Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oliver: 2 months...and Thanksgiving!

Mr. Oliver turned 2 months on the 25th and he could not be any cuter; he is such a happy baby even though my mom would argue it looks like he'll be a "serious man". Oliver is now smiling on demand and discovering the world around him; he has recently started following sounds and voices and recognizes some faces (especially mine! LOL). His sleep habits have definitely improved as he is now pulling 5 hour stretches more consistently and is easier to put down at night; that's not to say, of course, that he doesn't cry like a manic when he's hungry, but it's better for sure... I would still say his "witching hour" comes every other night when he decides that 11pm-midnight is a good time to "party"... we still enjoy it, though because he is so adorable (lucky for him!). 
Life with 3 kids even though hectic, has proven to be more exciting than not; I am proud to say that we are now very well adjusted to our new normal and have grown to love the idea. I'm not going to lie, hauling a newborn (and all his stuff!) around is no joke, but it isn't as much of a hassle as I pictured it to be. 
Oliver is now 13lbs 8oz (what Gaby weighed at 5 months!) and eats like a manic every 2 hours (or even less!).  We are still successfully and exclusively breastfeeding and that's one of the biggest accomplishments in the baby front! He's cuddly and chunky and everything a cute baby can be! :)

This week, Oliver also celebrated his first Thanksgiving (his first "first" holiday). He looked oh so adorable in his special Thanksgiving outfit and bib and of course he was the life of the party! :)

..and of course, I couldn't leave my 2 beauties out; they are such blessings and such good sisters to the baby.  We are so lucky to be parents to these amazing children!

On Thanksgiving day, Olivia came up with the cutest idea. She made a paper turkey and asked me to help her cut out some "feathers". She then asked every friend and family member to write what they were thankful for on their little feather and put them all on her adorable turkey. She was so adamant about everyone writing something because, after all, we are all so "blessed" (her own words!). I just love to see what a beautiful person she is, inside and out, and it's these little things that warm my heart and fill me with joy. 
Here are some pictures of her little project...

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday and as we get ready for Christmas, let's not forget to keep the thanks beyond Thanksgiving and throughout the year!
Happy Blogging! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

10 years!

Yesterday marked 10 years since Iggy and I said "I do" in front of God and our loved ones.
It's hard to believe 10 years have passed and so many memories have been made.
Here we are raising 3 amazing kids as a team and learning from each other every day.
When people are young, they always imagine what their perfect partner would be like, what kind of family they'll have and how many dreams will come true..
In my case, my dreams came true when I met Ignacio and they keep coming true as we walk in this life together; granted things aren't always *perfect* but I'd say they're pretty close to it.
He's an amazing father and incredibly considerate husband, always looking for ways to make me happy and help me out. We have a beautiful life together and I thank God every day for him and our family. Words cannot express how much love I have for him and sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe he's really mine.
10 years is only the beginning and I can't wait to see what life has in store for us.
Happy Anniversary, my love! Here's to the next 100! 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

A few months ago I decided to grow out my hair with the goal of donating some of it to some sort of organization that made wigs for cancer patients. When I set out on this mission, I honestly didn't know much about the process, how much hair I needed to cut or even who would really benefit from my donation; heck I didn't even know how long it would take for my hair to grow that much or if I would even put up with the growth if/when it happened!
So... fast forward to almost a year later and my hair was getting annoyingly long; it would take me a while to brush and untangle it and once I had the baby, he would pull it while I was breastfeeding. I will, however, admit to the fact that I got a lot of compliments on my "beautiful" long hair and did enjoy the versatility of such length. 
But the time came to make the cut and I decided to donate 8 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that makes wigs for female cancer patients (any kind of cancer). In the process, I learned that many organizations that claim to help cancer patients actually don't give wigs to such people but rather favor patients with alopecia and other hair loss related conditions instead. 
I chose this particular program because of the simplicity of the donation process and also because it was the one that required the least amount of hair (8 inches), so I thought it'd be much easier to part ways with less hair when the time came...

On November 8th, I decided to make the jump and have my hair cut;  I went to the hair salon and specifically asked the lady to cut off 8 inches of hair and so she did...and then some... I somehow ended up with a 12 inch pony tail in my hand and a shorter than expected hair do! oh well! hair grows back, right?

