Monday, June 29, 2009

One Month!

So we made it through the first month of having 2 kiddos in the house! It is hard to believe that four weeks have already passed, but they have! Joaquin has officially moved into the "cradle cap" phase and is giving me 4 hours between day feedings and usually 6 hours at night! (Although, it hardly seems like those numbers are correct since it takes an hour to feed him, burp him, change a diaper, and pump off the rest for Elijah.) So, those numbers should really be 3 and 5 if I'm being realistic!
I think I am finally starting to get the hang of having 2...that is to say the feeling of balance and not being overwhelmed all the time. Even though having Joaquin has brought on some required adjustments (I've switched from frappuccinos to green tea, Elijah is walking instead of hitching rides on Mommy, our single stroller has been upgraded to a double, no more onions, garlic, or broccoli, I've hired a cleaning service, and our dog, Joni, went from being an indoor dog to an outdoor dog), we have loved getting to know our new little man!
Not everything has changed though. I am still in my beloved maternity clothes. :) I haven't been out of them for 2 years now. But, honestly, they make me feel skinny and my real clothes still make me feel fat, so I have no shame in wearing them until my old clothes can make me feel good about myself again! :) Also, Ian and I are still having our Tuesday "inside date night": our tradition of eating pizza in bed while we watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette (whichever one is in season). I am aware that the show comes on TV on Monday nights, but we don't own a television and so we watch it on the laptop from abc.com on Tuesday nights instead...so don't any of you go telling us what happens ahead of time! And, of course, we are still savoring every day with our boys; learning and laughing constantly!
Cheers to one month!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Swimmin'

Recently, our neighborhood pool opened for the summer, which by the way is the only good reason to pay our HOA fees! Since the opening we've had a few days of 100 degree weather so we were excited to get into that water! Unfortunately for me though, I'm not allowed to soak my tummy for 6 weeks after Joaquin's delivery, so Ian and Elijah get to have all the fun. Therefore, I deemed myself the official videographer to catch the moments of daddy and Elijah in the pool. Here are a few of snippets of the little swimmers... (By the way, thanks Gama and Gampa, Elijah's new swim trunks came in perfect timing!)

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Waving "Hi" to mommy sitting in the shade

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Learning to "kick"

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Daddy


My dad is the best dad in the world! I couldn't imagine having anyone else as my father growing up and now (even though I would still classify myself as "growing up"). It is difficult to sum up or tell someone thank you for all that goes into raising you, but I love that we have a day dedicated to doing just that.
Now that I am a parent I have a new perspective on fathering. It is pretty amazing when any child can grow up and look back and say "yeah, man, my parent's did it right! They were great parents to me!" But that is the case with my upbringing. Ian and I talk about it all the time when we discuss what type of parents / decisions we want to be and make with our boys, and I feel so blessed to have had my particular father as a dad.
I don't know if you will even read this, daddy, but I hope you know you are exactly the kind of parent I want to be. You were/are so good at letting someone blossom into who they are supposed to be and I can see now as a parent what a wise and difficult thing that is to do...to let your kids (encourage your kids) to be themselves, to let their spirits do what they came to earth to do, to take the risks that it requires for us to grow, to try diverse options and realize our opinions and beliefs through the contrast, and so much more.
All those things require such wisdom and strength and trust in God to be able to instill them in others without trying to force your own views/opinions/expectations/desires on them. I admire you so much, daddy, and am so grateful for your constant example. You never told me how to be, unless I asked, but the way you live your everyday life was/is always showing me!
I love you more than all the stars in the sky!


Your Rachel Elizabeth

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Photographer's Motivation...or lack thereof

I realized I just entered another post, but Elijah is sleeping and Joaquin just dozed off, so I've only got a bit of free time and I wanted to USE IT!  

As you all know, I am a photographer.  And, with that, most people assume I would be snapping pictures of my own children every chance I get.  However, as some of you that are artists might also experience, for some reason when your job involves your passion, you somehow loose that desire to "create" when you have free time.  When I am with the kids the last thing that would come to mind is pulling out my "good camera" and taking pictures.  It is funny, I had the same problem when I taught photography and had a key to the darkroom at work.  You think I would have been in there 24-7 working on my own prints, but when I finally did have free-time where I wasn't teaching in the darkroom, I had NO desire to get in there myself!  There is such a weird catch-22 when you use your artistic motivation for work!

