my family has blue eyes so it's still so weird to me that I have a brown eyed child! He is sleeping pretty well too. The past couple nights he's been waking every 2 hours, sometimes 3. I've been taking naps and sleeping in when I can. And he's been having more and longer awake and alert periods during the day. He still sleeps most of the time though.

Posted by Kristina at 2/22/2007 10:17:00 PM

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Monday, February 19, 2007
We've had a busy couple days. Weekends brings out the visitors, you know. Friday night Grandpa and Marcia stopped over for a visit. Annika was so excited to see them. She absolutely adores Grandpa and spent most of her time with him, playing with the new magnetic hide and seek puzzle they brought her. They also brought James a Swarovski crystal so now both Annika and James have a crystal given to them at their births. How sweet! It was also nice for me to have company in the evening. Kris went back to work last Monday, keeping his part time evening schedule so the evenings are now just me and the kids. If anyone wants to come visit in the evenings, let me know!

Saturday morning James and I met Amanda, Mary and Pam to pick up our bridesmaids dresses for Amanda and Dean's wedding. The wedding is May 12th. I'm glad I have a couple months yet because my dress doesn't fit! I have 1-2" in my belly that I have to lose in order to get it to zip. I ordered it two sizes bigger than what I normally wear. I'll have to work hard the next couple months to make sure I can get into it! The dresses are beautiful though and I'm honored to wear it for Amanda.

Saturday afternoon, while Kris was cuddling a sleeping James, Annika and I were playing on the couch. She had just woken up from her nap and still had her pacifier (called a nukifier in our house - nuk plus pacifier = nukifier). She knows she's only to have it at nap time and bed time and Kris asked her to give it to me. She did and I put it in my mouth as a tease. Then she told me to look over there (at the entertainment center). I did and she swiped it out of my mouth and put it back in hers! The little stinker! Then, a few minutes later Kris told Annika, who still had the pacifier in her mouth, to look over there, pointing to the entertainment center. Annika turned to look at Kris and said "Ha, ha, ha" with a straight face. She wasn't falling for that! A couple minutes after that Annika dropped her pacifier on the floor. She said if fell under the couch and I asked if I could help her get it. She said yes and as I reached down to the floor (I was laying on the couch at the time), she ran away with it in her mouth. She had it in her hand the whole time! That little sneak! Kris and I were laughing so hard after all her antics. And then we took the pacifier away because, well, rules are rules.

Saturday evening Nana, Papa and Uncle Dusty all came over for a visit. Once again Annika had a great time playing with everyone. She always does. And James got lots of cuddle time with Nana and Uncle Dusty, even though he slept the whole time they were here! Annika was a lucky little girl though and got to stay up past her bedtime. She was very well behaved and I only put her to bed after she came to me and asked to cuddle and for her pacifier. Then I knew she was tired. It took her a while to fall asleep, even as tired as she was. She could hear all of us downstairs I think.

Sunday Michelle and Brianna came for a visit. At first Annika was excited to have Brianna over to play. That is until Brianna actually started playing with all her toys. Then Annika just kind of followed her around and stared at her! It was pretty cute I thought. Annika tried to play with Brianna a little bit in her little kitchen but otherwise she would follow Brianna around and play with whatever toy Brianna had just lost interest in. A few times she would ask me for the toy Brianna was playing with. It was a hard lesson in sharing for Annika yesterday. I told Kris we need more playdates at our house so Annika really learns to share. Annika is fine sharing when the toys aren't hers. She doesn't often have little people playing with her toys at her house though! The cutest part of the day though was when Annika kept asking to hold Brianna's hand. Each time they would go up or down the stairs they would hold hands. And Annika asked to hold her hand other times when they were playing too. Brianna didn't really want to since that would impede the playing with the toys and all. When Brianna wouldn't hold her hand, Annika would look so sad. For like a second. And then she would move on and want whatever toy Brianna was playing with again. It was a really nice visit though. And both girls got tired at the same time so when Michelle and Brianna left, Annika headed upstairs for a nap.

Today was James' two week well baby visit. I was hoping he was back up above his birth weight and he is! He is now 9.95 pounds (according to the digital readout of the scale) which the nurse said was 9 pounds 14.5 ounces. Um, well, close. That's actually 9 pounds 15.2 ounces but I'm just being a picky, perfectionist engineer by correcting it. The nurse said that is in the 75% percentile and his head circumference was in the 50% percentile. The doctor declared him perfect. He doesn't have any jaundice and she was happy to hear that he is exclusively breastfeeding (really well as she witnessed when she walked in to the room) and sleeping well at night, usually giving me 3 hour stretches between feedings and sometimes going to four hours. Her (and my) only concern is his right eye. He has a blocked tear duct. She showed me how to massage it (pressure right at the bridge of the nose and then pressure all the way down that side of his nose). Kris and I are to do that 4-5 times a day and it should unblock itself. If his eye has so much goop in it that it's glued shut after a couple hours we are to head back to the doctor for eye drops. He isn't near that right now so I think the massaging of the duct should do the trick. Everything else checked out just fine. Our next visit will be at 2 months.

