Patrick: 3 Months

Our baby boy is getting so big! Here’s the part where I gush about him and his chubby little self.

Gush. Gush. Gush.

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This chunky little man is smiling and giggling up a storm. He’s at that awkward phase where he hates being swaddled… but he really loves it. Actually, he hates it… and it goes on. Let’s just say Mama and baby aren’t getting nearly as much sleep at night as they used to but we’re working on it.

He’s pretty close to sitting up on his own, and loves being in the Bumbo and his exer-saucer (is that how you spell that??). He thinks Sophie tells the best jokes and Charlotte’s hair is super fascinating.Loving every minute of this crazy household we have!

And, because I’m a mom and I can’t help myself, here’s some outtakes from the photo shoot.

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“Ceiling fans are hilarious”

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“Don’t look at me”

Cheers!

Psst… okay, so I totally dropped the ball on the two month photo. I took the picture and then my camera died. Diligently I went to get the charger, only to find I have no idea where it went. Probably in a box somewhere. To be continued…

Shelf Life

I never thought I would miss our weird, old basement. But I do, I really do. One of the things I miss the most about it was the big laundry space we had. It was huge! There was a fabulously large double sink and plenty of storage for random laundry/cleaning items. Plus it was out of the way and no one ever saw it. So despite being on the creepy end, which most old basements tend to be, it was a pretty great space.

Enter our new laundry space:

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What I like: I really like that it’s on the same floor as the bedrooms. I also really like that it’s not creepy looking, that’s a big plus.

What I don’t like: It’s tiny. There’s no storage. The washer and dryer are temporary craigslist finds that we bought for cheap to use for now, but they’re really quirky and really (REALLY) loud. Not the worst laundry room by any means, but definitely unfortunate in its own way.

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Yeah… It’s embarrassing.

The thing is, Tim attempted to add a bit of storage a couple of weeks ago (that “shelf” in the top photo? Yeah, that was him). I liked the idea of doing a shelf, but he kind of started the project, and then just left it to literally “hang out” for two weeks. I’ve been using it recently as a type of drying rack for my… ahem… delicates. But on Wednesday, when Patrick woke me up at 6:30 a.m., I decided it was time to do something about this eyesore.

Step one was to take out the shelf Tim put in and repair the damage done.

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I’m not actually sure how he did, I had to remove the darn thing with a mallet! It was in their pretty snuggly. Everyone but Tim was already awake at that point though so I had no qualms with making a little noise in the wee hours of the morning.

I then removed the one bracket that was holding the shelf “in place” on the right side of the shelf. It definitely put up a bit of a fight, but I soon had it out. Next, I tended to the gouges in the sheetrock from the ends of the wire shelving and the giant holes from the screws in the bracket I had just removed.

I scraped off the rough edges of the holes and two layers of spackling went on top of that. I wasn’t too concerned with perfection (I was racing to get done while Patrick napped) but the spackling went on nice and smooth so there was no need to sand.

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Once the spackling was completely dry, my little helpers got busy and painted the wall with the left over paint the builders left for us. Have I mentioned I don’t like tan paint? That’s an issue for a different post. I did briefly consider painting the room a different color, you know, since I had it all torn apart anyway, but I figured I’ll do that later if it really bugs me in a year or so. We’re not going to be in the house for very long, so I’m trying my best to be continent with a live-with-it-for-now attitude. It’s not working very well.

I figured the paint would dry sufficiently while I cut the shelf to size and screwed in the new brackets so once the paint brushes were cleaned, I moved immediately to sizing up the room and cutting the shelf to size. The room is 65.5 feet long so I cut my white shelf (from Menards for $10) to 65 feet. I had less than a foot left over, so it was a pretty good match!

The brackets (3 for $4 each) were the next thing to do. So it was off to the internet to look up really complex skills such as, “how to  find the studs in a wall” and “how far apart should brackets on a shelf be”. It’s how I roll.

After I had sufficiently googled all the burning questions I had, it was time to take action! I found the center of the wall length-wise, 60 inches off the ground, and marked it. This mark happened to not be located on a stud so I used an anchor to give the screw something to hold on to so it stayed put. Because, you know, I hear that’s a pretty desirable trait in a shelf.