All that being said, I knew we needed to take some newborn pics of Joaquin before he got out of the "newborn" phase.  So, late Sunday afternoon Ian and I decided we would take a few of the boys.  However, since we were lacking a bit in motivation, we talked ourselves out of getting out the full backdrop, light-kit, etc.  We thought we could just wing it with a black sheet on the bed and a few props.  (We always seem to do this...thinking it will be easier and less time consuming to just throw it together...WELL IT IS NOT!)  It NEVER is for that matter!  Mommy and Daddy aren't in them because we didn't want to take the time to get all dressed and looking good; the lighting is crappy; I ended up having to crop the heck out of the pictures, props are funky looking, and Joaquin just doesn't look all that cute (although, I promise he really is a good lookin' chap!)  Suffice to say, I wasn't that happy with the results, however I posted a few because I felt like I haven't been showing many pictures of Joaquin since his birth.  So, here you go...our lazy attempt.  I realize now that I will need to do a full blown shoot, like I do with all my clients, the next time I take pictures of the boys.  (I promise I'll do better next time!)












MOMMY'S BUCKSTARS!

My one splurge expunged!

I was devastated to hear Joaquin's pediatrician say the words "caffeine is your culprit" the other day at his 2 week check up! My one life-line since having the two boys has been a morning Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino. And I don't take them lightly. I fully realize that most people do not consume any type of caffeine when they are pregnant or breastfeeding, and I was one of those people with Elijah. But, as those of you with more than one kiddo know, some of those standards we had with the first child simply go out the window when the second comes along. I told myself it was better to have a mother that was awake, than have one comatose mom pure of any caffeine traces.

However, my morning perk was completely denounced when I happened to mention to the pediatrician that Joaquin had been having some greener looking poo instead of the normal breastfeeding mustard yellow stuff (my apologies to those of you that aren't parents or that are just grossed out by that sort of talk...as you may know I am pretty comfortable talking about any subject.) Anyhow, the diagnosis was that the caffeine had been upsetting his tummy and making more of the bile of his stomach show up in the poo. BOOOOOO HOOOOOO!

So, this is the 4th day I've gone without my sweet treat and the first day I've woken up without a pounding caffeine headache! Even though I have needed a mid-day nap these past 4 decaffeinated days, I feel good about the fact that I have been able to get the kids out of bed, diapers changed, clothed, fed, and even out to the park a few times. (We will just let go of all the housework, cooking, birth announcements that need to be made, and other to-do list items, right?)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Curls

Ever since Elijah was born people have been mistaking him for a girl. I know that sounds bad, but I just assumed it was because he had such an angelic face. However, he is now getting blond curls on the back of his head and this makes the mistaken gender even a bit more difficult to handle. Ian has mumbled something about a mullet and brought up a haircut a few times, but I just can't bring myself to do it just yet. I keep telling him it looks like a little surfer boy, but the fact that he isn't tan AT ALL doesn't really go with that image. I don't know....is it horrible to think it is OK for boys to have longer, curlier hair? What do you guys think?


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Double Pumpin'

Hip Hip Hooray for the electric breast pump! It has been pretty much attached to me constantly after the birth of Joaquin. Many of you know that I really wanted to put Elijah back on breast milk because I had to ween him a lot earlier than I wanted when we found out I was pregnant with baby #2. However, I had forgotten just how much time it takes to feed a newborn (about 30 min to an hour with burping and changing). Now that I am also pumping milk for Elijah to drink out of his sippy cup that adds an additional 30 minutes an hour and a half later. This means I am either feeding Joaquin or pumping every hour and a half (except for the night time, when I just try and sleep through the discomfort and refuse to pump).

But, I had no idea how much Elijah would LOVE having breast milk! I wasn't really sure how he would react, but he acts like it is the best thing he has ever tasted. He actually starting throwing a full out fit and aggressively baby signing for "MORE" the other day when the sippy cup was done! It was hilarious!

I have also noticed that his cold/allergies cleared right up as soon as he went back on the breast milk. I know they say how much better breast milk it for the baby, but this was some seriously clear evidence! It was like day and night; one moment a runny nose and cough...the next he was totally dried up and skipping around he was so happy!

