Friday, June 29, 2012

C is for.....

Cooper Bryan Mullican
Born: June 25, 2012
7:20 am
9 lbs 5 oz
21 inches long

His name
Before we found out the gender of the baby, we talked and talked about names.  We finally narrowed our girls name down to one (Ava Lucy), but we couldn't get our boys list down to one; we got stuck at two: Cooper Bryan and Anderson Bryan.  We decided to just leave them both in and would make the decision if he was indeed a boy.  We both do like Anderson Cooper (and my brother-in-law works for CNN - haha), and I also have a cousin who named his little boy Anderson.  Well, we went to our gender ultrasound and he was indeed a boy.  When we left, I told Matt that I understood what it means for a father to have a son and that I wanted him to pick the name - I was fine with both.  Obviously, we know which one he picked.  One of the main reasons that he chose Cooper over Anderson is that fact that we do NOT like Andy.  And we knew that people would do that, even if we didn't want them to.  If we had named him Anderson, we would have wanted people to call him Anderson.  That would have been a battle.  With Cooper, we totally love the nickname Coop and don't mind if people call him that.  In fact, we already do call him that some at home.

First and foremost, we really just like the name.  When we set out to pick baby names, we never intentionally tried to pick a family name.  We both thought that Bryan just fit in with both Anderson and Cooper.  I asked Matt about a million times if he wanted to put "Matthew" in there somewhere, but it just wasn't something he felt super strongly about.  Bryan is a family name on Matt's side.  He had a Grandma Bryan (Bryan was the last name), and then his brother is also named Bryan.  We talked about it some, and even tried to come up with another middle name, but we both just kept coming back to Bryan over and over again. 

So there you go!  There's the story of "Baby C" and who he really is and why!  Up next: his birth story!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brown Brownies

Sometimes I really wish that I could just freeze LL at the age that she is now.  While almost 3 1/2 can some days be a really tough age, for the most part, it is the most fun I think we could have.  She's really old enough to have conversations with and to really get things, but still young enough to have TONS of innocence and to still be funny in her "babyness".  I really wish that I could just remember some of our day-to-day conversations of her being this age because she is just so sweet and funny.

One night after dinner she was asking for "brown brownies".  We actually DID happen to have brownies in the kitchen, but how she knew this I'll never know.  We hadn't mentioned it to her at all and we had been eating on them every night after she went to bed.  I also have no idea why she was calling them "brown brownies" instead of just brownies (like she usually says).  I decided to get it on video just to capture a little bit of her at this age.  Nothing special.  Not a video of her showing how smart she is or how funny she is - just a video of her at this age to help me remember for forever.  

So here you two installments, LL and the "brown brownies".  :)


Monday, June 25, 2012

He's Here!!

Baby C has arrived and is completely healthy! More details coming soon!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tiny Bubbles (LL is now a FISH!)

Before I had LL, I used to work for a place called Tiny Bubbles during the summer.  Margie, the lady who owns Tiny Bubbles, was a member of the church Matt was working at and we because fast friends.  Tiny Bubbles is not your regular place to go for swimming lessons.  They do not just teach your child how to swim, they teach survival swimming.  The difference is pretty large between the two things.  I really could go on and on about the details, but it basically comes down to Margie teaches kids not only how to swim (and swim correctly in the pool with face in the water and no floaties!) but she teaches them what to do if they get in a stressful situation in the water (i.e.: tired and out of breath while swimming, falling in, falling off the steps, etc.).  Emily actually wrote a GREAT post on this last summer (waaay more detailed information about survival swim if you're interested in learning) when Kye was taking lessons.

This is where LL's story starts.  Margie can start kids as young as 6 months old in survival swim.  LL's first summer, she wasn't quite 6 months yet, so we waited until the next summer to enroll her.  We went through the whole program that summer and LL did well.  And by "well", I mean that she would do what Margie wanted her to do.  But here's the catch.  She HATED it.  She screamed the entire 5 weeks, and any time we made her do it an another pool, she acted like we were killing her.  She could do it - she just didn't want to.  The next summer (2011), we enrolled again.  Again, she did what Margie wanted her to.  But again, she HATED it.  She screamed the entire 5 weeks.  Again.  And any time we tried to get her to do her swim stuff in another pool, she again screamed like we were trying to kill her.  So basically, after two years of swim lessons, my child COULD do it, but never did.  Which means that I had a 2 1/2 year old who wanted to stay on the steps or on a float in the pool after we had spent 10+ weeks in swim lessons and lots of $$.  Not cool.

