So Much

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So much is going on…I’m sure I’ll forget to write some things down.  Here’s a re-cap of our week:

  1. Levi’s 1st football game
  2. Michelle and the girls come for a visit
  3. Meeting baby Isla
  4. Levi goes to the doctor again for his eye
  5. Levi meets my friends at monthly wine night
  6. Kris’s birthday
  7. Annika’s first “drop-off” friend birthday party
  8. Brunch with Grandpa, Mathias and Krystle and Pierce
  9. Annika loses another tooth!

See!  So much happening!  And that’s of course not mention all the day to day cuteness of my new baby.  He is adorable by the way.  Completely melt-my-heart cute.  I think he smiled at me for the first time today.  There were not intestinal rumblings shortly after the smile and he was looking right at me while I was talking to him.  I’m going to go with smile.  HE loves me!  My wittle itty baby wuvs me!  OK, let’s get back to the list…

So, Levi went to his first football game, the Machine, last Saturday night.  He was an angel baby, sleeping through almost the whole thing.  Nana and Papa were there too and Nana was able to hold him for most of it.  Annika and James were good too but that might have something to do with the treats and toys that Nana brought with her.  So prepared she is!  After the game I gave Levi to Kris so he could show him off to his players.  Then we went to a restaurant for a late snack.  Kris was hungry, not having eaten dinner.  It was pretty late by this point.  Poor James was so tired that he laid down on his chair at the restaurant, put his head on my lap and fell asleep.  Annika was getting tired too and cuddled up with Papa, almost falling asleep too.  By the time we got home it was close to midnight.  I arrived home first (we had separate cars since Kris had to be at the field early) with two sleeping children and one screaming one.  Levi was hungry!  But I didn’t want to leave Annika and James in the truck by themselves.  I was worried about them waking up alone and getting scared.  I literally stood in the kitchen for a minute, slightly panicked and unsure what to do first.  I decided to race the children upstairs so I put Levi in his car seat, sprinted for James and carried him upstairs and dumped him in his bed with his coat and shoes still on.  Then I rushed downstairs, picked up Levi to console him for a second (man, was he mad!) before I made the same mad dash with Annika.  Except at that point I heard something outside and went into the garage to find my neighbor, Andrew, walking in, wondering if everything was OK.  He was out walking his dog and saw me dashing up the stairs with James.  I explained the situation and that I had just called Kris and found out he was still 10 minutes away.  So I took Andrew’s help.  I gave him Levi to hold and console while I grabbed Annika and carried her quickly upstairs.  Then I came down, chatted for a minute with Andrew, said good-night and came inside to finally feed my starving baby.  Just as I sat down and got settled and Levi latched on, Kris arrived home.  I asked him to check on the kids, remove their coat and shoes and make sure they were settled in for the night.

We slept in the next morning (or at least I did) and then picked up the house and waited for Michelle and the girls, Brianna and Katie, to come over.  Michelle was my first friend to come over and visit Levi and I was so excited to see her!  Now that she works at a different location then me, we don’t get to see each other very often any more.  It was such a nice treat!  The kids were excited too – playmates!  Annika almost immediately asked Brianna to come outside to play.  We had the bounce house set up in the backyard so they were either in there or in the sand box.  It was great to chat with Michelle, enjoy the great weather and watch our kids play together.  They got along really well.

Tuesday we made the long trek to our neighbor Andrew and Katie’s house to meet their new daughter, Isla.  She was ten days old at the time (Levi was 20) and so cute!  She slept the whole time and he her little tongue peeking out through her lips.  Annika and James were a little crazy while we were there and wrestled on the floor with Andrew.  Finally we shoved them outside to play so the adults could chat.  We stayed a couple hours, until both babies woke up and wanted to eat and it was a great visit.  I hope we can see them again this week.  Andrew is back at work this week so maybe I can go check on Katie and see how she’s doing on her own a couple times.  They’re going to be such great parents!

Thursday I took Levi back to the doctor.  His eye was goopy again.  The doctor gave me a different eye drop and did some massage on Levi’s eye to help open his blocked tear duct.  Poor kid!  While we were there I had Levi weighed again.  He’s already 10 pounds, 4 ounces!  My growing baby.  That led to a minor hormonal freak out on my part.  I moaned to Kris that my last baby is already getting so big, make him stop, whah, whah, whah.  Breathe.  Other than his eye, Levi is growing and healthy and thriving.  I can’t ask for more.

