Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stayin' Alive . . . Sort Of

We're still alive. Sort of. Henry makes a heck of a lot of noise all the time (it doesn't matter if he's sleepy, happy, sleeping, awake, what-have-you). So, even when he's asleep at night, we can't sleep through all of his crazy chinchilla-like noises (he only nurses about three to four times at night, but we're waking up a lot more than that right now due to those noises). Nora was so quiet compared to this kid. What's more: he never cries unless he's hungry, and at night, he never gets to that point because I'm always right there to grab him immediately (during the day, I'm always tending to Nora, it seems, when he gets to that point—and it's zero to 60 when he does, man. What a wailer!). He just grunts and squeaks a lot. It's quite funny in retrospect, but when we're trying to sleep, it's not so funny. It's a good thing he's such a cute, cuddly, sweet little bugger. It makes it a lot easier to handle. We know that it won't be terribly long before he starts sleeping longer stretches, though. (That's when we tend to move our little loveys into their own rooms. Nora moved out of our room when she was about four months old and sleeping about six hours at night.) That's the beauty of already having done this before. We know there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Nora's getting better with her tantrums. She's not perfect by any means, but she's adjusting to Henry pretty well. In fact, she's started being really sweet to him. She asks about him all the time (I need to record her saying his name), and she pets him. She lets him hold her penguin when he's upset, etc. She's really sweet with him (and more careful about making sure she doesn't step on him or put her weight on him when she's climbing around him while he's laying on one of us). So, we're getting there! She'll be a wonderful big sister yet. We're working really hard to make sure she's getting lots of good, positive attention. I think it's really helping.

Plus, Nora's vocabulary and understanding is just completely exploding all of the time. It's so awesome to see. Every day, she says something new, and she seems to understand so much more than she did the day before. It's so cool to watch her grow up into such a neat, little person (with her own quirks and personality).

I got a chance to upload some photos and videos today. I managed to fill up the memory card this time, but the bulk of that memory was used up on Henry's video (see below).

I swear she's not smooshing his belly here like it would appear. She's actually quite careful about now squishing him now.

Darn that shadow in the lower-left corner!

And now for some videos:

The end!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hannah Joy

Friends Paige and Josh Larsen welcomed their precious Hannah Joy into the world today. I am thinking of them and praying for them.

This was Josh's status message on facebook, and I can't help but get seriously misty while reading it:

I Samuel 2:1-10


Email from Willis

Jennifer -

The main reason I asked how things were going was to see if the house was suffering from this -


My response:

Hahaaaa!!! Good stuff. We're always suffering from that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Preview of Maggie's Awesomeness

Maggie took pictures of my kiddos on Friday morning. Here's a little preview of the awesomeness that is about to come once she gets the session edited. I'm so excited!


I'm always amazed that she can get a photo of this kid that isn't blurry. This girl never sits still!

Nora and Henry

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nora Gets a Big Potty Seat Adapter

We're not really trying to potty train Nora just yet (she's only 20 months old), but I wanted to get the proper tools to encourage her if, by some miracle, she actually would want to train early. More recently, I realized that I'd probably have to get an actual toilet seat adapter instead of hoping that she'd use the Little Tikes potty chair (she seems to think that the potty chair is for storing things like crayons and the occasional penguin). I'm thrilled that she was excited enough to hang out on the big potty once I got this adapter out. Check it:

Facebook video link.
Fun times!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Terrible Twos

Um. Yep. We're there.

Recent Pics of the Kiddos

Here are some recent pics of the kids. It's so sad how many of these end up blurry, and I have no idea until I upload them.

Flickr album.

I tried napping with the kids this afternoon, and I didn't snooze long (not sure if it's still discomfort from delivery, outside noise, or what—maybe all of those things?). They're still asleep at the moment, and I think I'm going to try to snooze a little more until they wake up.

Oop. Maybe not. I just heard Nora fussing.

Dilly out!

I Spoke Too Soon

Wow. I spoke too soon about Nora's night waking. She definitely woke up twice last night.

