Oh My, She's Grown!

Savannah had a follow-up appointment today with her pediatrician, Dr. Olobia. I really like the kids' doctor. He's great with the kids, always has very detailed handouts for each developmental stage (which I'm pretty sure he writes himself), so friendly and knowledgable. Plus, he has a fun Jamaican(/I'm really not sure at all) kind of accent.

Savannah is still looking great and all her bloodwork came back normal. I did have him run a Pulse Oximetry on her. There have been a couple times lately that her right hand turned purple. It was while I was dressing her, so I knew it could very well have been just that part of her clothing was cutting off some sort of circulation in the process, but I wanted him to check as long as I was already in the office. It came back normal. He said to watch it cosely. If it happens again or more frequently then he'll do extensive tests, but otherwise to assume her clothing was pinching her arm while I was dressing her.

Carolyn and I were convinced she had gained a little weight while they were visiting, but I would have never guessed that she gained almost a pound in just under two weeks! Today (she's three weeks old exactly) she weighed in at 10 lbs 7oz and is 22.25" long! Wow, Savannah! Looks like those top-of-the hour nightly nursing's are really doing something for you! You are so beautiful, sweet Savannah.

I wish I would have captured a picture, but today was also the first time she smiled at me (and it wasn't in her sleep)! She has the most beautiful facial expressions. How did we get so lucky as to be her parents?? The Graham family would not be complete without her.


A Wonderful Thanksgiving

We were so lucky to have my in-laws here for Thanksgiving. Mike and I actually had never cooked a turkey before (or made stuffing or yams or gravy...), so Gordy and Carolyn used this as a teaching experience. SO fun! They even brought family recipes so that we can continue having delicious Thanksgiving meals "Graham-style".

They sure did get a nice greeting. As soon as we heard a knock on the door, Jeremiah and Brooklyn sprinted down the hall as fast ad the could, swung open the front door and literally leapt into their arms with squeals. I thought they'd never let go. I'll keep that beautiful image in my head forever. They are absolutely in love with their grandparents.

Brooklyn was literally attached at the hip to grandpa. (She refused to let go of him even while he was cooking!). It was the greatest thing in the world to watch. We really miss being close to them.

Jeremiah put on some great shows for them by dancing to The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, singing "You and me do-in fissin' in a dawt...tountin' staws..."

And Savannah was more often than not found nestled into grandma's arms. I really only held her when she was nursing. I'm so glad she got to have so many grandma Carolyn kisses (she smelled like every flavor of chapstick Carolyn was wearing while they were here! :-) )

The weather was really nice while they were here, so we spent some time at the park. This park is just down the street from us, so the kids really enjoyed showing grandma and grandpa where they spend their time while I'm teaching.

We also went to this really neat train exhibit (thanks to Kathy and Suresh!) in Dallas. Jeremiah especially loved it. There was so much detail put into these models, it was amazing. We even got some fun hats for our little tour.

And to end our very full, exciting day we took grandma and grandpa for a little trolly ride through Dallas. Mike, Brooklyn, and Jeremiah are waiting for the trolly to show up here. They sure love their daddy!

We sure had a great Thanksgiving, but we miss you already grandma and grandpa!


Proud Mama to Three

We had a relaxing afternoon today while mommy got a little camera happy :-). I can't stop thinking how beautiful our children are.


Happy 4th Birthday Brooklyn!

We are so proud of the beautiful little girl she has become. Time has slipped though our fingers. Just 4 years ago, she came home with us...a 7lb 9oz bundle of love. We are truly blessed to be called her parents.


Nothing Cuter Than a Fluffy Butt

I'm very impressed with my flats. I would have had many blowouts by now if she were in disposables. These seem to hold everything in! (And they are so adorable on her!)


