Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Month Old!!!

My baby is one month old today! I am so thankful! Never in my life did I dream we would have a fourth child and during the whole pregnancy I wondered how I could possibly love another child as much as I love the first three - but I am so in love with this little guy! He is absolutely amazing to me! He is cute and sweet and cries like a banshee - but I don't care - he is a miracle to me! One of my favorite things to witness is the love Daniel has for Drew. He has been so wonderful and loving - at times a little too hands on - but I can't help but let Daniel "cuddle" Drew. Drew is really starting to watch Daniel and just listen to him talk to him. I continue to pray that they will have a wonderful and close relationship.So what is Drew like at a month? He sleeps great - only waking up twice during the night and going right back down. He is a morning child - when he wakes between 6 am and 7 am he wants to stay awake - while Andy and I are still tired!!! Andy has been sweet and has been taking him downstairs so that I can get an extra hour of rest. Drew eats well only taking about 10 - 15 minutes to eat - he's quite efficient! He is also a spewer! We call him Sir Spews A Lot! It is a wonder he gains any weight with all that comes back out! He is currently wearing 3 month sizes clothing, but is quickly going into 6 month size! He is a big boy, but so great to hold - a real cuddle bug! He is really starting to become more alert - watching the kids do things, looking at himself in a mirror, and turning his head to our voices. He is wonderful and we are all so thankful to have him as a part of our family!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Four Weeks Old

Unbelievable! I really can't believe he's been here for four weeks - time has flown by! It was a rough day, however. He cried the entire day - starting at 4:30 am - except for the 2 1/2 hour nap he took from 11:00 - 1:30 pm. I felt bad for him. But nothing I did consoled the poor boy. Thankfully, he is currently asleep and will hopefully have a decent night. You know it is a bad day when Daniel - who absolutely ADORES Drew - says "Can he go to sleep now?"!!! I thought that was pretty funny! Daniel was a trooper and endured his little brothers loud screams while doing school. He's learning tolerance - right?
So here are some pictures of Drew at four week. He was weighed this morning - with clothes on - and was 12 pounds 15 ounces!!! I just can't believe he has gained another 1 pound 12 ounces in two weeks! That's almost a pound a week! I am hoping he'll slow down one of these days as soon he will be in 6-9 month sized clothing!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I did it!

What did I do? I ventured out to stores with ALL FOUR KIDS! I wasn't sure how it would go - I can't really corral Daniel in the jogger stroller as I need it for the baby - but it turned out fairly well. We went to Franklin Mills to get our free Auntie Anne's pretzels! Daniel REALLY loved this! I really wish I had brought my camera as he had cinnamon EVERYWHERE!!! Since we were there I stopped in at Osh Kosh and Carter's to see what clearance items they had for next winter. Carter's had a ton of stuff for Drew and I got several outfits and pj's for CHEAP! I didn't pay more than $4.99 for an outfit! I also love Carter's because they have an open ended return policy - if it doesn't fit this coming winter I can take it back and get reimbursed for the original price I paid!

We also hit Toys R Us (Sarah and Daniel had gift cards burning holes in their pockets!) and Wal-Mart. I usually don't go near Wal-Mart on a Saturday - but I needed a new electric pencil sharpener (our other one DIED!) and envelopes for the baby announcement that my wonderful friend Carisa made for me. I need to get them out by Monday. Here is a preview:
It's funny how much his face has changed already! He doesn't look nearly that pudgy anymore! Isn't she amazing! I just love them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So cute!

Yes, he's a cutie! His shirt announces to all that he is the "little" brother! Daniel loves this shirt because he is no longer the "littlest" brother! But what I found really cute is the next story!

For Valentine's Day my mom purchased the Hallmark recordable book for Daniel. It is such a cute book and Daniel LOVES that MomMom is reading it to him every time he opens the pages! At the end MomMom tells him she loves him and he says "I love MomMom!" each time the story ends. He really enjoys this book. He enjoys it so much I caught him doing this.....It was so cute! And Drew looks like he's really enjoying it! Daniel loves spending time with Drew and is REALLY anxious for him to grow up so he can play with him!