I have to say I am a bit worried that we are going to have a little cherub on our hands now, though, because the milk has sooooooooooo much fat in it! Joaquin could use a little plumping up, but Elijah sure doesn't need it. And, I am not sure if it is just me imagining things, but I swear his double chin is starting to be more and more prominent. I guess when it comes down to it, I would rather him be a super healthy cherub than a skinny little sickly thing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Obstacles

So for those of you that have had the pleasure of going under the knife for your child (i.e. C-section), you already know about the long list of doctor's orders with which you arrive home, so many of which aren't realistic! You are NOT allowed to drive--OK, that one isn't too bad since you are on pain meds, you aren't allowed to walk up stairs--difficult when your nursery is on the second floor, you aren't allowed to take a bath--which for some reason you start to crave in order to relax at night after the kids are asleep, and the topper...you aren't allowed to pick up anything heavier than 10 pounds. This was where Ian and I ran into trouble because Elijah is a good 25 pounds now! So, momma can't put Elijah in his high chair to eat; momma can't put Elijah in the bath to get clean, momma can't put him up on the changing table to change his diaper, up to the sink to wash his hands, into his crib to sleep...and the double kicker...momma can't carry him up the stairs to his own bedroom! So basically, if we correctly heed the doctor's orders, momma has to feed and change an unbathed Elijah in the middle of the living room, chucking the used diapers into the corner and using the pain meds to put him to sleep for the night right there on the floor.

After we arrived home with Joaquin, but before my mother left and I was alone with the 2 kiddos, we had to figure out how to solve this dilemma. Little did we know, this would end up being Elijah's favorite part about getting a baby brother...all the new obstacle courses made for him around the house! :) He has little step stools everywhere and he is just big enough to try to step up on his own (with the help of mothers hand of course). The problem is, he may be totally sleepy and then get SUPER EXCITED to go up the obstacle course that it becomes a problem to get to bed afterwards. Nonetheless, I thought I would show you a pic of his crib course. (Note: we did try to get doggy stairs and/or more mainstream ways to get him up to the heights, but everything was either too low or too steep. So it was out to the garage to rummage around for random useful objects.)


Here we have an old suitcase, followed by a slanted foot rest, a bench covered with a yoga mat (for traction of course), a metal file case, the lowered crib side, and a small footstool to land on once inside the crib! Go Elijah Go!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy 6th Anniversary!

(Ian and I at The Melting Pot...our anniversary fondue tradition)

It is hard to imagine that six years have passed since Ian and I were married! A lot has happened in six years! The twenties are such times of change for people and we really embody that idea. Married in Texas, moved to California, teaching, Master's Degrees, moving to Austin, getting a dog, buying our first house, joining the adventure of a family business, experiencing pregnancy and all that goes into that, having and learning from our first child, Elijah, and now our meeting our second child, Joaquin! That is a lot of changes from age 23-30! I've absolutely loved being married and all that God has shown us through one another over these past years! Thanks for choosing me, Ian, to spend this life with!

***P.S.*** THANK YOU to all of you that participated in Ian's 30th Birthday book I was putting together! I gave it to him on Saturday (his birthday) and he LOVES it! He read it out loud and we both cried the whole way through. Everything everyone said was so touching and really meant the world to him. He said it was "the best birthday gift he has ever gotten" and that is largely due to all of you and your words and photos! Thank you so very much for that gift!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

10 +1 Reasons I...

10 + 1 Reasons I Love My Husband...

10. He wakes up in the middle of the night to burp and change our babies.

9. He has told me I am beautiful (and meant it) nearly every day of our married life.

8. He is an amazing father to our children; he teaches them all that he knows, and is always present when they are around giving them his total attention.

7. He is hot! Looks the same as he did when we were freshman at Baylor. After I saw him for the first time I started to prank call because I had a crush.

6. He is creative! He is constantly inspired by all that God puts around him. I glean off that inspiration and in turn am motivated to create!

5. He is a genuine genius. Many of you know that, but I like to brag about his genius level IQ every chance I get. Hopefully our kids will get his Mensa IQ.

4. He wants to make me happy. No matter what it is, he is always willing to do whatever he needs to do to make me happy, safe, and secure. He is an amazing husband and is always trying to be a better one. (OK, I realize that was kinda 2 in one.)

3. He can play every musical instrument known to man. Just to name a few of the instruments he owns and plays...guitar, mandolin, trumpet, saxophone, violin, drums, bass, banjo, piano, lap harp, egg shaker, weird Thai instruments and the list goes on.

2. He is compassionate and genuine. His heart and soul are beautiful and they just shine! (Everyone he comes in contact with likes him...you just can't not like someone so sincerely caring.)

1. He listens to what he feels God is telling him and is confident (has faith) enough to lead our family with his spirit's intuition.

(+1. He serenades our babies.)


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Monday, June 1, 2009

5 am feeding

Early this morning Ian took some footage of Joaquin after he had just had his 5 am feeding. I realize the screen is a bit dark since we only had the bedside table light on, but I still thought it was sweet and wanted to share. Ian was holding Joaquin with one hand and filming with the other, so the image is "up-close-and-personal"; Joaquin makes lots of newborn expressions: including a grimace, smile, squirm, unsure blinks, and more.

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