Saturday, August 16, 2014

Writing Emails

Tonight I am enjoying some peace and quiet. The kids are all asleep and Josh is upstairs in bed. I uploaded some pictures to the computer and sat down to write a blog, but instead decided to write emails to the kids. I am feeling a little sensitive and emotional and didn't really want to spill my guts here, so I figured I could lay the sappiness out in an email for them to read many years from now. I get like this some nights after the kids go to sleep. Its like all day I want a break but once they're asleep I can't stop thinking about them, how wonderful they are, the funny things they do, the joy they bring to me..

But anyways.. If you haven't sent them an email, please do! I have never opened any of the messages so I promise that they are confidential and will be read only by the kids when they are grown up! Dear.Audrey.Falcon and Dear.Joshua.Falcon at gmail dot com. Nathaniel will get one soon enough, I'll let ya'll know once it is done.

SO, in an effort to keep up with the blog, I have some recent photos, but not a really meaty post. I pulled out Maria's nice camera and have been playing around trying to document our days around here.

JJ loves two things. Wrestling - but that's hard to take photos of when I am pinning him to the ground. And trains. Usually he doesn't get to play a lot with them because big sister is always bossing him around and not letting him do what he wants with them. Today Audrey was out with my mom and Nathaniel was sleeping, so we pulled out the trains and played for a while. He's happy just pushing them around and around the track.


Audrey is all about her dolls right now. She has the 12" Disney princess barbie dolls (I think she has 4 or 5 of them, plus some of the princes) and also some of the smaller Disney princess figurines. We also got her the Anna and Elsa castles (from Frozen) and she plays with these ALL DAY LONG. She sleeps with the dolls. She takes them everywhere we go. She is always asking us to play with her and we do when we have time. Its nice when she has girls her age to play with, because JJ just doesn't know how to play the way she wants him to. It is frustrating for her, I'm sure!

Nathaniel is seeming bigger every day. Today was a good day because he napped pretty well for me. He even had stretches of awake time where he was quietly enjoying his bouncer or sat and cooed and smiled with me. He has such a big smile and its easy to forget my exhaustion when this face is looking at me.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer 2014

As I said in my last post, we've had a pretty busy summer since Nathaniel was born. Audrey graduated from preschool the week after he was born, so that was our first family outing. They sang a couple of songs and the teacher said a few words about each child and their special or defining qualities. She called Audrey "Ms. Giggles" because she is always smiling and giggling. She said Audrey brings a light and happiness to the classroom. What a wonderful thing to hear about our little girl.
Look at that side by side photo of her first day of preschool and her last day of preschool. She grew so much! You can even see the maturity in her posture and her smile. She is so much more confident and sure of herself.
Maria, Jason, and Marcelo came that weekend for a big family birthday party. We haven't seen Jason in a few years and we haven't seen Marcelo since last summer, so it was really fun to have them here. Audrey loves her big cousin and had a great time dancing the night away with him at the party! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of that because I stayed home with Nathaniel.
I had about a week home with the kids after Josh went back to work and before Lexi and Tiernan came. We spent that week mostly at home, had some friends over, running some errands, and mostly just trying to figure out how to handle three kids. We played in the pool and I bought them a sprinkler so they were able to enjoy some time cooling off on those hot days!

  We spent the 4th of July weekend getting out and about. We watched the fireworks with some friends from Audrey's preschool. It was fun to do together, but our poor kids go to bed so early that they were exhausted by the time the fireworks started and so they weren't really that excited. haha! Maybe next year...
The following night we met up with some more friends for Manassas Park's movie in the park night. The movie was Monsters University. The kids were super excited but since they were up so late the night before, and the movie not starting until long after their bed time, they were super tired. We tried to relax and have a good time but Audrey and JJ were both running around crazy and wild, and then the baby started fussing so we knew it was time to head home. 
Lexi and Tiernan got here a couple of days later and we had such a wonderful time with them. It was so nice for me to have my sister here to talk to and laugh with, and watching the cousins play and have fun was great for us. Lexi was incredibly helpful with the kids and cleaning. She even cooked a bunch of freezer meals that I can pop in the oven for dinner on those days when I don't have the time to cook. She's amazing!