Hardcore, man.

Willis went in there both times, and he got her to go back to sleep each time. I'm just not sure why she keeps waking. I'm guessing at this point that it's totally attention-related, and that's pretty sad (we've ruled out the diaper the past few times now). I just hope it doesn't stick.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Am Toast

Nora totally just said, "I love you."

I doubt she has any idea what it means, but it's still pretty sweet nonetheless.

I'll have more pictures to upload soon! (I'm still really bad at taking very many, though.)

We're still doing well over here. Henry isn't sleeping more than two hours at a time, but at least Nora hasn't woke in the night for two nights (Daddy went in to take care of her two nights ago, and since then, she's not woke during the night).

Nora has been telling us when she has a dirty diaper lately. If only we could, like, get her to be interested in putting that in the toilet . . . I think we're so far from being ready for that, unfortunately. It's nice that she tells us, now, though. Sometimes she has stealthy diapers that are dirty, and I don't realize they're dirty until I decide to change it (once every two or three hours). She typically will have a rash by then.

The Bergrens suggested a diaper rash powder that seems to be the only thing that is helping with Nora's rash issues. It's a powder called Caldesene. It comes in a pink bottle, and I have only found it at CVS. I think it must have a cooling sensation, too. Nora really seems to like it.

Gotta run!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flyin' Solo with Two Kiddos

Today is Willi's first day back to work since Henry was born. I thought I'd be a useless puddle of goo all day (I seriously expected to, like, cry and freak out), but everything seems to be going pretty well so far. While the kiddos are napping, I thought I'd take this opportunity to upload the photos and videos from the camera. (I had a little coffee this morning, so I couldn't nap today while Nora napped. That was originally in the plans, but I couldn't help myself with the coffee. Last night wasn't a good sleep night in this house. Both kids totally woke up again—not that Henry is a surprise with that right now.)

I've already noticed that I am taking much less photos and videos than I did when Nora was little. I'm just too lazy to go grab the camera (which is usually just across the room). I'm a bad girl.

Here's the first-ever video of Henry.

In other news, Maggie is going to be taking pictures of Henry on Friday! I'm so excited!

In other other news, Nora's vocabulary has just exploded lately. She's been saying all kinds of things. I need to get some of this action on video. She even knows some numbers! She brought me some magnetic numbers off the fridge the other day, and she told me what the numbers were (four, six, and five). I have only gone over numbers with her once (I took her over to the library one day before Henry was born, and we went over numbers on a wooden puzzle). She's also starting to figure out colors, too. It's wild!

She also knows lots of sounds for animals. It's neat to see her playing with an animal and making the noise that it makes. She's so funny about it.

Nora says things like:
  • "Okay, Daddy."
  • "Mootie!" (She says this when she wants to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.)
  • "Henry."
  • "Baby."
  • If Henry cries, she goes, "Aww. Baby?"
  • "Ducky! Quack!"
  • She says, "Please," now (not just signing)!
  • "Mote." (That's her word for remote control.)
  • "On." (That's when she wants the TV on.)
  • "Off." (That's for when she turns the TV off.)
  • "I see you!" (She says this clear as a bell, and she just started doing it this weekend.)
  • "Nigh-Night!" (She says this when she goes to bed and when she's playing in her little house downstairs—she actually lays down in the house and pretends to go to sleep.)
  • "Poopy." (She says this and points to her diaper when she's poopy now. If only I could get her to go in a potty!)
  • "Hurt." (She says this and points to wherever she hurts now. It's kind-of sad.)
  • "Help!" (She's been saying this one for awhile, but I'm amazed that she actually will ask for help instead of freaking out and throwing a tantrum first.)
  • "Snack!"
  • "Nana!" (Both for banana and her actual Nana.)
  • "Malk! Juice!" (She requests these all the time, every day.)
  • "Uh uh." (It sounds like she's saying "no" with this, but she's actually saying "yes." I'm working with her to actually say, "Yes," now, and I think she's going to get it.)
Nora also says a few words strangely. For example, instead of saying the word, "Flag," she says the "f" word. It used to be the three-letter "f" word, but now, it's morphed into the four-letter "f" word. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm working on her with that, too. Another example of a word she says strangely is, "Blueberries." For that, she says, "Boobies."