This afternoon James and I met Amanda and Pam and Baby Jeanne at the Mall of America for some wedding shoe shopping. We found two strong contenders. We walked around for three hours and I was so tired by the time we were done! I haven't done that much physical activity in quite some time! I was too big and pregnant to walk around that long in the last month. I do have to be careful with the physical activity for a little while longer. I am only two weeks post delivery after all. I have to say though that my recovery has gone amazingly smooth. I feel like I could start exercising and doing more physical activity already. I'm not though, just yet. I told Kris I would re-evaluate in a couple weeks and if I'm still feeling so good then, I might start doing some small workouts on the elliptical trainer, like 10-15 minutes a day or so. After my six week check up, I'll up that to 30-45 minutes. I'll also try to join the weekend run club that Kris and his brother have started at that time. I have to fit into that dress after all!

Posted by Kristina at 2/19/2007 08:21:00 PM

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Friday, February 16, 2007
Annika has done the cutest things lately! I know, like that's different from normal how? Anyway, yesterday Annika was sitting on the stool at the kitchen counter playing with stickers when Kris said something to her. Her response? "Awesome!" It was the perfect context, inflection, etc. It was so cute that Kris and I both cracked up laughing at her. Because she got the response she wanted, she kept saying it yesterday afternoon. Kris asked her who taught her that word and she said Auntie Krystle. I don't doubt her one bit!

She's also started doing this little dance routine. First she sways her arms to the left, then the right then she marches in place a few times then jumps once and then claps her hands. Then she repeats the sequence over and over again. Kris and I can't figure out where she learned this little four step routine (Doodlebops? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Wiggles?) or if she made it up herself but it sure is cute. This is the routine Kris tried to get on videotape the other day. We'll have to keep trying since she keeps doing it.

James continues on his excellent baby ways. He's having more and longer alert periods each day. He usually has one in the morning when he wakes up for the day and another in the evenings before going to bed for the night. Each usually last 45 minutes to an hour. I try to talk to him and hold him close to my face during these times. His vision isn't very good yet so by holding him close to me, he can actually see me. He's changing so much each day too. At first Kris and I thought he looked like Kris's Dad and uncle but he doesn't so much anymore. We can't figure out who he looks like now. He does have Kris's eyes and my fingernails, that much we know for sure. Oh, and he has Kris's (messed up!) toes. Poor guy! Hee!

