This year we spent Christmas at home with the kiddos. We were invited to spend the holiday with some of Peter's family in Georgia but decided to stay home and have a quiet holiday. The kids are growing up so fast that we won't have many "quiet" holidays in the future. Ainsley continues to grow up too fast! She weighed 12 pounds at her 2 month check up and she has started smiling a lot…such a sweetheart!
my little goofball
Ainsley - 2 months old
I love decorating for Christmas, we have a couple boxes of decorations and I look forward to dragging them out and making the house look festive. We always have a fresh tree, we didn't go out and cut it down, maybe we will start that tradition when the kids are older, for now we just pick one out at the store. In the past years we have used candles on our tree, dangerous but absolutely beautiful. This year I used electric lights instead. I think the candles will be put on hold for a few years till the children know to be careful around the tree. Normally we set the tree in the corner of the living room by the window. This year I put it in the corner of the piano room. It wasn't as pretty but we were able to close the french doors and keep "Thing 1" away from the tree.
Wythe helped me decorate the tree by pulling the ornaments out of the boxes. We were pretty lucky this year and only had one or two casualties of the ornaments.
"holding on to my little sis"
We spent Christmas Eve with our neighbors, it was a lovely time. We are blessed to live in an area where we have such great neighbors to spend time with. By the time we got home that night Wythe was asleep so he forgot to set out cookies and milk for Santa. Fortunately he had remembered to ask mommy to help just in case he forgot!
I told Peter that this was probably the last Christmas that we would be able to sleep in past 6AM! We had the luxury of being able to wake up, fix a cup of coffee, give Wythe some breakfast before opening presents. We were festive of course and used our Christmas mugs and wore our Santa hats!
Wythe emptying his stocking
Wythe and Ainsley didn't get a lot of presents this year. We decided to keep it small since they don't know the difference at this age. Peter didn't think we should get anything for Ainsley but I told him that we might feel bad when she is older and asks what she got for her first Christmas. Now we can tell her she got a rubber ducky and a rattle! I'm sure she will be impressed. Wythe got a few trinkets in his stocking, a wooden airplane and helicopter, a rubber ducky and some Gerber Puffs.
Wythe was excited to rip open his present but he didn’t understand what was going on. I guess by next year he will be old enough to have a little bit of anticipation for Christmas. This year we gave him some Lego's and a book, he loves his Lego's. He spends hours everyday building things, we wonder if he is going to be an architect.
Wythe and his bear from Aunt Kara
gotta love the wrapping!!!
Santa was good to me this year, I got a computer and a diamond band for my wedding ring set! I also got windshield washer fluid…the kind with de-icer! (That is what was wrapped so nicely!) Peter got a DVD set that he wanted and a stereo set for his office. It was a great holiday, very much a family affair!
A busy start to a busy month! We got our first snowfall this weekend, it was a very pretty snowfall, just a few inches, enough to turn everything a wintery white. It really makes it seem that Christmas is right around the corner!
We went to a Christmas parade the next day and it was so cold! Wythe was warm in his new coat and Ainsley was bundled beyond recognition. I was wearing her in the Baby Bjorn and she stayed toasty warm. The parade was in Little Washington, VA. The building in the background is The Inn at Little Washington.
We celebrated Thanksgiving with my family this year. We went down to my parents house and my brother and his son came over for the day. Between my mom and I we fixed enough food for about 15 people instead of 6, needless to say we didn’t go hungry! Wythe and Kelston had a lot of fun playing together, even though they are 4 years apart they still had a lot of fun! Kelston would chase Wythe around and we would hear shrieks of laughter.
Ainsley and cousin Kelston
Ainsley and granddaddy
We continue to adapt to having a toddler and newborn in the house, I am learning to survive on 3-4 hours of sleep a night. Ainsley is a pretty good sleeper but so far she and Wythe have taken turns sleeping, which means I don’t get a turn. Wythe is doing better with Ainsley, he is still very rough with her and has to be closely monitored but he is obviously attached to her and knows she belongs here. In the morning when he gets up her looks for her and if she starts crying he stops whatever he is doing and goes to her. At first he just cried whenever she cried but now he is trying to comfort her. He will try to put her paci in her mouth, usually by shoving whatever part he can into her mouth, or he will lay his head on her giving her some “love”, if all else fails he just covers her face with a blanket!
big brother giving little sister her pacifier
Wythe continues to improve his walking skills, he is losing the stiff legged gait and has even tried out climbing!
