Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Jackson calls Riley his best friend -- an upgrade from Mr. Biscuit (the cat). He still refers to Jacob, Ana, Riley, and Nathan as his BFFs at preschool, but loves his little sister so much more now that she is out of her womb. He asks Riley at least 10 times a day, "Do you like me, Ri?"

He still is reminding us that he is the center of attention. For example, trying to have a chat with a girlfriend yesterday I was interrupted with, "Excuse me mama...Excuse me mama...EXCUSE ME MA-MAAAAA!" I think we scared my friend who is expecting her second as she saw first hand how someone's behavior changed. Yep, the first born is super special in every way! :)

I find myself with a little less patience as well these days (hello up every 3 hours to nurse) and I raise my voice more so Jackson and I spend a lot of time apologizing to each other. The sibling adjustment is temporary I am told. At least the love they have for each other is permanent and I am excited to watch it grow!

First walk together to our neighborhood park.
"Do you like Starbucks, Ri?"

Getting ready for the day!
Mama and daughter matching outfits...Auntie Kristina's baby shower.
Big Bro is also my sous chef!
Hi! Wearing my party dress for Braden's baptism celebration. 
Ah...sweet dreams! Family nap!
Saturday morning giggles!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Riley Grace Newborn Photos by Ashley Perry

Again, Ashley is amazing and captures such beautiful shots of our growing family! I was nervous as I wasn't in the room when these pictures of just Riley were taken because she smelled my milk and would wake up...not nervous with Ashley (awesome mommy of 2), just nervous that I was away from her for the first time for what felt like days. It wasn't though! She is 13 days old in these photos and is our newest babydoll! We love her SO much! Thank you, Ashley Perry for these pictures. 
They are priceless. xoxo


Sunday, February 19, 2012

2 weeks and 2 kids later

The last two weeks have been amazing as we watched our baby girl arrive and Jackson transform into a Big Brother. He loves Riley so much and wishes she would stay awake longer so he could kiss her more. Sometimes I find him in her room standing on his stool to look at her.

The transition has been ok but Jackson is acting out towards us by not following directions (i.e. ignoring), talking really loud, and crying more than his baby sis. Mommy friends tell me it will get better so we will try to stay patient. :)

Meanwhile Riley is gaining over an ounce a day and weighed 8.7 lbs last Friday. I have been nursing her every 2-3 hours because she had mild jaundice and also lost one pound in 3 days--she must tell me her slim down secrets! Now that her pediatrician is happy with her weight, I let her sleep 6 hours the other night. We all felt so good.

Although I have the same stage 3 tears as I did with Jackson's birth, this recovery had been like night and day. I was feeling really good and only complained about my tailbone hurting. Well I took too much on before my body was ready and paid the price--I developed a bad case of mastitis on Wednesday along with an urinary tract infection. Mastitis is caused by fatigue and clogged milk ducts and basically feels like the worst flu ever plus boob pain. TMI? I just wanted to warn new and prego mommies to take it easy during the first weeks of postpartum because the last five days have been hard on my body. I get exhausted quickly and it is challenging to tell your 3 year old that you are too tired to play. Jackson told me he could make me feel better with a hug and he was right! :)

Here are some picture highlights from our first two weeks with two kids. One of the cool things at night is checking on both of them sleeping. I love that there are two beds to check now with tiny slumberers. The first day Sierra went back to work he texted me, "how are the kids?" and wow the tears started flowing. Who knew making a word plural could create such a reaction? We love our babies!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Baby Riley is a GIRL

Meet Riley Grace!
Born at 4:49 pm on 2-6-12.
8 lbs., 13 oz. and 19.5 inches long

We are happy to be home with "another perfect baby" as our pediatrician said. She scored 9/9 on her Apgar just like big brother. Labor was much better and I am recovering well...more to Riley's birth story later. This girl likes to eat! Can you tell?

Thank you for the well wishes, love, and support!

--Sierra, Amber, Jackson, and Riley

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby Riley is Coming!!!

My water broke at 5 am today and we headed to the hospital shortly after dropping Jackson off with our neighbor. Today is the due date so we have a punctual baby!!! Yay we are so excited to meet Riley!!!!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

3 years ago...

Special Birthday Pancake #3!

Dear Jackson,

Three years ago you came into this world smiling and you continue to give us smiles each day. We are so blessed to be your parents. You make us laugh, cry, and sometimes really frustrated. Yesterday you asked me what "difficult" meant when I said you were being difficult getting ready for preschool. 