I will say that cutting my hair for a donation was way more emotional than I expected. For some reason I felt sad and then guilty for feeling sad.  I am still trying to get used to my new look, which I didn't love right away (I still don't love it!), but I am happy to have checked this off my bucket list!
And to anyone looking to help cancer patients, please check out one of these hair donations programs and cut some hair off!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oliver: 1 month

Our baby boy turned 1 month a few days ago and even though life with 3 kids is extremely hectic, I can't let his 1st month go unnoticed in the blogging department.
Oliver is such a cute baby, lucky for him because if he wasn't so adorable I don't know how I'd deal with his crazy sleep "schedule"; he is basically ALL OVER THE PLACE with his habits...sleeps whenever, eats whenever. Of course the whole thing is my own fault but I don't see how I can get a baby this young on a routine, especially with breastfeeding "on demand" and all. (Suggestions are always welcome!)
People ask me all the time "how is having a boy different from having girls?"; well... my answer to that is the eating! OMG.. this baby boy wants to eat ALL day long, sometimes I feel like my boobs are going to fall off with all that sucking. Aside from that, the boy and girl thing doesn't feel so different...YET!
Oliver weighs 10lbs 8oz and is 22 in long; he has gained almost 3lbs since birth and is totally healthy. His neck strength is pretty impressive and he has already rolled from belly to back a few times (talk about a precocious child!).  He loves showers, breastfeeding, music and especially loves his sisters. The few smiles he has graced us with were all a result of him looking at Olivia; he is completely fascinated by her and it melts my heart; the bond they show with their itty bitty brother is just so adorable.
Oliver was diagnosed with reflux and thankfully he was given medication for it; it seems to be improving slowly so hopefully he will start sleeping longer stretches since he will be more comfortable, or so I hope! The longest sleep stretch so far has been 3 and a half hours, he basically wakes up and goes from perfectly content baby to starving monster in about 30 seconds time! Currently he is sharing a bed with us (I swore that would NEVER happen at our house! LOL) and loves being held and cuddled.. people say we're "spoiling" him and I say "what the heck!"...he's so cute I can't stand it! ;)
Happy 1 month, baby boy! We love you and you are the missing piece we never knew was even missing in our family! Thank you, God for such a wonderful baby!

Monday, October 26, 2015

7 years of blogging!

THE blog is 7 years today! I can't believe it has been that long since I started journaling our family life...
It is SO much fun to document all the adventures we have and even better to read all posts later and reminisce about the good times.
Sometimes people assume that bloggers post for "likes" or followers; some others find it boring or even narcissistic to blog, but the truth is that life is a collection of memories and keeping them organized in a blog is the best idea out there, along with pictures and what not.
I know this year hasn't been too active in the blogging department for me, but now that the baby is here and we're adjusting to our new "normal", I will do my best to keep up the writing!
Thanks for everyone who has followed my blog during the past 7's fun sharing thoughts and ideas with loved ones!

Happy Blogging! and Happy Birthday, blog! :) 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oliver's Birth Story

On my previous post I wrote about the few incredibly challenging weeks towards the end of the pregnancy and about how the pain really made it difficult to enjoy the journey and see the silver lining, so it's only fitting that I start this post where I left off the other...
As I was trying to fight through the challenges, I convinced my doctor to schedule me for an elective induction at 39 weeks gestation; he agreed and everything was set for September 23rd; at this point I was happy to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel but the night before the BIG day I got a call from the hospital to tell me the induction had been cancelled because there were too many "real" emergencies at the hospital.  Needless to say I was super bummed and incredibly upset; after all I had gone through how could this people be so insensitive to my needs??!? But that is life and I had to suck it up. 
On Thursday, September 24th I went to my 39 week appointment to check on the baby and follow routine since the induction had been cancelled. I was still in a lot of pain so the nurse practitioner referred me to the hospital to get an IV pain medication because at this point, I could barely function with so much sciatica pain and she felt it wasn't fair to keep me waiting in suffering! (Thank you, Laura!). 
I got to the hospital on Thursday at 7pm and went straight to Labor & Delivery triage, where they hooked me up to monitors to check on the baby (he was perfectly fine, of course) and ran a few tests including an NST and a biophysical ultrasound.  They set me up in a room and I was given pain meds (Nubain) on an IV; I finally felt some relief and decided to rest a bit. 
A nurse came in shortly after and told me she had orders to start a Cervidil induction; even though my cervix was already soft at this point the doctor thought it'd be a good idea to use the gel and maybe the contractions would just start without the need for any other meds...and they were right! 
After just a few hours of the Cervidil, my contractions started and I was ready to get the show on the road. Within a few hours I was dilating fast and easy and sure enough begging for an epidural because I was SO DONE with pain at this point. 
The epidural process was long and hard because I couldn't sit still due to my severe sciatica issues; at one point I thought I wouldn't be able to get it and was preparing myself to go through labor without anesthesia (thank God that wasn't the case!)
Shortly after I got the epi, my doctor came in and broke my water and that's when things got REALLY exciting; I progressed from 6cm to 10cm in a matter of two hours and was ready to get the baby out! I did have some nausea and vomiting throughout the labor process but nothing too bad. 
Around 6:40pm I started to push and after 20 minutes the baby was out!
Oliver Gabriel was born exactly at 7pm on Friday 09/25 weighing 7lbs 11oz and measuring almost 20 inches. He didn't cry right away, which was a little scary, but apparently the little guy had swallowed some fluid on his way out and was given a little oxygen upon arrival. 

