Monday, July 22, 2013

Jack: 1 Month Update

Jack. You turned 1 month old yesterday. This month seemed like the longest and shortest month all in one. Although we fell in love with you the instant you were born, we have fallen even more in love with you over the past month. You have truly completed our little family and sometimes I want to cry (and do)  just looking at you. 

You are growing bigger every day and I'm trying to savor each moment because I know just how fast it goes. At the doctor's office 2 weeks ago you weighed 9lbs 2 oz. You wear mostly size 1 diapers and newborn/ 0-3 month clothes although the newborn clothes are getting very snug. 

You definitely LOVE to eat. When we first brought you home you were nursing every 1 to 11/2 hours and I felt like all I did was breastfeed. Now you go at least 2 hours between feedings but not usually anymore than 3. I am so thankful that breastfeeding is going so well and I love that time together. 

You have been many places in the short amount of time you've been with us. Your first restaurant experience was Olive Garden and since then you've been on a couple lunch outings including lunch with the girls from mommy's work. You've also been to Walmart, Target, church, the mall, and the pool, although you hung out in the shade. No swimming for you yet:)  A few old ladies have tried to touch you while we've been out, but I politely steer you away. 

Your brother loves you more than you know. He loves to rub your head and lately when he gets up in the morning he's started saying, "Well hello there baby Jack." He loves to help give you a bath (which you love) and lay with you on your play mat. Two kids was a huge adjustment at first but I think we are starting to get the hang of things. 

The first 3 weeks you went to bed around 11:00 pm and were up every 2 to 3 hours, but this last week you've been going to bed around 9 or 10:00 pm and sleeping for much longer stretches. The night before you turned 1 month you slept from 9:30pm until 5:30am. and I so appreciated the rest. You are sleeping in your swing in the Halo sleep sack and it has kept you from startling yourself and waking up. I have even been able to put you down not all the way asleep and you fall asleep on your own.

In the past week or so you've really started to make noises and coo. The other day your daddy was laying next to you on the play mat and you were just looking at him and cooing. It was the sweetest thing ever. You've also started noticing your surroundings and focusing on people's faces. You LOVE being held and but you also tolerate being in your swing or the play mat for longer periods of time (about 10 minutes) before you get mad and want someone to hold you. You don't seem bothered by a dirty diaper but you can't stand being in your car seat if it's not moving. You usually do great in the car though once we get going. 

I know you are going to change SO much in the next month and I hope time slows down a little so we can soak every moment in. We love you so so much.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Caramel Pecan Cookies

Before I get into the recipe I need to say that I made these cookies before I had Jack. I'm definitely not doing any baking with a newborn. My cookies didn't end up looking as beautiful as the original recipe, but they tasted delicious.

I made a few changes to the original recipe to make it a little simpler and less time consuming.

What You Need:
-1 package of pre-made or ready to make chocolate cookie dough (I used Betty Crocker's chocolate cookie pouch)
-1 cup chopped pecans 
-1 bag Kraft caramels 
-Few tablespoons of milk

What To Do:
1. Pre-heat oven to temperature on the cookie package
2. If using a cookie pouch, make dough according to package 

3. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours then roll into 2 inch balls. (I was running short on time and didn't chill the dough enough which caused the cookies to lose their shape as they baked).
4. Place the chopped pecans in shallow bowl and roll the balls in the pecans. Although I bought already chopped pecans, I would chop them a little finer next time.

5. Lightly flatten cookies on a greased cookie sheet or aluminum foil and make a small dent in the middle of each cookie. This will hold the caramel once they are done baking. 

6. Bake according to the minutes on the cookie package. I added an additional 5 minutes since the cookies were coated with pecans which affected how long they took to bake. 

7. While the cookies are baking, place 10-15 caramels in a microwave safe bowl and add a tsp of milk. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring until the caramels are melted. If the caramel is took thick, add more milk 1tsp at a time until smooth. 

8. Once the cookies are done baking, remove from oven and place on a wire cookie rack. Allow the cookies to fully cool.

9. Once the cookies are cool, use a spoon to fill the dent with caramel. Be careful not to over fill. 

10. Optional: drizzle with melted chocolate. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jack's Birth Story

He's here! Actually he's been here for almost a month now:)

Jack was born at 8:01a.m. and weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz and 20 1/4 inches long. He was much bigger than his brother who was just 6 lbs 12 oz. And although Jack weighed almost 2 pounds more, I definitely think you can tell they are brothers, especially in the nose and eyes.

Jack's birth was the complete opposite of Ben's. I was induced with both boys, but unlike with Ben, I did not have to go through 17+ hours of labor only to have a C-section at the end.

From weeks 37-40 I was dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced. Since I had had a previous C-section I wanted to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and my doctor was open to it as long as I was at least 3 cm dilated when I came in the morning of my induction. The Tuesday before my due date I hadn't dilated past 2cm and the decision was made to induce me that Friday (if I was 3cm then) or do the C-Section if I hadn't progressed. 

We headed to the hospital at 5:00am on the morning of June 21st and when we arrived my IV was started while we waited for me to be checked. The best part was my sister, who is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital, was just finishing up her shift so she got to be with us and be in the operating room.

My poor, swollen, fat face.

After getting checked,  I was still at 2 cm. so I was prepped for a C-Section. At this point I had come to terms that it would most likely happen and I was just ready to meet our little boy. After he was born and finding out he was almost 9 lbs. I was glad I didn't have to push him out :)

The best part about the C-section this time around was that I wasn't separated from the baby. When I had Ben, he went to the nursery with J while I went to a recovery room. This time, both J and the baby stayed with me the entire time, even in recovery, and I got to do skin-skin as soon as he came out.  Jack never left my side except once for 30 minutes in order to get shots. They weighed and measured him right in the room and J got to give him his first bath. Breastfeeding also started out much better this time and within seconds of skin to skin Jack was ready to eat.

We had lots of visitors during our stay, but the best was when Ben finally got to meet his little brother! My heart can't even handle it. 

After 2 days in the hospital the baby and I were both doing well and were given the option to go home. It was so nice to go home, take a shower, and get settled. 

Stay tuned for a post on how our life has changed and all the fun things we have been up to!