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Caleb – 16 Months

16 Months!

Dear Caleb,

My dear, sweet, loving, cuddly, little miracle surprise baby, I love you with all my heart. I’ll admit that when I found out I was pregnant with you I was scared. I wasn’t sure how I would manage to keep up with another baby, but I fell in love with you and all of those worries went away. I honestly cannot imagine what our family would be without you in it any more. You truly do complete us. It melts my heart to see the way your big brother and sister adore you. I just can’t see it being any other way.

However, the last few months have been extremely challenging for all of us. You see, you started walking, and with that new found ability to move (fast!) you also gained a new sense of independence…and attitude. I’m really proud of all of the new advances you are making, I really am. I just need you to stop every once in a while and take a break from touching and climbing and jumping off of ALL THE THINGS! You are quite a force to be reckoned with these days and you are wearing this old mama out.

There really is no containing you any more, aside from strapping you in a car seat, which causes screams that bring the neighbors running to see what is wrong (not really, but I’m surprised they haven’t yet). You have already managed to climb over the side of your crib, have nearly gotten over the side of the pack ‘n’ play, have escaped your “baby jail”, and figured out how to open doors. This week you also managed to escape from the seat of a shopping cart (while strapped in – thankfully I turned back around at just the right second) and the stroller (while also strapped in). Oh, and also the high chair. When you are done eating you are outta there, one way or another. The only thing you have not managed to break and/or escape from (as long as it is properly closed) is the living room gate, but I’m sure that time is coming.

Once you have managed to escape from whatever latest contraption we were trying to contain you in, you are into E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! I am not exaggerating. You seriously have to have someone 1-on-1 with you at all times to keep you from getting into things that you shouldn’t. Perhaps I have not baby proofed as well as I should have because I got a little relaxed with the other two being older, but pretty much if there is anything within your sight that you want, you will find a way to get to it. I have found you standing on top of tables, on top of the back of the sofa and chairs in the living room, and even standing on toys so you could reach just a little farther. There is no stopping you.

Your other favorite pastime seems to be annoying your older brother. One of your favorite things to do is to turn the TV off when he is mid-show, or even worse, in a crucial part of a video game. You also constantly grab his glasses from his face (and mine) which gets old really quick. He’ll let you slide a couple times, but after that he gets a little angry. You better watch out because paybacks are hell, and boy do you have it coming! It’s a good thing that he loves you so much, because there is no one else he would be so patient with.

And can we just talk about this sleep thing for a minute? It took me 13 months, yes THIRTEEN MONTHS, to finally get you sleeping through the night in your own bed. I swear the first morning I woke up and realized you were still asleep in your crib I heard a choir of angels singing above me. There were 8 weeks or so of you doing this pretty much every night, with a few exceptions while you were trying to cut those horrid molars, but hey, that’s understandable. Then came vacation. You actually did amazingly well while we were out of town, despite the crazy schedule, sporadic naps, and getting to bed late pretty much every night. You ended up in bed with mom and dad a couple of times, but it was a nice big king size bed and there was plenty of room. The trouble happened when we came home.

Once we arrived back home from our trip, you forgot how to sleep without me attached to you. In fact, you pretty much forgot how to do anything without me attached to you. I can barely put you down without you screaming (unless there is food visible and within your reach, anyway). Bedtime is horrible. You scream and scream and scream until I finally give in because I’m afraid you are going to scream your lungs up. Eventually, I can get you to sleep by nursing you (which we were nearly done with before vacation but you have now let me know in no uncertain terms that the boobies are still yours) and then put you down in your bed. Some nights that works and you sleep through most of the night before the screaming commences, but others it doesn’t. Those nights are the ones when you wake up just as I try to lay you down and I wonder what on Earth ever possessed me to want to have these little screaming things called children. Ugh, mommy is tired, honey. So, you’ve ended up back in my bed more times that you should have lately and the end seems to be nowhere in sight. Seriously, mommy is tired. Sixteen months of not sleeping (shy of those 8 precious, glorious, weeks) is just too many. I need to sleep and so do you.

