9:31 AM

It's a....

We got some amazing news on Monday morning. News that deserved it's own blog post.

This is Jess & I. August 2008, pregnant with Kaleb & Riley. In fact, you can read about Jessica, Riley and the other Brian throughout this entire blog. Here is the post when we found out Riley was a girl. Or Here is where I wrote about her arrival. Or Here is where I wrote about what Jess means to me.

This is Riley & Kaleb when she was just a few HOURS old.

Brian & Brian holding Kaleb & Riley.

Finally! We have outside babies :) Just 3 weeks apart.

The babies first Christmas together. December 2008.

First Christmas

1st Annual Shankford-Peterford Christmas


Spring is here- April 2009

Motoring into Summer.... Swimming buddies!

Heading into Toddler-hood together...

And these day's they are just like an ol' married couple...

Oh how I love those babies.

But we worried. How would Riley be affected by Kamryn? Now it's 2 on 1. Brian and I begged and pleaded and I'm sure we prayed for The Shankford's to get pregnant after we found out about our impending arrival. And our wish was granted...

This was us 2 days before Kamryn's arrival, Jess is about 15-16 weeks here.

And we found out Monday that they are expecting a healthy baby


And now our Shankford-Peterford family is complete (for now, possibly forever). Kamryn's counterpart will make his arrival this December (possibly January) and Jessica and I will have made the journey together BOTH times.

Now Jess and I have each other and our daughters (Riley & Kamryn) to take shopping and for pedicures and do all kinds of fun girly stuff. And Brian & Brian (the best friends FOREVER) will have their son's (Kaleb & Lane) to take fishing and hunting and camping and four-wheeling.

So Congrats to the Shankford's... we cannot wait for baby Lane to get here and make our families complete! Love you guys.

Kaleb and Riley are almost 2.
Kamryn is almost 6 weeks and Lane is 20 weeks in the belly.

11:24 AM

Mark this Day Down

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last night... this is what it looked like at 9:30 p.m. in my house.

I know her ear looks smashed, I did fix it right after I took the picture. I promise.

Yes, that's right. BOTH of my children we're fast asleep in their respective bedrooms & beds. And at just over 5 weeks old my daughter slept all night in her crib. That is the first time ANY child has spent the night in that thing since we bought it over 2 years ago. The best part? I fed her when I got into bed at midnight and she slept until the alarm went off for Brian to get out of bed at 6:00 am this morning. She might have slept longer, I guess we'll never know! Either way, I am very happy with that length of time. She slept through the night! Kaleb was probably 6 months before that happened. Who would've thought that babies sleep better in their cribs!?

I do have a "1 Month" post for Kamryn with all kinds of updates but that camera with those pictures is in my car. I'm sure I don't have to explain why a simple act of running out to my car, while home alone, with both children is NOT an option. In fact, Kaleb locked Brian and I out on the porch the other day with Kamryn inside. It only took him 10 seconds of prompting to unlock the door but it was so SCARY! We didn't even know he could reach that lock. Now we know.

The past couple days have been our first's at home with just the 3 of us (Me, Kaleb & Kami) while Brian is at work. Usually, Kaleb went to a sitter or we hung out at my mom's or with my sister because of the c-section (and the ban on lifting Kaleb). Now that we are home I don't know why I didn't do it sooner! It is the best and we are already into a pretty good routine.

After Brian leaves in the morning Kaleb comes in and gets in bed with me in Daddy's spot. He gets a diaper change, refills his cup and we go back to sleep until 9 am. I feed Kamryn while Brian is getting ready for work and then we all snuggle in for another 3 hours of sleep. I love this part of the morning. It's so quiet and I can hear both babies sleeping. Love this time. Love it.

We all play and eat and watch movies and all kinds of stuff until our nap at 1:45. I will put Kaleb down in his bed and lay with him for about 1 minute. I tell him, "Mommy is going to go check on Kami. I'll be back" and he stays put while I lay her down. By the time I get back to check on him he's asleep and that usually gives me 2 hours of baby-free time during the day when both kiddos are down for a nap. I should sleep or eat or work out or read during this time but lately I've been cleaning.

But it's for a good a reason.... September 1st is right around the corner and that mean's it fair game on Fall decorations. I am pumped. So I'm doing the "fall cleaning" where I clean closets, rotate some clothes, organize toys and such. I am almost done. Thank goodness. I also took this time to move the packnplay to the livingroom and transition Kami to her crib. And I am soooooo glad I did.

Kaleb is so good with her now. He can even hold her for long periods of time and tells her stories.

