Saturday, April 30, 2011

Can't wait!

   Sometimes it really stinks being so far away from ALL of our family. We just so happen to be smack dab in the middle of both of our families; Michael's is in Texas and Mine in Alaska. Although I happen to have family in a few other places, as well. The point is, it sucks! Okay, most the time I don't really mind the distance, but when holidays roll around it gets a tad lonely around here... especially since Michael ends up working about half of the holidays. For example, this last Christmas, well, it didn't exactly feel like Christmas with Michael working 7 days in a row on 12 hour shifts that week. Landon and I spent Christmas alone and let me tell you, it's pretty hard to explain to a 4 year old why we aren't opening presents until Daddy is off.

  Anyway, that's beside the point... In five days my parents are flying down from Alaska to meet Emmelyn for the first time! I'm super excited, but also a little sad that my mom is missing so much of my children's lives. I'm so grateful that she is able to fly out and see us from time to time. She's only going to be here for about five days, so that unfortunate. But, of course we'll make the best of it. She'll be here over Mother's Day weekend and if weather permits she'll get to see Landon play a soccer game!

   Okay, well I should get back to cleaning and taking care of Emmelyn. =)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Summer dress!

Man, who knew it was so fun having a little girl?! I've got all sorts of ideas of things to make for Emmelyn or buy for her. Unfortunatly, it's really hard to get through a store without wanting to buy her something, haha. The other day I went out looking for fabric to make her some summer dresses and found this adorable fabric! I thought it would make the perfect sundress! It was so easy to put together and took me less than 30 minutes! I bought another fabric pattern to make a second dress for her, but haven't got around to making it yet. I think this dress turned out great, especially since it was my first time making one! It's a little big for her now, but I can't wait to see it on her this summer.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter this year! We sure did; and I can't tell you how happy I am that I wasn't in labor for it. (My due date was yesterday) Let's see, we started the weekends festivities with egg coloring! Landon of course loved this; Emmelyn could care less!

We then went on to make a canvas painting! I really love doing these and I'm starting to run out of ideas of where to put them! Our house in DC is suppose to have a "family room" that I plan to make a playroom. I am thinking I will hang up their artwork in there! I wanted to add their hand prints to this, but Emmelyn wasn't cooperating and it turns out Landon's feet are too big to have had his hands as well!

On Sunday, I woke up early and hid the eggs and placed the Easter basket. I made a trail with the eggs going down the stairs from his room and throughout the livingroom and then towards the kitchen table which had his basket. Then I woke Landon up and told him that the Easter Bunny had come. He was so excited!! I love the look on his face once he finally saw his basket!

 He had to show Emmelyn his eggs!

I made us homemade waffles to go with our homemade strawberry jam for brunch this morning. Mmmm one of our favorite meals! This jam really is awesome!

Later in the day we decided to try to take family pictures. Landon wasn't really cooperating and didn't want to take a picture with me and Emmelyn. He sorta cooperated for a family picture but just one and it wasn't all that great. It's hard to take your own family photo with a 4 year old and a 2 week old. :) But, here are some pictures we managed to get from the day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Two Weeks

    Time really does go by, too fast! Emmelyn being my second child makes me fully aware of this; so I have been trying to savor every moment I have with her. She won't be this little forever. I love how she still curls up into a little ball and lays on my chest. (Which she is currently doing) I secretly love how she'll be up for hours at night when Daddy takes care of her but as soon as he wakes me to tell me about it and I take her, she instantly falls asleep. She loves her Mama, that's for sure! ♥

   She is still having issues sleeping in her bassinet at night. She'll do well sometimes and other's, not so much. We've discovered that if we give her a pacifier at night she will sleep better in the bassinet... most the time. I'm trying not to incourage the pacifier thing though. ;) It's more of a last resort. Other than that, she is absolutely amazing and fits so well into our family!

   Landon is back in soccer for his third season and he's loving it! Only Daddy was able to make it to his first game, this season, because we had just been released from the hospital that day. But, all four of us were able to make it to the second game! It was a bit windy and chilly, but Landon did a great job. :)

Emmelyn's cord fell off a few days ago and she was able to take her first real bath. She wasn't exactly thrilled about it, but she's a trooper.

Michael is back to work from his Paternity leave and they are on 12 hour shifts, but we're managing fairly well. The kids are great and I'm happy to spend all my time with them!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Newborn Photoshoot

        As soon as I found out I was pregnant I couldn't wait to schedule a newborn photoshoot with a local photographer friend! Amanda takes amazing pictures and I knew I wouldn't be feeling up to taking them on my own, nor am I as talented as she is! I do not regret having Amanda take Emmelyn's pictures, AT ALL! They are absolutely perfect and she exceeded my expectations!

Here are a few of my favorites from the session:

We had this quilt made for her and it made a wonderful backdrop for this photo!