I know you have a lot going on. You are growing like a weed – 34 inches (>98th percentile – off the dang growth charts!) tall, and nearly 25 pounds. Plus, you just cut your first 4 molars and 4 incisors all seemingly at once – a total of 16 teeth! Besides all of the walking, climbing, and exploring, you are trying really hard to learn how to talk. You have several words that you use, but you spend a lot of time right now pointing and making sounds that we are supposed to translate into words.  Your favorite word seems to be “daddy” as you go around saying it over and over and over again all day long. Sadly, when he tries to pay attention to you, you push him away. You can also say mommy, zach, evie, hi, hello, please, this, bopbop, yay-ya, something that sounds similar to caleb, and many other words that you repeat when you hear them. You also have started dancing whenever you hear music. I love that you are doing this and often turn music on just so I can watch you. It is the cutest thing. We used to have lots of dance parties in our house and I kind of miss them.

It may seem like I’m complaining a lot, but the truth is, I really just want to remember every little bit of your babyness. It is flying by so fast. I feel like I miss out on so many moments with you because I’m busy working, or busy with your brother and sister. I struggle to find the time to just sit and snuggle, which is why when you wrap your arms and legs around me and won’t let go as I’m trying to put you to bed I don’t struggle with you very long. We go right back to my chair and snuggle until you fall asleep in my arms. I know just how quickly these days will pass and you will no longer want to sit and snuggle with mom. You will be grown before I know it, though I hope you’ll still come back for a hug now and then. Until then, I’ll cherish ever minute of time with you I can get.

I love you so much, my little monkey!



p.s. Sorry for the lack of photos. You don’t hold still long enough for me to take them anymore!


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Caleb’s Birth Story – Part 3

Caleb’s Birth Story – Part 1
Caleb’s Birth Story – Part 2

If you’ve ever stayed overnight in a hospital, you know that they don’t really let you sleep. It seemed like every time I would fall asleep a nurse would be stopping in to check either my vitals or the baby’s. I dozed off and on, tried to get Caleb to nurse several times, and got poked and prodded every couple hours until I finally decided I might as well just give up on sleeping. Not long after that, Hubby sent a text saying that he and the kids were headed back to the hospital.

Monday was a flurry of visitors, mixed with several tests and procedures for Caleb. Once Hubby and the kids got there, my mom left to take a break for a bit. I was happy to have my little family there all together. With only about six hours of sleep, the big kids were a little restless, but they were happy to be at the hospital with mommy and the new baby as well.


My dad stopped by for a visit just moments after they had taken Caleb out of the room for a procedure, so he got to sit around and wait for a bit. My brother came to visit not long after that. The photographer came around for photos and actually snapped a great shot of the three kids so I got suckered into buying them. Then my sister and her family, plus my other niece and nephew came to visit. It got a little crazy in my tiny room with all of the kids there, but they were all so excited to meet their new cousin!

Everyone cleared out just before dinner time, including Hubby and my kids. My mom had returned by then and since I had a few moments of quiet I decided I better use it to my advantage and take a shower. And oh, did that shower feel good! We had one more visitor that evening when my sister-in-law got off of work and then it was finally time to try to get some sleep. I was hoping to upload some photos, but I barely got my laptop out before the tiredness took over.


Caleb had finally started latching on and was showing more interest in nursing. I was getting a little concerned because my other two babies had latched right away, but the nurses assured me that it was fine and perfectly normal.

Again, the nurses woke me several times during the night. I think I would have paid for a few solid hours of sleep at that point. I was so sleepy I didn’t know what they were doing most of the time. I didn’t mind waking up to feed the baby, but I really don’t think it was necessary to take my temp and blood pressure quite so frequently.


Tuesday morning we were all set to go home after the doctors made their morning rounds. Hubby dropped the kids off at school/day care and came to the hospital. We were hoping to leave early, but the nurse came by and said that they needed to do some more tests on Caleb before he would be released. His bilirubin level was high and they needed to re-test him, then decide if he would need to stay at the hospital another day or do some light therapy at home.