Or just give her snuggles.......

Oh how I love my sweet babies. How could I have ever imagined life any different? We have a very exciting fall/winter coming up with Kaleb's 2nd birthday in September. My grandma, Mom, Jess & Riley all have October birthday's. Halloween. Aunt Olivia's birthday and thanksgiving. And don't even get me started on Christmas. This is going to be the best Holiday season EVER.

Kaleb is just a few weeks shy of 2.
Kami is 1 month, 1 week and 1 day old.

1:01 PM


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We took the kids to get their pictures done (disaster!) but not because of my children. The photographer, studio, EVERYTHING was horrible but my kids. We did get a few shots that I like but we only spent about $30.00 bucks. I am searching now for someone to take our pictures in a non-studio like setting in October.

 My sweet baby girl.
Big Brother & Little Sister

 Kaleb & Kamryn
She's lookin' at him like, "What are you doing?!"

I am working on announcements now and Kam will be a month old tomorrow. SCARY! I'll post some more updates tomorrow.

Kaleb is almost 23 months old.
Kamryn is 4 weeks, 2 days.

1:06 PM

The Million Dollar Question

Monday, August 9, 2010

So the million dollar question, was is easier to go from zero kids to one kid? or from 1 kid to 2 kids?

Brian and I agree, 110%, much easier to go from 1 to 2 kids. Hands down.

Now, don't get me wrong. Situations like this, still make me cringe.

Because when you have 2 babies, you just cannot be everywhere at once. And because they aren't twins (which I'm convinced I could handle easier than one GIGANTIC toddler and one tiny baby) you have to interact with different activities all at the same time.

I miss Kaleb, in so many ways. Kamryn is an extension of me right now. Where I go, she goes. Which means a lot of the rough and tumble boy games Kaleb likes to play are out of the question. And he is SUCH a boy.

But it's getting better and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel....

Kaleb understands better now after 21 days of always hearing, "Be nice! Easy! She's sleeping. No, don't do that!"  He holds her hand and kisses her piggy's. Sometimes he tries to give her real food or take her bottle or get in a suck on her pacifier. However, we have figured out little tricks too.

If she's napping and we are across the house in the living room (and since the Angel care monitor is SOLD OUT EVERYWHERE) we'll put her down in the pack n play and drape a blanket over the one mesh side. Kaleb runs and plays and has no idea she's there because if he did, he would be adding toys to it trying to get her to play. We make sure her bouncy seat is up on the kitchen table or counter. We just cannot ever leave them alone in a room together and that is the hardest part about 2 under 2.

On the plus side, it has MADE me be a better mother. I put her to nap in her crib or the pack n play. She is great at self soothing and waits patiently for me to pump or get to her because I just cannot be everywhere at once.  I really don't think I could live without my Moby wrap (thanks Jess!) because it allows be to hold her or nurse her and still hang with Kaleb or wash dishes or throw in a load of laundry.

Summer is difficult. We are all over the place. Kaleb is staying the night with my mom, his Aunt Olivia, Grandma Luther and his Mamaw all the time. We ask after a visit, do you want to go with mommy and daddy or stay with _______? He almost always wants to stay. He's such a lucky boy to have so many wonderful family members to stay with during these summer months.

But come fall the poor guy is going to be shocked back into reality with a whole new routine for nap and bedtime. And from all the sleep training books I've read I can start transitioning Kamryn into a routine at about 6 weeks. I know it's what both babies need to stay happy & healthy this fall and winter. Plus, this whole no routine thing is very hard on me(and Daddy too!)

For now, we are just enjoying our two wonderful kids.

12:02 PM

Look Alikes

Wednesday, August 3, 2010

So the more time I spend with Kamryn then more I see her brother. These are NOT the 2 pictures I wanted to use but I forgot my other memory card, with all the good pictures of Kaleb at 2 weeks. Either way, my babies look alike. And I love it!

6:50 PM

Kamryn's Birth Story

Tuesday, August 2, 2010

We spent Sunday July 18, 2010 getting the last minute things together for our baby girl, packing hospital bags and having some fun with Kaleb. We took him to the mall and spent some quality time during our last day as a family of three. After his afternoon nap, we packed up everything but the kitchen sink and dropped Kaleb off at my grandma’s for his 4 day vacation. Brian and I spent the rest of the evening hanging out, going over our check list (of course, I ALWAYS have a list or two!), grilling out and spending some quality time together. We knew we had to get up at 4 am but our nervous energy kept us up until 11:30 pm!

