Friday, July 31, 2009

Life After Kids

Nevermind for a moment that it is Friday night at merely 8:30 and I am sittting here at the computer after having already put Warren and Jack to bed. Instead let me convince you that life after kids is ALL that!
For example, we had another couple over for sort of an impromptu dinner (we are spontaneous like that!) on Monday night! It was picturesque:
{Jack played legos...since when do legos have guns?!?}

{Our dogs did not beg from the dinner table,
but rather peacefully lounged on their beds,
because they are trained like that for God's sakes}

{Nolan was a complete doll the entire time,
and at no point did I refer to him as a "hot mess"}

Specifically, if you could delete the part where Jack had to be removed from the dinner table because he completely fell apart on acount of how tired he was and then promptly fell asleep on the couch upstairs. Oh! Or the part where Nolan fussed something aweful, making it near impossible for me to let our guests hold him...which was sort of the entire reason they had come over in the first place.
Ah, yes! It was indeed picturesque!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wiggles Concert

Grandma Caryl and Nolan at his first concert -- at less than two weeks old.

Hanging out with his Grandma, who bought us tickets to the Wiggles at the event center in the town just next to ours.

All three boys enjoyed the show -- Warren and Jack danced and clapped, while Nolan mostly stayed in the sling. It was my first outing with all three of my guys! Wow!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009


What a sweet, sweet homecoming Nolan had. Daddy and brothers made a welcome home poster depicting our house and family, with a surprising level of detail.

Warren was SO anxious to FINALLY hold his brother in his arms, he was grinning ear to ear and Nolan was so peaceful.

The first night at home went as well as can be expected and we spent the day today grocery shopping, going to lunch with the whole gang, and visiting extensively with our neighbors as we introduce the latest "Lawson boy" to the neighborhood.

I actually didn't take any pictures today, as I was too busy enjoying my family. But tomorrow I will be sure to capture some shots of Nolan wide awake.

Nolan's visitors thus far:

Jessie McKay (and parents Susan and John McKay) - friend of mom's from college
Lisa Pineda - friend of mom's from first Engineering job out of college
Mike Koller - dad's childhood friend
Steve and Jessica O'Quin - dad's childhood friend
Katie Roche - mom's friend from college and track and field
Grandma Caryl Lawson and Grandpa John Lawson
Aunt Jennifer and boyfriend Wil
Lots and lots of neighbors

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Leaving the NICU

Well, it's a week later than his actual birthday, but our little Nolan is finally home,
safe and sound.

Today my shoulders relaxed

I exhaled deeply

and I took lots of pictures.

I am gonna have to pace myself with the photos and just limit it to

4 per post or this could get out of hand.

{His last few moments in his bed in the NICU}

{Look at his LONG fingers}

{He wasn't thrilled with the carseat initially}

{But once we assured him that the carseat was his ride home, he calmed down for the ride}

Homecoming pictures are due up next!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Warren spent the entire afternoon constructing with Legos, and then when Jack got home from Grandma Caryl's he was all too happy to join his brother.

It was pure Lego love.

This is a new favorite activity that will definitely come in handy with the baby home and taking up a good portion of my time with feedings.

My Aunt Shelli also got them that new 3-D sidewalk chalk, which I am saving for an opportune time when Momma needs a good outdoor activity for them.

Thanks, Shelli, for the chalk and for having Warren over for a couple of days! That afforded us the chance to have a couple of totally kid free days and nights home. Bryan and I were able to have a couple of nice dinners, go for a bike ride, and even do a little pampering of ourselves. What a treat!

Right Now

Right now I am all about:

Lots and lots of headbands to hold back my moppet of wavy,
sometimes clean hair.

Doing my kegels in the elevator up to the third floor at the hospital.

Calling my own Momma multiple times per day for support

or just to cry.

Admiring the pink roses in my bedroom

that Grandma Caryl and the boys got me.

Clinging tight to my husband,

whom I need more than ever right now.

Having the courage to get on the scale and see my starting point weight,

which happens to be 130 lbs exactly.

Bryan thinks I should wait until a full week after delivery
to get an accurate starting point after all the water retention etc is gone
but I was just too curious.
Barely being able to contain my excitement knowing that Nolan
is coming HOME tomorrow morning.
Praise God!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Look Ma! No IV!

