Wednesday, December 28, 2011

.:December Fun:.

We had a super fun month in December!

It started off with a visit from Gramzee, or Gramz as Reece affectionately calls her. I was supposed to have a brand new baby for my mom's trip down, but instead had an almost one month old. Harper loved meeting her Gramzee for the first time.

We spent a lot of time at Target, and just running errands and eating out. Doesn't get much better, does it? My mom and I even managed to sneak a trip to Hobby Lobby and some sewing in! Later in the week, my dad flew in and my sister and her fam came on down for cousin Evie's baby blessing that was on Sunday.

Saturday nite of that weekend we headed downtown to see the lights at temple square. Harper stayed warm in her adorable new hat from Gramz and Grandpa Paul.

Remi basically was like the kid in Christmas Story; I'm pretty sure she couldn't move her limbs!

It was cold and crowded, but always an amazing sight to see!

We also spent some time with friends doing some fun activities. We went to the Christmas story time at the library, and Reece got to sit on Santa's lap. She informed Santa that she had Rapunzel hair and she wanted princess dolls for Christmas. It was her first year not being scared of him, which was nice! Remi wasn't quite sure what to think, but I didn't force her because it never ends well trying to force Rem to do anything.

We also had a fun cookie decorating party with our closest neighborhood buddies. It was a great time for the kiddos to load up on sugar and then burn it all off while the mommies had some nice chatting time.

And just for fun, some pictures of Miss H.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

.:Harper - One Month:.

How can this sweet little lady already be one month old? This month has absolutely flown, even through the fog of not sleeping and taking care of three kids. I have to say, the adjustment hasn't been too bad at all for any of us!

Harper is just as cute as can be. She has always been super alert since the day she was born, and it's fun to see her focusing on things. I feel like she is pretty close to smiling; I can't wait until that happens! She doesn't hold eye contact for a long time, but she's making it more and you can tell she is trying to make sense of what she is seeing. She really enjoys looking at the Christmas tree.

We've been working to get Harper to take a binky. There have been a few times where she's had to cry really hard because I had to put her down to help the other girls with something (i.e. a meal, getting dressed, bath, etc.) It was so sad to hear her cry, but I can't neglect the other two either! Now that she is starting to figure out that the binky is not such a bad thing, it has made it a bit easier to get things done around the house. We still get in plenty of snuggles, but now she's able to be more content if I need her to be.

Harper actually kind of likes the swing! Neither Reece or Remi was a fan of it, so this is an improvement for us. We inherited a bouncer from the doctor Josh works for, so we've been making good use of both of them.

I've got Harper sleeping in her own little bed for the most part now. She still almost always ends up in our bed towards when it starts getting light outside, but half of the time it's because I'm so tired and too lazy to get out of bed and put her back down. She will sleep in our bed while I get ready for the day, which is kind of nice. She is sleeping okay at nite. She is starting to get more consistent with 3 hour stretches, sometimes 4, but still has nites (like last nite!) where she thinks she needs to eat every 2 hours! I can handle that during the day, but not at nite!

Speaking of eating, Harper is still generally every two hours during the day, but is starting to move more towards two and a half to three hours. If we are out and about and she's in her car seat, she will definitely go longer. She is a very spitty baby. Sometimes it doesn't seem to bother her, but other times she gets really mad. I still suspect reflux, but we'll see how things go over the next month before we consider medication for it.

(With cousin Evie)

Harper is just such a sweet little baby, and the girls are loving her. We are so blessed!

At one month, Harper likes:

- being held
- being swaddled
- binky (kind of)
- staring at the Christmas tree
- eating
- sleeping in her car seat
- sleeping in mommy and daddy's bed
- looking around

At one month, Harper does not like:

- baths
- diaper changes
- getting dressed
- having lotion put on
- being set down/alone for too long

Love this little gal!

Monday, December 12, 2011

.:Reece's First Dance Recital:.

This fall/winter, Reece started dance for the first time. We have a lady in our ward who was in ballet for a long time, and she offered to teach classes for free to ward members, along with some other ladies. For 'payment', we all had to put in time helping in the nursery while moms were helping with dance classes, as well as helping with costumes (which I was in charge of and I totally blame for putting me into labor early!)

It was the perfect situation for Reece. She is just barely three, and I didn't really want to pay for her to take dance at her age. This is a great way to get her involved and learning how to interact with other kids and listen to a teacher, as well as do something she loves: dance!

Her little class was aged 2-4 year olds, and they did a little mouse dance from the Nutcracker. Miss Natalie was the King mouse, and it was so cute to watch all of them.

Reece was certainly the star of the show! She had everyone laughing before we even started, while taking pictures. She just kept saying 'cheese' and holding it forever while we tried to get all three classes situated for pictures. I guess you can tell that we like to take pictures around these parts!