We had some fun outings including a trip to the farm and a day trip to the beach with Grandma, Grandpa, and Ian. We went to a beach on the bayside which was perfect because the waves were nothing and the water was shallow enough that the kids could play and swim. I think we are going to make another trip there this summer with the family since I doubt we will fit in a real family vacation considering the newborn and all!


We spent a day with the whole family over at dad's. The kids had fun swimming and running around together and I had fun eating all the food, as I usually do. :)

Lexi and Tiernan headed home on Tuesday, and David and Debbie came in on Friday. We mostly took it easy while they were here - eating out, shopping, spoiling the kids. They loved all the extra attention! It was nice to just have an easy, quiet weekend with some extra helping hands.

They left Tuesday and then Saturday the kids and I drove up to meet Maria so they could spend a week with her. And that brings us to now! Its been Josh, me, and Nathaniel all week and boy has it been nice! The kitchen stays clean when I clean it. Although I still don't get to sleep in (Nathaniel wakes at 6am) its different when I get up and don't actually have to talk to anyone or do anything for anyone. I can get up, have my coffee while holding him and watching the Today show. We've been really lazy this week and haven't gotten much done around the house, but I have been able to get a bunch of errands done that I've been avoiding since I don't want to do them with all three kids. Audrey and Joshua have been having a ton of fun with their grandma, too. They have been going to the pool, chuck-e-cheese, and yesterday got to spend the day at Sesame Place (think Disney World but for Sesame Street)! The first day they were gone, Josh and were like, "OMG WE CAN DO ANYTHING WE WANT!". So we did. We had our morning coffee while reading the paper (the coffee wasn't spilled! The paper wasn't ripped/colored on/or thrown onto the floor!). Then we decided to put on some Netflix and binge-watch a new show - Breaking Bad. We watched like 5 episodes. Of course it wasn't like the old days where we could just sit there...we were basically watching it while also handing the baby back and forth while he fussed/cried/napped on us. But still we got to watch TV during the day and neither of us fell asleep 10 minutes into it. We also took a break to go to Home Depot where we were able to buy some stuff, but more importantly, we were able to walk at a normal pace and just look and roam rather than running through as fast as we can before a kid disappears or starts crying or has to use the bathroom or otherwise melts down. Another nice thing about the kids being away? Dinner. A couple of nights I just didn't eat. One night we ate at 8:30 pm. Quite different from the normal dinner time of 5:30!

The first few days I didn't really miss them. Of course I thought of them all day long and wondered what they were doing, but I was enjoying the quiet. Now its been almost a week and I'm ready for them to come home. I miss Audrey's sweet voice and JJ's loving cuddles. 


{I do not miss nonstop laundry and dishes}
{{This post was written while they were still gone. They are back now and laundry and dishes have resumed, but I love the craziness, I can't deny it!}}

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The New Normal

Now that I've (finally) updated that we had the baby, the next logical post is how we are all adjusting. We're 8 weeks in at this point, and while I feel that we all have adjusted well, I can't really say for sure just yet! We've had so much going on since Nathaniel's birth that we still haven't really settled in to the "new normal" yet. We had family staying with us when Nathaniel was 10 days old. Then Josh went back to work when he was 3 weeks old. He planned to take 4 off, but went back early because I felt like I had a good handle on things. So I had a week at home with all three by myself and we stayed pretty busy seeing friends and doing different things. Then Lexi and Tiernan came to visit for a week so I had a lot of help there. Three days after they left, Josh's Dad and stepmom came to visit. So again I had help! Then 4 days after they left, the "big kids" Audrey and JJ left to spend a week at their grandma's in New Jersey! So in all those eight weeks, I think I've had a total of 2.5 weeks alone with the kids. I've been very lucky to have all the help, because I think I would have lost it by now without everyone!
However, in those weeks that I've been alone with the kids, I've learned A LOT:
1. Don't ever take 3 kids under 4 years old to Chuck-e-Cheese by yourself. Everyone will leave in tears.