We waited around for quite a while, then finally got the all clear just before noon. The pediatrician asked that we bring Caleb in to the office the next day for another bilirubin test and a weight check as his weight had dropped down quite a bit. We were instructed to put him in some indirect sunlight as much as possible. We agreed and soon after that we were headed home. I couldn’t wait to get home and finally get to sleep in my own bed without nurses waking me up!


On Wednesday, we took Caleb to the pediatrician. His bilirubin was still high and his weight had dropped even more. He was down to 8 lbs, 15 ounces, more than a pound below his birth weight. My milk was just really coming in good, so they decided to give it one more day and set up another appointment for Thursday.

Fortunately, at Thursday’s appointment Caleb’s color was looking much better and his weight was going back up so they decided to skip the bilirubin test. He was back up to 9 lbs, 7 oz, which the nurse practitioner said was the biggest gain they had seen in one day. They asked for him to come back in a week for a weight check, but other than that he didn’t need to be seen again until his one month check-up.


And that is Caleb’s birth story. Life has been a bit crazier since his arrival, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am SO in love with this little boy.

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Caleb’s Birth Story – Part 2

Caleb’s Birth Story – Part 1

When we arrived at the hospital, it seemed there was a whirlwind of activity around me. Since the doctor apparently didn’t get the earlier page, the hospital was not prepared for my arrival. The nurses were quick though, and set into action immediately. They got me into a room, dressed in a gown, and strapped into the monitors in just a few short minutes. After running through the prerequisite questions, my nurse had an IV going in my hand and was ordering blood tests.

The contractions were getting quite painful by this time and I asked the nurse when I could get an epidural. She said they had to wait for my blood test results, but she had already notified the anesthesiologist and they would get it as soon as my results were back. I was anxious to get it because I knew that once I had the epidural I would be able to relax and rest for a bit.  I was hoping that my mom and the kids would be able to come in the room and visit for a bit before it was time to push.

Contractions were getting even stronger, and coming closer and closer together – close enough that I was struggling to make it through each one without screaming. My body also started shaking uncontrollably just before and through each contraction. I must have looked pretty bad, because my nurse came back in said that they were going to go ahead and administer the epidural even though they didn’t have my blood test results back yet.

I’ve had an epidural with all three deliveries and this one was by far the most painful. I’m not sure whether it was the fault of the anesthesiologist or if it was because my contractions were coming so close together that she couldn’t get it done in between them, but I had really bad pain down my left side before it finally went completely numb. It took a while for it to work on my right side, but eventually that side went mostly numb too.

I still wanted to see the kids, but Hubby vetoed that. I figured at that point he was in a much better place to make a judgement call, so I went along with it.

Once the epidural had fully kicked in, I was finally able to relax and actually fell asleep for a few minutes.

Thanks to the epidural, my left leg felt like it weighed a ton. I kept wanting to move it to get comfortable, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t move it. I could move the right side a little, but I just could not get comfortable. Hubby and the nurse tried to help me reposition myself, but it just wasn’t working.

I’m not sure if the epidural was wearing off a little or if the contractions were getting that much harder, but it didn’t seem like very long before it started getting painful again. My whole body was shaking almost non-stop at that point. The nurse did another check and decided it was almost time to push. My water had not broken yet, so the nurse decided to help it along.

My head was pretty fuzzy through all of this, but I remember thinking at some point how glad I was that it was the last time I ever had to do this.

I think I spent about an hour pushing, though I was so out of it that I’m not really sure about that either. At some point the on-call doctor showed up and at 11:52 p.m., on Sunday, February 19th, 2012, my beautiful son, Caleb Joshua, was born.

I was still shaking when they placed him on my chest, but I was instantly in love. That little face, nearly identical to his big brother’s, made every minute of pain completely worth it.

While the doctor finished up with me, Hubby took photos of Caleb. I remember hearing Hubby laugh because Caleb was peeing all over the place. The nurses cleaned him up, then placed him on the scale – 10 pounds, 0.4 ounces, 21 inches long.