You can imagine the looks we get when she requests those in public. Teehee! It's a good thing we're not out in public much right now.

We're having fun! I wish Willis could stay home with us all the time, though. It was neat having him here with our two little rats.

Alright. I need to figure out how I'm going to go get the Chevy from the shop that's on the opposite end of our block. It just got some new tires. Catch you kids later!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Willi's Corrections to Henry's Arrival Story

Willis read my blog after I posted it, and he informed me that some of my timings are a little off. I wasn't surprised. With his help, I'm listing the corrections below:

My September 2nd, Wednesday morning contractions were actually 6-7 minutes apart—not the 10 minutes apart that I had said before. Whoops. That's kind-of a big deal.

On September 3rd, I had actually been 7-8 centimeters since about 2 p.m. when the nurse suggested breaking my water around 5 p.m. Dr. Ellis broke my water around 6 p.m., and I had the urge to push around 7 p.m. At about 7:30 (or close to 8 p.m.), they allowed me to try to push once. My cervix wasn't completely dilated at that time, though. So, after that, they made me wait until 9 p.m. to push again.

(What's funny here is that the nurse left when she said I couldn't push, and I got rather angry. Willis says that I was saying things like, "Where the hell is she?")

(It turns out, she was probably just hiding out of the room so that I couldn't scream at her to let me push. Willis told me she was getting Dr. Ellis. Smart guy.)

Willis also says that the nurse didn't suggest that I squat. She just thought I should stand next to the bed for a few contractions. Willis posed the question, "So, is she going to squat then?" and before she could answer him, I hopped off the bed and went to town, apparently. Hilarious. I didn't realize it went like that.

Good stuff!

The Story of Henry's Arrival

Before I forget, I want to document the whole labor/delivery process with Henry. I will warn you: there may be a bit too much information for those who have weakish stomachs. Proceed with caution.

Wednesday morning (September 2nd) at about 2:30 a.m., I woke up with some decent contractions. They were about 10 minutes apart, and they lasted anywhere from about 30-60 seconds. I got up, I took a shower, and we timed my contractions for awhile. At about 7 or 8 a.m., the contractions fizzled out after an entire night of consistency, and we were bummed (5-6 hours was a long stinking time for false labor, we thought). We went for a walk that morning, we had some visitors later that morning (my mother-in-law, a cousin, and Willi's grandmother), and after that, I took a nap on the couch. Awhile later, I woke up again with some hard contractions. Those lasted all day long at about 10 minutes apart again—even through my scheduled OB appointment that I had that afternoon.

When Dr. Ellis checked me, he said I was only two centimeters (and still had a long way to go). I wasn't surprised by that. I had a feeling he'd tell me I hadn't made any progress since the previous week (although, I did hope for more progress since my body had been having some pretty awesome contractions for the past twelve plus hours).

As Dr. Ellis left the room that day, he said, "We'll see you at the hospital tonight!"

He's funny like that.

Anyway, I continued to have contractions all day and through the evening. Mom and Dad came up to visit to see if they could watch Nora for us if we needed to head into the hospital, but we never felt like we were ready to go. So, we sent them home. We tried to go to bed for awhile, and then we got up and timed contractions again sometime between 11 and midnight. Around 1 a.m. on September 3rd, we called our neighbor, Bill, and he came over with some pillows and blankets and crashed on our couch (he and Pam had offered awhile back to come over in the middle of the night if I went into labor so that someone could be with Nora here at the house). That was so stinking nice of him.

We got to the hospital around 1:30 a.m. (when my contractions were about five minutes apart and lasting somewhere from 60-90 seconds), and I continued to have contractions all night long. Sometimes, they'd be five minutes apart. Sometimes, they'd be ten minutes apart. They were all around 60-90 seconds the whole time, too. It was weird. They never seemed to get closer together.