First Doctor's Appointment

Savannah had her first doctor's appointment this morning. She's 9 days old today. They wanted to see her one week after being discharged from the hospital so they could check her bilirubin levels and listen to her heart (she was born with a heart murmur). Her bloodwork came back clear and she has outgrown her heart murmur (praise God!). She weighed in at 9lb 8oz (4oz less than her birth weight), putting her in the 91st percentile! They took her length and I could not believe that she has grown a half an inch already! She is 22in long, putting her in the 98th percentile. I shouldn't be too surprised since my side of the family is all tall, but it still amazes me since Brooklyn and Jeremiah have always been on the petite side (especially in length). Her newborn diapers (cloth) only fit for the first week. She now wears flats. And today I need to pull the next size up of her clothes from the garage. She definitely skipped over newborn size clothing and only a few of her 0-3 month clothing fit her. She really doesn't even have any rolls, but is so long that the shoulders of her little outfits are pulled off, her little chest shows, and the sleeves barely reach her wrists. I'm anxious to see if she continues to stay a tall child from the Lang genes or if more of the Steck genes stay in her :-).

Best Friends

We got home from getting groceries this morning (my first outting with all three kids, by the way), and I let Brooklyn and Jeremiah play right by the front door by themselves while I was putting the groceries away. They play so well together. Brooklyn loves telling Jeremiah all kinds of stories. She jabbers away and I occassionally hear an "oh yea?" or "otay" from Jeremiah. I peeked around the corner to see them like this. Again, as soon as I took the picture Jeremiah said, "Mama, no pictures". They melt my heart.


Sleepy Head

I'm almost getting concerned for my potential sleepless night tonight. Savannah has been very contently sleeping all day. She's bound to wake up just as I'm slipping into bed, and I know she's going to want a play date! Fortunately, I have three delicious flavors of coffee creamer choices to wake me up in the morning. As sleepy as I am in the groggy hours of the night, I can't resist snuggling her. What a perfect way for a mama to wake up (at any hour of the night!).

No Mommies Allowed

Mike was grilling dinner while I ran a quick errend this evening. I came home to find Brooklyn reading stories to Jeremiah in his room (perched on his books next to his bed). As soon as I walked in, Brooklyn said "Mommy, I'm reading stories to Jeremiah. He likes it. I'm a good reader. He doesn't want to talk to you". Wanting to laugh, I said "Oh, did you guys want to play by yourselves right now"? "Yes, we want to read stories all by ourselves. You should leave", says Brooklyn. I left for a couple minutes, but couldn't resist sneaking back in to take a picture of them. As soon as I took this picture, Jeremiah looked up and said, "Mommy, no pictures". What a hoot. I love our kids.

Brooklyn the Monkey

This weekend, Brooklyn had so much fun swinging on the rope swing in the back yard. She's typically our cautious child, but this weekened she decided to try something new. She had daddy move the picnic table closer to the rope so she could stand on the table and swing about 16 feet (daddy's estimate) to land in a pile of leaves. Unbelievable! She is so strong. She was so anxious to get back to her rope swing this morning that she ran out back before she even got out of her jammies.


First Day Home

What a fun morning it's been here. The kids and I stayed home and attempted to get some sort of routine down. I need to establish Savannah's feeding schedule before we have the slightest clue of what 'routine' means. She is such a content baby. The few times I've heard anything resembling a cry is during a few diaper changes. Otherwise, her big bright eyes are scanning the room trying to make sense of all the noise coming from two toddlers.

We've enjoyed the soft Boppy cover from Stephanie (thanks!). Savannah loves being propped up in this so she can get a better view around her. I can't seem to get enough adorable pictures of her little yawns. She has already developed her own personality quite well. So far, she's only nursing about every 3-4 hours. That is a big change from the last newborn I nursed. Jeremiah was feeding every 2 hours around the clock for his first two months of life. I hear this is a common difference between a 6lb 11oz baby and 9lb 12oz baby. So far the theory that bigger babies are more content and sleep more seems to hold true. Though I won't write off the chance that this just may be her personality and have nothing to do with her size.

I am really loving my cloth diapers on her. Jeremiah was closer to 9 months before I started him in cloth. These little diapers and covers are SO teeny and such a breeze! Cloth diapering couldn't be easier. Savannah still isn't a fan of any kind of diaper change. I'll admit that I've partially undressed her a few times just to be reminded that she does have a set of lungs. I just love her little wails! She calms instantly when she's swaddled back up afterwards. We could not be any more blessed to have the children that we do.