When they put him on my chest, it felt like my world was now complete! I had a piece of the puzzle which I never knew had been missing and Ignacio and I just looked at each other and cried like babies. It was such an emotional and heartfelt moment.  All the doubts about my ability to love this baby instantly disappeared and everything just felt right.  He was so perfect and beautiful and we were overjoyed with so many emotions!

The hours following the labor and birth are really fuzzy. I know we got a few visitors (mainly family), I know the baby ate and cried, I know I cuddled and kissed him like there was no tomorrow and then the sleepless nights and days started...and we're at it!

The girls met him within a few hours of birth and my heart never felt so full!
We're now a family of 5 (wow!) and settling into our new "normal". 
Oliver is such a good baby; he eats a lot and loves mommy's boobs more than anything.  We are spoiling him rotten and are so thankful to God for this little miracle!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Back to blogging with an overwhelming amount of updates!

After a 2-month blogging hiatus, I am happy to be back to the "Blogosphere" with an overwhelming amount of updates that are certainly overdue. I have said many times before that the reason I keep a blog is for my kids to read when they are older, so I owe it to them to keep up with all these stories as I am sure they will enjoy reminiscing about their childhood as they grow up!
Truth is, my absence from blogging wasn't voluntary, but rather the result of two VERY MISERABLE months, where my pregnancy ailments were so unbearable I was on bedrest and unwilling to even open up a computer... it sucked... it really sucked!

The kids ended the summer with a bang at the tennis/golf camp, which they enjoyed tremendously just like very year. They even got medals and special mention awards at the end of camp party.. it was fun!

In mid-August, I had a great baby shower hosted by my mom and sister. My closest friends got together to celebrate the impending arrival of our baby. It was an amazing afternoon and I will always cherish the memories!

At the end of August, the kids started school again; they are now in 1st and 3rd grade and I, of course, can't believe how fast time flies and how little I can do about it.  It's such a joy to see my two little girls turn into little ladies and discover the world through their own eyes. They were certainly excited to go back to school and see their friends.  It was quite the busy week! Here they are on their first day of school! :)

Now on to the pregnancy misery summary.  The Monday after my baby shower, my sciatica pain got unbearable and I started having mild contractions and pelvic pain. Just when I thought the pain couldn't get any worse, it just kept worsening by the day...I went to the hospital and was sent to L&D triage, where I was treated so poorly all I wanted to do was cry; somehow after I was sent home, my pain got even worse and it all went downhill from there.  I went on bedrest and spent the last 4-5 weeks basically crying every night with horrible leg cramps. My husband had to cancel every single business trip that came his way and I could barely stand. I was starting to get so depressed of how dysfunctional I was; I couldn't even shower alone, or go to the bathroom; it felt like my family was falling apart because I couldn't even leave my room to be a mother and a wife.  
The very few times I managed to leave the house I had to use a wheelchair and rely on anyone who was able to give me a little bit of help.  I started to resent the baby and fear my labor; I questioned if I could even love the baby after he had made me so miserable for so many weeks.  Everything bothered me; every time he kicked, every doctor's appointment, every phone call, every visitor.. I was in such a dark place and I am thankful for all the prayers that were lifted up in my name! I'm glad the worst part is over. 
Here's my last belly picture, taken on one of those rare "good" days I had towards the end of the pregnancy. 

..and here's a bonus picture, taken during one of my triage visits...the not so pretty side of the journey. 

My next post will be about Oliver's birth story and how I finally overcame all the darkness that surrounded the last few weeks of my pregnancy.  It's not always rainbows and butterflies and it's important to know that everyone has bad days even during the happiest of times!

Happy Blogging! ;)