Daniel has been doing really well in school and begs to do it everyday. I am hoping that I will have some time this weekend to pull all the things I want to do with him together. Drew is starting to lengthen his time between feedings and is sleeping for some good stretches - so I really want to take advantage of that time and get school organized. I have been neglecting it terribly and really need to get my act together to finish our year better than it started!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life is CRAZY!

Drew - 3 weeks old (yesterday)

I didn't even get my camera out today! I am so sad - I was really trying to get photos everyday - but life just got crazy! It started out with the three older kids and Andy going over to the Darrow house to celebrate Faschnacht Day. There is a bakery around here that makes the most incredible faschnacts! They are wonderful! Aunt Denise always brings some over to the Darrow's and they are kind enough to share them with us. I didn't go over because it was almost time for Drew to wake up and eat and I was no where near ready to go out in public! So Drew and I had a relaxing morning while the kids got hyped up on sugar!

I also tried to be creative in my dinner for this evening. I used to have a great recipe for Beef Stew - but I have lost it. So I just threw things in the crock pot as an experiment. It didn't turn out too badly. It should have cooked a bit longer, but it was pretty tasty. Sarah ate it so it couldn't have been too bad! I think I need to add peas or some other green veggie. I am trying to use the crock pot more so I don't have to think too hard about dinner as that is usually when Drew wants to eat! I am also trying to use ingredients that I have on hand. I am trying to see how long I can go without going to the grocery store. We have only gone to get some fresh produce and milk - but the snow has helped me stay away from the grocery store - I actually haven't driven our van for more than three weeks! It will probably feel weird when I do get behind the wheel again!

Drew - 3 weeks old - a pretty good sleeper!

Daniel and I did a bunch of school today. He is so into it! We focused on cutting with scissors and writing exercises. He LOVES mazes! He does really well with them. I am going to have to find a harder maze book - he is starting to tell me the ones I am having him do are too easy! He's so funny. He loves to be challenged - so different from Matt and Sarah! He is also into the alphabet. He is really putting the sounds together with the letters - I think he'll be reading before I know it! I am amazed at what he already understands! I wonder where he would be if it weren't for the bed bugs and the pregnancy - boy! Sometimes I feel like I've lost so much time with him - but God is good and will do the work that needs to be done in my sweet boys life!

Matt is struggling with getting school done in a timely fashion and as a result missed out on going to preteens tonight. Andy and I decided that we just really need to stand firm with him in regards to the rules we have set for him. One rule is that he needs to finish his school work before going to preteens. He had four math problems that weren't done. I felt terrible, but he wasn't done - so he suffered the consequences. Hopefully, he will take this experience to heart and start putting more effort into getting his work accomplished.

Sarah has been super helpful this week - really trying to get her school work done and doing little chores here and there to help me out. She vacuumed the living room today - it really needed it! I am very thankful for all her efforts this week!

Life is crazy - but I wouldn't trade it for anything! We are all doing well and I am so thankful for each blessing God has given me - especially the four lives he has entrusted to our care! Please pray for each one as they grow and strive to do their best for God.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Drew Debut!

Yesterday was Drew's first time out to church! He was quite a draw! Everyone had to see the HUGE baby! I loved the comments! "He is so HEALTHY!" "He has the chubbiest cheeks!" "He looks like he eats well!" Yes, my boy is a good eater and he sure is healthy looking! But I think of all my kids Sarah wins the chubbiest cheeks award!

We also went to visit my parents yesterday. It was the first day I have attempted to go anywhere - and it wore me out! I was in bed my 10:00 pm! I didn't even watch the ice skating pairs - one of the Olympic events that I love - but I was just too tired! It was great to see my mom and Bruce! We hadn't seen them since the hospital. She made the most incredible lunch! Chicken Corn Chowder, mini-hoagies, deviled eggs, salad - YUM!!!! My sister and nephew were also there and they met Drew for the first time! We only spent a few hours there, but it was sure great to get out of the house for a little while. It was a good first trip for Drew as my parents only live about 45 minutes away and I could feed him before we left and then let him sleep in the car. I have to be honest - I have been a bit thankful for the snow and the excuse we have to go anywhere! I always find it hard to travel with a newborn and have been content to stay at home. The kids were thrilled to get out of the house! They have been cooped up far too long as Andy has been pretty busy and hasn't been able to take them out. I really wish we had a backyard that they could go out in - but it is too full of construction stuff. It will hopefully be cleaned out this spring!