Amanda Rulong Photography:

Friday, April 15, 2011

6 Days Old

       The last 6 days have gone by so incredibly fast. When we left the hospital, Emmelyn had a jaundice level of 8, so the doctors told us to follow up in two days. Tuesday we took her to the clinic and they did some blood work on her. Her level was up at 18.5!!! We were told that someone would come by the house and set up a Bilirubin machine for her and that she needed to be on it 24/7 until her labs looked better.

         The next day she went in after being on the lights for about 16 hours and her bilirubin level had already dropped to 16.5. We kept the lights on her for another day and a half and then she was off of them for a day and brought back in. As of this morning, her level is at a 12.8. The doctor is happy with her decrease and said that she can stay off the lights now and that her levels will continue to drop on their own. Woohoo!!
        Everyone is adjusting fairly well to having a new baby in the house. I was worried about Landon and afraid he’d be jealous, but the entire pregnancy he was so excited and loving towards her that I thought maybe I’d get lucky! So far, I have! He is constantly asking to hug her, kiss her, and play with her. He’s always trying to help feed her, change her and care for her, too. Last night, we pulled out Emmelyn’s floor mat and had her lying under it, “playing” and Landon got right under it and wanted to play, too! They “played” with each other for a good hour or so. It was so incredibly sweet; I’ll be honest, my eyes welled up a little.
 I’m so happy with my family, it really feels complete. It is so odd to me, because I was very happy with a family of three before we decided to try for another. I couldn’t picture my life without Miss Emmelyn in it… I’m so completely in love with her. I love watching everything she does and I find myself just staring at her for God knows how long. She’s such a well behaved baby, too. A true blessing to my life… I have amazing children. 
Emotions are crazy right now, so I guess I will blame them for this… but I’m already sad at the thought that she won’t be a newborn for much longer. Time just flies by and soon I’ll have another 4 year old on my hands.  L

Monday, April 11, 2011

Emmelyn Grace Black

We had an amazing, wonderful, and eventful weekend!
Friday morning I had a regular OB check and I mentioned to my doctor that my eye sight was getting worse from my PseudoTumor. We had previously discussed inducing me once Emmelyn was full term if my eye sight was being affected because we were risking my eye sight. Needless to say, my doctor wasn’t too happy to hear about my issues and said that he immediately wanted to induce me! Michael had just got off work and had been up for over 24 hours. Therefore, I told the doctor that I would like to let him sleep first and then go in. He was fine with that. So about 4pm we dropped Landon off at a friend’s house and headed to the hospital. And I started to feel very sick! Ugh, nerves!
We finished checking in to the hospital at about 5:30pm and got situated. Waited about an hour before they started the Pitocin and they wanted me to have an epidural, as well, because they wanted me to labor Emmelyn out, not push! (Which didn’t end up happening…) They didn’t want the pressure on my eyes and brain to increase. Well, with Landon the epidural did NOT work and I told them about this. But, they assured me that the anesthesiologist was the best. After the epidural was finished the same thing happened with Landon- only my left half of my body was numb! At this point I was at 4cm and we stayed at 4 cm for hours! They continued to increase my Pitocin in hopes to help me progress faster. Wasn’t working, in fact it was making me sick! I started having hot flashes and throwing up because of the meds. I mentioned to the nurse that with Landon they broke my water and shortly later things were flying! They decided to break my water at 4cm (it was about 5:30a) and within 40 minutes I had moved up to a 6! Then the contractions became really intense. The nurses kept adding different pain meds to my IV to try to ease my pain. But, it wasn’t working. They ended up giving me some kind of drug that also makes you very tired. After already being up 24 hours, I really didn’t need help with that. Besides, the drugs didn’t help anyway. I was having one gigantic contraction that had peaks of pain and no stop! On top of this, I couldn’t keep my eyes open because of all the medication they gave me.
Shortly after 7am my body was telling me it was time to push. The doctors had just checked me though and said I was an 8 maybe 9. They told me not to push and try to let her come on her own. So, I didn’t push… my body had other ideas. It seriously started pushing on its own! Doctors checked again and said I was a 9 and that I couldn’t push yet but then suddenly I was a 10 and they were having me push with a purpose! With every push I made, the Pitocin made me throw up… again! (What is with that stuff?!?!?!) Luckily I only had to push a few times and our beautiful angel was with us within seven minutes.            
At 7:55am we heard the most wonderful sound in the world; little Emmelyn’s first cry! I had told Michael earlier that she would be here before 8am on the 9th. He had thought that she would arrive on the 8th, and while I would have liked a really fast labor, I knew that wouldn’t happen. ;) Emmelyn Grace Black weighs in at 6lbs 11.7 ounces and is 20 inches long.

 She’s gorgeous and so perfect. Landon is the best big brother and is SO happy to have his baby sister.

 Daddy is beaming with pride that he now has his little girl and Mommy is so in love with this girl, it’s crazy!

