A Week in Pictures

I can barely believe that it's Friday already!  Today marks the end of the first "real week" we've had as a family of four :) Last week, we were just coming home from the hospital and in the fog of Carter's delivery and Ava was still at my parents.  This week, reality hit!  Ava came home, my Mom left and Travis went back to work.  And amazingly, we made it!  Here are some of the things that unfolded this week...
A few weeks ago, we made the "official" jump from a single stroller to a double stroller!  
I knew it would be my ticket to freedom if I wanted to be out and about with both kids for the next year or so.  Ava is still too young to walk with me or hold my hand voluntarily, so a double stroller became our best option.  We laughed when it arrived at our door and I put it together because it's about the size of a suburban.  In fact, that's how we now refer to it :) 
On Monday, we took it for its' inaugural ride when my Mom and I took both kiddos to the pediatrician.  
Carter had to go in for his 1 week appt., so we could make sure he was gaining weight and showed no signs of jaundice.  Thankfully, he passed every check with flying colors!  When we left the hospital on Thursday, he weighed 7lbs, 10oz., down from his birth weight of 8lbs, 4oz.  On Monday, just 4 days later, he was back up to 8lbs, 2oz, which was great!  I knew he was a good nurser, but that proved it :) 
Ava also had to go in for her 18 mo. check.  It was a good thing my Mom came with us, because 2 kids, for 2 back to back appts. is a circus!  Ava has reached the age where she knows what's coming and she doesn't particularly like any part of the appt.  She starts crying when they want her to get on the scale :) Fun times!  In keeping with her trend for the last year, we barely cracked the 9th percentile again for weight!  At 18 months, Ava weighs 21lbs and 4oz and she's 32" tall.  In the words of her doctor, "She's going to be tall and lean."  Just like her parents were as little kids :) 
The bad news about the back to back appts. is that both kids had to have shots.  
Not. Fun.
Ava had to get 2 and Carter had to get 1.  
For about 2 or 3 minutes, there was plural screaming and crying coming from our exam room :) 
When we got home, I was holding Carter on the floor, changing his diaper and Ava wanted to climb on my lap too.  I love this picture with their little leggies and their band-aids on their thighs!  
It's still so shocking to me when I see pictures of me with both kids and I realize their both mine :) 
For the most part, Ava has handled the arrival of her little brother pretty well.  For the last few months, we've slowly seen her independence come out in several ways and we've encouraged it, knowing she was about to become a big sister.
EVERYONE told me this would happen, but from the minute I saw her in the hospital, I swear she aged about 5 years.  I cannot look at her now without seeing a little girl :)  My baby has grown up!  Carter coming home has changed her little world, but she is adjusting well and we are doing all we can to make it easier for her.  
She has started some "new" behavior that is making us laugh...
When my parents had her last week, she started taking the clothes off of her little baby dolls at each nap and every morning.  
Apparently that's not enough of a challenge, as now she's begun taking her own clothes off while trying to un-do her diaper as well.  It's an adventure everyday when we go get her from her bed!  Thankfully, she is still sleeping so well every day.  She's napping for 2-3 hours every afternoon and sleeping at least 12 hours at  night.  That is making my life so much easier.  It's a beautiful thing to have that break in the afternoon and to count on a good night of sleep each night from her.  We've been putting her to bed a little bit later so that she'll sleep in a little later in the morning and so far she's rolling with it :)  
We're very thankful...
This little guy has also been a champ with all that we've thrown at him this week!  
He is such a sweet baby, so mellow and so laid back.  
He has been doing a lot of this, but he's also really started to "wake up" this week and each day he has longer and longer stretches of being alert and awake.  
Of course it doesn't help that his big sister likes to bang on her piano, just inches from where he is sleeping or resting :) 
Raise your hand if you love to wake your little brother up.  
Uh huh.  
We thought so.  
At any given time, we find Ava trying to climb in the bouncy seat with Carter, pushing him in the swing, or wiping his head with one of her wipes.  Poor little guy.  Only a few days old and already his sister is letting him know who's in charge :) 
Right now Carter is nursing about every 2 hours during the day and thus sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches at night.  We are thankful for him for a million reasons.  He is such a precious addition to our lives and although we are not sleeping as much as normal, we are enjoying him so very much.  Perhaps the second time around, one of the big differences is that I am cherishing my nursing time with him so much more than I ever did with Ava.  During the day, I always had time to spend with Ava because she was the only one who needed me :) Now, I just can't spend every minute with Carter, so when I get to feed him, I love putting my feet up and holding him close.  When Ava goes to bed at night, we both love the time we get with Carter.  He's often awake for several hours with us before we all go to bed and it's time that we cherish with our little guy.   He is really starting to stare into our eyes now and turns his head when he hears our voices.  He is so handsome and we are deeply in love with him.  We also had his newborn pictures taken this week and I can't wait to share them with you! He is good lookin', just like his Daddy!
Now unfortunately, he is the second child and he's following a big sister with lots of pink around here.  
No one tell him that this happened today, ok?  
All of his blue blankets were in the wash this afternoon and I had no choice.  
I'm sure it won't be the last time, but for now it's our little secret :) 
I can't even begin to express all that I've thought or experienced this week, now that I am a Mom of 2.  
It's been tiring.  
There have been moments when my patience has been tested and found lacking.
But more than any long day or hard moment, my heart has been overflowing...

Overflowing with love for 2 little blessings.  
Life will never be what it was just a few days ago, but in many ways, it's so much better already.  
We did it!  We made it through our first week :) 
Tomorrow my sister Stacie flies in and I can't wait!  We'll get lots of time with my family over the next week and then Trav's Mom comes and we'll get some good time with her too.  I love that part of having a baby!  It's such a gift to have all of these memories with our families and our babies.  

Happy Friday!  
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!


Rachel said...

Stephanie - you're looking FANTASTIC! I hope you're all doing wonderfully, and able to fit a double stroller in the condo :) MISS YOU GUYS!

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife said...

You look amazing! I would never know that you've had two babies..let alone just a week ago!!!

They are both just too cute!

Ron and Peggy said...

Wonderful to be able to see such frequent updates. You all look just great!

Michele said...

I loved reading this post about your little ones. They are so adorable, and it reminds me of the times I have brought little babies home. Thank you for sharing.

Mary Avery said...

Going through your pictures is fun because it takes me back to almost exactly a year ago when we had our second and our first was just 18 months old. It's been a wild ride but an awesome and beautiful year. I still can't believe it's been a year and you'll probably feel that way this time next year. They are precious!