Some good news is that Drew lifted his left arm above his head today! He was doing his little newborn stretch after waking this morning and his left arm mimicked his right arm! I was thrilled and think I scared the poor kid when I did a little Hooray!!! He is three weeks old today and I am excited that he is making such progress! I'll try and capture a picture of it if he does it again. So check back later today! Thank you for all your prayers! God has truly blessed us with this new little guy!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's such a shame!

....that you can't tell Daniel loves his little brother!
And I believe Drew loves Daniel! Daniel has a way of calming Drew down - and he is quite proud of himself when he gets Drew to stop crying! I am really praying that this relationship will bloom into something beautiful! I am so thankful God gave us another son to pal around with Daniel!

Since Drew's birth I haven't been to church - the first Sunday was too cold and the last Sunday was too snowy. I am going to attempt to go tomorrow - it is a Drew debut! I can't wait for everyone to meet him! He's such a great little guy. I am a bit nervous about his cooperation level - when he wants to eat - he lets the world know it! I think he thinks he is starving! But hopefully we'll get through tomorrow without a hitch! We'll see!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Wonderland!

Some photos of our winter wonderland. This one is taken from the front window. Our poor bush is looking a bit sad!Our house! There is a TON of snow in the front yard!As close as Drew will get to the snow this year! When the door opens and he feels the chilled air he just howls! He hates the cold! My cutie sitting in front of the window. He was itching to just get outside - maybe tomorrow!Hi! Just chillin' today!
It looks like he is smiling at his sister in this photo! He doesn't smile in response to us yet, but he does have a really cute smile when one gets out!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Look at me!

My two youngest boys were showing off today! See.....Daniel is really into his Aquadoodle. You can see in the middle the word "God". He is really into spelling that right now and can do it all on his own! I think he's going to be a good speller! He is also into drawing happy faces! We did a bunch of school today and he was pleased as punch to do it. I am amazed at his coloring skills and the abilities he has already. I am thanking God that it doesn't matter what I do - that He is in control and will allow Daniel to progress as far as he needs to to do what He has called him to do!

My little guy can now do this.....See that left arm up in the air? Last week he wasn't able to do that! He is really progressing and we are praying for a full recovery in the next few months. He goes back to the orthopaedist February 24th for x-rays and a progress check. Hopefully, all will be well by then.Isn't his outfit cool? It's a shame he will probably only wear it one more time as it is a 0-3 month outfit and only goes up to 12.5 pounds. The pants are already a bit snug in the waist. I so wish I had had this outfit for Daniel - our little rocker! Maybe this is a sign that Drew will be a rocker as well! We'll see!

We had another 14 inches or so of snow fall upon the city today - making it the snowiest winter on record! I don't believe we'll be getting to see anyone before spring! Our street is totally snowed in and it doesn't look like we'll be getting out anytime soon! It has been an amazing winter. It is beautiful to look at from my window! I am so glad Drew is here already and we aren't worrying about how to get to the hospital! Praise God!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

So Thankful!

MomMom sent talking Valentine's to the kids - Daniel loves his!