We are all alive and well....I think. Ainsley is a good baby, pretty much just being a normal baby, eating, sleeping, eating, sleeping…and we are settling into the routine of life with two little babies! Wythe is having some issues dealing with an expanded family but that was to be expected.
We had a low key holiday this year. Our neighborhood doesn't really do anything since all the kids are grown and gone. But now that there are 3 little ones people may have to start stocking up on candy! We dressed the kids up for Halloween but only went to one neighbors house. There we sat and visited for a while, the other little girl in the neighborhood came over also. Wythe and Ainsley weren’t too happy about dressing up in costumes. Wythe was an elephant and Ainsley was wearing Halloween themed clothes.
The first part of the month we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of our new baby! I was expecting her to be born around the 12th but that day came and went with no baby. So we waited...maybe tomorrow...but no baby...waiting....
We did get out of the house a few times and had some fun! The first weekend of the month we had dinner in Tyson’s with our friends Gary and Amy. We hadn’t seen them in almost two years so it was great to see them while they were in town. Still waiting....
We also went to the yearly open house for the Smithsonian Zoo Research Center in Front Royal. It was a beautiful fall day and we enjoyed the views from the top of the hill. Wythe was just standing on his own at that point so we took some cute pics of him. (waiting....)
"I can stand by myself !!"
"Wythe and his 9 month pregnant mommy"
"Wythe and Peter"
By the middle of the month I was starting to get anxious. It is hard when you are just....waiting. It was different this time because we had to make arrangements for Wythe while we were going to be at the hospital. My mom was planning to come stay with us but that didn't solve the issue if we ended up going to the hospital in the middle of the night. We talked about asking neighbors to come to the house but most of our neighbors work and we weren't going to ask them to take off work to watch Wythe. My doctor was perfectly o.k. with inducing me, he actually suggested it at the beginning of the month thinking if we had the baby earlier I wouldn't have to deliver a big baby. I wasn't crazy about being induced, I really wanted everything to go naturally. But as the days passed the idea seemed more and more appealing. My doctor and I decided that if the baby hadn't come by the 21st then I would be induced...so now I had a date. I knew that this pregnancy was actually going to end at some point! It was nice to be able to plan things accordingly, we made plans with my mom for her to come up the day before the big day. Then we just...waited!
Wythe started walking the week the baby was born. It was as if he knew mommy needed him to walk instead of being carried everywhere! It was so cute to see his stiff, little zombie walk as he toddled around the house!
Since the baby was overdue they scheduled me for an induction on the 21st. My mom came up the night before to keep Wythe while we were at the hospital and to help afterwards.
The evening before I was scheduled I started to have contractions, I thought I was going to have to go into the hospital that night because they seemed to be getting very regular. It didn't really matter one way or the other, my bags were packed, my mom was there to take care of Wythe, so if we had to dash out of the door that would be fine. I wasn't sure if they were getting bad enough to go to the hospital. Even though this was my second baby it was a different experience. My first time I had all back labor so I didn't feel the normal feeling of contractions. I decided to try and go to bed and get some sleep knowing that if I went in at 7am as schedule or earlier due to necessity I would need my rest either way. The contractions must have stopped in the night because I was able to sleep and wait till the morning.
In the morning I was having some contractions but not as frequently as the night before. We got dressed, I tip-toed in and kissed Wythe goodbye, and we left for the hospital. It was really weird driving out of the driveway knowing that the next time you see your house you will have a little baby with you. I don't remember thinking that the first time, I guess I was in too much pain then!
We got to the hospital and since I was being induced I had to go through admitting, I realized later I should have just run up to the maternity ward and said I was in labor! we really didn't have to wait that long but it was still too long considering there was no one else there. When I finally got off the elevator on the maternity ward I saw my doctor, he said "I'm glad you decided to show up, we can't really start till you get here!" That is his typical sarcastic humor, just one of the reasons I love him! I went to the nurse's station and they told me what room I was going to be in, when I heard the room number I thought "that sounds familiar....", sure enough, same room as last time!
I am going to gloss over the next several hours, I am not going to waste your time (or torture myself with the memory) of the details of the epidural that didn't work, the person who couldn't get the IV in my vein, the epidural that didn't work, the dilemma of whether or not to have an epidural, the epidural that didn't work, the worry that they weren't going to let my son visit because of the swine flu, the epidural that didn't work, etc., etc. Did I mention the epidural didn't work?? The good part it even though the labor was very intense it was short! I had the meds at 8:30am and the baby was born at 1:49pm!
