christmas memories 2011

its the day after the day after Christmas. 🙂 Jack is happily playing with his new train and tracks in his bedroom wearing his new, self-described “jumping pants” from Grandma Char and Grandpa Rick. His awesome handcrafted work bench is downstairs and he wants to watch a “moomie” (Planet Earth) that Kyle got for him.

Christmas through the eyes of a 2.5 year old is far more fun than merely through my own. He made it so fun to open gifts and his repeated “Oh WOW!”‘s were priceless. On Christmas morning, we drove home from church and Jack fell asleep. He was all cute in his new puffer vest and dapper hat, clutching a stuffed teddy bear. If I hadn’t been driving, I would have snapped a picture, because I just want to remember these moments. They are slipping by more quickly than I want them to!

Jack loved moving the Advent star on our advent calendar and lighting the candles each night when we did our devotional. He said many a “Merry Kiss-mas!’ and would always say that as we said goodnight. It was great fun to give cookie plates to our neighbors and wish them a “Merry Christmas!” too. When we had a Christmas party with our friends the Sullivans and Gulbransons, Jessica made a birthday cake for Jesus and Jack LOVED singing “Happy Birthday” and blew out the candle with joy. We talked a lot about baby Jesus in the manger and the stable, in spite of the stupid dog eating our “gingerbread nativity”. I think he is “catching” that Jesus is the reason for this wonderful season.

the strangest part of the Christmas season of 2011 was that we had NO SNOW! Super odd. I can think of one, possible two other brown Minnesota Christmases I’ve experienced in my lifetime. Hopefully this remains an anomaly and not a typical event! I miss the snow. It’s the one thing that makes winter pretty. However, I am NOT complaining about the warmer temps which have accompanied the snow famine. Last year the snow and cold came early and often and stayed far past it’s welcome. We just need snow by the time we go to Lutsen to ski in February. Please and thank you, God.

We attended several different musical events this Christmas and Jackson loved them all. His favorite Christmas song was “The Little Drummer Boy”, which incidentally was MY favorite Christmas song as a tiny kid. I called it the “Pum-pum Song”. Jack especially notices violins in music or when he sees them being played. It comes out “why-o-lin” when he says it, which is totally adorable. 🙂 I wonder how young is too young to start music lessons? He is so interested in playing and singing and everything musical.

The family events were plentiful and wonderful. I’m so grateful, once again, that we live within close driving distance of both sides of our family. We made cookies and shared cookies, gave gifts and received gifts, played games and enjoyed many cups of coffee. Taylor was fawned over, held and adored. Jackson was made to laugh, giggle and said “STOP IT” when things got too exciting for him. oh silly boy. His aunts and uncles love him to bits.

Amazon Prime saved my shopping bacon this Christmas. Hooray for free two-day shipping and great prices on the stuff we wanted to give! 🙂 I got Kyle a bunch of fun little things to “fill his stocking”, since we gave each other a night at a bed and breakfast to be enjoyed at a later date. We gave Jack an IKEA rug for driving his cars and trucks on, the Planet Earth dvd’s, finger paints, bubbles, and a puffer vest. Kyle did an epic job filling my stocking – I loved it, especially the copy of White Christmas peeking out of the top. We watched that yesterday. I love that movie, schmaltz and all. 🙂

And now 2012 is around the corner. I was pondering a year ago, as I’m wont to do, and love thinking how Taylor was just a twinkle in our eye at this time in 2010. Now she’s here and we love her so much. She has this face-splitting, exuberant smile that is just contagiously beautiful. Though two kids have multiplied my work, they have also multiplied my joy. It’s so nice that God doesn’t give me one without the other. 🙂

I consider the best gifts of the year to be the ones from my Heavenly Father. My wonderful husband, Jack, our sweet new baby girl, the ability to give much to others, a warm place to sleep and so, so, SO much more. And most of all, I am grateful for the gift of a little child that grew into a man who rescued my heart and saved my soul. Merry Christmas indeed!

two months old!