It seemed like forever before they brought him back to me, but finally, I had my sweet boy in my arms again. The doctor and nurses finally cleared out and Hubby and I were alone with our baby. I tried nursing him, but he had no interest at all so I wrapped him back up and enjoyed just snuggling with him. My nurse came back in and snapped a few photos of the three of us.


Since he was born at nearly midnight, Caleb didn’t have quite the welcoming committee that the other kids did when they were born. He did have a very excited big sister, big brother, Grandma, and Aunt waiting to meet him though. We got them back to the room as soon as we could and our first photos as a family of five were taken.


After everyone had gotten sufficient snuggles and kisses, Hubby took two very tired big kids home to get some sleep. Aunt Tanya headed home as well, and Grandma stayed with me at the hospital for the night.

The nurse came back to help me change and clean up a bit, I tried to nurse Caleb again (though he still wasn’t interested), and finally we got to settle in and sleep.

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Caleb’s Birth Story – Part 1

I woke up Sunday morning ready for a lazy day. I had convinced Evie to stay home with me while the boys went to church because the doctor had put me on bed rest for the weekend. I promised her a movie and some snuggle time, so we settled into Daddy’s big recliner with our blankets. “Annie” was her movie choice for the day, as it often is when it is just the two of us.

Soon after we started the movie, I realized that I was having some pretty regular contractions. They had been off and on through most of the weekend so I wasn’t surprised, but they were getting a little closer together. I decided maybe I should start keeping track and started timing. 10 minutes apart. I debated whether to call Hubby and have him come home from church, but I decided to wait a little longer and see what happened. Instead I texted my mom so she would be prepared in case I needed her to come quickly. Evie and I snuggled through the rest of the movie while I continued timing.

The contractions were fluctuating just a little, but on average continued to be about 10 minutes apart. When our movie was done, I decided I better go take a shower – just in case. I was getting a little nervous and was pretty sure that we would be meeting the newest member of our family by the end of the day.

Evie and I had a light lunch and then headed back the the chair for more cuddle time. Shortly after that, Hubby and Zach returned from church. I was very happy that they were home. Evie ran off to play with her brother. I stretched out on the love seat and was able to get in a much needed nap.

When I woke up I was a little frustrated because it seemed like my contractions had really slowed back down. It wasn’t long before they were back though, and even stronger than before. I talked to my mom and decided that she should go ahead and come over to the house since she was designated to watch the big kids when it was time to go. She was waiting for my brother to pick his kids up from her house and then she would head over.

I started trying to gather my last minute things, double checking my bag, and making sure the kids had something to entertain them while they waited at the hospital. I had Hubby make the kids some dinner while I tried to finish packing. The contractions were coming much closer together and were so much more intense that I had to sit each time one started.

My mom finally arrived and I decided it was time to page the doctor. I talked to the kids and told them what was happening and that Grandma would be bringing them to the hospital to meet their baby brother in a little bit.

We waited for what seemed like forever for the doctor to call back. The contractions were getting closer and closer together. When they were under five minutes apart, I decided we were just going to go to the hospital anyway. I wasn’t going to wait any longer for the doctor to call. I gave the kids hugs and kisses and Hubby and I headed out the door.

When we arrived at the hospital, just before 8:00 pm, my contractions were only about two minutes apart.


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38 Weeks

38 weeks

The waiting is indeed the hardest part. Well, that and trying to keep this ginormous belly covered since I’ve outgrown nearly all the maternity shirts I own now.

After my 36 week sonogram, my doctor gave me an induction date of February 15th – as in tomorrow. I was quite pleased with that date and very much looking forward to finally meeting this little guy growing in my belly. Considering he was already measuring at about 8 pounds, I thought two more weeks of growth was more than enough. Then I went in for my 37 week checkup and was told that she looked at the dates wrong. There was no way she would induce me before 39 weeks, and the induction date was pushed back to the 22nd. Apparently it is mandated by some hospital regulation and is non-negotiable unless there is a serious medical issue. Ugh. So I wait.

I feel like he will come before the 22nd on his own, but I also thought Zach would be early and he came 4 days late. I am so ready to have this baby that I pray daily for contractions. They come off and on, but nothing steady enough to actually believe I’m in labor.