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Anchors are awesome. I never even knew they existed! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve hung hooks up without them and couldn’t figure out why they kept coming off the wall. Oh the lessons I’ve learned. Two of the brackets are placed in the wall using the anchors and screws. The farthest right bracket is in a stud, which is good because I feel like it’s a good thing for a shelf to be anchored to something a little more permanent than a squiggly plastic tube.

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This is a picture of me, using the drill, while taking a picture of me using the drill. Multitasking.

I would also like to point something out…

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That leveler on your phone? It’s probably not the most reliable source (observe the wonky line underneath the very level shelf).

I thought we had a leveler, but I found out that we do not, in fact, have a leveler. Father’s Day gift option, perhaps? So my first solution was to use my friendly little leveler on my phone, but the line looked really crooked to me when I drew it initially. So, I measured the old fashioned way and figured out very quickly to never trust my phone again.

Once I had the brackets securely placed in the wall, it was time to place the shelf on the brackets and screw it in.

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I really need to figure out how to get the walls of the laundry room to look the same in pictures. Right now we’re ranging from a light tan, to a muddy brown and I don’t like it.

Anyway, once the shelf was attached to the brackets it was time to load it up! So I did, I really really did.

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Oh it’s so beautiful. Look at how everything is all up on the shelf, and happy. It’s so very happy all in a group. Organized. Off the ground. Sigh.

I’m trying to decide if we should add one more shelf above this one. Thoughts?

While I was in the organizing move, I also hung up the ironing board.

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Get on with yo’ bad self! If this was our “forever” house, I’d totally get one of those ironing boards that folds out of the wall. Did you know they have drying racks that come out of the wall too?? They’re pretty swoon worthy. As swoon-worthy as laundry accessories can be… someday…

I still have a little situation with the rest of the cleaning supplies in the other corner of the room:

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So that’s a definite “to be continued”, but I’m so happy that I’ve been able to bring a little bit of order to a whole lot of chaos. I’m also pretty proud of myself for wielding a drill and not gouging myself. Tim thinks the shelf looks pretty great too, but he’s a little bummed that we spent money on the wire shelf, and we didn’t even use it. However, since we have an entire basement a-waitin’ to be finished, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to use it somehow. We will see!

Have a great weekend!

The Stuff I Use (aka Register for this Stuff Because I Say So)

Apparently having three kids makes you a baby guru.

Not.

Totally not true. You know how they always say every baby is different? It’s so true. That basically means with each subsequent child, you might as well toss the rulebook and start making a new one. Babies like to keep it interesting like that.

Even so, I’ve gotten many questions about the items we’re using with Patrick v. what we used with the girls, and what has been helpful for us as we’ve transitioned from one house to the next with a baby in tow so I decided to create a little (umm actually quite long) list of the items we’re using on a daily basis. I love these items, but keep in mind that everybody is different, and so when you’re registering for baby stuff, really think about which items fit your lifestyle and which ones don’t. Do you want to spend time wrapping a long piece of cloth around yourself to carry your baby, or do you want a snap-and-go type carrier? Do you care if you can jog with your stroller, or are you just going to be using it for strolls? It’s hard to create a “master list” because everyone has different priorities. Either way, I hope you find this list helpful!

Baby Must Haves for Baby

1. BOB Duallie Jogging Stroller: We got this bad boy when I had Charlotte, and let me tell you something, this stroller is a boss. I love it. It’s definitely more expensive than the standard travel system, but if you plan to do a lot of walking, jogging or outdoor activities with your babe, this stroller is awesome and really holds up to abuse- erm… adventures. And, yes, it can fit through doorways. It also turns on a dime and has pretty amazing shock absorption. There’s a single seat version as well, so check it out.

2. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets: These blankets are really great. They’re light-weight, stretchy and huge. I actually use two of them when I swaddle Patrick to make extra sure he stays swaddled and he has been a great sleeper since he was born. They also double super-hero capes. Just saying.

