28 February 2013

Graham: 1 Month

You know, I'm not that surprised anymore that Graham is a month old.  It's been so busy, I should only have expected that time would sprint by.

All things considered, I LOVE having 2!  I love having a baby in the house.  I love saying "the kids" or "the boys."  I love watching Graham morph before my very eyes, even though any sign that he'd ever stop being a newborn is a little sad too.  I love it now that Jude has stopped acting like an insecure boyfriend (think Dean on Gilmore Girls Season 2.  "Where are you going??  To the bathroom?  Can I come?  What are you looking at??  Why aren't you looking at me?  Why are you walking over to the stove??  Can I come??  Why is Mimi/Dad taking me to the park?  Can't you have someone else nurse the baby and take me instead??  WHY ARE YOU SAYING NO TO ME?!").  I didn't realize until after Jude's colic went away just how much of an anxious mess it had made me.  And that cluelessness seemed to come again during Jude's transition period.  There were a few times when I thought, "Man, I love you more than life itself, but I don't like you very much right now."  Most of the time I thought he was doing pretty well.  There was an afternoon when my mom was helping me and Jude was upstairs in his crib shirking his nap and wailing when I put my head in my hands and said, "I don't think I can do this?!"  I really do rely on his naps.  Anyway I'm positive I'll have days like that again but so far things have been fine.  I am out and about because I have to be.  Jude doesn't handle cabin fever well at all.  I have figured out my MO for the grocery store, loading the kids, the park, chasing the garbage man every Friday, etc.  I haven't tried Costco yet with both kids, and think it'll be months before I try a restaurant with them in tow (unless Jeff is there), but everything else has been fine.  

Mostly this is all possible because Graham has been such a sweetheart.  He's got me wrapped around his tiny mitten-ed fingers with his whole way of not ever really crying.  

This is also possible because once Jude is napping and down for the night, I do basically nothing.  We have had a looong stream of meals brought in for the entire month of February.  Accepting them was starting to feel inappropriate.  But I haven't had to cook much except for breakfast and arranging Jude's lunch.  Except for some cleaning, when Jude is out, I am lying down recouping my energy and having Graham time.  I protect my Graham/Rest time with the gusto of a thousand suns.  We went out with some friends to dinner ONCE and the next day I was hurting pretty bad.  So until Graham is sleeping through the night (and I won't sleep train till the 3 month mark) I will be ignoring hobbies, plans to redo the kids' bathroom, and no Nights Out with girlfriends or my lover.  2 more months. 

Now that Jude is largely back to his old self, I am enjoying some of the positives that come with being the mother of a 2 year old.  He's pushing my buttons LIKE CRAZY (and gets a few Time Outs almost daily), but this age does not get its due credit for procuring some of the cutest little habits and mannerisms.  He gets very concerned about Graham if he cries, when Graham is sitting in the swing Jude will pile blankets and burp cloths on him, if I'm nursing without the Boppy he'll bring it to me without being asked, and he gives Graham waaaay more kisses than he gives me.  Jude is still uncommonly obsessed with anything with an engine and wheels.  He wants to know the name of EVERYTHING, and points to anything and asks, "This??" alllllllllll the live-long day.  He's not as excited about saying the words, though, so we had a Speech Therapy evaluation today.  In a few weeks we'll know if he qualifies for the program.  He's also getting tubes in his ears a week from tomorrow, which will put an end to his 2 month ear ache.  Besides riding around on his push cars, driving the toy trains around their tracks, playing with friends at the park, yelling, "CRUCK!! (Truck)" 50,000 times, throwing a few tantrums, going for walks, and running errands, his favorite thing to do is get chased around the house (tickled upon capture), or "flying" around while piggy back on moi.  He is such a buddy with a zest for life that is endlessly endearing.  He may give Graham a swat just to get a rise out of me, or if I'm about to take an illegal object from him he may chuck it across the room as a power play, and he may scream like a banshee the entire time the Home Teachers are here, but he's still pretty cool.

And as for my Zen baby, Graham is more alert every day, he found his voice, he is close to smiling, squeaks while he nurses, sleeps on his side, and for the most part is text book about nights.  I am reeeeaaally enjoying him.  

TTFN; it's Graham Time.

22 February 2013

A Birth Story: Graham

Here I go, recording a labor and delivery experience so enjoyable, it should have been illegal.  My OB should be knighted, and I became an even bigger fan of western medicine.

So I had a scheduled induction.  Some kind and loving friends tried to talk me out of it, but I was unwavering.  They had some bad experiences with pitocin, but I just knew everything would go fine.

