Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hard Part

Loving these two little boys is incredible... truly. They are each so full of life and thus inspiring to me, as a parent, and they are vastly different and unique from one another. Sometimes I feel like I've been given my own life-size Science experiment to watch and participate in! And sometimes the responsibility of raising, loving, training and caring for these beautiful people is daunting/terrifying. I wouldn't be honest with myself if I didn't admit that there are incredibly difficult parts of this role (as parent). It seems that the things that bring us the greatest delight/fulfillment in life also bring us the greatest challenges and emotional stretchmarks.

Helping Madigan to understand that his role in our family and in life is so valuable and his contribution important while simultaneously guiding him through this realization that he is not the center of the universe (ours, his or anyone else's - tough on a first born!).

Teaching an 18 month "older" brother how to be gentle when patting and kissing on his little brother.

Trying to get Declan on some sort of eating schedule so that I am not feeding him every 20 minutes (a starving boy's preference).

Encouraging Madigan to play robustly and enthusiastically with his toys while simultaneously watching my once orderly living room turn into something decidedly less orderly.

Then there's:
Dual dirty diaper duty - love it when they BOTH take a dump at the same time.
Bundle keeping up the crying choir upstairs while Declan managing it simultaneously downstairs. That can be so unnerving!
Getting both boys in/out of their carseats - this is truly an art! If it weren't for Auntie Virginia, I'm not sure how many places I would go to throughout the week.
Lack of sleep. That might be the hardest part.

So, yes, a day in McGaryville isn't always a walk in the park - sometimes it's more of a hike in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. Totally worth everything!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Helping Hands Cont...

We were looking back at old photos and found some of Madigan helping on the farm this winter. Since he was tiny he has always been the enthusiast about pitching to help in every way he can. Virginia and I refer to it as "man work".


Madigan has been an absolutely incredible "big" brother. I did not really know what to anticipate from our Tiger in bringing Declan home - would he be oblivious? Resentful? Excited? As soon as we arrived home from the hospital we said, "Bundle, look what we brought home for you! It's a baby brother!" He came racing into the living room and immediately plastered Declan with kisses all over his face. He has continued to bond with Declan, and always greets him with kisses and snuggles. This morning when I was changing Declan's diaper, Madigan walked up, laid his head on D's chest and just held it there the whole time. So precious!

Declan is a stellar baby... he sleeps, eats, poos, pees and gives us virtually no grief. He seems so easy going, but then it may be relative considering who we are comparing him to. :-) He has already gained 8 oz. since he was born (now weighing in a 8.1) and is 21.5 inches long. What a boy!

Madigan has been a little resentful toward us (the parents), and has needed a little extra "dance time", singing time, helping Mommy in the kitchen time, barn duty, etc. He has been taking his dance moves to a new level with the help of Auntie Virginia and Daddy. And, since he NEVER stops moving unless he's asleep, we've replaced some of his reading time (which usually consists of him running around the house while we read out loud to him - surely he's absorbing some of the content!) with hymn singing time. He will actually sit still for such fun and LOVES the hymns. I love this little music man.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Life - Birth - in the fast lane

Well, I thought Declan might be a hopeless procrastinator as the days went ticking on past his due date. Turns out that he's just a man of surprises! Once he makes up his mind to do something - like come into the world - there isn't any stopping him.

Yesterday, at 4:45 in the morning I started having contractions and was fairly certain that Declan was on his way. By 9:00am the contractions had increased significantly and we put in a call to our midwife to get their recommendations. They had instructed us not to go to the hospital until we passed certain "labor markers" and then to call them for feedback before rushing out the door. We were not able to reach the midwives or doctors for about 45 minutes from the time we started calling, so Kris decided we should just go ahead and get to the hospital. At that same moment I crossed a line and was absolutely certain that doing so would leave us delivering a baby in the Explorer alongside I-65. I told him resolutely that we were going to have to have this baby at home because I had to push - NOW (there comes a certain point in labor where the only way to bear the pain is to push... strange... but I guess God designed it that way on purpose!). Kris was steady as a rock and calmly started making necessary preparations for a home delivery. Then, the midwives responded to our call and when they found out what was happening, advised us to call 911, which we did. The ambulance/EMTs and firemen arrived within 5 minutes of the call, put me on a gurney and into the ambulance. I was having contractions every 2 minutes at this point and the EMTs encouraged me not to push - I think they thought all would be best if they could get me to Vanderbilt Hospital prior to delivery. If you've never ridden in an ambulance before, I just want to forewarn you that they are not comfortable... every bump is jolting and obvious. Within 5 minutes of leaving the house, the EMT told me, "let me know next time you start to feel a contraction coming on and I'll talk you through it." I briskly announced that one was coming on immediately and started pushing. He started to say, "just breathe..." and then said, "Ok, we're havin' a baby!". He started yelling at the driver (who was racing down the middle of the highway due to cars that wouldn't get out of the way) to pull over so he could get some assistance. While he was shouting/scrambling for blankets, towels, anything, I pushed three times and Declan was out. Meanwhile, the ambulance driver veered across two lanes of traffic and pulled into a business parking lot. Kris and the driver jumped out of the front seat to come help, but Declan was already wrapped up in a blanket and looking around. I think the poor EMT stuck in the back with me was thoroughly traumatized. He told me that he had delivered 21 babies in his 30 years on the job, but never in an ambulance. He also mentioned that retirement might be eminent. :-)

The wonderful EMTs rushed us to Vanderbilt where we were checked in, evaluated and cleaned up. We are supposed to be released today!

So, that's the abbreviated version of what seemed so surreal at the time... on hindsight, of course no one dreams of giving birth in an ambulance while speeding down the highway. But, this little gem of a boy is absolutely incredible and worth anything and everything that was necessary to get him safely here. He is so sweet tempered and is the picture of health! He might have come careening into our lives at a whopping 50 miles an hour but he landed at the perfect time and is such a delight to us all!

For those of you who savor stats, he weighed in at 7 lb, 10 oz, is 20 inches long and has light brown hair. He has a little whimper like his big brother, but also a good pair of lungs, should he need them to get somebody's attention. Thanks to all who prayed for us during this time! We can't wait for you to meet our BundleSquared!

Monday, August 01, 2011


I think I've mentioned before that the boy loves to dance. Here he is dancing with his Auntie Virginia... they make quite the pair! He takes pride in not "holding on". This boy is destined to be an incredible horse back rider with balance like that!