And now for James' birth story. Monday, February 5th was eviction day for Sweet Baby James. He was officially full term, by one day, and both the midwife and Kris and I didn't want him to get much bigger, not with his sister being over nine pounds and all. I woke up early that morning to shower and get all the last minute things ready before Annika woke up. I wanted a little bit of time with her that morning before leaving. Auntie Krystle came over around 7am and helped with Annika too. Kris and I left around 7:25am or so to make our 5 minute drive to the hospital. We checked in to labor and delivery at 7:30am and were shown immediately to room #307. I note this because with Annika we were also in room #7! Anyway, shortly thereafter a nurse came in to take my health history and shortly after that a different nurse came in to start my IV of fluids. A little bit later the midwife came in to check in on me and confirm that we were a go for the induction. After that the nurse came back with the IV of antibiotics and got that started. By this time it was 9am already. The antibiotics had to be in for four hours before she could break my water and get things really rolling so Kris and I thought we had a while to relax. We got out the computer and I posted here and played online for a while and Kris read his book. About an hour and a half later, my midwife, Lisa, came by again. She was worried that just breaking my water wouldn't get labor going like we'd like and suggested we start on a low dose of pitocin before breaking my water so I was at least having some contractions. To that point I was only having them periodically, like usual. I agreed to the pitocin and at 11am, the nurse started it on the lowest dose, 3mL/hr. A half hour later I was still only having tiny contractions so they upped it to 2 doses. An hour later, I was having frequent but painless contractions so they upped it to 4 doses. Kris and I continued to relax. 45 minutes later, around 1:15pm, they upped the dose to 6. Lisa wanted the contractions to be stronger (i.e. HURT MORE!). And the contractions were a little stronger but still tolerable. At 2:40pm, they upped the dose again to 8. The contractions were more intense at this point but I was up and walking around through them still. At 3:30pm I climbed back in bed. Lisa checked me and I was still only 6 cm dilated, 70% effaced and the baby was around 0 to +1 station. All those hours of contractions and I only went from 5 to 6! Argh! Lisa broke my water and then waited to see how I would respond. My contractions became steady and strong and I had to breathe through them. At 5:10pm the pitocin was reduced to 6 since I seemed to be in active labor and they didn't think I need the pitocin to keep me going. At 5:30pm, I was checked again and at 7cm, 80% effaced and +1 station. Two hours and 1 cm! By this time the contractions were getting harder and harder to breathe through. I asked for some pain relief and at 5:50, I was given nubain in my IV and a hip injection. As with Annika's labor, the nubain made me loopy. Thankfully though it also took the edge off the contractions. They still hurt but not as badly and I could once again breathe through them. However, between contractions I would totally be out of it. I think I fell asleep a couple times. I didn't really like how it made me feel. At 7:20pm I was checked again and at 8cm and 80% effaced. Even with the nubain, I wasn't making much progress. And the nubain wears off after two hours and a second shot isn't as effective as the first. I didn't think I wanted to go from 8 to 10 without pain relief so I opted for an epidural instead. At 8pm I was given the epidural. I relaxed in bed and figured it would be a while to finish up dilating. Around 8:20pm Kris went home to get some dinner and say good night to Annika. At 8:30pm, James' heart rate dropped and a nurse came in to the room and had me roll on to my side a bit. His heart rate came right back up. She checked me and found me at 10cm! Turns out I just needed to relax and my body cooperated and dilated. Even though I was breathing through and handling the contractions on my own and then with the nubain, I couldn't relax enough and was hindering my progress. Anyway, the nurse called Lisa and then I called Kris. He had just gotten home and had to turn around and come right back. Lisa came in a few minutes later and checked me. I was, indeed, at 10cm but I had a small lip of cervix still in the way. Lisa decided to let me labor with the epidural a bit longer to get rid of that lip. A little after 9pm she checked me again and not only was the lip gone but James had moved himself down the birth canal. I was at -3 station and Lisa, the nurse and Kris could all see James' head already! I was given the OK to start pushing and pushed through two contractions. Everybody was telling me how well I was doing and that James was moving down with each push. I didn't believe them though and told them that with the epidural, I couldn't feel anything down there and didn't know if I was pushing correctly or not. The nurse went and got a big mirror on wheels. Now I could see exactly what was going on down there! I could see his head too and it was moving down with each push! I pushed through 2 or 3 more contractions and then his head popped out! (It was at this time that I looked at Kris. He wasn't crying, but he did have big tears in his eyes. I almost lost it, seeing him emotional like that but knew that my job wasn't done yet.) Lisa helped turn his shoulders and with one more contraction, James was out! He was born at 9:34pm and was immediately put on my belly and Kris cut his umbilical cord. While on my belly, after having his mouth suctioned out, he gave the biggest yell! It was music to my ears. Annika never yelled because she had so much gunk in her lungs and had to have a tube down her throat to get all of out it. Anyway, James was brought to the warmer,. which was right beside my bed, and Kris took some pictures. Lisa delivered the placenta and then told me that I hadn't torn at all! Yay! James was weighed and we were all surprised to hear the 9 pounds 8 ounces measurement! Thank goodness we didn't wait any longer to induce! Imagine how big he would have grew! Finally I was given my baby back and I got to snuggle and love him and try breastfeeding for the first time. He, like his sister, knew exactly what to do and was latched on perfectly right from the start. Lisa and the nurses asked his name. I looked at Kris and asked him one last time if he was okay with the name. He shook his head and said that he was. And then I announced "This is James Daniel." And then after Lisa and the nurses left Kris gave me a big kiss, told me how well I had done and we snuggled with our new son.

Everyone has asked where James Daniel came from. James is Kris's middle name and Daniel is after my father so he's named after his Daddy and his Grandpa. James is not an unusal name, as Kris tends to like, but I wanted it and had suggested it early in the pregnancy. It wasn't until near the end though that Kris agreed to it. Daniel is also my brother's middle name so while Annika's middle name is the same as Nana's and Auntie Carrie's middle name, James' middle name is the same as Grandpa's first name and Uncle Mathias' middle name. Nice symmetry, isn't it? Kris and I have decided that we are not going to call him Jim, Jimmy, Jimbo or any of those variations. We are going to call him James or J.D. If, in the future, he decides that he wants a different nickname, that is his perogative, but until then, James or J.D. it is.

Posted by Kristina at 2/16/2007 09:11:00 PM

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I forgot to mention that last Friday the home healthcare nurse weighed James. When he was born, he was 9 lbs 8 oz. When he was discharged from the hospital, he was 8 lbs 10 oz. Friday, he was back up to 8 lbs 13.5 oz. He had gained 3.5 oz. and my milk had only been in 24 hours! I'm hoping at his 2 week well baby check up on Monday that he's back up and even surpassed his birth weight. It's not that I want him to get any bigger than he currently is, because I don't. I want him to stay my itty bitty little baby forever. But, I also want him to thrive and grow. He's already filling out some of his 0-3 month sleepers!