I can hardly believe my baby girl is 2 months old today. The past 8 weeks have been a blur of family events and sleep deprivation. 🙂 But there have been LOTS of smiles and coos and happy moments with my sweet child. We are slowly but surely finding our groove as parents of two. Taylor is finding her spot in our family and has been learning to sleep more hours (yay! happy thing indeed!).

My Sweet T tries so hard to suck her thumb, but usually ends up with her fist. She still has some tummy issues that make life interesting sometimes, but I think she’s growing out of them gradually. She started smiling almost all the time when she’s awake a couple weeks ago, which is delightful! Her head and neck are very strong – she loves to look around and doesn’t want to miss a thing. But she’s also a little cuddle bug. She loves to sleep being held, but we’re working on her ability to put herself to sleep in her crib.

Taylor, you are such a gift to our family! Jackson loves you. Daddy loves you and I love you. Your smiles make my day so bright and cuddling you warms my heart. I’m very grateful that God has given you to us and pray that we will raise you well.

Observations from this side of the bump:

  • two has been an adjustment for sure! It takes me quite a while to get out of the house with everyone clothed, fed and pottied. 😛
  • Jack is a great big brother. He is quick to be by her side when she fusses, telling me to “Feed her, Mom!” or assuring her that “It’sokay, Tayer, momma coming!” or “More minute, Tayer – almost there,” if she is fussing in the car. He loves to put her pacifier in her mouth and give her running commentary on his activities. 🙂
  • real clothes are overrated. Yoga pants and easy access nursing shirts are where we’re at right now. As I get back in shape, I’m looking forward to getting better at staying put together more often. It’s a season, I keep telling myself!
  • dressing a girl is too much fun. The tutus and the leggings and the hairbands and the fluff. Yes, I love it.
  • I definitely have to be more intentional about schedules, planning ahead and all. I can’t just fly by the seat of my pants quite so easily.
  • I still love this motherhood thing more than I thought I would. 🙂

Happy Two Months to Taylor!

things I love about taylor

 

  • Milk dribbling out of the side of her mouth
  • That sweet baby smell of milk and whatever else makes them smell so wonderful.
  • The sleepy smiles and silly faces
  • Tiny hands by her face
  • Tiny hands holding my finger
  • Teensy clothes and small diapers and everything tiny!
  • She sleeps a lot. (Just not when I want to sleep.  Oh well!)
  • How easy it is to feed her and keep her content, just by holding her.

taylor’s birth story

The night before baby girl’s due date, I made a special point to rock Jackson before he went to bed. He had been asking for several nights if we could do that and I felt it was important. I sang him a song and gave him a kiss, grateful for the two wonderful years of being his mommy.

As I got ready for bed, I looked up “acupressure points for labor” on Google, because I was ready to be done. I also downloaded a contraction counter app for my iPod, just in case. All of that must have been helpful, because at 3am I woke up with a contraction that was painful enough for me to wonder “Is this it?! I timed them and got up for a bit, and then laid back down and they persisted. After about 40 minutes of timing and the contractions being 3-5 minutes apart and lasting a good minute without deviation, I woke Kyle and told him I thought we better call our mom’s so they could get up here.

I texted them and about 10 minutes later called them both to ask them to make their way up to the hospital. We packed our things, ate some breakfast and called a friend from church to come stay with Jack for the morning. I called ahead to the hospital and the nurse thought it sounded like I was definitely in labor since the contractions weren’t slowing down or easing up at all.

A little apprehensive of arriving at the hospital too soon, we sat in the parking lot in the dark for about 10 minutes trying to decide if I was ready to check in. The next contraction was hard enough that I decided I was. I was wheeled into the same labor and delivery room where Jack was born! – that was surreal and fun. My nurse was great and things were definitely moving in the right direction toward delivery!

My mom got there at the same time we did (6am) and Char (Kyle’s mom) arrived a while later. For a while, the contractions just continued as they had been and I chatted and rested. After two hours, Dr. Barrett checked on me and I had progressed a little and my water had broken. She suggested getting in the tub for a while and seeing if that would ramp things up.