3. MamaRoo: Alright, here’s the deal. The success of a baby swing is so based on what baby’s preferences are, but we tried a multitude of swings and bouncers with Patrick and this is the ONLY one that got him to sleep for more than 10 minute stretches. I got this guy on sale, because I bought a discontinued pattern so I didn’t have to pay full price for it, but knowing what I know now about it, it’s totally worth the splurge. If you can register for it, and get a couple of people to go in for it, it would be a pretty amazing gift for any first-time-mom. The new ones even have bluetooth capabilities making music playing a breeze. There’s also a less-expensive version (the Rockaroo) of it being sold by Target. It’s not completely the same, but I’ve heard good things about.

4. Covered Goods Nursing Cover: This cover is AMAZING. I used the standard apron-type nursing cover with Sophie and Charlotte and was not impressed, but I used it because I didn’t know there were covers like this (5 years ago, perhaps there wasn’t?). This cover is soft, stretchy, covers everything and is so easy to use. Plus it folds up nice and small so it fits great in the pockets of my diaper bag.

5. Breast Pump (In Style Medela): We got our new pump through insurance, so make sure you check to see if a pump is covered by your insurance before you register or buy one. With Sophie, however, insurance was not covered so we had to buy one. If you’re planning on breastfeeding baby, I strongly recommended getting a good breast pump. I’ve had two breast pumps now, and it’s been great to be able to pump and freeze milk so that we have a small stash just in case. We’ve used them so Tim can feed baby in the middle of the night so I can sleep, or if we decide to do a date night, baby can be left with babysitters, with Patrick I’ve even pumped just so the girls can feed him and bond with him that way.

6. Comotomo Baby Bottle: I’ve used quite a few different bottles, and this one is my favorite. We don’t use bottles all that often, but for us, it’s important to make sure Patrick will take one. With Charlotte we forgot to introduce a bottle early and she wouldn’t take one when she was older, so date nights without a baby didn’t really happen until she was over a year old. Lesson learned.

7. Diaper Bag (Skip Hop Duo): Diaper bags are definitely a personal choice. You should go to a store and look and try out a bunch of different styles, sizes, and types. For me, it was really important to have a messenger-type bag and one that wasn’t too big. Skip Hop makes durable, well thought-out bags that aren’t too bulky or so small that you have to stuff them to their breaking point just to feel prepared. I’m pretty obsessed with stripes right now too, so when I saw this guy I was like, “MINE!”. And I shall call it Lovely, and it shall be mine.

8. Sollybaby Wrap: This is a newly discovered item, like the nursing cover, and I love it. I love babywearing. It allows me to have two free hands, which is important for me having two other children, and it means that baby is normally close and snuggly to me. The Sollybaby Wrap is lightweight, beautiful, the fabric is so so soft, and has a wonderful little pocket at the end of one of the tales to put your phone, keys, etc. in. There’s definitely a learning curve with this kind of wrap, but Sollybaby has put together a great set of tutorial videos so it makes it a little less daunting to try. Also, I emailed a comment to them and they returned my email within 24 hours, so if you do have a question, they’re customer service is pretty prompt.

9. Milkies: Okay, I want to know why no one ever told me about this. Seriously, this is my third breast-fed baby and I had no.idea. It’s genius. So simple. So genius. Here’s the deal (people who don’t like reading about nipples, turn away), when you start breastfeeding, for many women, it takes your body awhile to sync itself with the demands of your baby. This could mean that you don’t make enough right away, or, like me, you have a surplus that tends to leak out one side when you’re feeding from the other. As “feminine” as a milk stain on your shirt is, I choose to not have one. Thanks. Enter the Milkie. It’s something you just slip into your nursing bra and it catches the leaking milk from the side you’re not using. Seriously, this is genius. Plus, it’s milk you can store for later that you didn’t have to spend the time pumping. See? I told you. Genius.