The past couple days have been busy, obviously with a toddler and a newborn, but they have also been really, really good. Annika continues to be a wonderful big sister. She loves James so much, giving him kisses, holding him, always concerned when he cries, etc. And I think she's listening a bit better the last couple days too. She hasn't had any time outs yesterday or today. And she and I have had some good cuddle time in the mornings and at nap time. And tonight Baby James was content so I could play on the floor with Annika too. We put her floor puzzle together and made a tower with her blocks. She had Kris and I cracking up today. This morning she picked up her Grover doll, called him baby James and then lifted her shirt so he could drink his milk from her nipples! First one side, then she burped Grover and put him to her other nipple. Then she cradled him and talked in low, hushed tones to him. Someone's been paying attention! She's been very interested in breastfeeding. She always wants to see the milk come out. Yesterday she asked for a drink of milk from Mommy and Kris and I had to explain to her that only babies drink milk from mommies and that big girls like Annika drink milk from a cup. If we were extended breastfeeding, that would be one thing, but since she's been weaned for almost a year now, I don't want to go backwards with her. This afternoon she decided her Baby Nika doll needed a diaper. So she grabbed one of James' diapers and we had to put it on her doll and then put the doll's clothes back on over it. And she was dancing this afternoon so funny! First she would slide to the right, then slide to the left, then stomp her feet really fast. It was like she had a choreographed routine and she kept doing it over and over again. Kris went to get the video camera but of course by then she was done dancing. She's also been singing the Doodlebops theme song a lot lately. She's pretty good at it too! We're going to try to get that on video too.

James continues to be an excellent little baby too. His sleeping at night is pretty good. Two nights ago he slept four hours, ate, then slept 2.5 hours, ate and then slept another 2 hours. I got some good chunks of sleep in there! Of course Annika woke up during the four hour stretch so it wasn't totally uninterrupted. Last night he did pretty well too. He slept for 3.5 hours but then was up every 45 minutes to an hour after that. It was like he couldn't get his belly full enough. He kept falling asleep while eating and I couldn't get him to stay awake long enough. Oh well. I got a good nap this afternoon so I'm feeling pretty good. Yesterday James' belly button cord stump fell off so today he had his first bath. He wasn't much of a fan of that. He doesn't like having his diaper changed or his clothes changed though either. He just doesn't like to be cold I don't think. Kris had the video camera out for the first bath and I'm sure James was screaming during most of it. It was a pretty quick bath and then we wrapped him back up and got him nice and warm again.

And finally, a shout out to my Valentine. Kris has been so amazing the past nine days. He takes such good care of all of us. He's patient and loving with Annika. And he does his best to soothe and comfort James even though sometimes all James wants is to eat. And he is doing the absolute best job of taking care of me. He makes sure I get a nap with Annika when I've had a long night. And he always asks in the morning how the night went since he pretty much sleeps through most of it. And he's been doing most of the cooking and cleaning too. He is just the best. I am so lucky! Of course, he is lucky that I'm not a bigger hormonal mess than I am. Monday I was telling James how lucky we all were to have Kris as our Daddy. I said "I wonder how we got so lucky James." And Kris teased to James "You're mom used to be hot." I faked shock and horror but laughed with Kris. He thinks he's so funny!

OK, I must go now. I heard some rumbling from James. Time for a diaper change! Tomorrow I'll try to get James' birth story written.

Posted by Kristina at 2/14/2007 08:31:00 PM

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Sunday, February 11, 2007
First, I've added a new album of pictures. Instead of an album labeled Annika #whatever or James #whatever, I'm going to start labeling my albums by dates. That way I can put pictures of anything in the albums but I'll still have them in chronological order. The first album like this is titled "1-12-07 to 2-11-07". There are some duplicate pictures of James as in his album but I didn't want to take the time to figure out what's been posted by Kris already and what hasn't. It took me long enough to get all the pictures renamed by date and organized and uploaded! It's past my bedtime! Anyway, all that to say - hey, there's new pictures in an album labeled with dates - go take a look!

Today was a busy, busy day. We started off with church this morning. It was New Member Sunday and we were being introduced as (guess what!) new members. The pastor even made mention of James being only six days old. There was an audible gasp from the congregation. It was pretty funny. After church, we came home and ate lunch and then Nana, Papa, and the great grandparents came over. Uncle Dusty joined us a bit later. It was a nice afternoon. James slept through most of it but everyone got to see his eyes at the very end. We even got a couple great four generation pictures of the boys.

And then this evening our neighbors Andrew and Katie came over for a quick visit. And they brought us dinner and a gift for James! It was so nice of them! Annika was running around like a crazy girl showing off for them. She and Andrew had a great time playing chase.

And now it's time to finish feeding the baby and try to get some sleep.