She knew her dance really well! I was a little worried her back would be to use the entire time, because during her dress rehearsal, she just looked up at her teacher and didn't look out at the audience at all. But she had no trouble doing her dance, and was super excited to do it! When it was over, all of the mice were supposed to go off stage, but Reece stayed up there by herself to take a few extra bows alone. It was hilarious! She is a natural born performer - a true Stewart trait!

It was a great experience for her, and we're excited for her to do it again in the spring!

With Mommy before the show - she thought she was pretty special putting makeup on!

With the other baby mice

All of the girls in the three classes (I cut out and individually bagged almost all of those costumes! Note to self: big projects = labor!)

Reece with her flowers after her performance

.:Thanksgiving 2011:.

We were supposed to head up to Oregon this year for Thanksgiving, but we knew beforehand that that wouldn't be happening. Originally, I would have been a week out from my due date and too pregnant to travel. Turns out we just had a brand new baby instead!

Josh worked at Macey's that morning, and then we had a nice dinner with Grandpa Gary and Auntie Em. The girls loved having company over, and all of the attention. They brought most of the food, and we feasted well! We're glad that we've got family close by to help us celebrate!

Here are a few pictures I took; I was a horrible picture taker that day!

Three beauties

The girls love their Auntie Em!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

.:Harper - 3 Weeks:.

This sweet babe is three weeks old today! I can't believe my due date was just this past Friday. It's much better having a three week old instead of a three day old!

Harper had her two week appointment last week. She tipped the scales at 6 lbs 9 oz (6th percentile) and was 20.25 in long (43rd percentile). Her pediatrician was very impressed with her weight gain, as was I! But I guess that's what happens when you want to eat every two hours! She checked out perfectly, though, which is such a blessing since she did come so early.

I suspect that she has a bit of reflux. She fusses and arches her back after eating, and seems to prefer being in an inclined position or laying on my chest. Her pediatrician said we'd look into it more at her two month appointment since it could possibly still just be her body getting used to life in the outside world. She's a far cry from the fussy baby that Reece was, but she is still leaning more towards Reece's temperment than Remi's as a baby. But really, I can't say that I'm minding sitting around holding my snuggly little baby for a lot of the day.

Reece and Remi are doing awesome with Harper, they both seem to love her a lot. They have done a great job playing with each other and keeping each other entertained, which has been so nice for me since I'm stuck on the couch a lot with a nursing baby.

We're just loving this little gal, and can't wait for her to start interacting with us more. She's always been pretty alert when she's awake, but it seems like she's starting to focus in on our faces more now. I'm hoping for some smiles in the next few weeks!

And of course, a couple of pictures of these two beauties! Love all my girls!

Friday, November 25, 2011

.:First Bath:.

Harper had her first sponge bath at home this past week. Since she does not enjoy getting dressed or having diaper changes, I knew this was not going to be a hit with her either.

She screamed through most of it until we got to running the water over her head. She quieted down right away, and as you can tell, quite enjoyed the last little bit of her bath.

But overall, I think she was not a huge fan, as evidenced by this picture.

Real subtle, Harper.

Friday, November 18, 2011

.:Harper Nollie:.


Only two days after writing my 37 weeks post, our sweet little girl decided to surprise us and come almost three weeks early! I figure I had better write down how it all happened before I forget in the newborn mommy fog that I'm currently residing in.

I had been having random contractions for a few weeks, and my doctor stripped my membranes at my appointment. Neither of us expected it to do anything because it never has in the past, but why not? All day on Friday I had the same random contractions; nothing really changed.

We sent the girls out to Grantsville to spend the nite with their grandma and aunt so that we could finally celebrate our anniversary. We went out to dinner and to the movies.

Saturday, Josh had to work a clinic in the morning, so I cleaned house and ran some errands. We met up for lunch and did a little shopping. We were informed that our girls would be staying another nite in Grantsville (don't have to tell us twice!) so he had a friend over to watch football while I worked on costumes for Reece's dance class. During the day, I started to lose some of my mucous plug, and was still having contractions - nothing regular or painful, but more frequent than before.

We didn't go to bed until about midnite on Saturday, and at 2 a.m. I was woken up with a painful contraction. I tossed and turned for awhile trying to get through them, but it wasn't working, so I got up for awhile and got online and tried to get through them. Still, nothing totally regular, but definitely increasing in pain and in occurence. Around 5 a.m. I decided to try to go back to bed. That lasted for about an hour with more tossing and turning, before I got up and headed back to our recliner. I moved the laptop next to me and started using an online contraction timer to see how far apart they were. For that period of time, they were generally about 7 minutes apart, although some varied from 3-5 minutes, and a few were even closer to 10 minutes apart.