I filled the day before the birth with last minute projects and errands, as would anyone who had a fixed baby deadline.  Jeff and I went out to dinner for his bday where we sort of sat in a stupor, contemplating what was before us.  During the day Jude and I had played, visited some friends, and he was completely spoiled since I was a basket case over the end of the Jude+Mom era.  After he went down I scoured the house more while Jeff went to Urgent Care to get antibiotics fighting a sinus infection before we had a tiny one in the house.  Happy bday, honey! 

On January 31 at 5:30 am I leapt out of bed -- BABY DAY!  We got all cleaned up, my mom arrived, and we were off.  We strolled up to the Labor & Delivery wing and were escorted to our room by smiling faces.  Kathy, my nurse, was totally awesome.  Mid 50s, sandy blonde hair, friendly and articulate.

And things just went really smoothly and in the order you'd expect all morning long.  I got hooked up to all the IVs, after a few "checks" I was reminded what labor pain was ALL ABOUT and said, "Ok I'll request my epidural now, I don't need to be a hero!"  Kathy informed us that would be no problem because the anesthesiologist had nothing on his plate until a 3pm C-section.  A doctor from my OB's practice came in and broke my water.  I guess it was partly because it was already off to such a calm start compared to last time, and partly because I know Baby Days only come along a handful of times in life, but I was just eating up every minute.  I was practically giddy.  Then giddy turned to loopy once I got my epidural.  I don't remember being so silly with Jude's epidural, but I was promising lavish gifts to Jeff, and I texted Sarah, "The anesthesiologist reminded me so much of Paul, except he was nothing like Paul only they are both anesthesiologists."  

Kathy called it for an early afternoon delivery, and she was right.  When I started to feel some contractions through the epidural, I knew they must be raging.  And sure enough, about 2 seconds later, I could feel pressure.  It was Go Time.  My doctor, Scott Capobianco, waltzed into the room with the sweetest smile on his face.  He seemed to really, after thousands of deliveries, still feel thrilled over what was about to happen.  Kathy said there were some medical students outside and asked if I'd be ok with one of them watching.  Since I have friends who were at one time, or are currently medical students, and only for that reason, I said it was fine.

And very calmly, we got ready for the main event.  With Jude it felt like my room was packed with people and majorly bustling.  It also probably felt more chaotic because everything about the delivery was an unknown.  At my 2nd barbecue it was just me, Jeff, Kathy, Dr. Capo, and the med student lingering in the background.  Armed with a helping of peace and eagerness to meet our little boy, I was pushing.  In the span of 6 minutes, with 3 pushes, we met Graham.  I was overcome with love for this small, crying person on my chest.  I knew I was holding a good one.  Jeff and I kept saying, "He looks just like Jude!"  He weighed in at 7 lbs, 14 oz, just 1 ounces lighter than Jude was.  After 9 months of feeling in a funk, I was floating on a happy cloud with my husband and baby.

I make no apologies for this cheese: he has filled my heart with a new brand of gratitude and my
heart has morphed yet again as a mother of 2.  He's another dream I hold on my lap.  I feel so privileged to be with my Graham every day, and know we are going to be have a grand old time.

1st Updated Family Photo

16 February 2013

The 411 on Graham

I am here to give the gushy low-down on the apple of my eye.


He has long, skinny feet and tiny ears.

His blue eyes just hiked a shade lighter in the last 24 hours.

His hair and skin is also lighter than Jude's was at this juncture.

He has my mouth.

His squeaks and grunts and stretches have been my favorite thing.  I missed that about newborn times!

He was trying to hold his head up about 45 seconds outside the womb.  Jude was like that too.

He eats like a pro and is chubbing up quite nicely.  Our pediatrician gave him his finger to suck on and said "No wonder he's gaining so much weight; he won't give me my finger back!  You must be so sore!"  Yesterday we went for a long walk and his cheeks jiggled as we went!  Swoon.

We dig the name Graham, and his middle name is after my darling brother. Cameron was named after my family's Scottish Clan.  So it's a nod to one of my favorite guys to ever walk the earth, Graham's cool Uncle Cam, as well as the whole kit and caboodle of Eaton heritage. I love seeing his name written out.  