2. Also the playground. It is a challenge.

3. Frozen meals and places that deliver dinner are a lifesaver (thanks to EVERYONE who made and brought us meals!!).

4. The third baby doesn't really need to be bathed that much. ;)

5. Baby wearing is key to survival with three little ones.

6. Two kids in diapers = changing a diaper every hour, at least.

7. Preparing to go anywhere takes 2 hours.
That's the tough stuff. Audrey is pretty easy, except that I have to get out of the house with her because of her energy level. She can't stay inside all day. This is hard because, as I said above, going fun places with all three of them is really hard. JJ runs in one direction, Audrey in the other, and then the baby starts crying. Always. And then Audrey realizes she has to use the bathroom (a PUBLIC bathroom, while holding JJs hand and wearing the baby on my chest), and then JJ needs a diaper change. OVERWHELMING.
JJ is the hardest one right now of the three. He's at the BEST age - my favorite. But part of this age is that they are so interested in everything and so curious, yet they aren't mature enough to realize danger. They still can't control impulses. Which means when something catches his eye, he pursues it immediately. This is why people put leashes on their kids. Not saying I'm there (YET) but I can see why they do it.
Nathaniel is easy in some ways because he still sleeps a lot. Unfortunately, he doesn't like to sleep in the car seat, which means that our outings are often set to a soundtrack of screaming baby. What was that, Target cashier? I can't hear you just take my credit card its fine. I realize now that the only way to make this better is to start wearing him in the carrier more when we go out. I don't prefer it, but both at home and when we're out, it seems to make the most sense and keep him happy, so that's where we are.
Now for the fun stuff! The big kids LOVE their baby. I knew Audrey would. She liked talking to him in my belly, kissing him, etc. So when he was born and she got over her disappointment that he wasn't a girl (poor thing), she started loving on him right away. "Isn't he so cute? Look at his cute little toesies, and fingers. Hi Baby, I'm your big sister". She is such a little mommy and I love it. She takes to it naturally as though she understands that sometimes babies just cry and need extra love and attention. I was cutting chicken for dinner one night while Audrey and JJ watched TV. Nathaniel started crying and before I could get to him, Audrey came over and popped the pacifier in his mouth and held it there while she rocked him in the swing. She didn't say a word about it, just did what needed to be done. I just stared at her, taking in that moment. She is simply amazing. She also learned how to open the gate to the stairs which I was initially stressed about. But then the other morning when I was cooking breakfast, we heard Nathaniel start fussing in my bed. I tried to finish up what I was doing, but before I could, I heard Audrey open the gate and run upstairs saying, "Ok Nathaniel I'm coming!". When she got up there I heard her on the monitor, "I'm here little buddy. I'm here for you, you're ok". She was rubbing his head and talking so sweet to him when I got up there. She just has the sweetest heart and I love how much she loves her brothers.
I was very surprised at how Joshua Jr has taken to the baby. I was worried about him. I thought, because he is only 18 months, that he wouldn't understand what's going on and would have a hard time with the baby crying, the attention the baby gets, and the overall changes in our home. BUT. From the first moment he met his baby brother, JJ has blown me away with the amount of love he has for Nathaniel. He ran into the hospital room right to the bassinet (how did he know baby was there?) and tried kissing and caressing the baby. It really has been like that ever since. He tries to climb into the baby's seat with him and give him hugs and kisses, he touches his head gently, smiles at Nathaniel, and tries to tickle him. Of course I have to be careful that he doesn't accidentally get too rough, but for the most part he seems to know to be careful. There have been a few times where JJ has gotten angry with me (because I told him no or lack of attention) and he's pulled his arm back as though he is going to hit the baby. He also tries to sit on my lap when I'm nursing, which is tough but I'm trying to make it work. Just have to rearrange some things. :) I will say one of the frustrating things is that JJ doesn't understand that when the baby is sleeping, we need to be quiet and leave him alone. Oh no. JJ still wants to scream loud and see what the baby is doing. He's always bumping into Nathaniel's swing and often wakes him up. I've been starting to put Nathaniel upstairs more for his naps to avoid this altogether.

So that's it! We've been taking each day as it comes, and sometimes that means watching more TV than I would like, but we're still in survival mode. Whatever it takes to get through the day...


You may have noticed that all of these pictures were taken at home. And they are wearing jammies in most. Yeah. That should explain what its like around here!

Baby Nathaniel

I'm only a wee little bit behind on the blog, huh? Some big things have happened since I've been away.

Our sweet baby BOY Nathaniel was born Wednesday, June 4 2014 at 2:44pm. He weighed 8lbs 5oz and was 20.5" long. He was a week early! Let me back up a bit....

