Our Holidays - Part 2

Christmas Eve we went to Great Grandma and Grandpa Jackson's (Dave's parents). Carli got all dressed up in her Christmas outfit. Then a Christmas miracle occurred. Dave helped out in the kitchen!! :) PaPa in the kitchen, what will Santa think of next!Next we headed over to Mike's Aunt Angie's house. Carli got to meet her new cousin Zooey for the first time! Zooey's mom, Jessie, and I were due on the same day. She ended up having Zooey two and half weeks before me. Do you remember when I was at the hospital and Mike came home from deer camp for stupid latent labor...yeah, that night Jessie had Zooey.

She also got to meet her cousins Riley and Nolan (Mike's brother Tim's boys).

At the end of the night she crashed with Cece.

Prayer Request

Our good friends Nathan and Kelly's little girl, Brenna, who was one week old yesterday is in the hospital with RSV. Please pray for her quick recovery!

Identity Crisis

Cowboy Bat Mark

Our Holidays - Part 1



Toni (Mike's Stepmom)-Carli-George-Andrew-Jim (Mike's Dad)-Rachel-Mike

As a kickoff to our holiday season MaMa and PaPa Ballard came in town from Arizona. This is always a highlight for the boys so they, of course, had a blast visiting and spending a few days with them. Not to mention this is the first time MaMa and PaPa got to meet Carli.

Girls and Boys

Let me tell you the difference between girls and boys.

This picture took one shot.

Emily (Vince's Girl) - Rachel - Chris(Grandma) - Carli - Angela (Bob's wife)

This picture took...well let me just tell you that we lost track.

Andrew - Mike - Vince (my brother) - George - Bobby (my brother) - Randy (PaPa) - Mark (my brother)


The men swear it has something to do with the age of the people in the photo. :)

Learning

It is amazing to me the things I learn about my kids when I watch them interact with other children. Last Friday I got to be in George's kindergarten class for his Holiday Party. I left there with a whole new respect for his teacher and having learned a little something about who my son really is. It's amazing how different they act!

He is so much more independent at school. Not only does he not ask for my help, but gets ticked if I offer it!
He's so much more willing to try new things at school. There's no way I'd get him to try this game. He would have told me can't or doesn't want to. But at school...he wanted to be first.Mrs. Muench's afternoon kindergarten class 2008

Learning from Papa

Carli learned some new faces from her Papa Ballard...or maybe she taught him some new faces - we really aren't sure. :)





Merry Christmas

Guess what I got for Christmas??? Five and a half straight hours of sleep!!! Carli drank five ounces and went to bed last night at midnight and she didn't wake up until 5:30! Then she drank four ounces and slept till 9 a.m. I feel like a new woman!

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Sorry folks...I have nothing. Nothing to blog about. How you may wonder is that possible? Two incredibly humorous boys and a new baby - surely there is something. Well let me tell you my problem. I'm too Type A, which means I can't blog without doing it right. Doing it right means I must have the appropriate photos to go with the appropriate blog, however, I don't seem to have time to download these amazing photos. Since I don't have time to download the photos I can't blog about them because it wouldn't be done with 100% efficiency and perfection...and why do something if it won't be efficient and perfect. So here's a brief download of the small portion of our lives that can be blogged about without my carting my happy butt back up the stairs to track down the camera, to download pictures, which will finish downloading just in time for Carli to want more to eat or me to need to pump. This may sound like complaining, but let me assure you I love my life I just get extremely stressed out and crabby when things don't go down like I think they should. Basically, the pile of dishes in my sink, laundry in the boys' hampers, piles of mail, presents to be wrapped (I can't even think about the ones that still need to be bought!), pumping to do, and the fact that my children will not be able to put out cookies for Santa if I don't get on the ball and make some...or at the very least remember to buy some is all starting to stress me out and I just want Thursday to be over...soon!

Happier notes:
-Our good friends Nathan and Kelly welcomed their daughter into the world this morning. Mommy and Brenna are doing great and I can't wait to go see them tomorrow.

-Andrew informed me that if I hooked him up to my breast pump (although he thinks I hook it to my stomach - I don't know why he thinks that, but I've yet to correct him.) I would get tons of milk for Carli because he drinks more milk then anyone he knows.

-George has been having a great time at Grandma and Papa's house spending the night last night and as if he knows how stressed I am asked if he could spend the night again tonight. Woohoo! I might actually finish shopping if Mike ever gets out of traffic and home to be with Carli. Although cooking baking is also sounding like a good option!! Is it possible that I may be able to complete both tasks in one night?!?!? I can dream!

Unhappier notes:
-It took St. Luke's lab two hours to draw blood from my baby girl today. This involved a lot of screaming and band aids on Carli's part and then a lot of crying, yelling, demanding and sobbing on Mommy's part.