Yesterday was a special day. Bryan got to feed Nolan a bottle of breast milk and we got to hold him for quite a while. You can see that he is channeling a unicorn with his little IV on his head.

Good news! The IV is now out as of this morning and, in fact, the cannula that has been supplying him with a tiny bit of extra oxygen is coming out today too. So, then the only thing keeping him in the hospital is his case of Jaundice. As you can see in the photos, he is quite yellow. Just like Warren and Jack were, oh and Bryan and I when we were born. What can I say, we are a Jaundice family. Which is kind of weird since we all have the same blood type, O+.

Anyhow, Nolan is now eating much better. He is still being kind of what I would call a lazy nurser, so I am pumping and feeding him out of the bottle too after we nurse each time.

I anticipate that our little angel will be out of there tomorrow or for sure by Saturday. It looks like he will end up having spent nearly a full week in the NICU. Quite the little adventure!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A very tired Momma

This is not glamorous, that's for sure!

{Nursing in the NICU}

Wow! I have such respect for anyone that has made it through their infant's extended stay in the NICU. It is seriously way more taxing and exhausting than having your baby at home with you. Not that I had ever given this any thought prior to Nolan's arrival, but I would have thought you would get more sleep and be more rested since the majority of the baby's needs are being met by a staff of nurses and doctors.

Not so. I go to the NICU every three hours to feed him. When I get home I have to pump, because he is not eating enough to give me relief. More on that in a moment. So, by the time I finish with that and eat something, give a little attention to one of my other boys, it is time to get back in the car and head back to the hospital.

Nolan's breathing issues are all but over. He is at a normal respiratory rate and just has a low flow cannula in his nose with just barely more oxygen than room air. So, just when that all cleared up...he has jaundice and is on the "tanning bed" contraption. This is not making him feel great, he doesn't want to eat very well. Making it impossible to get his IV out and get discharged.

Oh, Nolan, I am so sorry this has been a tough start for you!

He is really feisty though and definitely making the nurses work hard. He will fit right in at our house -- whenever he finally gets to come home!

Sometimes I think I am handling this all very well, and other times I feel like a complete mental train wreck. Thankfully, Jack is with Bryan's mom (Grandma Caryl) and Warren is going to my mom's sister's (Aunt Shelli) house today too. Not even because I am unable to take care of him, mostly just so he can have fun and get out of the house.

So, cutting to the chase, I don't know when Nolan is getting out. He still needs to get circumcised and get some vaccinations, do the hearing screening...all the normal stuff they do with a newborn...once he is out of the NICU.

Good thing I have such a supportive, high-energy, and hard-working husband to pick up my slack with the housework, cooking, you name it. He rocks!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Nolan in the NICU

That's right, you read it correctly. Nolan is having to stay a couple days in the NICU, thus the lack of pictures of our new little guy. We got a couple right when he was born but they are kind of yucky right out of the womb and don't photo well in my opinion.

So, now that I have said that, I must say straight away that he is perfectly fine.

This is very minor.

Right after he was born, he started to grunt with each breath and breathe very quickly -- clear indicators of respiratory distress. Of course, he was immediately evaluated and it was determined that the best course of action was to give him some extra oxygen and monitor his oxygen stats in the nursery.

Since he seemed to do better and in fact need the extra help, he was transferred to the NICU. We are able to visit him and I am nursing him every couple hours, but he does have an IV in to give him some extra fluids since it is kind of hard for him to nurse while he is breathing so fast.

The doctors tell me that it will all clear up in a couple days and that this is the most common reason for a full term baby to end up in the NICU. So, I really am taking it in stride and coping much better than I would have ever imagined if you would have told me two days ago that our baby would be in the NICU.

Truly, what is more shocking is seeing the really sick babies in there. I have this full term, pink, healthy little fighter in there who is crying and opening his eyes and eating...and right next to him are babies that are...lets just say not doing all those things. It is heart-breaking.

So, now here are a couple pictures of him, one of those right out of the womb, rashy ones that I am not a fan of, and one of him under the tent in the NICU.