10. Motherlove Nipple Cream: Everyone always says, “Buy lanolin. You’ll need lanolin.” Well I’m hear to tell you, “Don’t buy lanolin.” What?! Yes. Don’t do it. I tried using lanolin with Sophie and it was a disaster, some women swear by it, it was no help to me unfortunately. Motherlove Nipple Cream is a great alternative to lanolin that, I’ve found, works a million times better for me. Put this guy in your hospital bag and start using it immediately after your first breastfeeding session with your baby, and keep using it until you’re nipples have gotten used to breastfeeding (sorry ladies, it does take a bit) and, combined with proper latch and general baby and breast cooperation, and you’ll hopefully never have to worry about cracked or bleeding nipples (sorry again, breastfeeding is beautiful… except when it’s not…).

11. Cloth Diapering System (BumGenius Diapers, Charlies Soap, Bumkins Diaper Sprayer): I love cloth diapering. I use disposables when baby is a newborn and doesn’t fit into the BumGenius one-size diapers, but as soon as baby’s bum fits, baby’s in cloth. Finding a system that works for you is important because cloth diapering is definitely a little more labor intensive than disposables, but it’s completely worth it once you’ve the groove of it. I wrote a post way-back-when about the system we used with Sophie, and we’ll be continuing that same process with our little man.

12. Boon Grass Drying Rack: If you’ve gotten baby stuff, you’re going to want a drying rack. Toys, pacifiers, bottles and many more items will need to be cleaned and dried and this guy is so cute and practical. I received it as a shower gift with Sophie and we’re still using it, three kids later. Plus, it looks all happy and summery sitting on a counter.

13. Bumbo Seat: Again, I’ve had this guy since Sophie and Patrick’s already using it, and he loves it.

14. Basket for cra- ahem baby stuff: Want to know a secret? Because we knew we were moving quickly after Patrick was born, we had to constantly be prepared for showings of our house, and wanted to have Patrick’s stuff be accessible through the move, we’ve been using a basket like this to hold all of Patrick’s blankets, clothes and shoes. Now that we’ve moved, we’re still using it because Patrick’s room is currently being used as the guest room, so we don’t have a place for any of his stuff. So stuff goes in box. Once he’s got a room of his own, we’ll use this box to store things like toys and books to keep them out of sight when the room is cleaned, and easily accessible for Patrick when he’s more mobile. Whether it’s a box with a lid, a wire or woven basket, buy them, register for them, register and buy them. Buy all the boxes and bins. Not really, but they’re awesome to reduce clutter and keep like-items together and organized.

Phew. So there you have. My must-have items as a mama of three. What are your must-have baby items? What did I miss that you can’t live without? Any items you got with your first, and then never used?

BTW I was not paid or perked by any of these companies, these are just items that we use in house on a daily basis that we love. 

Deck the House

… with lots of deck space. Falalalalaaalalalalaa.

See what I did there?

Anyway, you probably figured out what’s happened at our house…

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Concrete stairs!

Not what you were thinking? Okay, well this is definitely not where this post is focused but we did get our stairs finally finished and they also added a sidewalk out front. All of this progress has been both cool and frustrating. It’s cool because we get to see how things come together and the process behind everything. It’s also frustrating because people kind of live on their own timeline here. All of the unfinished pieces were supposed to be done by May 1st. Whelp it’s May 5th and we still have a wonky yard, left-overs from various projects all over the place, the AC is still missing and the list kind of goes on and on. BUT we’re hopeful that everything will be done in the next week. Crossing our fingers!

So let’s talk about the fun new view of the back of the house. Here’s what it looked like before:

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And here’s what it looks like now!

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Ahhh. A deck!

We negotiated a bigger deck than the standard 10×10 into the purchase of the home and I’m so so so glad we did! Originally we had wanted to do a 10×15, but when we did the measuring etc. we realized we’d have to build a deck over the downstairs office window, blocking all of the light we were getting downstairs. To compromise, the builders built it with the same square footage, but didn’t build over the windows.

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Right now we’re planning to build a small seating area at the bottom of the stairs, with raised garden beds along the edge. I’m sure plans will evolve as we go along though so it’ll be fun to see what actually gets done.