Happy Birthday Savannah!

Our sweet Savannah is finally in our arms. I had an appointment yesterday with my OB/GYN at 1:45pm. He set me up with an NST for 20 minutes to monitor contractions and follow the baby's heart rate. Though he wanted to induce me at 39 weeks, I declined. I really wanted this little girl to come on her own time. At my appointmet yesterday, I was 40 weeks 4 days along and decided to have him strip my membranes. Since I was already past my due date, almost 5cm dilated, and 25% effaced, there was a chance it would 'stir things up' and get labor started within the next 48 hours. After the appointment, Mike and I took a nice long walk through Arbor Hills. It was beautiful! The kids and I had been to the playground there once beforehand, but this was the first I'd been on the trails. We walked for almost an hour and a half. Throughout our walk, my contractions were becoming more frequent and gradually more intense. I wasn't in any pain, but since we were timing them 2-5 minutes apart, we decided to check ourselves into Labor & Delivery. I'm so glad we did! We got to the hospital at 4:00pm and active labor started at 4:30pm. By 5:00pm I was 6cm dilated and 50% effaced. My contractions were then consistently 1-3 minutes apart and getting stronger.

At 6:03pm Dr Endelman broke my water. He gave me 30 minutes to continue laboring on my own, but instructed the nurse to hook me up to Pitocin if I made no further progress. Knowing that I wanted to avoid Pitocin, the nurse waited closer to 45 minutes before checking me again. Thankfully, by that time (around 6:45pm) I had dilated to 7cm and was 80-90% effaced! Yay for no Pitocin! I decided to try the IV pain killer as the contractions were quite strong. I had never tried this form of pain killer during labor with Brooklyn and Jeremiah. It was supposed to just take the edge off. It made me a little drowsy and allowed me to rest my body a little more in between contractions. By 8:00pm, the pain medication had worn off, so I asked the nurse for another dose. It ended up taking longer than I expected for her to get it for me. She had to get consent from my doctor and we were all preoccupied with trying to get the baby to turn her head. She was looking up instead of down, and it was preventing my cervix from fully dilating and causing my contractions to 'couple' (back-to-back contractions, followed by a about a 4 minute lull...repeatedly). By 9:00pm she had my pain medication ready but needed to check my cervix one last time. We were all surprised to find that I was completly dilated and ready to push (and also too late for another dose of pain killer). One problem - they had yet to call the doctor in because he was 20 minutes away! Those 20 minutes were, by far, the longest part of labor. Though I had an irresistable urge to push, the nurse was instructing me to wait until the doctor got there. Needless to say, the baby's head was crowning as the doctor came into the room at 9:20pm. Three contractions later, our beautiful Savannah Kate entered the world at 9:28pm, weighing 9lb 12oz and 21.5" long!


Daddy Got a Pull-up Bar!

Mike has been especially focused on preparing for Basic Training these days. He's been doing a lot of running, push-ups, sit-ups...and now pull-ups! He 'splurged' with some of his birthday money and ordered this really neat pull-up bar that fits right in the doorway. I'm not sure who has more fun with it - Brooklyn or Mike.

Jeremiah has gotten up there to hang on it a couple of times, but is much more content with playing cars (and flexing for the camera!).


"Nap Time"

For quite some time now, Brooklyn has let go of her afternoon nap, and replaced it with "quiet time". This is a wonderful opportunity for her to let her little mind wander, color pictures, listen to music, play with her baby dolls...and the list goes on. For some reason, as of lately, Jeremiah has also now stopped napping and chooses to play with his cars or 'too too twains' instead. Surprisingly, he still manages to keep up his energy until 7:30 bedtime every night! I go in to get the kids from their quiet time at 2:30pm every afternoon and this is how I found Jeremiah today...
...sound asleep!


In the Sprinkler

I know this is Texas, but I still never thought I would hear myself saying that we were playing in the sprinkler on November 1st! The high was about 79 yesterday, so we turned on the sprinkler for the kids while Mike grilled dinner. Brooklyn had her newest favorite toy (her umbrella) dancing through the "rain" with her. What a sight. We truly are blessed to be parenting such amazing children.