I have to brag on my baby just a bit since I don't have the pictures yet to illustrate how beautiful he is. He has blue eyes and brown fuzzy hair right now (although I bet it will all fall out like his brothers' did). He is very long and lean with big hands and feet. My personal favorite feature thus far are his lips! They are gorgeous, kissable, perfect little cupie-doll lips and they are ruby red. We love him immensely and know that this little bump in the road will be short lived and that we will have our little boy home very soon. This will be a distant memory soon enough, so I am just taking solace knowing he is getting the best care possible with the lovely nurses (one of whom is the mom of a friend of mine!)

I guess I should update that I am physically feeling fabulous. Up and about without problem and doing great, just a little tired. I got discharged today at noon and it was nice to be able to come home once I got over the weirdness of leaving the hospital without the baby.

The situation is less than perfect -- not what I envisioned. I am a little sad that Warren and Jack haven't gotten to hold him yet like I had pictured and planned. But this is actually a good lesson for me to know that even when things don't go as planned, it is okay. It is good to adapt and find the bright side and even humor of situations.

For example:

Me: lovingly nursing Nolan, who is still getting the hang of it.
Bryan to Nolan: "whoop up on it, son."

I laughed out loud -- in the NICU. I know it is all going to be O.K.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The last belly picture

I will be putting together his birthday story and sorting through the hundreds of pictures we have taken of Nolan since 10:40 last night, when he made his grand entrance into this world.

But for now, here is one of the very last images captured of him while he was still all mine.

One of my other baby boys, Jack, got to spend the majority of my labor at my side.

He kept my spirits up and reminded me of why exactly I willingly go through this whole childbirth thing. Thanks, Jack! You were a great labor buddy and will make a fantastic husband someday.

Before I get into all the details of yesterday, July 18th 2009, I will just say that I had the most perfect labor and delivery that I could ever imagine. I was surrounded by my guys and everything was beautiful. I am so grateful for such a remarkable day that I will never ever forget!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Things could be much worse

I think it is safe to say that things could be much worse for Warren,
wouldn't you say?

Yeah, it looks like he's really homesick, huh?

Life sure is rough at Grandma's house!


Our bags are packed and ready to go.
I am optimistic that the clothes I packed to wear will actually fit me.
Nolan has a special outfit that is actually not a hand-me-down to wear home.
...The carseat is by the garage door...

...and we are getting in some good time with Jack.

So he knows how special he is,

even when he is no longer the baby.

Bryan rocked him to sleep last night and Jack certainly soaked up the attention.

He fell fast asleep in Daddy's arms and was transported to his bed with lots of kisses.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Only Words...and one old picture too!

So, I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon, and what I gleaned from that appointment, along with my own gut feelings, lead me to believe that Nolan is coming very, very soon!
Exciting, I know!
I simply cannot wait.
The suspense is killing me.
I NEED to hold him in my arms and kiss him. Oh and I am starting to lactate too so it would be great if he could, ya know, get here and help me out in that department ;)
But, I will say it is just the teeniest, tiniest bit bittersweet to know that my pregnancy is coming to an end. And I will have to share my little bundle with everyone else who is anxiously waiting. I won't feel him tumbling and hiccuping.
It is hard to believe.
Sure, I'll be able to take a full breathe and hopefully won't be having anymore consistent heartburn...and I can wear my favorite jeans...someday in the near future.
But I will feel just a tad...empty too.
This feeling that I have, which I have had at the end of each pregnancy, is not too dissimilar to the feeling I had when Bryan and I were boarding our plane to leave Hawaii in 2003. He had proposed on the trip, we had thoroughly enjoyed the islands, food, festivities, and each other. But it was time to go and I was so excited to get back home and show off the ring, announce our engagement,
and just BE fiances.
-- But that required leaving Hawaii -- bittersweet.

{At the gate, boarding the plane to leave HI in 2003}

Not that I am comparing being hugely pregnant with being in a tropical paradise

(AT ALL, although it is ridiculously hot outside today).

But the departure feeling is kind of the same.

My bags are packed and I am ready to board for this latest adventure!