This year came around, and I again signed LL up for swim lessons.  If nothing else, I wanted her to continue to refresh herself on the survival part even if she hated it.  I wanted to know that my child was safe in the pool, even if she wasn't happy about it.  Every other year at lessons, LL has screamed the entire lesson until it was time to get out of the pool.  Once she got out, she was as happy as can be.  She would also scream the entire (almost 45 minutes!) car ride to swim lessons.  To say I was not looking forward to that this year was an understatement.  Here's where my child surprised me: she got over it.

The first couple of days that we went, she would cry at home and cry in the car, but she never got hysterical.  Usually, if I just talked to her the whole way there, she would calm down until we pulled into the parking lot.  She also shocked me a TON because as soon as she got in the water with Margie, she would stop crying.  She whimpered and whined a little, but she didn't scream and cry.  The biggest shocker to me was how respectful my strong-willed child was to Margie.  For a strong-willed child, giving up "control" is an even bigger issue than it is for other kids.  And giving up control in the water (for any child!!) is a very scary thing!  I was so impressed with how well LL trusted Margie, even from the beginning.  She would be SO upset in the water, but every time Margie explained what they were going to do, LL would whimper a little, tell her "ok", and then do it!  That is totally NOT like my child!  Margie has such a great way of being extremely in control of the lesson, being firm with the kids (and not letting them get away with anything), but at the same time being very loving and earning their trust.  It's amazing to watch, and it is definitely not a gift that every adult has.

LL and I did this for about 2 weeks.  We came to swim every day, she did what Margie asked her to (and was doing great at it!), and then we left.  But here's where she was hanging on to stuff from past years: any time we went to my mom's to swim, LL would freak out if we tried to get her to do swim stuff.  Like, she would lose her mind and just want to get out of the pool completely.

Finally, I asked Margie one day, "How do I get her to do this stuff outside of swim lessons AND have her enjoy it??  How can I incorporate what you're doing and her love for the water??"  I knew that if LL would realize she could legit swim, she would love the water even more.  I just had no idea how to combine how she loved to play in the water (outside of swim lessons) with what she was learning at swim lessons.  This is where Margie's blutness came out. :)  She point-blank told me, "You have to make her do it."  She basically said that we had to make her do it every time.  Even if she hated it.  She asked me, "Just make her do it.  If she won't do her swim stuff, don't let her get in the pool.  If she hated to clean her room, would you just let her not do it?".  I kind of smiled and said, "If it's either 'do swim stuff'  or 'don't swim', she's just going to choose to not get in the water.  At all."  That's when she just looked at me and said, "Make her do it."  At the end of her lesson that day, Margie gave us some "homework" to do in Gigi's pool over the weekend.  One of the things that she also did was let LL take home a little starfish pool toy that she had to "take care of" over the weekend.  This is perfect for LL and her personality!

That weekend we had a garage sale over at my mom's.  Towards the end of the sale (when things had died down), Matt and I took LL out back to the pool.  I had been telling her all morning that we were going to get in the pool, but that we also had to practice "Mrs. Margie stuff".  She knew what I was talking about because she remembered the starfish (she had been carrying it around NON-STOP) and knew she had homework.  We let her get in the pool and just "play" for a little bit, and then we got to work.  Margie had been having her use goggles at lessons (LL did much better with them than without) AND some swimming fins (LL calls them her "mermaid tail").  We bought some to have at home, too, so I got both of those on her and told her it was time to practice.  At first, she was NOT happy and started to freak out.  Then, I reminded her that we had Mrs. Margie's starfish and that she could swim and get it out of Daddy's hands.  This calmed her down and she was okay with doing it.  We totally made a game out of it (finding the starfish in Daddy's or Mommy's hands) and gave her TONS of praise each time.  Gigi and Grammy would also both pop in every now and then from the garage sale and reinforce this praise.  Literally, it's like something just clicked.  You could literally see it happen.  All of a sudden, she realized that swimming could be FUN.  For the next hour, we couldn't keep her from swimming.  She swam non-stop.  Honestly, and I know this is gross, she swam and swam until she made herself throw up.  Then we MADE her get out - haha.  It was like turning it into a game made her see how fun it could be!  She was EXCITED about it!  Here's a video we made for Mrs. Margie (that I texted to her) on the day that it all clicked.