Willis and I did everything we could to keep things moving. We'd walk the hallways (I'd stop and lean on him when I'd have a contraction—I got the feeling that the nurses were not used to seeing people do that because several times, we got asked if I was okay). We'd have me bounce on the birthing ball. I'd occasionally go to the bed and sit in the contoured chair position (they wanted to monitor the baby every couple of hours, and by that time, I was usually ready for a break). I would snooze between contractions in that position, and it always helped. Willis snoozed while I would snooze, too, and I think that's how we managed to survive.

Around 5 p.m. on Thursday, the nurse that was taking care of us suggested breaking my water. I was apprehensive when she first started talking about it. I really didn't want any interventions. Then, she went on to explain to me that I was about 6-7 centimeters dilated and that my cervix was really stretchy. She said that she couldn't guarantee that it would help, but she felt pretty strongly that breaking the water would allow the baby to get through (since everything was looking like it was ready to go). If I hadn't already been in labor for so long at that point, I wouldn't have thought about it. I was starting to get concerned that I was going to be too tired to get through it if I was going to be stuck at 6-7 for much longer (I was stuck there for a few hours).

She left Willis and me alone for awhile so we could talk it over. We thought about it for a good while, and then we decided that breaking the water would be acceptable, but we wouldn't allow pitocin or anything like that if they suggested it afterward.

Dr. Ellis came at about 6 p.m., and we allowed him to break my water. After that, I had stronger contractions (same distance apart again—5-10 minutes or so). The next few hours got a lot more intense (contractions were still that far apart, but they were harder and harder). Around 9 p.m., I got a strong urge to push. Unfortunately, they told me that I wasn't ready to push yet (I was apparently only, like, 9 centimeters when I started to want to push). So, I had to struggle through several pushing contractions (Willis will tell you that I started to freak out a little bit: I kept asking where the hell everyone went because I needed to push). Willis said I did pretty well with them, but I know I was on the verge of freaking out. He had to talk me through each one.

Eventually, they let me push (the nurse decided she'd try to push my cervix out of the way again—this happened to me with Nora, too). It was so weird: I fully expected things to feel better once I started to push, but they actually hurt more. It hurt not to push and it hurt to push. It was nuts! We tried a few different positions for pushing, and after about a half hour or 45 minutes of pushing (and not making much progress), the nurse finally suggested letting me squat next to the bed. I said, "Yeah! I'll try that!"

I hopped down next to the bed, and the weirdest thing happened: I had one, long pushing contraction, and I just stood there and pushed and pushed without stopping. A few moments later (and while I was feeling some intense pain), the nurse goes, "Whoa! We need to get you back into the bed!"

Yeah. I was crowning.

Dr. Ellis stumbled into the room, pulling on his scrubs, and after three pushes or so of me being back on the bed, Henry came out (at 9:59 p.m.). Boy . . . he kind-of hurt! I have a new-found respect for women who have had babies that are more than nine pounds! Yowza!

Dr. Ellis tossed Henry onto my belly, and as Henry landed on me, his little hand slapped me in the face. He'd been kicking and punching me from the inside for so long, I guess I wasn't surprised that he would continue that behavior. It was neat.

Henry got cleaned up by a nurse (I was shivering so hard after he was born that I couldn't hold him for awhile—Willis was with him, thank goodness). And after I got my shivers under control, I passed out in the bed I delivered in, I was so tired. Willis had grabbed us some dinner, we ate it hurriedly, and I just passed out. We got Willis a cot this time, too, since we were in the big LDR room. He was ecstatic about that.

When I woke up about an hour later, I realized I needed to get up and shower and whatnot. I called the nurse station to get help (Henry was swaddled in a bassinet next to me, poor guy), and when the nurse came in (Willis had been asleep for just 45 minutes), she told us we had to move. Due to the full moon, there were, like, five new women in labor, and they needed the LDR rooms. We were so bummed: we were really looking forward to recovering in that bigger room. Instead, we got moved to a smaller room (actually, we got moved twice because the bed in the next room was broken). Poor Willi had to sleep on one of those stupid, reclining chairs.