The Sunday before he was born, my aunt Cheryle took Audrey and JJ out for the day so that I could work on cleaning and organizing before the C - Section that was scheduled for Friday. I worked my butt off for 6 hours cleaning every nook and cranny upstairs and down and when the day was over I was exhausted. I started having very light contractions the next day, and by Tuesday afternoon they were timeable and were coming every 20 minutes or so. I called my doctor and they said that if the contractions became more intense and closer than 15 minutes together, that I should head to the hospital for my repeat C-Section. The contractions did get closer over night but I decided to wait until the following day to go in. So Wednesday morning we dropped Audrey off at school and JJ off at my dad's, and headed to the hospital. I was surprised when we got to the hospital though. They put me on the contraction monitor and after a bit determined that because I wasn't in active labor (my contractions were about 10 mins apart) that they weren't going to do the C-Section at that time. I did NOT like that! I didn't want to go home and endure who knows how long of contractions, only to be back again the next day and get the same end result - a c-section. If they were going to let me be in labor, then couldn't I have just done a VBAC. A VBAC wasn't actually what I wanted after my last experience, but their logic wasn't making sense to me. After some back and forth, I told the doctor I wasn't leaving without a baby in my arms (haha!) and she agreed to do the section after office hours that day. So Josh left to grab a bite to eat and I tried to relax...and a half hour later my doc walked in and said lets do this! Suddenly everyone was scurrying around and I was signing paperwork while calling Josh to get his butt back to the hospital quick!

Thirty minutes later we were listening to the first wails of our newest baby boy! Neither of us were surprised it was a boy, but still we didn't have a name! We just couldn't agree on anything, and so he was "Baby Boy Falcon" for the first 24 hours of life. Nathan was a name I liked a lot but Josh felt it was too common and wanted something a little stronger and more "dignified", as he put it, and that is how we came to Nathaniel. Everyone has asked about nicknames. I call him Nathaniel most of the time and Josh calls him Thane. Audrey calls him both. You can call him whatever you like!

He is a good baby. He's a great eater and he sleeps about as much as most newborns sleep. He's smiling and engaging with us and making those little baby coo's. He doesn't like to sit by himself much (can't blame him!) so I really am holding him or wearing him in the carrier a lot. He HATES the car seat which makes it hard to run errands or go anywhere. Not only does he cry in the car during the ride, but he also will cry the whole time we are in the store. I think I'm going to start wearing him in the carrier when I'm out, otherwise we'd never leave the house!

He LOVES to be outside. Whenever he's fussy or having a hard time falling asleep, I'll take him outside for a few minutes and almost immediately he's relaxed and drifting off. I even have been taking his rocking seat outside with us sometimes so he can sleep in the fresh air while the kids and I play in the yard. I don't know if its the sounds of nature or the warm breeze, but whatever it is - he likes it. And it makes me really love having a summer baby!
This little boy has been such a blessing on our family. The kids adore him, and we finally feel Complete!



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Audrey

So we are at the end of July. I came on to write some updates (like, umm...I had a baby!? Haven't written it down yet...) and realized that I have this post in my draft folder. Apparently I wrote it in May and forgot to publish it. So here you go...keep in mind it is more than two months old.

Some things about Audrey:
She has had a huuuuuge growth spurt over the past 5 months. Not physically necessarily, but emotionally and mentally. She has matured suddenly and sometimes it still takes me by surprise how "big" she is. She is obsessed with the movie Frozen. She talks about it all day long, makes me play Frozen (quote lines and act them out with her), sings the songs, and I bet she probably dreams about it in her sleep. It is cute and also kind of a nice break from her obsession with her Christmas house, which she still talks about, but not as much.