Posted by Kristina at 2/11/2007 10:18:00 PM

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Saturday, February 10, 2007
We've had a busy couple days. I think it's time to recap them. I don't want to lose these memories and they are already starting to blur! Thursday was our first full day at home. Annika woke up at 7am and Kris was thoughtful enough to get up and take her downstairs instead of bringing her into bed with us like we usually do. You see, James had been up eating all night long. All. Night. Long. And each time he would drift off, at the breast of course, I would put him down and four minutes later he would wake up and want to eat again. Four minutes. Each time. It was like he had an internal clock. I was pretty tired and getting frustrated. Kris felt badly for me but there wasn't much he could do to help either. So, I slept in until 9am and got enough sleep to feel human and get up for the day. James continued to eat all day Thursday too. I think he was trying to get my milk to come in, which it did on Thursday. And then once it did, he wanted every drop he could get. I was drinking water like a fish hoping that would help too. Thursday night Grandpa and Marcia and Auntie Krystle came over to visit too. Marcia really wanted to meet (and cuddle!) baby James. It was a nice visit and James quit eating long enough for a nice, long cuddle with Marcia too. And Annika got some good play time in with Grandpa.

Thursday night Kris and I decided it was time to introduce the pacifier. I just didn't think I could take more of the marathon nursing. James had been eating almost non stop for 24 hours by now and I was getting more sore with each feeding. So, I would feed him and then we would soothe him with the pacifier (and some bouncing, rocking, holding tight and close) for a while. He was usually content for a couple hours at a time with this which gave me some time to rest between feedings finally. Thursday night was much better. He even slept for 2-3 hours at a time during the night so when it was time to feed him again, I wasn't so tired myself.

Friday morning though, I was concerned about the number of diapers James was (or wasn't, more correctly) making. In the previous 24 hours, he had only 2 wet and 2 dirty diapers. And on the wet ones, there was some orange staining. I called the pediatrician's office and while waiting for them to call me back, an OB home health nurse called us. This is a service that the hospital and my insurance provides - one free home health nurse visit a few days after birth to check on both mom and baby. I told her about my concern and she agreed that it didn't sound normal. James should be making more diapers by then. And she called the orange stuff "brick house urine." So, she set up an appointment for that day for a home health nurse to come over and check on us. At noon on Friday James had a very wet diaper, with just a little orange in it. Boy, was I relieved. When the nurse came over that afternoon, she said the orange stuff was a sign of dehydration. Since my milk had come in, she said the orange stuff should start going away and he should start making more wet diapers now. (Which it has and he is, thankfully.) She did an evaluation of both of us and asked me lots of questions and pronounced both of us healthy and fit. Whew! We spent the rest of the day just enjoying our new family of four.

Last night we had another pretty good night. James slept for 3.5 hours at one point! It's Annika who was the little pill last night! She was up 3 or 4 times and all she wanted was Mommy or Daddy to lay down with her in her bed or to stay in her room with her. It's hard to get angry with her when all she's asking for is some attention. And yet in the middle of the night all you want to do is sleep too! I think Annika's taking this transition pretty well though. She absolutely adores her brother and asks to hold him multiple timer per day. And she gives him lots of kisses too. And if she can't see him or doesn't know where he is, she asks right away and goes looking. She's going to be a great big sister. No, she's been acting out in other ways. Mostly it's just her not listening to what Mommy and Daddy say. She's been getting more time outs than usual. I'm sure it's a combination of less individual attention and just being a normal 2 year old. I have tried to make sure she gets some one on one time with both Daddy and Mommy today so we'll see how tonight goes for her. She has already been up asking to sleep in Mommy's bed. I think she thinks that James sleeps in bed with us. I've reassured her that Baby James sleeps in his bassinet next to Mommy's bed. She might be jealous of that.

She has been cracking us up lately too though. Last night Kris asked Annika if she wanted to take a bath and she replied with "No, I don't think so. Maybe tomorrow." And today while Gramme was visiting, she had us in stitches a couple times, but do you think I can remember right now what she said? No! I can't remember anything but the word "really." Argh! Let me assure you it was hilarious. And there was lots of laughing today too. And chasing. And chin tickles. I think she had a good day.

Gramme was able to come visit us today. Annika adored the one on one time with Gramme, down on the floor coloring (With markers! How lucky for Annika!) in her new jumbo Backyardigans coloring book. And Gramme got lots of cuddle time in with a sleeping James too. It was a very nice visit.

And now it's time to finish up on the compuer, finish filling out some paperwork for tomorrow's New Member Sunday at church and head off to bed.

Posted by Kristina at 2/10/2007 07:51:00 PM

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
It's going home from the hospital day! We arrived home about 10:30 this morning. Everyone was speedy and efficient this morning in getting us out of there early. They were a little too efficient though and actually forgot to give James his PKU shot so we have to go back tomorrow to get that done. The nurse who called this afternoon was so apologetic, making us come back in the bitter cold. We're going to go get that done tomorrow morning. And the pediatrician said James looks so good and is eating so well that we don't have to come back until his two week check up. I'll add that to my list of phone calls I need to make tomorrow.