That night Krystle came over to babysit A&K while Levi and I went to monthly wine night with my friends.  This month we were at Jeanette’s house to re-watch the Sex & the City movie before the second one comes out.  They’re all planning on seeing it together.  It was the first time any of them had met Levi and they cooed and aahed appropriately.  Heh.  Who wouldn’t at my adorable baby though, right?  And Levi was a good little baby, only getting fussy when he wanted to eat.  He did and then went right to sleep.  Good baby.

Kris’s birthday was Friday.  It was a pretty low key day for us.  We gave him his presents in the morning.  Then we gave him a quiet empty house in the afternoon when Annika was at school and James, Levi and I went to pick up Mathias from the airport and drove him to Grandpa’s house.  Then we came home and I made him a cake.  Then I fell asleep in the recliner and he had to make his own dinner (pork chops on the grill).  I’m such a good wife.  Heh.  He had to go in to work for a bit that evening but I hope he had a nice day.  Happy birthday babe!

Yesterday Annika had a birthday party.  It was her first party where the parents dropped off the kids.  The party was for one of Annika’s “best” friends at preschool and she was so excited to go.  I had asked the mom if I could stay for a little bit since Annika is so shy and she was OK with that.  I stayed for ten minutes or so to make sure Annika was OK and then I left.  When I came back three hours later to pick her up she was not excited to see me.  She wanted to play more!  And asked why she had to leave.  I’m glad she had a good time.  Her little friend is going to the same school next year for kindergarten.  It would be fun if they were in the same classroom or at least at the same time (AM or PM).

Today we had brunch with Grandpa, Mathias, Krystle and Pierce.  Mathias was in town just for the weekend to attend a friend’s wedding so we took advantage of that to have our annual birthday meal together.  Grandpa’s, Mathias’s and my birthday are in a couple weeks and Kris’s was just Friday so we always go out together to celebrate.  Mathias had to sit next to Annika (her request) and help her get her food.  And Grandpa had to sit next to James (his request) and help him.  Levi slept in his car seat which meant Kris and I got to eat in peace!  Nice!  After we ate Levi woke up hungry so I took him to a secluded part of the restaurant and fed him then we chatted for a couple minutes, paid the bill and left to go to our house.  There we spent the afternoon together.  Well, the kids went outside to play in the steamy, humid heat while the adults stayed inside and watched the Twins game on television.  Grandpa held Levi while Mathias napped (long night!).  It was a great afternoon!

The exciting part of our day was this morning though.  Just before we left for church Annika said her loose tooth was really bothering her.  It was pretty loose so Kris sent her upstairs to get the tweezers.  And then he pulled it out!  Her second tooth was out!  This is her other bottom, middle tooth.  Kris got her a kleenex to stop the bleeding, we put the tooth in a cup on the counter and we left for church.  She feels so grown up and big when she loses a tooth.  She put her tooth in the little stuffed animal’s pouch tonight for the tooth fairy. And the tooth fairy has already come.  This time “he” couldn’t find the tooth in the pouch so “he” consulted his “assistant” who pulled the tooth out and gave the stuffed animal back to him.  Then he placed the money in the pouch and the animal back under the pillow.  Another successful visit!

And here starts another busy week with a couple visits/parties planned.  I’ll try to get some more pictures uploaded this week too.


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Perfect.  It’s been a perfect day.  Levi slept pretty well last night, waking at 7am.  The kids slept in until 7:30am then came into our room and greeted us for the day with smiles instead of whining and fighting.  The clouds parted and let the sunshine in finally and it warmed up outside to almost 70 degrees.  We had a nice lunch (albeit with whining from Annika about what we were eating but that’s par for the course), I took Annika to school then came home and took a bubble bath.  Kris went to get Annika from school while James and I stayed back and played while Levi slept.  Now Kris is at work, I’m out on the deck with the laptop, the kids are at the neighbors playing in the backyard (I can see them from the deck) and Levi is asleep inside (and I can hear him through the screen door).  It’s a perfect afternoon.  Life is just really great right now.  I am so blessed.

Annika and James are adjusting really well to having a new sibling in the house.  Annika is completely in love.  We always have to pretend that she is the mommy and I’m the grandma, sister, aunt, etc.  And she has to hold him and kiss him and check on him and rub his head ALL THE TIME.  She is such a good big sister.

James wants to hold Levi about once a day and gives him a kiss and hug once to twice a day.  Other than that he pretty much ignores Levi.  He does want plenty of mommy time though.  I make sure to put Levi down (or give him to Kris) a couple times a day so that James can crawl onto my lap for some cuddles and kisses and tickles.  He needs that.  If I do that, I think it helps him with the meltdowns.  He just wants more one on one time.  I’m happy to give it to him.  He is such a good little boy.