She's still saying cute and funny things every day, of course! Some recent ones that I've shared on facebook are:
On a rainy day: "Mama, Do you like jumpin in cuddles too?" and "Oh Dear, now I'm all soapin wet!"
As I came downstairs from getting dressed, and feeling particularly fat, ugly, and very pregnant, she said to me, "Mommy I love you so much. And, oh my! I just love how that dress looks on you!"
When asked why she was pouting: "Because my heart is frozen and only an act of true love can save me".
"Daddy, I can see your hair turnin white."
"Mama, you're my best friend I ever seen in the whole world. Would you like a cookie? It has chocolate in it!" Yes, I love chocolate! "Oh you do?! Well, I better get you two!"
Other than saying a million new things every day....Audrey has been keeping busy with school, gymnastics, and friends. She had her Mother's Day brunch at school on Friday so I took JJ to a friend's house and was able to spend some time one-on-one with Audrey. She gave me a potpourri bag with her hand prints, and a questionnaire that she completed all about me.
Her favorite thing right now is puzzles. She has I think 6 or 7 that she does over and over again. Some are more challenging than others and I love to sit back and watch her calculate in her mind what she sees on the puzzle piece and move it around to see where it could go. I plan to go up to the consignment shop pretty soon and pick her up some new ones. She also likes to play games and there are a few I've read about that I think she would really enjoy that I plan to get for her.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Quick Update!

I've been thinking lately about how much it sucks that I haven't kept up with blogging this year. Especially since it has been such a busy and fun year! So. I'm sitting down while JJ naps and Audrey's at school and trying to write a very quick update on the pregnancy! I only have 20 minutes and I still have to take a shower too.

In two days, I'll be 35 weeks pregnant! I had a check-up this past Friday, and, everything looks good and healthy as it should be. My weight gain has been really all over the place this time around. I've gained a total of 24 lbs but since I lost 8 in the beginning it is more like 16lbs. Regardless it looks like I'll end up 30lbs gain with this one depending on what this next month looks like in terms of eating! I will admit that my nutrition is not great...especially when it comes to eating meat. I find myself snacking throughout the day rather than eating meals like I probably should. About a month ago I discovered oatmeal smoothies and now I eat one every day. They fill me up for about 3 hours and contain more than half the protein I need in a day so I really am in love with them! I make them with oats, peanut butter, yogurt, milk, banana, and a dash of cocoa. Sometimes sprinkle granola on top. Mmmm. Its so much easier than making stovetop oatmeal in the morning and I don't have to actually sit down to eat it - which is crucial since the kids never let me actually sit and eat a meal peacefully.
I feel....not as great as I've felt in the past. I'm so tired! Always out of breath, could fall asleep at any moment, and I feel sssooo heavy. I need someone stand next to me and hold my belly for me because my back doesn't seem up to the task anymore. Carrying JJ around doesn't help either, but he needs it. He can walk (obviously) but he's much needier than Audrey was and he really wants to be close to us so I find myself holding him while cooking dinner, when we're out places...everywhere! The past week it has been especially hard on me so I don't know what I'll do for the next 5 weeks. This pregnancy is harder all around, but especially on my body. I have aches and pains that I haven't had before. Maybe because I'm older? Chasing 2 kids? Whatever it is, it is definitely taking a toll on me!

That brings me to...the date! The C-Section is scheduled for Friday, June 6. I'll be 39 weeks 3 days. Audrey's was at 40w exactly and JJ was 40w3 days so this will be my "earliest". Its bizarre to have a set date like this. I was so against scheduled deliveries because I love the anticipation of knowing that it could happen spontaneously and at any time, but this time around I kind of like it. I doubt the baby will come early since I've never experienced spontaneous labor with my other two, I would be surprised if it happened this time. Although...I look in the mirror and think it MUST happen early because where in the world am I going to put 5 more weeks of baby growth? I haven't measured my belly or anything, but its definitely much bigger than its been at this point with the others. People also love to point that out to me. I get the twins questions weekly. A month ago JJ's pediatrician said I must be ready to pop any day. NOPE BUT THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT.

Currently I think its a girl. I'm not sure what changed. The heart rate wives tale says boy (currently in the 120s, it was true for JJ and Audrey). I think I'm carrying more like I did with Audrey. This baby is ACTIVE - more active than the other two were for sure! Sometimes she gets in the most uncomfortable positions and I find myself laying down, standing up, rolling over..whatever it takes...to get her to move into a more comfortable spot.

We have names picked out if its a girl (still debating between two names) and if its a boy we are just out of luck. Nameless. There are so many good boy names out there but JOSH has a friend/relative/acquaintance with all of them. He's so difficult! Who knows what we'll end up with!

Now I have spend way more time than I wanted to on this...but I'm glad I updated for myself. Hope you enjoyed reading!