We set off for the hospital at 5 am, calling to wake up my mom and Olivia along the way. We arrived at 5:30 and they sent us to recovery to get settled in. I was in the exact bed I recovered from my section with Kaleb. I just smiled to myself, determined to not let my nervous energy take over my mind. As we went to check in and get my IV started the nurse noticed that I was 38 weeks, 6 days. Since Kaleb’s birth, The Christ Hospital, put a rule into place that said if you were not 39 weeks they would not do a planned c-section or induction without a written note from the doctor with the reason why you need the induction/section. If it wasn’t sufficient (IE: pre-e, low fluid, ect) the hospital refused. In the 6 months they had the rule in effect the NICU has been grossly over-staffed because they no longer have 2-3 day stays for babies just taken too early. Obviously, the rule was needed and effective. The nurse even told us that some doctors have SWITCHED hospitals! Ugh. How irresponsible! Either way, they had to call Grim at 5:30 so he could write my note from home (even though I was just 1 day shy) and he had it in their system by 6:00 am so they could start my IV.

I have never in my life not had an IV take on the first try. I’m not afraid of needles and I have awesome veins so I didn’t think there would be any problem. After my nurse tried twice she called IV therapy. The IV therapy nurse tried twice and blew one of my veins and I bled so bad they had to change my bed sheets BEFORE my surgery! I don’t know if I have ever seen Brian so upset. He was not happy with the staff even though I was just fine, even helping pick out good sites. Finally, another nurse got it on the 5th attempt. Brian had to take a coffee break after that, poor guy.
My mom, sister, MIL, FIL and BIL, Donald, arrived at the hospital around 7. They came back to our room and hung out for a bit. When Doc arrived and went to get dressed Donald prayed over me and we all held hands. It felt so nice to have that this time. They took Kaleb so fast that no one made it down in time except my parents and sister. They took me back before Brian and the spinal was seamless. No pain. It wasn’t even uncomfortable. I, of course, said yes to 2 residents assisting in the section. I made BFF’s with our anesthesiologist since he is the person you spend the most time with during the hour long process.

Brian came in and guess who followed him in? Pam! She was our scrub nurse. She sat at the foot of the operating table and kept giving Brian the thumbs up. Of course, we talked with her and doc about Kaleb since they both knew how far we had come from the day. Brian held my picture and prayed with me both before and after she made her appearance.

At 8:15 am I started to feel the worst pressure. I knew she was about to make her appearance. I remembered it helped me to continue to breathe during the pressure if I made grunting noises. So I did again. Then at 8:19 am I heard her cry. Oh Lord, what a beautiful sound.

I held my breath. Moment of truth. Dr. Grim leaned over the curtain, “She’s perfect Ericka!” Then it was like a chorus as they passed her to Pam, “Ericka, seriously, she is PERFECT!” Brian left my side to go take some pictures while they cleaned her up. She just kept crying. And I loved it. And then I cried. A lot.

She, just like Kaleb, took a gigantic gulp of fluid right as she was coming out so she was a little pale and gurgling. Brian scooped her up and brought her over to me. He kept comforting her and I just kept saying, “No no please. Let her cry!” I just needed to hear that sound over and over again.

As they were closing up Pam asked to take her over to the nursery to get cleaned up and she’d meet us in recovery. I looked at Brian and he said, “I know. I know. I’m going… Love you babe!” and off he went with our little girl. Just when I thought they we’re gone he stuck his head back in and said, “Hey doc, take care of my other baby while I’m down here!” The whole OR started laughing, including me. I could only lay there and thank God for Brian, Kaleb and our sweet baby girl.

Just as promised, they met us in recovery where I got to nurse right away and besides a quick trip around the room to our visitors she laid skin to skin the entire time. Even when I started getting really itchy (a wonderful side effect of the spinal) I refused to give her up.

We spent the next 3 days in the hospital and had some visitors including our sweet baby boy (twice!) who immediately understood she was a part of our family. Brian took him to get some food on his first visit and they took Kamryn for her heel prick while he was gone. When he came back in he ran to her crib and asked, “Sissy? Baby sissy? Where Mama?”

Each night, they nurse would come into our room and ask if we wanted to send her to the nursery for a few hours. Each night, we said, “No way! Are you kidding?” and I can only assume NOT having Kaleb in our room his entire stay made us this way. Or maybe we just love our kids that much.

What a different birth story I have with Kamryn. I can only thank God for all his wonderful blessings and both birth experiences.

Kaleb is 22 months, 1 week, 2 days old.
Kamryn is 2 weeks & 1 day old.