What's funny is that we had tried all of this both of the previous years that she took swim.  I guess she just wasn't ready for it yet (not swim lessons, but the letting go of control part).  Really, though, it has changed her life.  I know that sounds crazy, but it really has.  She LOVES to go swimming now and going to lessons is something that she looks forward to.  After her lesson, she begs and begs to swim in the little side bubble pool that Margie has and will even wear her goggles in there and try to kick (it's really too shallow for that).  It's to the point where I have to maker her leave every day.  

It sounds cheesy, but I could really cry when I watch her every day because I see how happy she is in the water.  And I see my 3 year old swimming CORRECTLY and having a blast.  She doesn't have to depend on Mommy to be right there (even though an adult always WILL be - duh), or need a float to sit on, or need floaties.  She can do it on her own.  I love to see her self confidence and the freedom she has in the water.

It has been a long, hard road with these lessons, but it has finally clicked for her and I can't be happier.  :)  So, after this long novel (if you're still around), here are some pictures and videos from our leasing the past few weeks.

This is one of the first things that they learn how to do - swim to a target (hands, a toy, the side of the pool, etc.)

This is her starfish.  This is the "resting position" that they are taught in the water.  For babies, this is basically all that they do (and cry!) and wait for someone to come and get them out of the pool.  This is the biggest life saving technique.  For older kids (like LL) this is used for two things: it is still their life saving technique, and it is what they do while swimming to rest and get air.

Turning from her star fish to swim and get Mrs. Margie!

She had to use a nose plug for a few days (before things "clicked") because she was sucking in air through her nose right as she went in the water.  She was doing this because she had her mouth closed (per Mrs. Margie's instructions - this was a good thing), but because she was still anxious, she would whimper/whine and suck in air through her nose right as she went in.  This helped to teach her to stop that.  It worked!  She no longer uses it.

Beautiful starfish!

She also randomly started using her hands to swim one day instead of her feet.  Margie taught her to swim with her "princess crown" on top of her head to reinforce her using her legs.  It's so cute - I really recommend watching the video of it.  :)

For the two summers that I taught at Tiny Bubbles, I did not teach survival swimming, I taught stroke.  This is what LL will be ready for next summer (really -any time after these lessons are over).  I've debated on just teaching her myself (since, duh, I know what to do), but I really think we'll probably just put her back in lessons.  Baby C will be taking survival swimming next summer, and I know that LL would love to have her own time in the pool, too.  

I can honestly tell you that through two years of a screaming child who could do it, but refused, this is totally worth it.  No child is ever "drown proof", but no adult is, either.  I feel so much better knowing that I've done everything that I could to make LL as safe in the water as possible.  Plus, it makes it totally worth it to see the freedom and confidence that she now has in the water!  I owe a HUGE thanks to Mrs. Margie and what she has done for my girl!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

38 Week OB Visit

This past Tuesday I had my 38 week check-up.  I didn't actually turn 38 weeks until Wednesday, but this was just how their scheduling fell.  If you remember from my 37 week appointment, I was 3-4 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and he was at a -2 station.  Our goal for the past week was to get me to 4-5 cm because she said that she would then be able to just send me in to have him.

Let me tell you - we worked our behinds off this past week trying to make this happen.  We walked (tons) until it hurt, I bounced on the exercise ball, I ate pineapple until it made me feel sick, we tried pressure points.  I felt like my evenings were consumed with trying to either go into labor or make myself dilate.  