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Remember the wind? This is where our chairs live right now because otherwise they get blown around on the deck. It’s kind of ridiculous. We also are too afraid to leave the umbrella on the table for fear a gust will blow it away. We’ll have to figure out a solution for that.

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See my cute little “greenhouse”? Yeah, it’s awesome. The black pot will house our little deck salad garden. The girls love growing, and picking cherry tomatoes so we’ll plant that plus lettuce all around the edge and voila! A salad garden right on the deck!

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It’s also pretty awesome for Barbie dance parties and little girls to have tea and taco parties. We’re not sure if/when we’ll stain the deck but for now, we’re just enjoying the extra play and relax space we have.

And maybe we’ll find a way to use the “leftovers” that got forgotten…

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Anybody need a hodge-podge of lumber pieces?

Actually… I probably do… let’s be honest.

 

 

 

Home on the Range

Perhaps my title is a little mellow-dramatic. Deal with it.

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We’ve been here now for a little over a month and we’re coming to realize how much this feels like home now. We were back in Minneapolis last weekend for Tim’s Ironman Bike Ride (his 6th year running!)…

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Stud.

…and we kept commenting on how it was great to be back, but we missed “home”. Words I thought would come out of my mouth, oh never. So clearly, this whole none-stop-wind-on-the-prairie house is quickly settling into our hearts and making itself comfortable. There’s still a lot to be done, but the work needed is much different from the kind we were doing in the previous house. Not better or worse, just different. Also, I find it completely charming that the girls call this house the “red house” and in all of there pictures now there’s a little red house somewhere on the page. Be still my melting heart.

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Being a new home, there’s a lot of this kind of stuff lying around. The builder has happily come and picked up some of it, but not all of it, and every time they do a new project (ahem… the deck) more stuff gets left behind. Will it ever end? It better because I’ve got big plans for grass on this little plot of dirt. Time to clean up kids, Mama’s gotta try her hand at l-a-n-d-s-c-a-p-i-n-g.

DSC_4112But a new home also comes with a lot of fun little extras that we really appreciate. Say it with me, “A.C.” Huzzah! We haven’t needed it yet (which is good because the unit’s not installed yet) but when we do, I’ll be really happy we have it. People tell me it’s windy here until it gets hot… and then the wind decides it’s bored and goes elsewhere. Okay then, good thing there’s a splash pad up the road.

Also, can we just talk about the view?

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This is what it looked like the day we moved in. This is what it looked like two nights ago:

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It’s seriously ridiculous that there’s this much space behind our house. Eventually this will be developed into more housing, so this view is not here to stay. But for now we’re soaking it in and enjoying the peace that comes with living outside the city.

I’ve gotten a couple of questions about why we decided to go with a new construction home, since we clearly loved our little old beauty in Minneapolis. Honestly, it’s mostly about re-sale value. We know this is just a temporary move and older houses in this area are much harder to sell than new construction homes. It was also a timing thing, we had about two months to pick a house, sell our previous house, pack and move and the idea of finding a house that needed updating like the last one was just too much, especially since we knew Patrick would be a newborn at the time of the work.

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One of the things I did get with this home was the open floor plan I’ve dreamed and dreamed about. I can be cooking in the kitchen, chatting with people sitting at the bar or dining room table, and watching the girls destroy the living room and make spit pictures with their fingers on the T.V. screen. It’s glorious.

DSC_4127Also, the fact that these windows are super energy-efficient is amazing. A-mazing. It’s a good thing too, because the wind (did I mention the wind?) threatens to blow our house down every.single.day. We need good windows to keep us warm. One of our neighbors told us that the wind is pretty brutal in the winter time. So the windows are very much appreciated. I’m also pretty in love with the vaulted ceilings. It’s amazing how large this space feels just because of the ceiling height. The only issue, I want it all painted a different color… so that’ll be an interesting endeavour.

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We have three finished bedrooms right now. The girls’ and Patrick’s (right now operating as the guest bedroom) are mirror images of each other. They’re both a really great size and the closets are huge! Huge for us anyway, I think they’re probably standard sized closets, we’re just use to Minneapolis standard sized… aka capsule wardrobes only. I’ll have more pictures of the closets later as we’re putting new closet systems in them to accommodate clothes/toys/general chaos.