The whole experience was so different and so much nicer than the first time. I didn't think I was going to die, there wasn't the same sense of panic that there had been the first time, in fact, at one point during delivery the doctor even made me laugh at one of his bad jokes! Even though the labor was intense, even though the epidural didn't work it still was a great experience, I felt like "wow, I could do this again!"
My precious baby girl was born at 1:49pm, a little over 5 hours after they started the meds, that was much nicer than the 14 hours I had the first time!
Later that afternoon my mom brought Wythe up to the hospital to see us, it seemed like we hadn’t seen him in ages even though it had only been since that morning. I stayed in the hospital for two nights, unfortunately we weren’t able to have any visitors except for my mom and Wythe because the hospital was on lock down due to the swine flu outbreak. We were very glad to get home and away from the germs of the hospital!
On October 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm Ainsley Brooks was born. She weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces and was 20-3/4 inches long. Her delivery went well and we were so thankful to see our beautiful, healthy girl! Wythe is adjusting to having a sibling but he seems to be growing more accustomed to the idea all the time!
For some reason I no longer have internet access in our house. Although we live relatively near a major U.S. city we have little or no access to modern technology. There is very little cell phone service out here, no Fios, no cable, in fact, since they converted television to all digital signal we have no TV reception! The only way to get TV or internet access is to have a satellite dish, we have one for internet but not for TV. But for some reason there is no longer a signal from the dish to the house, unfortunately they will probably have to dig up the line in the ground to correct the problem. So for the time being I have to take my computer out to the office in the garage and use Peter's work connection.
Anyway, it may be awhile before my next post.
Wythe was a lucky boy and got to have a 2nd "first birthday" party. One of his friends in his playgroup was born 3 days after Wythe so we decided to have a joint party for the kiddos. We had the party on Saturday the 17th at a new park in Marshall. The day was absolutely gorgeous, sunny and very cool for July. The children got to play for awhile, the favorite toy of the day was a push wagon. They all took turns pushing and riding in the wagon. Wythe even pushed it a little, that was the first time we had seen him walking upright like a bi-ped, it was neat! We had BBQ for the adults to eat and the kiddos had their own food.
The theme of the party was jungle animals. I made matching "jungle" cakes for the birthday boys, I think they turned out pretty cute! Wythe was very careful with his cake again, he ate some and got his feet in the side but really didn’t dig in. His buddy wasn't shy about it and at one point was two-fisting the cake, he was taking full advantage of this opportunity to eat cake! It was a fun time to see Wythe celebrate his birthday with his friends!
Today you are one year old! Part of me can't believe that you have been with us for a year and the other part of me cannot imagine not knowing you. It is so hard to think back one year ago, the fear, the apprehension, the doubts of whether I was really in labor, getting to the hospital having the nursing staff take over and tell me that you were going to be born today! Then the hours that I will probably never forget, hours of absolute agony and misery, but I wouldn't trade it for the world because those hours brought me you! I would do it all over, I would do it 10x over, for you.
You are my firstborn, my son, my sunshine, you make me happier than I could imagine and more frightened that I ever could have thought.
I will love you forever birthday boy!
On the 4th of July weekend we invited some family and neighbors over for a cookout/birthday party for Wythe. We held it out back on the patio and stayed dry thanks to a tarp being draped over the top of the pergola. Actually, the rain didn’t last very long but it was misty for a while so the tarp was still nice. Since the tarp was bright blue it gave the impression of being blue sky! The temperature cooled down so much that some people were wearing jackets, who would have guessed that you would need a jacket on July 5th?? We had planned on having homemade ice-cream for dessert thinking everyone would love that on a hot, summer day! We did enjoy it, as long as you had a jacket on! While preparing for the party I was blowing up some balloons, I learned then that my son was terrified of balloons! I had planning on having balloons hanging from the top of the pergola, creating a balloon ceiling, but realized that could be traumatic to the little guy on his birthday! So the balloons went on the fence, far away from the party and out of Wythe's sight!
Wythe wasn’t sure what to do with his cake. At first he kept looking at me as if to say “Am I really allowed to touch this? Normally I’m not allowed to play with my food…” When he got a taste of the icing though he became a fan of sugar! He would stick his finger in the cake then lick the icing off but he didn’t really dive into it like I thought he might. At one point he leaned forward as if to do a face plant but then just inspected the cake. He did enjoy it though, and I’m sure the next day he was wondering why he had to go back to eating boring old healthy food. We had a great time with everyone and Wythe loved all his new toys!