So, after about 24 hours of being in the tiny room, we pushed to get out of the hospital. We were running out of options for Nora's care, and we were not getting any sleep. So, they let us out a day early. We were so glad to get home.

All in all, the labor process lasted for about 44 hours. We were laboring at the hospital for about 22 hours. So, yeah. This whole thing about the second baby being easier is bunk.

That's the story of Henry's arrival! It'll be an event to remember. That's for sure.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Henry's Arrival

I took a moment today to download the photos off of my camera from the past few days. Here's the slide show! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


We finally had a baby! It sure took awhile (labor was a bit, um, longish), but Willis Henry Brown is here!

He was 8 pounds, 12 ounces, and 21 inches long. He was born at 9:59 p.m. (Central Time) on September 3rd.

He's a healthy-lookin' thing, and he's starting to get used to us, we think. Nora doesn't seem to mind him much yet. She has said, "Henry," a couple of times and, "baby."

She seems to be doing well with him being here so far. I hope it stays that way!

He looks almost exactly like Nora did when she was born. It's a bit spooky. I'm hoping to post pics soon once we figure out how to juggle two kids.

Sorry I didn't get many phone calls out (I pretty much only called immediate family when he was born). We also didn't get back over here to post on the internet about it. We did get to come home early from the hospital, though (they wanted us to stay until tonight, but we wanted to get the heck out of there).

Thanks for all of the prayers, thoughts, and flowers, everybody!

And now, we're trying to catch up on life and sleep. Oi.

More info (and photos) will come soon!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


We might actually be having a baby soon! We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Photos, Tomatoes, and Zinnias—Oh, My!

I finally remembered to upload the photos that were sitting on my camera. Here's what Nora's been up to for the later part of her 19 months.

My favorite two pics are the one where she's sitting on the changing table/dresser, getting into stuff and the one that was taken after I made her get off the dresser (the one where she's lying on the floor, screaming between my feet). Good stuff!

She needs a baby brother, already.

In other news, I think we're the only people we know that actually got a decent amount of tomatoes this season (if you can call this a season). We planted Early Girls this year, and they came in August, which is earlier than we've ever had tomatoes come out before. If we'd planted our usual tomatoes, I think we'd have never seen a red one. We've actually had so many that we've canned a few times. We made a couple of jars of salsa (we busted open a jar the other night, and it was actually really good), and we've canned several jars of juice and a couple of jars of just tomatoes. We've got a lot of green tomatoes on the vine right now, and I'll be interested to see what happens with those since it's, like, October out there now. The bottoms of our plants are turning yellow, though (Dad was saying something about that being a nitrogen issue, and we never did get that resolved).

I think we'll be planting Early Girls again next year, too. The other ones always come so late in the season (and by the time we get 'em, we have to worry about frost).

We also have some awesome-looking Zinnias growing right now, too. We're gonna be clipping off those heads in the fall and planting a ton more next spring. They are pretty.

I've got some Mums and Asters on our steps outside, too (we picked those up at our local Garwood Orchard a few weeks ago). The Mums are looking pretty good, but the Asters could kick it up a couple of notches. (I'm having to water them every day because I didn't put them in new pots.) I should get some photos of those. All our plants (and our yard) are looking pretty sweet right now.

Baby Boy Brown is due tomorrow. That's kind-of weird. I don't think he'll be here tomorrow, though.

Still Huge

For those of you out there that don't see me on Facebook or Google Chat, I'm still pregnant. I just thought I'd get that out there for you.

I'm also still phlegmmy (and mostly in the morning—I have an awesome hack-fest for about an hour before I get my red raspberry leaf tea and honey going). It's good times. I'm pretty sure I did this last time I was pregnant, too.


I do have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with my OB (due date), and I fully expect to hear him tell me that there's not been any progress since last week. Not much has been happening with that.

We'll keep you posted, but don't get all anxious on me. I think this kid's gonna take his sweet time.

Dilly out.