Saturday, June 25, 2016

Liam: The Calm

Liam has been a pleasant surprise even before he was born. I was horribly ill my entire pregnancy with Ellie. No one really seemed to understand how ill I was with her. I kept hearing “It’ll get better in the second trimester” and “Oh yeah, I had morning sickness and threw up a few times when I was pregnant too” but I had severe nausea all day every day. I threw up anywhere from one or two times a day on my REALLY good days but it wasn’t unusual to throw up ten to fifteen times on a lot of days. I struggled to keep any food or drink down. Thankfully, I had really understanding employers and Esquire was a really good nurse in the evenings.

Yawning...not crying!
I finally broke down and started taking Zofran in my second trimester. I had to call into work because I literally couldn’t move without throwing up. I couldn’t walk two steps without throwing up and I knew I wouldn’t make it through the ten-minute drive to the house where I was a nanny. Zofran was a game changer for me. While I still had lots of nausea and vomiting, I could manage to keep more things down and on the really bad days it seemed to take the edge off. Still, I was ill until the day I delivered my sweet little girl. As soon as she was born, I remember being like “BRING ME A CHEESEBURGER!”
My brother-in-law brought me a bean burrito from Taco Bell that I scarfed down like a starving street dog. Zero nausea! Hurray!

With Liam, I had what I would say was ridiculously mild morning sickness compared to Ellie. I think I threw up twice the whole time. During the second trimester, my nausea faded away and I was able to function like a normal human. It was glorious.

With Ellie, she would press her tiny little baby booty up against the side of my stomach and push with all her might. It got to be so painful that I started using ice packs on my stomach to make her uncomfortable so she would move out of that position. Liam was a dream. Calm, quiet, didn’t try any crazy gymnastics or circus routines.

My labor with Ellie was from 7 am to midnight. Liam was more like midnight to 6:30 am…and I wasn’t even sure it was “real labor” until around 2:00 am!

Ellie screamed bloody murder a large portion of the day for the first year of her life. Liam’s days are napping with small breaks to fuss quietly if his diaper is full or he’s hungry. 

Photo of Ellie courtesy of Gilded Sun Photography
It feels surreal. I was trying to prepare myself for another baby that cried and screamed nonstop, but this quiet little chipmunk is just what I needed. I loved Ellie as a baby (and even enjoyed her!), but I'm enjoying Liam's infancy so much more. I'm so grateful for this little guy!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Flood Post

I woke up that Monday morning to the soothing sounds of a rain storm. When Esquire came into the bedroom he was practically humming with energy. Since my sweet husband is not generally a morning person, his energy level didn’t make sense until he quickly showed me a photo of our slightly flooded street.

Ellie and I got up and marveled at the view from our front door for a few minutes, but it quickly became apparent that the water was rising at an alarming rate. Esquire told me to think about what was important enough to save if the house flooded. I started brainstorming and packing irreplaceable things like hard drives and hard copies of photos, certain toys of Ellie’s that she would be upset to lose, diapers, a couple of changes of clothes, and family heirlooms into bags that would be easy to carry.

We called E’s uncle who had his house flooded a few years ago during one of Houston’s big storms. He suggested elevating our couches using soup cans. We went to work putting cans under the feet of our couches, raising our coffee table and the wooden play kitchen set my father made on card tables or other tables with metal legs. Anything else we wanted to save, we put up as high up as we could on the kitchen table or built-in cabinets.

We were frequently checking the water level as it quickly crept closer to our house. It quickly went from this:

To this:

Esquire called his old roommate and the conversation as I heard it went something like this:

“Hey buddy. Did you ever buy those kayaks you were talking about?”
“Well, how would you like to use them to come rescue us?”
“No, seriously. No, your truck won’t make it. I’m actually not sure you can even get close enough to kayak in.”
“Okay, well if you can get here safely, we’d really appreciate it.”

Esquire’s buddy and his wife showed up about an hour and a half later and just in the nick of time. They kayaked up to our front door and we hauled their kayaks into the front hall. Water was already covering most of the living room and the hall leading from the back of the house to the living room.

The guys made about five trips down this waterway that used to be our street.

After they got all of our stuff out, Ellie and I waited with Hannah in her car while the men spent a few hours hauling stranded people out of their houses. This mother was stuck with a three year old and a week old baby while her husband was away at military training.

It ended up over the next few days rising to about a foot deep in parts of our house, but we were lucky compared to some of the other people in our neighborhood. Some houses had water three to four feet deep when we left on Monday. Ellie gets excited whenever she sees pictures of the kayaks. Thankfully, she seems to remember it as a great adventure.

Ellie visiting with Daddy while he takes a break from kayaking

Our house is undergoing a major renovation because of all the flood water. The type of water is considered Category Three (or Cat 3) water...which is basically sewage. I'm going to post pictures of the work soon. Our little house is going to be so gorgeous when it's finally finished!

We're so grateful for Blake and Hannah's superb kayak rescue service. I'm hoping it's the only time we'll need to be kayaked out of our house! Seriously...thank you, Blake and Hannah! You guys turned a potentially scary day into a funny story that we can share with a grin.
Blake and Hannah

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day

To My Dearest Husband on Father’s Day,

I’m writing you this open letter because I want to share with you some of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately and I want to share it with those that know you (either from this blog or in person) because I want them to know why I think you’ve become a great dad.

It’s no secret that I think you’re a much better dad today than when Ellie was first born. To be fair, I am a much better mother than I used to be too. Let’s call it “character development”. Hehe.
I’ve watched you become more selfless and loving towards Ellie over the course of the last two and a half years. Watching you now with Ellie and Liam, I’m so glad that I married you on that cool December night almost four years ago and so grateful that our plans to wait several years to have children were not realized.

One of the biggest things that I’ve noticed is how much patience you have now. You face things with a level head and a calm countenance much more often. Whether it’s because you understand the reasons and motives behind our darling kiddos shenanigans or because you think you have a shot at sainthood status, either way I’m glad that you can be the calm place far more often than when we started this parenting journey together.

You have become more intentional in your approach to parenting lately and I’m grateful every day for it. Parenting Ellie as an infant and young toddler seems a tad different than this little lady who is full of big words and bigger emotions. I’m glad that you’re aware of the important place you hold in her life and how your words and actions now will impact her entire life. It makes me so happy when you bring up the latest issue we’re dealing with and discuss what you think is a good solution. It lets me know that you are dedicated to being the best dad you can be to our kids.

Hand in hand with your intentionality comes an attitude of thoughtfulness towards Ellie in particular. She loves when you make her a blanket fort, take her swimming, take her for a ride with you in the “fun, fast, white car”, let her type on the computer so she can feel “big like Daddy”, or buy her a Frozen placemat because you know how much she loves Frozen. I love that you think about her happiness and spend the time to make great memories with her. I don’t think I have to tell you how much my heart melts watching you dance with her (especially to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” music video). I melt into a puddle just watching the way you two love each other’s company.

Happy Father’s Day. I’m so glad that Ellie and Liam get to call you Daddy.

All My Love,