It did. I was having a little more trouble relaxing fully through my contractions because they were wrapping around to my back – I didn’t remember feeling pain there with Jackson’s labor. But I soldiered on. At around 10:30am, I was starting to think that drugs/pain relief sounded really, really good. I just liked the idea of turning off the pain and just dealing with pressure. I talked it through with Kyle and my mom and Char and told the nurse that I was interested in the interthecal shot. (Similar to an epidural but only requiring one poke with the needle and it wore off after 4 hours.)

JUST after that, I could tell I was probably in transition or something. The contractions were getting to the point where they didn’t really let up in between and I was feeling shaky, nauseous and just a little crazy. When my nurse came back to check me before ordering the drugs, I was far enough progressed that I would probably be complete too soon to have the meds and still be able to push effectively. Somehow I just knew that would happen and I wasn’t surprised, but I was annoyed that I couldn’t get the shot and turn off the pain. The nurses called my doctor to come from the clinic since I was so close.

Then all of the sudden it was like the contractions were tripling on top of each other. I was frustrated and trying to cope with the insane intensity. I knew I was ready to push, but my doctor wasn’t there yet! At some point I asked if there was PLEASE another doctor that could come in so I could push…which quickly turned into me TELLING them to get another doctor in because I was not going to be able to NOT push. Crazy people!

Thank goodness, just moments later, my wonderful Dr. Barrett skidded into my room and got down to business. She checked me and it was already time to push! I remember telling everyone in the room to just tell me what to do because I couldn’t think or process or anything. I also remember asking God to help me because I was having a really tough time dealing with the intensity of everything. My eyes were closed for about the last 30-40 minutes of her birth just so I could block out everything and focus as much as possible.

Dr. Barrett had me start pushing, which was SUCH a relief. I think it was about five pushes or less, and no more than 8 minutes of pushing before we met our daughter. SHOCK. That happened so fast! (Jackson took his sweet time – 2 hours+ of pushing!)

They placed my little girl on my chest and I was so happy to see her! I said, “Oh my gosh, she’s so tiny!” and soaked up the moment because I didn’t really experience it with Jack due to the exhaustion and shock of pushing so long. Here she was and she was beautiful. They measured her and weighed her and snuggled her in a blanket. She was perfect – 8 lbs. 5 oz. (a whole pound and one ounce lighter than her brother at birth), 21 inches long and scored 8-9 on APGAR.

We were instantly smitten with our gorgeous daughter and deliberated on her name for just 10 minutes before deciding she was, indeed, Taylor Charlotte Puelston.  We moved to a recovery room and I floated high on adrenaline and the joy of being delivered from pregnancy, now with my baby in my arms. Later we welcomed the grandpa’s, aunts and uncles to meet our sweet girl.

   

Recovery has been a DREAM, thank the Lord. She is a sweet, wonderful newborn with surprisingly dark hair and long fingers, feet and toes. Jackson loves her and has done really well so far with the new normal. I can’t believe how “right” it feels to have two children and be their mommy. God is so gracious and we love our little Taylor-girl!

24/52

a couple weeks ago, Kyle and I had the fun task of taking engagement photos for his sister Sarah and her fiance’, Ryan. We met them in downtown St. Paul and had a really great evening snapping their pictures. Kyle was behind the camera and I was the “creative director”. 🙂 While we were waiting for the happy couple to arrive, we were testing lighting and lenses and we did this fun shot of me and Taylor. 🙂

We do already love this baby, even though we have 15 more weeks, give or take, before we officially “meet” her. I’m not totally sure how in the world I will get through all of July, August and September, but I know the wait will be worth it!

its a…..

GIRL!

meet taylor charlotte

The ultrasound went great and the technician put the “answer” in an envelope for Kyle to open when he got home from his appointment. 🙂 It was so fun to have him open it up and find out Little Bit is a girl! Now we can call her Taylor. And continue waiting to meet her until the first week of October!

Keep growing and getting strong and stay healthy, baby girl! We love you.