 Our family is complete and we couldn’t be happier!
Life truly is beautiful!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Strawberry Jam, MmmMmmMmm!

Last summer I decided that I really wanted to try making our own jam so I went online and looked up some "easy" jam recipes. I ended up finding one for "Freezer Jam" through Betty Crocker. There are many different fruit options you can use to make jam for your family, but the only one we've tried thus far is strawberry. Mostly because it's our favorite and also because strawberries are cheap at the right time of year! We went through our jam from last summer before the summer had even ended, so this time I decided to make a double batch with the intentions of making another double batch in the fall. Here is the Betty Crocker recipe, but the pectin packages will come with directions for all the different fruit combinations.

Single batch ingredients:

1 quart (4 cups) strawberries, cut in half
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 package (1 3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin


1. Mash strawberries with potato masher or in food processor until slightly chunky (not pureed) to make 2 cups crushed strawberries. Mix strawberries and sugar in large bowl. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Mix water and pectin in 1-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour hot pectin mixture over strawberry mixture; stir constantly 3 minutes.

3. Immediately spoon mixture into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rims of containers; seal. Let stand at room temperature about 24 hours or until set.

4. Store in freezer up to 6 months or in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Thaw frozen jam and stir before serving.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We’ve had some beautiful weather the past few days, so we decided to have a family picnic! I loved it! It was just great to get out and enjoy our little family away from civilization. We ended up going to the Base Lake and were practically the only people there. At least at the picnic tables and playground and that’s all that mattered to me.  It was a little buggy out there, but we had a blast.

Landon loved our picnic dinner.

I love our family!

He's always making goofy faces!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

37 Weeks!

I am so ready to have this baby girl! Today I am 37 weeks along and I cannot wait to meet her! Landon is super excited that it is now April. He’s been asking us when April will come since August! He’s so sweet. He loves his baby sister SO much, already. Every night he gives my belly a hug and a kiss “for Emmelyn” and he likes to tell her stories and feel her move. He always pretends she kicks his hand off. He is always talking about his sister and bragging about how he’s going to be the best big brother, ever! He’s already the best son ever, in my opinion, so I can only imagine how loving, caring and protective he will be of his baby sister.
                Lately, I’ve been having a lot of labor dreams and last night was no exception.  I dreamt that I checked into the hospital and gave birth right there at the front desk… standing up! They handed Emmelyn to me and sent me on my way. Super easy birth! But, as Michael and I walked out of the hospital and got to the parking lot, I told him I didn’t feel right leaving and that we should go back and get a post-partum room. Which we did and they told us we had to be out in 24 hours because I had an easy labor and didn’t “need” to be there! Um, okay. Anyway, I held my little girl and instantly fell so in love with her, just like Landon! It was amazing and she was beautiful. Despite the weirdness of the dream, it was pretty amazing. J

                A couple of days ago, we took Landon to Build-A-Bear to get a new outfit for Peter Rabbit. I had a coupon for $5 off and a $10 Gift Card, so I figured we’d use those. He wanted a Batman costume that he had seen at the store before. Once we got there he walked straight to where he had seen the costume last time. Well, more like he ran to it… Only to be disappointed that they didn’t have it anymore! They had a bunch of Star Wars costumes, but he’s not into that. He ended up picking out a soccer uniform, because he is about to start his third season of soccer next Saturday. I had a little catalog thing that the $5 off coupon came with and it showed an adorable little lamb stuffed animal and I simply fell in love with it! It is a limited edition item for Easter and I really thought Emmelyn “needed” this lamb! Really, I just wanted it. Hehe. Anyway, I asked Landon if he wanted to make it for Emmelyn, and of course he did! (He had made her a girl bunny back in November after we found out she was a girl, to go with his Peter Rabbit one.) I’m really happy we got the Lamb, it’s too cute! We didn’t get her an outfit, but I don’t think it needs one.  I really like BAB, what a great place for kids to make their own little friend! The people have always been extremely nice and helpful when we’ve gone. If you haven’t gone, I’d go; it’s a nice treat for the kids! Also, register your animals with your email address because we just got a $5 FREE accessory for Peter Rabbit because his birthday is this month. How awesome! Too bad we were just there and got the coupon later that evening; isn’t that how it always works?

                Last night, we went to Olive Garden as a family and I have to say, that Landon was so well behaved. We haven’t really been out much lately to eat and if we do it’s more of a family friendly place such as IHOP. It was really nice to enjoy an evening out without any stress. But, I have to admit, he’s usually pretty well behaved. Another thing I really enjoy about our little family is our weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) family movie nights! We usually buy/rent a movie and watch it in our bed and sometimes have snacks. This week we ordered a pizza and watched Tangled! We took Landon to see it in theaters and we all loved it so I knew it was one we had to add to our collection! If you haven’t seen it, do; even if you only have boys. J
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