Dear Grayson,

We don’t mean to be rude, but….what are you? We just don’t get it. For months and months, Mommy and Daddy would tell us, “Your brother is coming; he will be here soon. Aren’t you excited?” Sure, we were excited…to get another DOG. We honestly thought we were getting a puppy- another furry creature who would play with us in the backyard, chase us around the house, and in general just add to the chaos that we work so hard to create around here.

But then you showed up. And it’s not like we were prepared. Daddy rushed us to the car one evening- didn’t even get to say goodbye to Mommy- and we headed off to Waggin’ Tails. We love Waggin’ Tails, but we were there a LONG time. They brought us a blanket with your smell on it one afternoon- this was our first clue that you weren’t exactly the puppy we’d been expecting. You smell nothing like a puppy.

When we finally got to come home, Daddy brought us in one at a time to meet you. Although they tried to pretend they weren’t nervous, we saw right through that. What’s up with that? It’s not like we wanted to eat you or anything. Plus, we were way more excited to see Mommy than you anyway (no offense, dude).

Yeah, you are definintely not a puppy. You haven’t been outside to play with us even once! In fact, it’s almost like you don’t even know we are here. At first, you were very quiet, but the past few days you have become more and more noisy. I guess we are teaching you something- if you want something around here, you have to use your vocal chords! But again, you are different than us. When we are noisy, Mommy and Daddy get very annoyed with us and a lot of times put us outside. When you are noisy, they pick you up, sing to you, and shove something in your mouth with white stuff inside and you suck it down. That always seems to make you happy.

You have changed everything around here. We aren’t saying it’s totally a bad thing though- Mommy is home all day with us, which we like. No, we don’t get quite the undivided attention we used to before you came along, but we are adjusting. We have overheard Mommy tell several people that we have been angels- how about that! Also it’s obvious that Mommy and Daddy completely adore you and think you are the most wonderful thing in the world, so we are working on feeling that way too. They keep telling us to wait until you are a little older and you will be so much fun for us. Umm…we are skeptical on that one, but we’ll keep hoping! Will you really be able to play in the backyard with us someday? Take us to the park and throw sticks in the water for us to fetch? Feed us food under the table? (yeah, don’t tell Mommy we said that one- she won’t be happy).

So you aren’t a puppy, and we aren’t quite sure you are a human, but whatever you are, it’s obvious you aren’t going anywhere. So we will continue to make the best of the current situation- promise.

Love,
Chloe, Gabby, Hank and Izzy

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1 Month!

Grayson is one month old today! He weighs 7 pounds, 2 ounces and has outgrown most of his “preemie” clothes. We are still very much in newborn diapers, and have already had to buy more (grrr…I stocked up on diapers big time during the pregnancy and followed the advice to not buy too many newborn size because we wouldn’t need them long…).He is still a very chill baby and thankfully is very easy to soothe when he gets upset. Usually the only time he fusses is when he’s hungry or wants to be held (which I’m realizing is pretty much all the time!). Our big milestone this week is he’s been sleeping in the bassinet at night so I’ve been able to sleep in my bed again- finally! For weeks after we got home from the hospital I slept on the couch so I could get up every 2 hours for the feedings without waking Ryan. Now that G is a little bigger, I’ve been letting him wake me up when he’s ready to eat at night- so far it’s every 3 hours like clockwork.

Most of the day, Grayson is either sleeping or eating, but when he’s awake, I’ve been trying to “play” with him. We do tummy time, and he’s still rolling over every time. We listen to music and read books. We’ve been on several outings- yesterday we visited our friend Klare at her kolache shop, today we went to the bank with Grandaddy, and we’ve been up to Waggin’ Tails several times to take and pick up Hank at daycamp. Grayson is really good in the car and I hope that continues!

I am excited to see what Grayson’s second month holds- I can’t wait until he starts smiling at us!