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And our bedroom is pretty awesome too. The ceiling is what made this room. It’s actually a pretty small master bedroom, but it also includes a walk-in closet (what?!) and a bathroom so it works great for us. Now I can say things like, “the master suite” and sound all snooty like. I told Tim that even though we have two bathrooms now (there’s one by the kids’ rooms) I’m still going to make sure I fight him for one in the morning… you know… for consistency’s sake.

Now, the greatest part about the house, you know, except for all the other great things I’ve talked about, is the basement:

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So down here there’s room for three more bedrooms, another living area, and a third bathroom. Aaand my head just exploded.

Our plan is to make one room into an office, complete with french doors to let more light into the large living room, one is going to be a play room for the kids, and the third will be the actual guest bedroom with a guest bathroom. I love this basement because it’s not a dark cave, there’s beautiful windows in each room to let a good amount of light in and the idea of being able to finish a basement is exciting. And scary. But mostly exciting! We’ll post pictures once everything’s all framed up so you can see our “vision”, or rather, the builder’s vision and how we’re continuing that with our finishes and last-minute details.

Anyone else taking advantage of beautiful weather this week? Any gardeners out there want to give me some tips on raised garden beds?

Cheers!

30 Days Young

As I mentioned  we will be doing a month-to-month photo with Patrick, just as we did with his sisters. This one kind of came about because I forgot to take a really good one of Patrick when he was first born, but found a pretty great one of him and Tim and the month-to-month evolved from there. So, without further ado… here’s the newborn pic:

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Toes!

Anyway, and here is the big (little) guy 30 days later!

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I also have one with the month on it:

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But I think I like without better.

Patrick is chubbing out like a champ. He started smiling about a week ago, and is cooing up a storm which melts my heart every time. Every. Time.

Happy one month, little man!

The Dust is Settling

I’m finding time to blog! Boom! Super mom.

I was able to get quick snapshots of our home before everything started being moved in but I’ve temporarily misplaced those photos so today is going to be a bunch of pictures of my kids. Because I can and who doesn’t love pictures of squishy newborns? That was a rhetorical question.

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I promised I would share Patrick’s birth story and on his one month birthday (plus one day) I thought it would be fun to relive his birth  with all of you. Maybe not in all the nitty gritty details, because ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s still a little weird to think that we’re now a family of five! We recently purchased our awesome minivan (can’t believe I used “awesome” and “minivan” in the same sentence) to accommodate all of us. Going from a Prius to a minivan kind of makes me feel like I driving a giant boat down the middle of the road. But this boat comes with heated seats and a DVD player for trips so I’ll take it! We’re pretty blessed with these three kiddos, and we wouldn’t change anything.

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Patrick was actually due on March 15th, however as we got closer and closer to his due date I began to worry about the timing of everything. Both of my girls were one and half/two weeks late, which put us solidly at moving weekend. If there’s one thing that’s not on my bucket list, it’s have a baby when you’re supposed to be traveling to your new home in a new state. So, after a lot of discussion between Tim and myself, and my doctor, we decided it would probably be best if they set me up to be induced the weekend he was due. I know there a lot of people out there who are against ousting a baby before they’re ready, but we put a lot of thought into our decision and decided this was the best option. I wanted time to heal. I wanted our baby boy to have time to acclimate a bit to being outside the womb before we threw him in a car seat and moved him a couple of hours away from the home he was used to etc. We also wanted the girls to get used to the idea of baby brother before we uprooted them to a new house.

There were a lot of factors that went into our decision, and we weighed all the pros and cons very carefully.

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So at my doctor’s appointment on Thursday (the 12th), my doctor set up the appointment for induction the following day but she warned me that because it wasn’t a medically necessary induction that it might take a couple of days before they were actually able to admit me.

On Friday, March 13th (I know, right?) I called in at 6:00am to ask if they’d be able to uphold the appointment and the nurse on the line said, “Oh sure, come on in!” Ok then.