Monday, July 13, 2009


...there was the typical traffic jam of bikes on our front walkway by 8am

...I spent some time here, in my new glider that Grandma Caryl so graciously gifted us for Nolan. It is chocolate brown super soft material and it is SO comfortable.

...and I spent some time here, on my Precor elliptical machine. I am using it just for 20 min per day now that I am far along enough that it wouldn't be too early to go into labor.

...I sorted through and organized all the baby bottles and pumping paraphernalia, even clearing cabinet space out to house the paci's, bottles, milk storage containers, etc. The breast pump looked a little foreign and daunting when I pulled it out of the closet, sort of like the first time I ever saw it. But once I opened it up and saw all the components, it was like seeing an old familiar friend again.

...we ate lunch outside gathered around our picnic table on the back patio, enjoying overcast weather. We finished up just in time for a quick bike ride and then had to hurry inside to beat the rain and lightning.

And now, my boys are having some good veg-out time on the couch, being couch potatoes, watching a movie. I love how they almost always sit super close on the big L-shaped couch while they take in the latest movie that Bryan DVR-ed for them.

Yeah, I still have to go grocery shopping and there is a big basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded. But I'd rather sit here for a minute and listen to the rain hitting the windows and watch my boys try to keep their eyes open.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Life Skills


It may be debatable, but as far as Warren knows from his Daddy, every boy needs to know how to aim a rifle properly and work a pump action sawed-off shotgun game (not pictured).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Just one more swipe..."

"...puh-leeeeeease, Daddy!"

'Cause once he's inside the Pearly Gates, I mean giant doors,

it's pure heaven for our little occasional Gamer.

Bryan took Warren for a very special treat tonight for some quality guy time.

I am told they had some good bonding time both with each other

and with the Star Wars video games.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

All Along

As the boys get a little older, I notice them gravitating more and more to their Daddy.

Relating to him,
Aspiring to be like him,
Comparing themselves to him,
Watching him for clues on how to be a guy.

But if I really stop to think back and sort through the blurry, sleepy memories of them as tiny babies...he was there all along.

Because babies need their Daddy too.

For his strong, broad shoulder that offers the perfect curled-up position to soothe the tummy of a tired baby boy.

To hang a little guy upside down in a way that a Mommy just wouldn't have the nerve (knowing how long he had just nursed for).

And to hold the magic pacifier from the hospital just right, while providing the most perfect cradle in his lap.

So, while they might be starting to mimic and idolize Daddy at an increasing rate these days, they also know he has been there all along.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oh Happy [Highchair] Days!

Not to imply
-- at all --
that the boys are now neat and tidy at the kitchen table,
but I will say they have both come a long way since their heydays
of flinging food off their highchairs.

Nowadays, the dogs are at least partly in charge of cleaning up the meal time mess

(they hang out like vultures under the table),

and for the most part the boys use their napkins and utensils and don't smear too much food in their hair.

But oh how I miss those highchair feasts!
The mixtures of foods they would concoct like little mad chefs,
basting themselves in order to get a good sticky surface for the cheerios!
Extruding food from their clasped chubby hands!
Licking pudding directly off the highchair tray!
Grinning ear to ear, as if to say
"ha! you have to get me out of here and into the bath!"

Is it crazy that I can't wait to break out the highchair again!?!

Monday, July 6, 2009

We Love Westminster!

We have been in our "new" part of town for just over a year, but are still discovering great things about it almost evey time we venture out.

The latest discovery is this adorable water fountain with a wading pool at the bottom, that we literally stumbled upon over the weekend.

This, of course, led to the boys

(who were not at all prepared for swimming, since we were on a bike ride)

stripping down to their skivvies and jumping (literally) into the water.

...My camera lens just couldn't help but keep focusing in on Jack in his little Harley Davidson underwear...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A little sprucin' up

::Do you know the feeling when you get an awesome haircut?::

::And as silly as it is, you feel like you have a new lease on life?::

::Like a new woman?::

::Totally revived?::

Today's haircut was the first time I have ever had that feeling.

I have been floundering for quite some time with my hair and finally hit the sweet spot, at an unexpected salon, as a walk-in client...and it was NOT expensive!

I should sneak off when all the guys are napping more often!


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