Since we are past the 2 week mark, I'm going to call it: he's my Zen baby.  He doesn't ask for a thing but food (which I am happy to give).  To a car seat, he will say, "Sure."  Swing or not swinging, who cares?  He'll take or leave a swaddle.  He sleeps in his crib in his own room.  He's only cried when he's hungry or gotten a couple of smacks from his dear brother.  I am astonished at how continually calm his disposition is, and believe me when I say I'm not taking it for granted and am thankful for it every day.  He is going easy on me.

He is a beautiful, beautiful blessing in our home and life.  I am so thankful Heavenly Father sent him to be a part of our family.  

Just a few pics

14 February 2013

Jude is 2!

How do I have a 2 year old?  Truly a baby no more.

We are having a joint bday party in a couple of weeks with Lyla, so besides cake and presents tonight with Dad, I wasn't stressing out too much about today's activities.  I do have a newborn, after all.  But some magic happened and this boy went from one Jude-approved activity to the next.  First, my Dad texted me this morning asking if he could take Jude on a "toot" (adventure/jaunt/errands).  By 9:15 they were on their way to Home Depot, where Jude got to push the cart himself, and check out lawn mowers and stacks of wood.  At 10:45 when they got home it was straight to the park with the Gharrings.  10 minutes after arriving home from the park, Amber and Violet waltzed into the house with Chick-Fil-A.  Violet and Jude exchanged about 17 smooches and squealed and laughed (almost) the whole time.  Then not long after they left, Mimi came over to play.  A nap was had, and then I took Jude to the park/on a walk again while Mimi stayed home with Graham.  Afterwards, Mimi gave Jude a bath since he was expressing intense disapproval of me nursing Graham and unable to party. And then Dad came home.  Mimi left, our friends brought dinner over to be awesome and helpful, and we had cake and presents.  We knew we had winning presents: train tracks, coloring books and crayons, and a book that Jude had swiped off the shelf at Target yesterday (Richard Scarry's Things That Go book) and refused to let go of.  I picked it up for him because I have a hard time saying "no" to a book, especially the day before his bday.  Jude flipped over the cake, blew out the candle himself without being coached, and dug in happily.  Then he flipped over his presents, especially the train tracks, and did several "throw your hands in the air and growl-scream for joy"s.  

What does one say about one's Jude?  He is full of high-octane enthusiasm alllll the time.  He surprises me with new tricks and interests daily.  He's got a big, phatty heart and a clever, sometimes sneaky brain.  I feel like the world's leading expert on Jude but sometimes I look at him with a bit of trepidation, knowing that he could pull any sort of crazy, previously unheard of stunt on me at any moment.  :)  We love him, and that will never change. 

Happy birthday, Jude.

07 February 2013


Here's a blurb of info while I have 2 sleeping babies, logged an awesome nap this morning, and Jeff is in the kitchen whipping up some freezer meals (I know, so sweet).

My Graham is a week old today.  It seems like it should be shorter or longer than that depending on the minute of the day.  We are doing great, but I haven't been on my own yet, so check back with me in about 10 days when my help is all gone :).  There have been moments of crazy, but not like the chandelier is shaking and everyone is screaming and there's shattered glass on the floor, more like Jude wants something he can't have and is simultaneously trying to give the baby zerberts (which just results in G getting a nice saliva spray), and I want to sleep and/or stare at my baby in a little postpartum cocoon but I know that's not going to happen until 7pm.  At which point I'll be so wiped out the cocoon won't be as easy to enjoy.

But I can tell you, Jude is handling it better than I expected, and Graham has been 100% heaven.  There is little to no anxiety regarding him, unlike last time, and I'm soaking in his smallness and the newborn squeaks.  We snuggle him and feel unbelievably lucky to get this experience -- again!

More to come, but here are a few visuals:

People are saying he looks more like me, and I do see some Eaton in that face, but I have seen Jude's newborn face flash across his about 4 million times.  I'm going to do a newborn shoot on Saturday or Sunday and hopefully I can catch some of that.

We didn't pick his name for about 8 hours, so the nurses just wrote "Hayes" on his bassinet card. 

Mimi and Grandpa came to visit, and were the only ones (besides clergy) that would have been allowed into the recovery wing because of how awful flu season has been this year.  So Jude didn't get to come, Aunt Sarah didn't get to come, and it was kind of a bummer.  But so nice that both of my boys met their Eaton grandparents at least on the day they were born.

I am so proud of all 3 of my boys!  Looking at this picture makes me feel like the luckiest girl.

New family of 4.

02 February 2013


Graham Cameron Hayes

January 31, 2013
7 pounds 14 ounces 19.5 inches
Sweeter than you can imagine.
Everyone is home, healthy, and happy.