Around 7:30 I started thinking that I had better shower in case we ended up going in to the hospital later in the morning. I also had to go copy the program for sacrament meeting. While in the shower I remember having two distinct thoughts: I was really glad I had cleaned my house the day before because I was pretty sure I was having a baby today, and also I was cursing myself for not shaving my legs the day before because it was quite difficult to do while having contractions!

I got ready, told Josh he better get his hospital bag ready, and headed over to the church. The timing worked out perfectly; I had a contraction just before I parked, so I was able to run in and grab keys from one of the bishopric members. Made it to the library, started copying programs, and proceeded to have about three contractions while in there. Hurried out to return keys, and barely made it to my car before another one hit!

I got home, and tried to breathe through some contractions and decide if we should really go in. I really didn't want to get to the hospital and get sent home, but at the same time, the contractions were killing me! It was so weird though, because I felt so totally fine in between contractions that it didn't seem possible that I was really in labor.

We finally ended up leaving around 10:00 to head to the hospital. I had always heard stories about women getting mad at their husbands for hitting bumps in the road on the way to the hospital, but never understood it until then. I didn't get mad at Josh, but man, you definitely feel every tiny little bump in the road when you're in labor like that.

We got to the hospital, got checked in and hooked up to the monitors by about 11:00. I was dilated to a 4 and having regular contractions, and they said there was no way I was going home! I lasted about one contraction before taking them up on their offer to get my epidural right away. Got some relief from that around 11:30, and then around 12:15 or so, the doctor came in to check me (5+) and break my water. About an hour later the nurse comes to check me because apparently my contractions were going crazy (bless epidurals and kudos to the natural mamas out there - not for me!) I was totally complete and she said she was going to go get the doctor. About that moment I started feeling the urge to push and I told her she better hurry because the baby was right there!

The doctor came in and got prepped. The first contraction that hit I pushed twice for her head to get out, and then one more push for her body and that was it! I couldn't believe how fast it had all gone! I am soooo grateful that I was able to go into labor on my own! It was an awesome - although painful - experience.

Just born

When Harper first came out, she let us know she was there with a strong set of lungs (that have continued to be quite strong at home). They took her over to check her, and the nurse was dying over how she was trying to roll over and suck on things. They had the NICU nurse come down because she was doing something called retracting. When babies are born, they are supposed to use their chest muscles to push out all the gunk that is inside them. Well, Harper was kind of doing the opposite of that. They ended up sticking a tube down her throat to get the stuff out.

When they put her on the scale and said she weighed 5 lbs 11 oz, I about died! She was small, but I didn't think she was that small! She was also 19.25 inches long. Our little string bean! We had some skin to skin time while she nursed and looked around. She's been very alert from the moment she was born. After nursing, they checked her blood sugar and it was low, probably because of her size. They said I could nurse her again and if it was still low, then they would have to admit her to the NICU. Or we could give her a bottle of formula which would almost certainly raise it, and then she could come up to the room with us. So we opted to give her the formula and not risk her ending up in the NICU.

We ended up getting her up in the room with us awhile later, and she had her first bath in our room. Reece and Remi came up to visit later that evening. Remi patted her a little bit before this picture was taken, and Reece held her.

We enjoyed a couple of days of visitors, getting checked on constantly, and having Harper's heel poked for more blood sugar checks. She is strong and healthy, though, and her pediatrician gave us the okay to come home. My recovery has been amazing as well. I'll chalk some of it up to staying active and exercising my entire pregnancy, but I'm sure some of it is due to Harper being so small, too!

Harper came home at 5 lbs 5 oz, but at her two day check up yesterday she was up to 5 lbs 7 oz. Hopefully she continues to gain quickly. She is so scrawny; I don't really know how to hold her! She likes to eat frequently, and by that I mean ever 1.5-2 hours. I don't mind it too much right now; she is little and needs it, and her little tummy probably can't hold too much at a time. She doesn't like to be put down much, but I'm sure she'll get used to that quick; I kind of have to when I've got two other little kids to take care of! I'm sure we'll be making some good use of the moby wrap as well.

Her nites haven't been the greatest; she doesn't like to be in her little bed, but up on our bed with me. I can get her to sleep in between her sleep positioner on our bed if I keep a hand on her to let her know I'm right there. She likes to snuggle up next to me, which I admit I totally enjoy, but I also don't want that to turn into a habit; it scares me for one thing, and I like my kids to sleep in their own beds for another!

She is a beautiful baby, and we are just so blessed to have her here with us! Reece loves to help get things for her and hold her; it is so sweet. Remi is pretty indifferent, but doesn't seem to mind because she still gets to do her thing. It will be fun once Harper is a little older and interacting with them more.

Here are some more pictures of Harper from the first few days in the hospital.

Just hanging out

Resting on the boppy

And snoozing on the boppy

Our long and lean little string bean!

Wide awake

Getting ready to go home

Picture with Mommy

And Daddy

All together

Let's go!

And a few pictures Sam and Nikki took when they came to visit. Love them!