My appointment on Tuesday was at 2:10.  Let me tell you - that was a MISTAKE!  Waiting that long in the day was a killer.  Around lunch time, I started to notice that I was having Braxton Hicks almost one on top of each other.  I also started to notice that, while they didn't hurt, they were coming with tons of pressure and making me super uncomfortable.  I was at Grammy's house and she said she totally thought I was in labor.  I started texting Emily to see what she thought and she said the same thing.  I started getting really nervous/excited, but decided to wait it out until my appointment at Southern OB just in case.

We got there at about 1:45ish and they got me back to the back waiting room pretty quickly.  Once I got back there, it seemed like I had to wait for FOREVER to get my vitals done.  I ended up losing a pound from last week (according to their scale), and my blood pressure was good (128/79).  That's a little high for me, but not high for them.

I had to go back and wait in the waiting room for another 10 - 15 minutes before finally getting back to see Marie.  The first thing she said when she came in was, "Well - I thought I'd be seeing you before today!".  She checked his heartbeat and it was nice and strong in the 140's.  Then came the bad news.  She checked me and said that I had no change from last week.  I was still 3-4 cm, 50%, and -2.  This is honestly the WORST news that she could have told me.  This was my biggest worry was that I wouldn't change at all.  And I didn't.  What was even worse was that I felt like we had done so much to try and make sure that my body progressed over the past week.  I guess this just goes to show that nothing you do can really make you go faster - it's really up to your body and God.  

Since I didn't have any change, she obviously wasn't going to send me to the hospital like we had hoped.  Now we had to come up with a new plan.  I go in on Monday for another growth ultrasound to see how big he is.  Once the ultrasound is done, Marie will look at it and go talk to Dr. Clifton.  Both she and Dr. Clifton are on call on Wednesday.  If he's already 10ish pounds, I'm sure they'll talk to me about a c-section (she didn't say that, but it's what was implied).  If he's not *quite* as big, I'm sure that she'll talk to me about induction on Wednesday.  Since I'll be 39 weeks on Wednesday, she can induce me without a "medical" reason (remember - a big baby is not considered a "medical" reason).  She never said any of this in these specific words, but it was what was implied.  I did point blank ask her if we would be having him next week and she said yes.  

So now we're just playing the waiting game.  I scheduled my appointment for early Monday morning (9:15) because waiting all day drove me NUTS this week.  The plan is that we should HAVE a plan by the time I leave the office on Monday.

Please just pray with us that everything with Baby C is healthy and that we can all (us, Marie, the doctors, etc.) make the best decision for him.  I've said it before - I don't WANT a c-section.  But I also don't want him getting stuck in the birth canal.  Please just pray for the wisdom to know what to do and for all of us (including me!) to have the best interest of Baby C at the front of our minds!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

38 Weeks Pregnant!

Well, I TOTALLY didn't think that I would be writing this post this week, but here we are!  I'll have a separate post up soon about my doctor's appointment yesterday, but here's my regular weekly post:

Baby Growth:  At this point, most babies weigh about 6 1/2 - 7 lbs, but we know Baby C is probably closer to 8 1/2 - 9 lbs.  He should be on point and measuring in at around 19.5 inches, though.  He has a firm grasp right now, and his organs are completely ready for life outside of the womb.  He should also start shedding vernix (that waxy coating on his skin) at this point, but he may still have some left at delivery.

My Symptoms:  I actually haven't been *quite* as tired as I have been.  Don't get me wrong, I still get exhausted super easily, but I haven't been quite as sleepy as I have been last week.  My nausea has gone away again, so that has been a HUGE blessing.  My heartburn is still basically the same.  Some days are worse than others, but I at least have to deal with a little bit of it every day.  

I've been having TONS of Braxton Hicks this week.  To the point where it's really made me think that I was in labor.  I've also had quite a few "real" contractions, too.  

