Friday, September 30, 2011

Passion for Two...Wheels

Scott signed up on the People for Bikes website to support cycling and he shared his story on why he rides.  Well, someone must have liked his story because they featured it on the main story page!  (If you scroll down toward the bottom of the page you'll it)  We thought that was pretty cool!  Anyway, since it probably won't be there forever here is the picture he posted along with his "story."  

I ride for fitness, I ride for the environment, I race for fun, I ride in hopes that my two daughters will inherit my love of all things that go on two wheels, most of all though, I ride because when I'm riding I sort out all the things, that for me cannot be sorted anywhere else.  Cycling is my addiction….and for this I ride.
Scott and I started riding together while we were dating, and we have had so many fun (and sometimes crazy) adventures together on two wheels.  It makes me so happy to see that he is now sharing this passion with Carys and I'm sure he'll do the same with Harper.  It's a great way to spend time as a family, and I'm so looking forward to sharing many more adventures together with our girls!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The First Weeks

Our first few weeks home as a family of four really flew by and I can't believe Harper is a month old already.  I was nervous about the challenge of parenting a newborn and a toddler, but I was super fortunate to have lots of help.  Scott was able to take a week off of work and he is always such a big help.  He spent most of his time playing with Carys and keeping up with the house.  I was able to spend my time relaxing with Harper.  Not going to lie, we were both exhausted most of the time and my recovery was a little more rough this time around, but it was nice to just be at home together spending time with our girls!


After our first week home, my in-laws came back down for the weekend.  We had another fun weekend hanging out with family, and were even able to go on our first outing together.  We grabbed some food and headed out to the splash park to let Carys run around and have a picnic.  I think you might be able to tell in these pictures, but Carys had a blast!  She was much braver about getting splashed this time around!  Harper was an angel and spent most of her time snoozing in the shade. 

My amazing MIL stayed the following week with us since Scott was going back to work.  She really was so much help I don't know how I would have survived without her.  She has endless energy and she and Carys played so hard together.  We had a lot of fun with the girls and managed to squeeze a lot into our week.

Girl time!

A bike ride to the park with Daddy and Grandma

Swinging "upside down" - Carys's new favorite

Sweet dreams for this girl!

We gave the girls their first bath together.  Carys liked helping at first, but then she was more interested in getting Harper out to make room for her toys!

Mini photo session with Harper

I know these "smiles" are just reflexes right now, but they still melt my heart.  And if they are any indication of the real smiles to come, then we are going to have a very happy baby on our hands because she practices them all the time!

Carys had her first salon haircut, and I snapped a couple of photos on my phone.  She wasn't too sure at first, but after she found out she could sit on Grandma's lap it was no problem!

I know I'm extremely fortunate to have a MIL that is so caring and supportive.  I don't think most women would want their MIL's around for a week, but I didn't want mine to leave, and I'm not sure who cried harder when she did - me or her!  

Thanks for everything Alice.  There's no question that Carys loves spending time with you, but your support meant the world to both me and Scott.  We loved having you here and are so thankful for everything you do for us!

I was a little nervous about having both of the girls on my own, but we are figuring things out.  We definitely have good days and bad days.  I'm finding on the bad days it helps to just get out of the house.  Even if that means hitting a drive thru for a diet coke, and driving around for a bit - it helps!  The car puts Harper to sleep and Carys has always been good, so it's a few minutes of peace!  I still start sweating when both girls are crying at the same time and it breaks my heart to know that I have to let Harper cry a lot more than I did with Carys.  But we are getting through and I know we'll all be fine.  Harper really has been a great baby so far too.  She hasn't quite figured out that she should sleep more at night than during the day, but other than a little late night fussing she's been really easy.  Nursing her has been a lot easier than Carys, and she is a great eater, so I'm anxious to see what she weighs at her 1 month check-up on Monday.  It looks like she is getting chubbier, so hopefully that means she's gaining like she should.

I'm so excited about life with our two precious girls.  I know time goes by so fast, so I'm trying to soak in every moment and remind myself of this when things get rough.

My three loves...

Sweet angel

Adorable big Sis

And just to keep it real - this is how things get done!

Happy Sunday - Have a great week!