You are the constant negotiator: "If I have three more bites of my dinner can I watch my show? If I clean up my books and put my PJs on then can I have 'buzzert' (dessert)?" It is so easy to give in to you but we are learning to stand firm and not be tempted by your cute face or adorable words. 

Now that you are three, you have promised that you won't whine and throw tantrums anymore because that's what two-year-olds do. We will see about that one. 

We are so proud of you because you are the only boy in your class to be fully potty trained and your verbal skills impress everyone you meet. We don't like to compare, but sometimes it is really obvious, like at soccer on Saturdays--you answer every question Coach Alyssa asks and we are trying to teach you that you need to let the other kids get some think time first before you blurt out the directions to the games you are about to play. Just like in your book, Moffie gets all the gold stars but then she doesn't make friends like Morgie does. 

You love to read and after Dad or I read you your three books at night, you ask for one more to read on your own. We leave the light on for you and sometimes you take out your flashlight and read with it. We hear you on the monitor telling stories and practicing the letter sounds that you are learning in pre school. You are really amazing and are going to be an awesome Big Brother to Riley--you are so excited! 

We hope you enjoy your special day with your friends at school. You are bringing them Cars cupcakes for a special treat! You picked out the flavors, frosting, sprinkles, decorations... and can't wait to share!

We love you Big Boy!

Mama and Daddy 

"Can I blow now?"

Cars cupcakes for pre school!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jackson's Birth Story...February 2, 2009

I didn't have a blog at the time of Jackson's birth, instead we used a website during his first year to track his milestones. I recently opened the hard copy of that site and of course cried over that first year. It's incredible how much a child can learn and grow in a year! We are eager to experience it again, too, and know just how FAST a year can fly by!

Here is Jackson's birth story...

three days before you were born 
After 40 weeks and 6 days Daddy and I arrived at Sharp Mary Birch at 7 p.m. for our scheduled induction to meet you. This was also the ending of  what Daddy declared as an "amazing Superbowl last quarter" that seemed to get better as we drove to the hospital and waited to check in...and waited...and waited...nobody was around but we could hear from behind the walls lots of cheering. Apparently the staff was watching the game, too. You will have to ask Daddy who was playing because I can't even tell you who is playing this weekend...well maybe I can if Tom Brady is in it. ;)

On to your birth! We had a written birth plan and made sure everyone saw it. But the best advice we had been given was to expect the unexpected and just go with what is best for baby and mom. 

After filling out the necessary paperwork, we were admitted to the delivery room--a very large and comfortable room that we had toured during our parenting classes. The night nurse, Nurse Terry, had me change into a hospital gown and then hooked me up to fetal monitors, an IV, and made sure I was comfortable. I complained about the IV. It hurt a lot. I'm ok with needles but this needle hurt each time I moved my arm and I would get teary eyed. I had been dilated for two weeks at 2 cm. and hadn't progressed which is why we decided to be induced. By 9 p.m. the first dose of a cervix softener, Cervidil, was inserted. I won't get into detail about Nurse Terry's hands, but her cervical checks were the most uncomfortable to date! 

Daddy and I watched Groundhogs Day (I had never seen), read, and laughed as we anticipated a long night. Everyone had told us this would be at least 24 hours. Gram had said it would be two days. We were ready.  I didn't research much about being induced--we were just so anxious to meet you we wanted you out! Nurse Terry wouldn't let me move during the first hour of Cervidil. I was sad because we had a yoga ball to bounce on, I wanted to walk around, move, etc. but couldn't. I had to lay without moving, actually. 

After two hours she checked me again (ouch!) and declared no progress. Second dose was inserted...and again I couldn't move for that first hour. Daddy fell asleep on the pull out chair/bed. I finished reading my magazines, texted updates (it's going to be a long night), and watched the monitor as my contractions looked to intensify. Nurse Terry was impressed that I wasn't complaining about the strong contractions but they just felt like they had been feeling for weeks--strong menstrual cramps and Braxton Hicks. 

About 12:30 a.m. I asked if there was something I could take to relieve the pain I was beginning to feel because the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. A nurse said she would give me a "cocktail" through the IV that would take the edge off. It worked for a few minutes. Then I got up to use the restroom and came back to bed waddling. I felt like there was a bowling ball between my legs! I woke Daddy up and said to get Nurse Terry. I sat up in bed and cringed into a pillow as my contractions came one minute apart. The initial pain wasn't so bad. It was the fact that my body couldn't rest between them because they lasted so  long. 