I have to say how thankful I am to some of the families in our church who are so generous with both their time and resources. Since Drew was born we have received several great meals. For those of you that know me - I hate to cook - so these meals were an incredible gift to me and definitely spoke my love language! Tonight I was blessed with another unexpected meal. Tuesdays are crazy days as Andy doesn't get home until about 5 pm and then he is out the door by 6 pm with Matt and Sarah for Kids Club. This was my first night home alone with Daniel and Drew and I really wondered how it was going to go. Drew cooperated most of the evening and I was able to spend some quiet time with Daniel. He chose to watch a movie, "Hotel for Dogs". We sat snuggled up on the sofa together until he fell asleep! I really miss spending that time with Daniel - he is such a sweetheart. I have to grab those moments whenever I can! Before I know it he'll be a 12 year old and won't want to be with his mom! Drew is doing well, though today he doesn't want to settle down to sleep. I am hoping he is wearing himself out for sleeping tonight! I have to start tracking what I am eating as maybe that is what is contributing to his unsettled behavior today. Of course, it could just be he is starting to wake up and realize there is more to life than sleeping! I forget what it is like to have a newborn and have to remember what to do with little people again! Well, it's snowing already here in Philly - round 2 of snow this week. They are forecasting a foot to 18 inches - on top of the 28.5 we already have! This could be our snowiest winter yet! Andy and I think it is funny that we have lived in Philly for the top three snowstorms ever! And still after all these years Philly has no idea what to do with all the snow it gets! The mayor keeps telling the neighborhoods it can't plow the side streets because they are too narrow - you would think they would start purchasing some smaller plows to do the side streets. What we can't figure is that trash trucks are what is often used to plow the streets - the same trash trucks that go down these narrow street to collect the garbage. Oh well! We continue to live on an unplowed street and will hopefully thaw out before Easter!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Stats

My brain still hasn't fully recovered from this pregnancy. I knew Drew had a doctor's appointment today - I thought it was at 1 pm - it was really for 10:30 am! Fortunately it was just a weight check and they fit me in. I was glad since Andy drove us all down there and it would have been a real pain to reschedule!
Guys watching the Super Bowl!
Drew is two weeks old today and is doing beautifully! With all the others I remember the doctors taking both weight and length checks - this doctor only does weight. By two weeks the doctors like to see the baby regain their birth weight - which for Drew was 10 pounds 12 ounces. Today he weighed in at 11 pounds 3 ounces! Not only did he regain his birth weight, but he also gained 7 ounces! I laughed as the doctor said they like to see babies gain about 30 grams a day and Drew has been averaging 53 grams a day! I guess my worries about him taking the bottle the first 24 hours and then nursing him were for nothing! He has taken to nursing like a champ and hasn't had a bottle since the night he came home from the hospital. He is also becoming more efficient as he only takes about 30 minutes from beginning to end - so nice for the middle of the night feedings!

It really is amazing that Drew has only been with us for two weeks - I rally can't remember what life was like before Drew joined our family. He has just fit right in. He is a mild mannered, easy going kid - so far!

Daniel just loves him and loves holding him whenever possible. Daniel is starting to get a bit emotional - crying and asking for lots of hugs. We are trying to spend tons of time with him and do some extra things with him, but I guess it is inevitable that he have some emotions with not being the baby anymore. Overall, he is doing well. He has been amazing me with his knowledge. In all honesty I have not spent a lot of time doing school with Daniel. I have felt terrible about it. But somehow he knows all his uppercase letters and can count up through 30! It really is amazing what kids learn when surrounded by older siblings! The other day he asked how to spell GOD. I told him the letters and this is what he wrote on his AquaDoodle (a great toy he got for Christmas!). So it's backwards! I was amazed as we have never even worked on writing letters! I am determined to start working with him full time next week. I think he is going to be a great student!

Matt and Sarah have been having a hard time getting back into the swing of school. After having a week off for the baby and then two days off the previous week for staff retreat - they really don't want to be doing school! But we are pressing on and have gotten several subjects in each day. I am determined to get full school rolling again by the end of the week. The coming snow should help as we can't go anywhere and I can get a "normal" day in without any interruptions! Please pray for the three older kids - that we would spend the right amount of time with each one and be encouraging towards them. Thanks for all your prayers!