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Heading Home

After Harper was born, my doctor had originally thought that I would be able to go home on Thursday, but Thursday morning he decided I should stay until Friday and I will say that I was so glad!  I just wasn't quite ready to go home yet, and I didn't mind our quiet and calm room in the hospital.  So, we stayed an extra night and by Friday morning we were all ready to head home.  Scott had to head into work that morning to wrap up some stuff in preparation for taking the next week off, so Harper and I chilled that morning and waited for the doctors to make their rounds to release us.  I didn't mind having the morning to spend some one on one time with this sweet girl.

We finally got clearance from our doctors and had all the paperwork done to leave that afternoon, so Scott came back to pick us up and all head home together.  We were really excited to see Carys and get settled in at home.

After being in the chilly hospital for a few days, it was a little strange to come outside and feel the heat.  I remember it being the same way when we brought Carys home too.  It was a beautiful, sunny, HOT day!  The feelings we had of being completely overwhelmed and nervous about bringing Carys home and taking care of her by ourselves, weren't quite as bad this time.  I was feeling just a little more confident this time around about knowing what to do!  

And We're Home!!!!

Here's Harper soaking up some sunshine in the back yard. Of course Carys was excited to come outside and check her out!

My confidence in bringing Harper home also had a LOT to do with the fact that I knew Grandma and Grandpa would be around to help!  They were staying for the weekend and even Uncle Hoon and Brooke were able to stop by and chill with all of us.  Carys loves when everyone is over, so she was extra happy to have a house full of family to play with her!

I'm so thankful for my family.  We had everyone pitching in to help with Carys and even helping to get the house ready and organized for us to come home.  So, Mom J, Lynnette, Lisa, Mom A, Dad T, David and Brooke - Thank you so much for helping us get through this transition!  It means the world to us that you were right there with us during this special time and we love you so much! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Special Delivery

Tuesday, August 23rd started as a normal day for us.  Carys had gymnastics that morning and I had my weekly non-stress test and doctor's visit right after that.  Aunt Nettie was in town, so she and my mom came to gymnastics with us, and then they stayed with Carys while I went to my Dr's appointment.  During Lynnette's visit she kept teasing me that I needed to have the baby on Tuesday because she was flying home early Wednesday morning and wanted to meet her niece before she left.  Well, amazingly she got her wish!

At my appointment, my doctor noticed that Harper's heart rate had dropped a few times during my test, and had me get an ultrasound to check my fluid levels.  My fluid was measuring low, so he decided we needed to discuss my delivery options.  I had hoped to have a natural delivery this time around, but my doctor and I agreed early on that if any complications came up we would just go ahead with another c-section.  So, with the dropping heart rate and low fluid, he thought it would be best to have a c-section.  He mentioned that we could go ahead have the baby that afternoon or he could check the schedule for the next day.  I didn't hesitate - I said, "Today is good! I'm ready!"  And before I could even text Scott with an update, I was scheduled and told to report to the hospital in 3 hours!  The rest of the day flew by as I ran home to pack and update everyone on the news.  Scott met me at home and after putting Carys down for her nap (and trying to hide my tears at leaving her) our bags were packed and we were ready to go.

Things moved just as quickly at the hospital too.  As soon as we arrived they moved us into our suite and began prepping me for surgery.  Before I knew it I was walking into the OR and not long after that meeting our sweet, tiny baby girl!  Harper was beautiful and perfect, and even though she was a little bit bigger than Carys when she was born, I was still amazed at how tiny she was.  We stayed in the hospital until Friday and during that time I couldn't get enough of holding, cuddling and looking at her.

Of course, there were some other people that couldn't wait to meet her and stopped by to see us at the hospital.  Some of our special visitors...

Aunt Nettie made Carys a painting for her new room and wanted her to have it as a big sister gift.  She had left it with our mom, but thankfully everything worked out and she was there to give it to Carys herself.  I was so happy Lynnette was able to meet Harper before heading home, and still can't believe the timing worked so perfectly!  Also, Aunt Mary Beth stopped by with flowers for Harper, but I unfortunately didn't get a picture before she left.

Aunt Lisa

David aka Uncle Hoon

Grandma Alice with Harper Alice!

Grandpa Tom

Grandma Judy

Our friends Tim and Mary also stopped to see us, but again I missed getting a picture.  

Carys visited again and was much happier that I was able to be up and walking around with her.  She was really checking her sister out this time!

Happy Big Sister

Daddy and Harper

Momma's sweet girls

Our happy family!  

Both of our girls surprised us with early arrivals, and we are just so incredibly thankful that they were born healthy, strong babies!