By 1 a.m. Nurse Terry told me, "Don't be a martyr! Get an epidural!" Looking at Sierra's face and following her expert advice, I agreed. Looking back, I should have just sucked it up. She checked me and I was dilated to an 8 in less than four hours of the Cervidil treatments. The anesthesiologist came in, made Sierra wait to the side, and inserted the epidural in my spine. When I sat up, my water broke. Well, it actually was a high slow leak we later learned. But still, I felt the trickle of water on me. 

Mentally I was relieved that an epidural could take the pain away, however I was still feeling every contraction and your head between my legs. Your heart rate was fluctuating and I was wearing an oxygen mask throughout this to help your heart. I turned from side to side thinking this would do the trick, but with every contraction your heart rate would decrease. Not good! After an hour or so of this, I asked Nurse Terry why I still felt the contractions. She rolled her eyes at me and said to push the button to increase the level of medication through the IV. I did but nothing happened. She said, "hmmm--it didn't beep!" She then checked and realized my epidural wasn't working. She checked me again and I was 10 cm. which meant it was time to push without a working epidural. We called Mommy Nannette, Auntie Autumn, Gram, and Grandpa to let them know I was going to start pushing.

2 a.m. The anesthesiologist returned, saw the tubing was blocked ("one in a million!") gave me a new epidural--and boy could I feel that! It was AMAZING. I couldn't feel a thing, though, and it was time to push. Nurse Terry suggested I rest a bit before since I couldn't feel a thing. I rested for two hours and then she said it was time to push. 

4 a.m. My water bag was still leaking slowly and with every push, a little water came out. Nurse Terry was sure that if it popped, you would be born minutes later. She didn't want to wake the doctor on duty to come break my water, and she wasn't allowed to...so I kept pushing hoping that it would pop on its own. It didn't. Because the epidural was so late in the game, I couldn't feel my pushes. Nurse Terry said I was pushing correctly but I really could not feel a thing. I hated that "feeling" of not being able to feel!

We decided to wait until my doctor came on duty at 7 a.m. if that's what it took to get my water to pop. Luckily Dr. Goodwin checked in early, checked on me, and promised she would be back to pop it! "Suit up dad, this is a messy one," she said before she went to change into scrubs. By 7 a.m. she returned, closed her eyes and looked away, and P-O-P went my water! Relief! Now I could start pushing with some progress! Inside the water there was meconium so that meant you needed to get out of there ASAP. Neonatal was called in and soon the spacious room was filled with a large audience. Your heart rate still fluctuated and I was still wearing the attractive oxygen mask.

A new nurse also checked in (second relief) and told me to push like I was constipated. Finally someone who knew me! LOL! Each push there was progression but we soon learned your big head was stuck under my pubic bone. Dr. Goodwin would have to use a suction cup on your head to help get you out...and only three pushes she would allow or else it was c-section time. One...breathe! Two...breathe!...Three...you entered the world at 7:50 a.m. on February 2, 2009...you immediately started talking to the nurses who took care of you. I felt a tug and looked to see you in Dr. Goodwin's hands still very closely attached as she said, "This is the shortest umbilical cord I have ever seen!" It was 6 inches long! You wanted straight to the food source. Daddy couldn't cut it directly from me like we had planned, but as we realized during your birth, nothing was in our original birth plan except to just go with what is best for you and me. 

You were covered in your meconim so the nurses quickly cleaned you up, the Neonatal unit declared your lungs to be clean (after inserting a tube down your tiny throat), and you were swaddled and given to Daddy. You looked up at him with your big eyes and I really think you recognized his voice! Then Daddy gave you to me as Dr. Goodwin did some tear repairs (stage three of four I would later learn), and I could not believe you had grown inside me for 9 months! You looked so big yet so small! You weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and were 19.5 inches long. Your big blue eyes were amazing and you had little blonde hairs. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to be your mother. 

You latched on right away and never left my side as we stayed one night at Mary Birch. I was ready to bring you home the next morning and introduce you to your fur siblings Biscuit and Abby...and three years later you are going to be introduced to your own little brother or sister very soon! 


Daddy holds you first!

I think this is your first smile! =)

3 days old with a touch of jaundice