Every one of our kids has been an afghan baby. Matt received his first and most loved blanket from Dorothy Schultz as a shower gift. He received many other afghan baby blankets - but that one was his DeeDee (what he called it!). Sarah and Daniel both received their afghans from Grammy Schultz and both love them still today. The one you see in all the pictures was also made by Grammy Schultz and is the most beautiful one I have ever seen - I LOVE the colors and Drew really seems to prefer this blanket to all others. I wrap him up in it nice and tight and off to dreamland he goes! Do you see his little fingers in the above picture? All the kids have done that - they weave their fingers in the holes and just hold on to the blanket. I love it! Thanks Grammy!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow Day!

Yesterday was an awesome SNOW DAY! 28.5 inches of snow fell in the city of brotherly love and the kids have enjoyed every moment! Andy is such a great dad. He took the kids out at 12:30 pm and I didn't see them again until about 5:00 pm. They went up to the church playground and played in the snow - and when they got tired of the snow they ran around inside the church. Daniel came home looking like a snow monster - covered in snow and big red rosy cheeks! An hour later he was crashed on the floor and out like a light!

Drew has been a dream baby - he has fallen into a schedule and is now eating about every 2 1/2 hours during the day and sleeping for 3 hour stretches at night. Last night was our first "rough" night. He cried for about 2 hours from 9:30 - 11:30 and nothing Andy or I did would console him. I finally tried feeding him one more time and then wrapped him up nice and tight and then he fell asleep until 3:00 am! If that's as rough as it gets - I'll take it!

Today was his first immersion bath. His umbilical cord stub fell off last Thursday - I was so glad as he would scream through his sponge baths. I was worried he would hate baths all together - but he LOVED the tub! The water was nice and warm and he just sat in the little floaty (that I borrowed from Carisa - Thanks! I love it!) and relaxed. It was great! He is such a cutie! Drew is really starting to move his left arm. He moves it up in front of his chest and is really making progress. Thank you all for your prayers!

I am feeling so much better - it took a lot longer to recover from this pregnancy than the others. As my one friend says - I am an old-head and was feeling my age! I have, however, lost 28 pounds of the 40 I gained this pregnancy! I am anxious to get back into exercise and am trying to eat right. I really would like to lose the pregnancy weight by my birthday in May. And then pick up where I left off and lose the rest of the weight I had started to lose before getting pregnant!

Monday, February 1, 2010

What a difference a week makes!

Drew - One Week Old

I can't believe what a difference a week makes! This time last week we were wondering what was up with our new little guy and just thankful that he had made it through the birth. Our three other children had no idea what their new brother looked like and hadn't seen mom in over 14 hours and wouldn't see either of us until the next day. Amazing that we have since brought home our BIG boy and he has been loved and cuddled by all on a regular basis!

Since we brought Drew home he has already been to the pediatrician and the orthopaedist. Both doctors gave glowing reports. Both feel that Drew will regain full use of his left arm within the next few months and will make a full recovery. His case of Erb's Palsy is very mild and his fracture is small - should heal in the next few weeks. I loved his orthopaedists - two YOUNG doctors. They were so gentle and careful of Drew and were just so encouraging. I am really glad I switched pediatricians and am now part of the CHOP network. Every doctor I have met so far I have really liked. Drew will go back in three weeks for x-rays and another doctor visit to make sure his clavicle has healed and his arm is improving.

So our baby is already a week old! We sang happy birthday to him at 3:54 pm and just praised God for His wonderful work in Drew's life already! I am amazed at this little person who has so captured my heart. I don't even mind that he thinks I am an all-night buffet! I just love holding him and staring into his dark eyes. He is a sweet boy and really only cries when he is hungry or has a stinky diaper! He was hating having his diaper changes, but today was a turning point as I was able to change his diaper with him screaming like a banshee! Daniel has been a dream big brother and is content to hold Drew for an hour or more! He just loves having him around so much! I truly hope that they will grow up to be best buddies. Matt and Sarah have also had a great time holding Drew - there is often a line of kids waiting for him to be done eating so that they can have their turn at holding him! I think it's funny - we'll see how long it will last!
Thank you for all your prayers on our behalf. God is so good to us. We are so thankful to Him for all He has done this past week.