James has been such a good baby so far. He is so calm and content. Of course he sleeps most of the time at this age but he's also pretty tolerant. He doesn't like having his diaper changed and he cried yesterday when I accidentally cut his precious little finger while cutting his razor sharp nails. Oh, and he cried when the baby nail cutter flipped out of my hand and hit him in the head. Ah, whoops! My poor baby - he landed himself an incompetent mother! Otherwise though, he didn't make a peep when Annika poked him over and over again yesterday. And, get this, he slept the whole night last night! This is what I remember. He ate at midnight, fell asleep at the breast and was put in his bassinet. I went to sleep and was woke up by the nurse at 2am. She needed to bring James to the nursery for the hearing test, a weight check and to check his bilirubin levels. One of the nurses thought he looked a little yellow. I went back to sleep and woke up again when she brought him back at 3am. She said his weight had dropped to 8 pounds 10 ounces (a 7% drop which is within the 10% they allow at discharge) and that his bilirubin level was 6.5 and nothing to be concerned with at this time. I tried to feed him when she left but he wasn't interested and instead went back to sleep so I put him back in the bassinet again. Then I woke up at 4am, took some ibuprofen and watched him sleep for a bit. Then I woke at 5am when he stirred a bit. I took my chance and tried to feed him but again, he wasn't hungry and fell back asleep so I put him back down again. I woke again at 6am. I was worried that he needed to nurse! But he was sleeping so I fell asleep again too. Then, finally, at 7am he woke up and ate a little bit. Then he went back to sleep again but Kris and I stayed up for the day. He basically didn't nurse from midnight until 7am! I told the pediatrician this morning and he wasn't that concerned. He said a hungry baby is a fussy baby and since James was more than content, he was just fine. He said because he's a bigger baby, I don't need to worry if he goes more like 4-5 hours between feedings and that at this stage, he may just be tired yet from delivery. He told me this could all change too when my milk comes in. So, I'll just continue to take James' cues and feed him when he tells me he's hungry. He gives me all the obvious signs (rooting, sticking his tongue out, etc.) so I'll just pop him on whenever he wants. That's what I did with Annika and that seemed to go just fine. Hopefully my milk comes in soon so James can start putting some of his weight back on too.

Yesterday Annika and James met for the first time. As soon as Annika walked into the hospital room she went right over to the bassinet where James was sleeping and said "Oh, a baby!" I told her that was her baby brother and then she was really interested. She wanted to hold him and touch him and kiss him. I sat down in the rocking chair and had Annika on my right leg and held James in my left arm so she could get up close to him. She touched him all over and gave him kisses and hugs. It was so sweet. Then we handed James off so I could get some good Annika time too. After we gave her the present from Baby Brother and a present from Auntie Krystle she was busy playing the rest of the day. She was with us for about 4 hours before Daddy took her home to take a nap while Auntie Krystle stayed with James and I. Kris and Annika came back for another couple hours last evening. And she came to the hospital this morning so we could all go home together as a family. Annika has been excellent today too. She has so far showed no signs of jealousy (I know we're only on day 2 - humor me!) and is still really interested in her brother. She held him twice again today and comes over all the time to give him kisses and hugs and touches. We have to make sure we wash her hands all the time and that she doesn't touch or kiss his face (too much at least) since she is a little germ factory with her cold. Maybe it's a good thing I got her cold last weekend. I'm sure I'm already passing antibodies on to James. I sure hope he doesn't get our stuffy, runny nose and cough! I'm trying to make sure I hold and love on Annika as much as I can. I even laid down with her while she took her nap today. I didn't sleep the whole time as I also fed James and changed his diaper but I was able to sleep for a little while and I was there when Annika fell asleep and woke up which I think she liked. It's at least something she's used to, something that's within her normal routine. I need to be able to keep some of her same routines for her. I think it will help with the transition.

Yesterday Gramme was able to come meet James on her lunch break. And last night Grandpa came to spend a few hours with us after work. And tonight Mary was able to come meet James too. I'm sure it was a totally different experience for her this time. I think this is the first new baby she's met since she found out she's pregnant. Hopefully the long car ride and dinner won't combine to make her sick. She's still in that pukey pregnancy stage. Yuck! Anyway, I've loved having the visitors. We are so lucky to have so many people who love us!

James is going on 48 hours old now and Daddy has yet to change a diaper. I know he will, but I think it's funny that he hasn't yet! And in that 48 hours, I've only been peed on once! Well, I wasn't actually hit, but his going home from the hospital outfit was a casualty this afternoon as was his blanket and pack 'n play! It was funny because it went sideways! And went a couple feet away! That's what I get for trying to change a poopy diaper! I'm a rookie at this baby boy stuff!

OK, one hilarious story and then I'm going to stop writing for this evening. Tonight Annika walked over to me and said "Look, mama, at my penis!" I looked down and here she's holding the dog's bone between her legs! I tried to keep a straight face as I said "Turn around and show your Daddy." Then after she had turned around Mary and I looked at each other and cracked up! Oh, little girl, you are so funny!