Tomorrow night the kids and I are going to our second Machine game of the season and Levi’s first on the outside.  It’s supposed to be really nice out tomorrow (highs in the low 70′s) so we’ll go for a little while.  I figure we’ll stay until half time and then see how Levi is doing.  If it doesn’t get too chilly or if the kids are behaving (bleachers and kids do not always go well together) then we’ll stay longer, otherwise we’ll head home then.

So, is anyone wondering where Kris and I came up with Levi Axel?  Well, Levi was actually our second choice name for James.  We both liked it then but decided to go with James instead.  When we found out we were having another boy, that was the first name we both brought up again and we both still liked it.  We kept our ears open for other options just in case we heard a different name we liked better.  We never did.  Levi it was.  Levi isn’t in honor of anyone.  The only “famous” Levi we know of is Levi Leipheimer the professional bicyclist.  And while we’re both fans of Leipheimer, we didn’t choose to use the name Levi because of him.  It’s a nice coincidence but nothing more.  And Axel is actually in honor of Kris’s mom’s family.  A very long time ago when her family was settling in Minnesota they were on a boat coming up the Mississippi.  They had to get off at the Red Wing stop because their baby, Axel, was sick.  Axel recovered (although he had hearing problems I think) and the family decided to stay.  Her family ( at least her brother) is still in Red Wing and even though her parents are gone, she and her siblings still own the family farm overlooking Red Wing and the bluffs.

OK, I think that’s all I know for today.  Levi is still sleeping inside.  It’s so hard for me to leave him be when he’s sleeping peacefully like that.  I just want to hold and snuggle him and smell his head and kiss his face and neck and hands repeatedly.  Even though we are done having children (done, do you hear me?  no more babies for us) I would have another one in a heartbeat right now.  This teeny newborn stage is such a blast for me.  They’re so easy to care for what with their sleeping 20 hours of the day.  I’m getting enough sleep because Kris is here to help with the other kids so I can get a nap in when needed and that sleepy baby nestled in your arms, the crook of your neck, on your chest?  OH MY GOD, there is nothing better.  I’m taking it all in now while I can because this is the last one.  I want to savor this time (OK, getting choked up here) because it’s going to be over so quickly.  All right, I might have to go pick up Levi now just to snuggle him while he’s sleeping.  And smell his head.  And kiss his face.


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We had a first in our house today – Levi’s first non-well baby doctor appointment.  His eyes have always had a bit of yellow discharge in them but the right eye has gotten worse the past couple days.  I brought him in this morning and sure enough, he has an infection in that eye.  Most likely he has a blocked tear duct or at least a tear duct not draining properly.  We have drops to put in his eye for the next five days and we’ll be doing some tear duct massage to try and help open it up.  Poor baby!

Otherwise everything is going well at our house!  Saturday Kris went to Kansas City with the football team.  I was on my own!  I made plans with Gramme and Krystle to go visit at Gramme’s house.  And it only took me an hour and a half to get everybody dressed, fed and ready to go.  I’m a rock star!  :)   And that included help from Auntie Krystle.  Anyway, we had a very nice afternoon at Gramme’s house.  The kids had a great time.  Gramme had some new toys at her house (well, old toys – some of Mathias’ when he was little!).  And Gramme and Krystle got in lots of Levi time too.  By the end of the day I was pretty tired so when the kids and I got home that afternoon we turned on some cartoons, curled up in my bed and relaxed for a while.  I needed that!

Kris arrived home about 4:30am Sunday (less than 24 hours away) and so we had a lazy Sunday morning at our house.  By the time we were all up and ready for the day it was almost lunch time!  That’s OK though because we didn’t have plans until 1pm.  And we were still 15 minutes late to Krystle and Pierce’s house! We weren’t the last ones there though – Grandpa, Marcia and Mathias all got there a couple minutes after we did!  Once again we had a nice afternoon.  Their townhouse backs up to a park and of course the kids wanted to go out there to play.  I went with them to supervise (James is a little young to play by himself) and Pierce came out too with Bailey.  A bit later Mathias came out too with Emerson.  And that’s when I bailed and went back inside leaving the boys in charge.  Heh.  And Pierce came in too and Mathias was out there supervising for quite a while.  That’s OK though – he’s a big kid anyway!  He was climbing all over the playground with them.  And when he’d had enough he texted Krystle that he wanted someone to relieve him of his duty.  Instead I sent Kris out to corral the kids and bring them in.  And then we ate (delicious!) and chatted and hung out together.  It was great!