So maybe tomorrow my download can happen and we can return to posts that involve oohing and aahing over Some Dang Cute Kids!

Some Dang Cute Kids - 5

Andrew
Mark

Danny


Benny



George

Mini Mike

So you thought I was kidding when I said my precious baby girl got this look from her Daddy.



Well here's photo evidence. She wrinkles her forehead like him too, but I've yet to capture that on film!

Wishful Thinking Worked

So it's 3:00 in the afternoon and since yesterday we have only 3-4 screaming fits and each one has only lasted about two minutes. The improvement is overwhelming! It made Mommy and Carli time (1-3 a.m.) much more pleasant with a baby who was awake and happy and content versus awake and screaming! Seriously, Tiff, best Christmas gift ever! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Look Who Came to Visit

We had visitors on Saturday and our living room looked like this.














For clarification, that's Jenny and Maddie on the left and Carli and I on the right. Then we decided to take pictures, which started like this.













I took a bazillion shots, but had a hard time getting one where my daughter doesn't have this ticked off look on her face...I swear she got this face from her father.















But we got a few decent shots...anyone notice they were wearing identical sleepers!




Wishful Thinking

So it is 8:30 p.m. and so far...no screaming since last night. We started Carli on a small dose of Mylanta at the suggestion of the amazing and wonderful Tiffany and a phone call to our pediatrician. It's only been one day and maybe it's wishful thinking, but we only had our 9 p.m. screamfest last night and not our 2 a.m. scream. So far tonight she seems lovely and happy...stay tuned - tomorrow morning may be the happiest day of my life.

Big Brothers

It seems I've been talking about Carli a lot lately and the boys haven't gotten equal billing on the blog. If I've learned anything in adding a kid and now two kids to my family it is that you MUST be fair. So in all fairness here are some pics of the two big brothers. They are doing an AWESOME job of being big brothers. My favorite thing is in the car when she cries and they both sing to her...the song of choice right now seems to be Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.









Colic SUCKS!

Seriously people how does anyone cope with a screaming baby who acts like she is physical pain for no apparent reason and cannot be calmed. I cope by crying along with her, but I'm open to other suggestions. It seems we can set our clock by her nightly routine of screaming until she finally passes out - only to wake up 3 hours later and do it again. I've never felt more helpless...

The Story

Finally, finally I am sitting down to type actual words, although I'm doing this one handed while pumping, which pretty much seems to be the only way I'm on the computer lately. :)
So here it is - the story of the easiest birth ever (or at least in my opinion)!

We arrived at St. Luke's at 7:30 a.m. as scheduled.

By the time everything was set up and they got my IV in (on the 2nd try - ugh!) pitocin was started around 9 a.m. and I was still just around 2 cm. The nurse stripped my membranes when she checked me and then we took to walking. They turned up my pitocin every half hour. We didn't get to walk for long because they couldn't seem to keep Carli's monitor working so we sat in our room and played Rummikub (Mike didn't even bother to let me win!). Around 10 a.m. the house doctor came in to break my water because my contractions were pretty regular. It took about 10 minutes for the contractions to start getting painful after that. About 2 hours later I decided I was done with this and asked for my epidural. By the time the anesthesia lady got there, got it in and the nurse checked me I was at 5 cm. The nurse told us that it generally went a centimeter per hour after that so expect around five hours. Bridget arrived shortly after that because she didn't believe the whole centimeter per hour statement. However, all the mom's stayed at work/home thinking we had time. Well an hour and a half later I started feeling "different" and they checked me only to find Carli's head - there - ready to push - LOVELY! Fast phone calls to grandma's and the doctor...we hung around for Dr. Jewell to arrive
and pretty much as he got there and I got ready to push my contractions stopped... yes, stopped. We sat around and waited for me to be able to push and finally one came...no one counted but our guess is I pushed around ten times, got Carli's head and shoulders out, Dr. Jewell unlooped the cord from around her neck and I pulled her up onto my chest. It was AMAZING! A birth experience so different from the last one!
So far that is the story of our little girl's life...easy, content - makes momma happy! I couldn't have asked for anything better! My only regret is that not everyone arrived for the birth in time. One grandma made it right before the doctor, one grandma walked in as Carli was crowning, and one didn't make it until they were cleaning Carli up. :(

Perfect Heart

Carli was given the all clear by the pediatric cardiologist. No problem whatsoever! The first echo cardiogram was just done poorly and provided a bad angle causing concern. We are relieved beyond belief!

Carli Grace - 1 Week Old

Carli got her pictures taken on Tuesday. She slept through the entire thing - in fact, she slept through the entire day and then was up most of the night - happy and content, but up. There are tons more cute ones, but I don't want to give away the contents of our Christmas cards! :)

Enjoy!