I have definitely developed a new symptom this week - my joints are HURTING!  It's no secret that my hips have been hurting me when I'm sleeping at night.  Now, when I wake up with my hips hurting, they hurt all the way from my hips to my knees.  My fingers have also been getting very stiff at night.  If I wake up and my hand is open, it hurts to close it.  If it's closed, it hurts to open it.  My fingers are also cracking/popping ALL the time now.  I've also been waking up with jaw pain.  At first, it was only on my right side (and I'm pretty sure I'm clenching my jaw at night), but last night I woke up with my left side hurting all the way up into my eye (and giving me a headache behind my eye).  Not fun at all!

Weight:  My scale at home reads the same, and the one at the doctor says I've lost a pound.  So I'm sitting somewhere between +21-22 lbs.  Not bad, people!

Belly Pictures:  Literally, my only plans for today were to take LL to swim and then come straight home (and work on laundry - yay!) so I did not even TRY to look cute this morning.  But that's real life, right??

Gender:  Boy!

Maternity Clothes:  Again, I'm just wearing whatever fits!  Which means that I'm down to like 4 things - haha.  It's just to the point where I don't even care if people see me in the same things over and over again.  Hopefully it won't matter much longer, anyway.  :)

Movement:  He is still a little wiggler!  His movements are TONS different now - it's mostly rolls and re-adjustments versus kicks and punches, but he still manages to get around in there!

Sleep:  This is really touch and go.  Some nights I sleep great, some nights are horrible.  There's no way to predict how I'll sleep, so I basically just have to take it as it comes.  Getting comfortable is definitely not an option anymore.

What I Miss:  This is the same as last week - a LOT!  I'm just ready to be not pregnant anymore!

What I'm Looking Forward To: Spending these last few days with LL and GETTING HIM OUT!

Cravings: Milk!  I have to have at least one glass every night.  I LOVE it!

Best Moment of the Week:  We have gotten SO many things accomplished around the house and I'm loving how prepared I'm feeling!

Questions or Concerns:  Not really any at this point.  I'm just ready to have a plan for getting him here!

Goals for the Week: Keep our house clean (it looks so good!), continue to freeze meals and enjoy our time left as a family of three!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pregnancy Timeline

I know my pregnancy isn't over yet, but I thought it would be neat to look at how Baby C and I have grown over the first 36 weeks of this journey!  I'll probably come back and add the last weeks after he gets here, but for now, here's a fun look at my growing bump!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Mommy's Having a Baby Class at SGMC

When I was pregnant with Lorelai, there were quite a few classes that we took at the hospital prior to her birth.  This time, there were only a few that I wanted to take.  The first one is called, "Mommy is Having a Baby", and it is, obviously, a class for siblings.  I really thought this might be a good way to get LL ready for Baby C to come.  Really, though, I thought more than anything that it would be a good chance for her to SEE what a hospital is.  I keep telling her that we'll get Baby C from the hospital, but she doesn't know what that is!  She can tell you the answer, but (other than when she was born) she's never actually been there before.  I really thought it would help her to go up there before there is a bunch of chaos, Mommy is in a hospital bed, family is all around, etc.  Plus, I thought it would be great to take her up to the nursery to see any babies up there.  

We were the first ones to arrive, and LL was in  a pretty good mood and ready to go!  I think she thought we were there for some kind of play, though??  She kept saying, "The kids are about to come out and sing!"  I have NO IDEA where she got that, but it's definitely not what happened - haha.

Sitting with Daddy - waiting for the class to start.

All of the supplies: a blanket, shirt, diaper, bottle, and coloring book.

Part of the instructions were that the sibling needed to bring a doll to practice with.  LL picked Mickey.

This is where things started to go downhill.  Once she realized that we were supposed to do things TO Mickey, she was not a happy camper.  

In other words - while the other kids were diapering, swaddling, feeding, and burping their "babies", we sat like this.  At least she was watching the instructor and paying attention!

Then, the instructor gave the kids about 10 minutes to color.  At least she would participate in this part (well - for a little bit)!

Her certificate she got for participating in the class.

After that part of the class, all of us went upstairs to see the babies in the nursery.  There was only one (and he was pretty far back), but at least it wasn't empty!  Overall, I think that the class itself was a complete waste of time, but I agree with what I originally thought: it was good to let her see what the hospital was (and that it wasn't scary!) and to see the nursery.