Later that afternoon Kris got a phone call that Dusty and Mel were meeting Nana and Papa for dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day.  So we said good-bye to Mathias, Krystle and Pierce (Grandpa and Marcia had already left), quickly stopped at home and then went to meet them.  The kids were in heaven again.  All their grandparents in one weekend!  And they were having a great time at the restaurant.  They got to make wishes at a water fountain when they went on a walk with Papa.  And they sat on everyone’s lap, continuously making the rounds from Nana to Papa to Dusty to Melanie.  And Nana got in some Levi time too.  And so did Dusty.  It was a very nice evening.

It was a full but fun weekend.  And now we have a week with nothing planned.  Today we did laundry and dishes and vacuumed.  We were full of domestic bliss.  Heh.  10 more weeks of this before reality (and work) sets back in.

8 days

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First of all – I’m working on pictures.  Really.  I am.  I hope to get them up tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

Yesterday we had Levi’s one week check up.  Basically, he’s perfect.  We knew that though, didn’t we?  Here’s the facts: he weighed in at 8 pounds, 10.4 ounces which is the 61st percentile and his head measured 14cm which is the 31st percentile.  I do tend to have small headed children (thank you Kris!).  Anyway, the pediatrician was very pleased that he was almost back up to his birth weight.  And she checked all the other things and declared him perfect and healthy.  Of course he was hungry right as we were waiting for the doc to come in so I started feeding Levi.  And when she walked in I was all “Hello, here is my breast.  How nice to see you again Doc!”  She didn’t bat an eye though and did what she could (questions) while he finished eating on that side.  Then she did her exam and when she was done I started feeding him on the other side while she finished up and left us to finish.  I love our pediatrician.  And I love how supportive she is of all our choices (breastfeeding highly encouraged, loves Kris as the stay at home parent, always calls my children perfect and above average and smart and all those good things parents like to hear!).

Anyway, Annika was with me at the appointment but James was not.  Because he was with Kris on his way to meet Nana and Papa and stay with them overnight.  Nana had Wednesday and Thursday off from work so Jamesy got a quick visit in.  Annika couldn’t go this time because she had school Wednesday afternoon.  She was pretty bummed about that.  It was weird to kiss Jamesy good-bye and have him gone.  I didn’t really like having just one of my children gone.  It felt very, very odd.  And poor Annika.  She was so bored!  At first she enjoyed the alone time, playing with her dolls and Polly Pockets in the nursery with the door closed.  Towards the middle of today though she was telling me over and over again that she missed James and that she was bored.  I played with her some while Levi slept.  We played nurse.  I was the patient and she gave me an exam and then I had to lay in the “hospital bed” and “buzz” her when I needed something.  And then tonight while Kris was at work we played Memory together.  James is home now so tomorrow the house can get back to “normal.”  I’m sure those two will be fighting by lunch time.  Heh.

A Jamesy funny: when the home health nurse was here on Monday James was chatting with her.  He was NOT shy.  And at one point he was telling her about Levi: “And then he just popped out of Mommy’s tummy and now he’s here!”  The nurse was laughing at his cuteness.  He just popped out!  Just like that!

OK, another cute Jamesy one Kris just told me – apparently James bonked his head a couple times on the golf cart at Nana and Papa’s house when he was climbing in and out of it.  They commented that he kept hitting his head and he responded with “No!  My melon!”  That one is totally on Kris.  He always asks James if he hit his melon.  So cute!

And one Annika story for good measure.  Yesterday when I picked up Annika from school she had to very animatedly tell me about their fire drill they had.  Whenever Annika has something “very important” to tell you she starts talking with her hands.  And when she does that she holds them out in front of her and bounces them up and down while she talks – very “valley girl” like but without the valley girl speak to accompany the movements.  It cracks me up every time though.

Five Days – Make that Six

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Levi is five days old.  And oh my GOD so cute and precious and snuggleable.  I literally hold him and just stare at him sometimes.  I am so in love with him!  And Annika and James are too.  (So is Kris too of course.)  Annika has to hug and kiss him ALL THE TIME and stroke his head and touch, touch, touch him.  She just can not leave him alone.  And James is so cute with him.  Tonight he was sitting on the couch next to me while I held Levi and he leaned over and gave him a kiss.  And then he went back to talking and playing and doing his thing.  My kids are just the best.  Hmm, I think I may be having a babymoon over here.  Life is just great, ya know?

So, what have we been doing the past few days?  Sleeping in spurts.  And visiting with family.  A lot.  Friday afternoon Mathias and Gramme and Krystle came over to visit.  I was so happy Mathias was able to come home and see Levi.  Annika was at school at the time but James got some Uncle Mathias time in too.