Settling In

Future Genius

Grayson will be 4 weeks old tomorrow! I finally feel like we are somewhat getting settled, not that we have any real routine. I feel like our days and nights are just never ending feedings, diaper changes and cuddles, but that’s ok. It’s been strange for me- I’m so used to having a million things to do, at least 2 jobs, and right now Grayson is my only real “job”. I’ve really had to force myself to rest during the day- the “sleep when they sleep” concept is harder than it seems! I really am not sleepy during the day- but when 7:00 hits- wham! Unfortunately, that’s when Ryan gets home from work, and I’m not very chipper or talkative- poor guy.

With Grandaddy- so sweet

The dogs have been absolute ANGELS. For the most part, they leave Grayson alone and leave me alone when I am holding him. When he is not in my arms, the girls are all over me, and I am trying to make them feel just as loved as before. Hank has been so calm in the house- he is spending more time outside, but with the weather being so good, I think he is enjoying it. Whenever he comes in the house, he always goes to the pack n’ play to check on his brother (whether or not G is in it!) Izzy and Hank have both discovered pacifiers- sigh. So far they’ve just played with them, and not destroyed any ot them, thank goodness. I am so thankful that my sweet little fur-babies are adjusting so well.
Hank loved having my brothers visit- he took any attention he could get!
Grayson is doing fantastic, and is just the sweetest little guy. I bought a baby scale for peace-of-mind, and this morning after eating he weighed in at 7 pounds 1 ounce!
We are doing tummy time every day, and on Sunday, Grayson decided he could do this….Yes, we have a little over-acheiver on our hands! I love it!
Grayson also seems to love music, so this morning I pulled out my CDs from years and years ago- we listened to the Lion King soundtrack and sang along to Hakuna Matata.
Overall, I love being a stay at home mom so far! I don’t miss teaching at all (although I do miss my teacher friends a lot!) but I do really miss working at Waggin’ Tails. Thankfully, I am going to be doing work for them from home which I am really excited about. I’m so thankful that I am able to stay home with Grayson, and I am determined to enjoy every stage. 

Bedhead!

Grayson

Here is the story of the past 3 weeks of my life…it’s been a wonderful, scary, emotional, incredible ride. Warning: This is a long story.

Exactly three weeks ago at about 7:10 PM my life changed forever. I was sitting on the couch, surrounded by my dogs, watching Kate + 8 and waiting for Ryan to get home from work. The dogs know the sound of his truck so when they hear him pull in, they always run to the door to greet him. So they all jumped off the couch, barking, and I shifted a little. My water broke.

Ryan wanted to go to the hospital right away, but I was wandering around the house in a little bit of shock. After my doctors appointment the past Friday, I was convinced I was going to have to be induced on my due date, more than 2 weeks away. I wasn’t ready- the house was a mess, I was a mess (I’d been cleaning/painting all day- which I know, everyone says is “nesting” and I shouldn’t have been surprised about what happened- I just think I needed to clean and paint), and what were we going to do with the dogs? So I called my doctor, and she reassured me I had time to finish packing and shower. I called Denise at WT and she was so wonderful about letting Ryan bring the dogs that evening. It was so weird- I knew it was time and I had to go to the hospital, but I wasn’t having any contractions, pain, anything. Just leaking.

We finally packed the car and headed to the hospital- I think we got there sometime around 9 PM. The checked me out and determined that yes, in fact, my water did break (duh) but I wasn’t dilated or effaced. Again, I felt totally normal. The hospital called my doctor with that information and she told them to start me on pitocin. Well, after that, so much for feeling normal! The contractions started quickly and got painful quickly. I got an IV of pain meds which really helped for a few hours and I was able to sleep some. But then that wore off and the pain got really intense. But then I got my miracle, the epidural. Yeah, it’s pretty much amazing. You feel nothing. It did make me sick to my stomach and I puked a few times, but after those contractions, I really was ok with that.



5 lbs, 7 oz and a head full of hair!