We then dropped the girls off at my mom’s house, and headed to the hospital. My plan was no medication, just break my water and let’s see what happens. Yep, that’s how I plan things. Very vague. I didn’t want pitocin, and I wanted to try going without any kind of pain medication as I had with the girls. I’m not against pain medication at all, but I generally don’t need it until the very end of labor, and at that point it’s always too late and not necessary because baby comes very quickly after it becomes “too much”.

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So, they broke my water at 8:00am and then… nothing. A lot of walking happened. A lot of looking at all the cute baby gifts you could buy… I realized I didn’t have a nursing cover, put that on my list of things to still get… but not a whole lot of labor happened.

Here’s the deal with pregnancy, and everyone tells you this but you kind of shrug and say, “Yeah ok”: every pregnancy is different. Every labor is different. With Sophie they broke my water and she came an hour later. With Charlotte they broke my water (it always needs a little bit of help) and she was born four hours later. So when three hours had gone by and my contractions were very irregular and I was still up moving around and totally fine, I started to get a bit discouraged. The nurse suggested we try pitocin to get my contractions to regulate and really start to work but I was like no, maybe in an hour. I was worried that pitocin would be too much intense-ness in too short a time and I wouldn’t be able to continue to control my breathing and manage them well. So we walked so more, and then just decided it was movie watching time. And by movie I mean HGTV, because I can’t help myself I just love a good DIY.

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Around noon Tim got some lunch, and I got a couple of saltines to “refuel”. They would have let me have more but I was beginning to feel like we were actually making progress and I have this ridiculous fear of pooping while trying to birth a baby. So I did a saltine instead of real food. Always do the real food. When 2 o’clock rolled around, my contractions were beginning to come on hard and strong and I finally caved and asked for an epidural. Like I said, I’m not above pain medication.

However, the epidural never happened, because an hour later it was time to start pushing. After about three minutes of pushing, Patrick David was born at 3:13pm on 3/13/15. Wish we’d had a four leaf clover or something too just to round out all the luck that was happening this day. Is it too late to walk under a ladder? Quick! Someone drop a mirror!

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At 7 hours of labor, that makes him my longest labor yet. Maybe after four pregnancies, my body is just more apt to take it’s sweet time. I’m just glad there was a doctor and nurse in the room when it was time to push because with Charlotte, we weren’t so lucky. Tim had to yell for the nurse as I started push (seriously, there’s no controlling it) and the nurse caught our girl. So having a team there was really nice. After having gone all morning and a good portion of the afternoon without decent food though, I was really exhausted and extremely hungry!

Patrick was 8lbs 15 oz and 22 inches long. He had black fuzzy hair and dark grey eyes, and was absolutely perfect. We were already so much in love with him, and having him finally here to hold and snuggle was beyond amazing. I will tell you something though, the nurse and Tim started joking about having number 4, and after having just pushed out this 9 pound kid, I was having none of it. Too soon, kids, too soon.

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We spent two nights in the hospital recovering. I feel like I recovered really quickly this time around, which is great because we were set to move two weeks later! Time is just flying for us right now.

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The girls love him, most days. We threw a lot of changes at them within a really short period and they’ve been doing great with everything. Patrick sleeps like a champion right now, waking probably three times a night. A rested mommy and baby means a much more calm household around here.

At one month out now, we’re settling in to our house really well. Tim is enjoying his new job, which is awesome, and the girls are exploring their new surroundings and finally starting to call Patrick by his name, instead of “baby” like they did when he was in the womb. The random tantrums are beginning to dissipate and I think in general we’re all starting to get comfortable with the new rhythm of our new lives.

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I will be doing month to month photos for Patrick like I did with Sophie and Charlotte too. I’ve got his birth photo done, but haven’t had a chance take a one month picture yet, I’ll update when I do. It’s gonna be a good one! I’m trying to decide if I want to do a second set of month-to-months with all three kiddos, hmmm… things to think about. Thoughts?

Thank you for all your prayers and love as we’ve made all these transitions in our lives. We have felt the support from young and it has helped tremendously. So thank you, thank you, thank you!