Some serious nesting has kicked in at home and everything is ready to welcome the little guy home. There are more clothes, blankets, and burp rags than any baby could ever need, plus a healthy supply of diapers, wipes, and all that goes along with a new baby. His big brother and sister are so excited they can barely stand it. They want this baby to come just as much as I do.

I am as caught up at work as I’ll probably ever be. There is always more that can be done, but absolutely nothing pressing. I can’t believe how hard I have worked the last few weeks to get it that way, but it feels pretty great to finally be there. I can leave knowing that it won’t be a huge burden on anyone else while I’m gone.

My hospital bag is packed and in my car. I’m even toting my camera with me to work every day “just in case” something starts happening. Maybe I’m a little too prepared.

I’m tempted to Google “how to induce labor” but am almost scared at the results I would get. Although, aside from chugging castor oil, I’d be up for just about anything right now. Got any suggestions? Lay them on me.

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34 Weeks

Baby Love

So you guys know by now that when I promise to write you might as well just look away and come back in a couple months, right? As my OB told me to yesterday, I’m letting go of the things that take too much effort. Writing shouldn’t take that much effort, but when you are completely sleep deprived and can barely stay awake past 8:00 p.m., writing becomes difficult. And yes, I know that this is just the beginning of the sleep deprivation. Right now, I’m blaming it on stuffy sinuses that aren’t allowing me to breathe and the fact that I’m not supposed to be sleeping on my back. I never realized just how much I slept on my back until I started waking up during the night realizing that I was on my back when I started out on my side. But! I did get some sleep last night! In fact, the last two nights I have mostly slept through the night and my head (although still a little sleepy) is much clearer than it has been lately so I’m taking advantage of it and spewing out some words.

Want to hear more about my pregnancy? I thought so. I’m just going to be totally honest here and say that this third pregnancy has by far been the hardest one I have experienced. I really have tried not to complain (because complaining about such a blessing seems like the wrong thing to do) but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this body will not be carrying any more babies. Ever. I remember being extremely uncomfortable with the the other two pregnancies in the last couple of months, but this one has been uncomfortable from the beginning. Now that I’m in the home stretch? I can barely walk across the room without being in pretty serious pain. If I didn’t know better, from the amount of pelvic pressure, I would think this guy was making his appearance within the next few days. And yet, I still have probably at least another four weeks to go.

On top of barely being able to move, I have been way more tired this time around than I remember being in the past. Because of that, I am totally unprepared for this baby to be here.  I run out of energy by the time I get the older two kids taken care of and have nothing left for baby prep. I did finally go out and buy a few diapers and essentials, but I haven’t even managed to wash one baby blanket or onesie yet. The crib is piled with baby things that I’ve gathered as I ran across them in the house, but I have yet to sort through the tubs of baby stuff sitting in my basement. Somewhere in all of that is a stash of baby blankets, burp rags, bottles, an infant bath tub, and all the other baby things I couldn’t part with “just in case” there was another one. I am so thankful that I saved all of that now, even if it is taking up way too much of my basement. Every night I think I need to start sorting through that stuff, and every night I end up falling asleep in my chair before I can even make an attempt. At the very least, I need to get a few little outfits washed up for him. As long as I have diapers, wipes, and a few clean clothing items to put on him, the rest can wait, right?

I also had every intention of documenting this pregnancy better. I bought a new journal and started out writing at least once a week in it. Of course that didn’t last long at all. I also planned to take better belly photos this time around seeing as I actually know how to use a camera now. I had all these ideas for fun photo projects. And yet, almost every photo I have taken has been on my iphone. I had grand plans of doing a fancy self photo shoot at about 32-33 weeks and, well, that didn’t happen either. I did set up the tripod earlier this week and let Evie snap a few. She thought that was lots of fun. Then I put it on the self-timer and got a few fuzzy pics of the two of us together. The one posted above is about the best one. Oh well, at least the other two kids won’t feel like they got the shaft when it comes to preggo pictures!

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