All night they had been telling me that I was still hours and hours away- based on how I was progressing the nurse predicted I would go until about 10 or 11 AM. However, about 5:45 she checked me and- well, Grayson was ready to come! After that everything went really quickly. My doctor came and I started pushing somewhere about 6 AM. It was not bad- just physically tiring, but again, I felt nothing! At 6:27 AM, my beautiful, perfect little Grayson was born. I remember them saying how tiny he was and how much hair he has- 2 things that have been repeated over, and over, and over the past few weeks. Ryan cut the cord and they plopped him on my chest. Wow.



Ready to go home!



We had a good few days in the hospital- lots of visitors and excitement. Considering the circumstances, I really felt pretty good and was able to enjoy Grayson and my family. We got home Friday afternoon and thought we were going to settle into our new life at home…
The weekend was fun- Saturday we hung out at home, and Sunday we took Grayson to my parents’ house to watch football with Daddy and Grandaddy while my mom and I went to the baby shower that was supposed to be before Grayson arrived- we only stayed an hour, but it was so fun to see friends and show them pics of my little guy.



Nurse taking temp at the doctor



Monday- Ryan went back to work, and we had a great morning- my mom was with me, and we gave Grayson his first bath, had a visitor, and then after lunch took Grayson for his newborn checkup at the pediatrician. I brought my camera and took some pictures thinking they would be fun to put in his baby book. I had NO idea that everything wasn’t fine. We stripped G down and put him on the scale. He was down to 4 pounds 9 ounces and I could tell the nurse was concerned. My pediatrician then told me she might re-admit us to the hospital for a few days to monitor his eating and weight gain. I immediately started crying-I had no idea he wasn’t getting enough food. Then they took his temperature- twice. It was below 95 degrees, and then they were very concerned. Change of plan- we needed to go to the ER in Katy, immediately. I remember the doctor saying they needed us to go to Texas Children’s but there wasn’t time for us to get there. I was terrified- thank God my mom was with me. She called Ryan and he immediately left work and met us at the ER. For the next few hours, my brand new baby was under a warmer being poked, pricked and stuck too many times to count. He was surrounded by nurses, who were so wonderful and let us be near him and ask questions. They tried several times to get urine from a cathedar but weren’t able to because Grayson was so dehydrated. Then the ER doctor had us sign off for him to have a spinal tap. So scary. They actually weren’t able to do the spinal tap effectively at the ER, but he did have to have one later that evening.



My little trooper



Second homecoming



A few hours later, Grayson and I took his first (and hopefully last, at least for a looong time) ambulance ride to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Med Center and he was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Again, more IV’s, monitors, blood samples, and cathedars. The next few days we spent at his bedside (2 at a time) waiting on blood and spinal tap test results, feeding him (pumped breastmilk and formula), and praying that he would be ok and we could go home soon. We were in the PICU for 3 days and a regular room for 2 days. Finally, all but one of his tests came back negative for infection. The one that came back positive was a urine test, but the doctor said they weren’t able to get a sterile sample from a cathedar and wasn’t concerned. We were discharged on Friday and got to go home- one week after our first homecoming. This time it was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were optimistic that things were going to be a whole lot better. We are so blessed to have so many people who prayed for us, visited us in the hospital, called, texted and facebooked with their concern and good thoughts. Grayson is one lucky little baby to be so loved.
Sweet baby
So now we’ve been home for over a week. Grayson is doing great- he is eating really well, although his strict feeding schedule is wearing me out- I am SO tired. We’ve been back to the pediatrician twice and are going again on Thursday for another weigh-in. In the past week or so, he’s met most of his aunts and uncles, who completely adore him. His Aunt Rebecca visited from Savannah and took some fabulous newborn pictures, which we will treasure forever. I am really enjoying being home with my little guy, although it is a ton of work and sometimes I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing! Thankfully, my mom has been a huge help- she’s been here almost every day and I could not have made it through the past few weeks without her. I also have wonderful friends who have visited and called, and sometimes just let me cry.
So that’s the story of my first few weeks of motherhood- it’s been a wild ride but my sweet G is worth it all!