Posted by Kristina at 2/07/2007 08:17:00 AM

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Here's a couple pictures of Baby James!

Mommy, Daddy & Baby James

Mommy & Baby James

Baby James

Posted by Kristina at 2/06/2007 09:36:00 AM

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Monday, February 05, 2007
Mission accomplished! Healthy Baby and Healthy Mom! James Daniel was born at 9:34pm. He weighs 9 pounds, 8 ounces and is 21 inches long. His Apgar scores were 8 and 9. Within his first hour he latched on and suckled for about 45 minutes total. Nana and Papa and Uncle Dusty are visiting now. After they leave, James (or J.D.) will get his first bath and some more nursing. He's still rooting around a bit. He's a bit noisy! And he's strong! And he has a birthmark on his belly button! I think he needs to nurse some more and then head off to sleep. My precious. Tomorrow Annika will come visit and meet her baby brother. I'm so excited to see her and see them together.

Me? I'm great. Labor went really well. It took a bit longer again but my body just doesn't dilate very quickly I guess. Kris and I have taken notes throughout the day and I'll write up his birth story hopefully fairly soon. We did it! We're a family of four!

Posted by Kristina at 2/05/2007 11:23:00 PM

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Hi! Me again. I expect them to break my water here in another 1/2 hour to an hour! We've had a relatively uneventful morning. I wasn't having many contractions (same as usual) so my midwife suggested a low dose of pitocin. She just wanted me having some contractions before breaking my water. So at 11am they started me on 1 dose of pitocin (3 mL/hr). At 11:30 they upped that two 2 doses. I've been having lots of contractions since then, some even coming 2-3 minutes apart, but they are not strong yet. I'm still rating them a 1 on the 1-10 pain scale. I've had some minor cramping and back ache once in a while too. Just now at 12:30pm they upped the pitocin to 4 doses (12 mL/hr). We'll see if they change significantly or not. I just finished some lunch and now I guess we wait for the water breaking! That will be a new experience for me. They broke my water with Annika after I had the epidural so I couldn't really tell they had done it since I was all numb down there and stuff. I guess I'll find out soon what that feels like! Healthy baby and healthy mom - I just keep repeating that in my head. Just, please, let this day end with a healthy baby and a healthy mom.

Posted by Kristina at 2/05/2007 12:35:00 PM

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We're here! I've got my IV in with the saline drip. Hopefully the antibiotics will be coming shortly. Obviously the wifi here at the hospital is working. I don't know if there will be more updates during labor or not but we should be able to send out an e-mail and post here after the baby is born. Whee! Here we go!

Posted by Kristina at 2/05/2007 08:45:00 AM

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Sunday, February 04, 2007
Well, this is it. Today was our last day as a family of three (God willing I have a relatively short labor tomorrow and am not still laboring after midnight!). We had a lovely, low key day. It was just what Annika and I needed too. Annika was lethargic and not herself this morning. She spent a good two hours cuddled up on my lap while we watched cartoons. We still think it's just a cold so we're taking a wait and see approach to bringing her to the doctor at this point. This afternoon though she picked up some energy and was dancing and singing and playing and running around the house. It was good to see some life in her! And she took a long nap this afternoon too. Hopefully she'll get a good night's rest tonight. The last few nights have been broken up quite a bit. I think between Kris and I we were up about 8 times last night taking care of her. I also needed the down time today. I got oodles of Annika time and Kris time and I loved it all. We decided to stay home to watch the Super Bowl instead of going to Uncle Dusty's house. That was partly because we didn't wake up from our nap until almost 6pm along with the long drive and cold. I'm sure we'll get to see Uncle Dusty and Nana and Papa in the next couple days so I think it's okay.

I've been second guessing myself all weekend about our decision to have this baby tomorrow. One one hand it's nice to be able to prepare, have Auntie Krystle ready, have all my bags packed, etc. and on the other hand I worry that maybe he's just not ready to come out yet and I shouldn't be doing this. Kris assures me that he is ready and that he's just gaining weight at this point and that my body is obviously ready too. I'm just nervous that after they break my water I won't start having contractions and I'll end up with pitocin and an epidural and maybe other interventions. And then I think of Annika's cold and my cold and wonder if a couple more days of rest and healing wouldn't be a good thing. At this point thought, we're doing it. Tomorrow is the day. My midwife is on call from 7pm tonight through 10pm tomorrow before another midwife comes on call. Let's hope that he's born by 10pm so I don't have to switch caregivers midstream and that we're settling in for the night when she's done. Please pray for us and send lots of good thoughts our way tomorrow.

And one last thing - I think 02/05/07 is an awesome birthday. It's the math geek in me but come on: 2+5=7! It's a great birthday!