And that’s how far I got when I started writing this last night.  James is currently sleeping.  He fell asleep sitting next to me on the couch, poor kid.  Annika is watching a movie on the computer upstairs and Levi is sleeping on the couch next to me.  Kris is at work so I jumped on the laptop to finish this update.  Gotta take advantage of the free time!

Now where were we?  OK, so Friday we saw Gramme, Mathias and Krystle.  Annika was upset that Gramme and Mathias had to leave before she got home from work.  I promised her that we’d see Mathias very soon and that we’d also see Gramme again soon.  Saturday Kris got up early and left with the football team for their game in Iowa.  The kids and I had a pretty good morning together.  We only had one disaster – James grabbed the pen I’d been using to write down when Levi had last eaten and proceeded to write all over his legs, feet and hands.  All in less than a minute while I was in his bedroom helping Annika pick out clothes for the day.  I came back to my room to find him in my closet with the door closed.  Stinker.  Luckily Nana came over at lunch time, bringing lunch with her.  The kids were so excited to see her.  She got some snuggle time in with Levi after lunch while I went upstairs and napped.  I needed that!  And in the afternoon she took Annika and James to Dusty and Mel’s house for a visit.  The house was pretty quiet with everybody gone!  Levi and I snuggled on the couch and I got another little snooze in.  When they got back it was dinner time so we ate quickly (again courtesy of Nana) and then she got more Levi snuggle time in while I put the kids to bed.  It was so nice of her to come help me out with the kids while Kris was gone!

Sunday we got up and went to church.  The ladies there were surprised to see us there with a 4 day old baby!  Impressed I’d say.  It’s easy to bring a newborn places though.  They just eat and sleep anyway!  And I fed Levi right before we left and he didn’t eat again until we got home.  Sunday afternoon Mathias called and invited us over to Dad and Marcia’s for the afternoon.  So we packed up and headed over there.  The kids had a great time running around outside.  They were planting a few new trees in the backyard and using the four-wheeler to haul away the piles of dirt.  Annika and James would run after the four-wheeler when Mathias would take loads back to the field.  And when the work was done they each got a ride too.  James was excited about that.  He’d been asking for a ride all afternoon.  This is the same kid who wouldn’t get on the snowmobiles this winter because they were too loud and scared him.  He’s getting braver!  Then everyone came inside and we had some dinner and hung out together for a while.  Krystle had joined us there too and it was really nice to all just be together.

Yesterday was a low key day for us, as was today.  Aside from bringing Annika to school, the only other excitement for the day was when the home health nurse stopped by.  James completely charmed her.  And she declared me “healthy” (blood pressure and temperature were fine) and she checked Levi and said he was doing well too (temperature OK, jaundice OK, weight back up to 8 pounds 9 ounces).  Other than that we did a couple chores, the kids played and we tried to keep them from shrieking or running (“inside voices “is a common phrase these days at our house), I got a nap in and that was about it.  Kris went back to work last night so it was my first night putting the kids to bed by myself.  That went OK.  I lost my cool once and yelled at James (he can be so frustratingly three sometimes!) but we made up and by the time they crawled into bed we were all happy again.  And then I fed Levi and gave him to Kris (who arrived home shortly after the kids crawled into bed) and worked on the computer.  I know, I didn’t come back here and finish this update.  Instead I paid bills and updated the budget.  While not exactly exciting, it is necessary!

A couple Levi observations – he still sleeps pretty much all the time.  He has some awake time in the afternoons which is consistent when he was most active in utero.  And he’s also awake from 8-midnight.  That’s also consistent with his awake pattern in utero.  He was always active at night and while I was trying to go to sleep.  Now, though, I’m still trying to go to sleep during that time so the last couple nights I’ve fed him and then gone to bed and he’s hung out with Daddy.  Kris has plans for them to watch some DVR’d TV tonight.  Kris told him as much when he gave him a good-bye kiss tonight on his way out of the house to go to work.  Levi spends most of the day with me (eating) or sleeping in the pack ‘n play or some other place.  And when he is awake he does spend most of his time with me.  I can’t help it but yes, I do monopolize him.  So it’s good that he’s awake at night.  That’s when he gets most of his Daddy time in!

OK, I think that’s about it.  Tomorrow James is going to Nana and Papa’s to spend the night.  He’ll be very excited about that!  Annika would go too but she has school tomorrow afternoon instead.  And tomorrow morning Levi has his one week check up.  I’ll report back tomorrow on how that goes.