Posted by Kristina at 2/04/2007 09:39:00 PM

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Saturday, February 03, 2007
We finally joined a church today. We had a four hour new member session this morning from 9am-1pm at the church. It was long but very informative and I enjoyed it. It feels good to have found a spiritual home. I think it will be a good fit for us. When we were introducing ourselves we even found out that our new pastor (Paster Will) and our old pastor (Pastor Dave) went to seminary together! And that two of Pastor Dave's siblings have attended or do attend our new church! What a small world. Next Sunday, the 11th is the New Member Sunday when we will be introduced to the congregation. I don't know if Baby Boy and I will make it but Kris and Annika will go. Pastor Will and Paula (another church worker) are hoping we all make it. Pastor Will even wants us to call him after Baby Boy is born so he can come visit at the hospital. How nice!

While Kris and I were at our meeting, Annika was at Uncle Dale and Auntie Shelly's house. She was so excited to go there. When we got there she walked in, took her coat off and immediately started looking for the toys. I had to coax her to come back to me and give me a hug and kiss good-bye. And when we got back to pick her up she was happy to see us but she was also still busy playing. We stayed for a few minutes but even then she wasn't overly enthused to go home. Auntie Shelly said they could tell Annika's cold was slowing her down. She didn't want to jump or sing when she was there. She didn't do too much active play this afternoon and evening either. We read books and played with playdough and other low key activities. I'm hoping she kicks this thing soon. Kris and I don't like the cough she has to go with her runny nose. But, at this point those are her only symptoms so we still think it's just a cold she has to fight off. Unfortunately, I think she has shared it with me. My nose started running today. Uh-oh.

Tonight Kris and I got the last minute hospital bag items together. The only thing we need now is some entertainment items (since we'll be there for at least 4 hours before they break my water with nothing to do but watch daytime network tv - yuck!) and maybe some drinks. A quick trip to Target tomorrow after church should take care of that and then we'll be all ready. We've packed the digital camera, video camera, batteries, upload cables and the laptop. Hopefully we can take some pictures and send out an e-mail after he's born! I may even be able to post a picture here too. The hospital has wi-fi but it's apparently spotty. I hope it's working on Monday!

Posted by Kristina at 2/03/2007 08:57:00 PM

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Friday, February 02, 2007
I'm back from the doctor. Here's the update: blood pressure fine, urine clean, weight unchanged from last week (still holding at a 28 pound overall gain), still 5cm dilated although she could stretch it easily to 6cm and the baby is still at +1 station and when she pushed on his head he didn't move back up. So, she stripped my membranes again today to see if she could get things started. Then she proposed a plan. If nothing happens today or this weekend, and since Sunday I am officially 40 wekeks, I am to check into the hospital at 7:30am Monday morning. At that time they will start the IV antibiotics I need for Group B strep. That needs to be in me for four hours before they can do anything else. So, after that four hours, she is going to break my water and labor should start then. I'll be able to move around, walk the halls, etc. since they are going to take the IV line off me after the one hour it takes to get the antibiotics in. I'll just have the hep-lock on my hand so if more IV drugs are needed later, I would be ready. They'll monitor me periodically to check contractions, dilation, heart rates (both of us), etc. This is it! If the baby doesn't come this weekend then he will come on Monday!

Hopefully this will give Annika a little time to get over her cold too. And I'll make sure I get lots and lots of one on one time with Annika this weekend. This is it! There is a baby coming very, very soon!

Posted by Kristina at 2/02/2007 09:37:00 AM

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Thursday, February 01, 2007
La dee dee, la dee dah. Move along folks. Nothing to see here. No increase in contractions or much of anything else. Although, my back and pelvis have been more sore since yesterday afternoon. Auntie Krystle and I went walking at the mall tonight instead of last night. I was definitely tired when we were done but so far it hasn't jump started anything. I have to brag about Annika for a moment. She was such an angel tonight at the mall. As we walked around she stayed close by Krystle and I. And when we went into the book store, she asked to see the kids books. I took her to the section with all board books. I knew she wouldn't wrinkle any of those pages or rip anything with those books. So she'd pick out a book, flip through it, then return it to it's proper place on the shelf. After a while I told her she could look at two more books and then it was time to go. So she picked two books off the shelf and we read through one of them, then she put them back and walked out of the book store. Sometimes she amazes me with how well she listens!

Annika came down with a cold last night. Her nose started running and overnight she had a slight fever. She seemed fine today except for the constant runny nose. Hmm, full moon, sick sibling and coldest weather of winter so far - perfect time for a baby to come! Come on Baby!

I have a doctor appt tomorrow morning. My midwife is going to be surprised to see me! There are three midwives at my practice that I've been rotating throughout all my appointments. I saw Dawn last week and I'll see her again tomorrow. She wasn't on call this week though, Jennifer was, and I'm sure Dawn thought I'd go some time this week. Surprise! I'll probably be there tomorrow morning! I wonder what else she can do to help get labor started. Maybe she'll strip my membranes a second time. I'll have to ask what other home labor inducing things I should try.

Posted by Kristina at 2/01/2007 10:15:00 PM

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