Monday, December 19, 2011

Almost 2 months old!

Our little Peter is almost two months old! It's hard to believe how quickly the months have passed, but we can't imagine life without him! He smiles a lot and is starting to coo and babble. He is a very cozy guy and I love co-sleeping with him. He is also a great sleeper - only waking up once or twice to nurse!

We noticed early on that he tends to lean his head and look to the right. We learned from a chiropractor who was a guest at one of our Bradley classes that this can be a sign of spinal misalignment, which likely occurred during delivery. So last week I took him to that same chiropractor and she determined that his occipital bone was misaligned. She made some adjustments and showed me some exercises to do with him. We had another appointment with her today and she saw major improvements in his neck strength and movement. Andrew and I have also noticed a lot of improvements. It's so nice to see him holding his head straight!

I have a couple more posts that I meant to write after Peter was born. I've been pretty behind on this blog for two main reasons (John and Peter!). Hopefully I will catch up soon!

Friday, December 16, 2011

John Quotes ~ Vol. 3

There is never a dull moment around this house. John is quite the talker and has a great sense of humor. Here are some quotes that I managed to write down over the last month or so:


His critique of some homemade grape juice: "It's not sour, Mamma. It's very spicy!"

"Look my did!" (instead of "look what I did")

"This mines?" (instead of "is this mine?")

"Some-be-people" (instead of "somebody") Example: "Some-be-people live in that house."

When Peter was crying: "Oh, Peter, you're fake crying."

After trying to use the potty chair: "I put a toot in there! Come see!"

I was wearing a knit hat and John said, "I like your hat, it's really purple."

We were taking a walk and a sports car went by. The driver was revving his engine. After it passed, John said, "That car stinks!"

He gets to have a little cup of chocolate milk before nap and bed time. While he is drinking it he always puts his finger in his belly button. He calls this "belly button time".

Apparently I call Andrew "darling" a lot because John asked me one day, "darling had to go to work?"

When we were driving past a sign for a highway he said "That man lost his body" (In reference to the profile of George Washington).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Newest Catholic!

Peter was baptized on November 13th. We had a great weekend - full of time with family, friends, and God's grace though Peter's first sacrament!

Shortly after he was born, a good friend of ours gave Peter a holy medal that contains a relic from his patron - St. Peter Julain Eymard! I pinned the medal to his shirt and he wore it during his baptism.

May you cling to Our Lord all the days of your life, Peter! Welcome Home!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Andrew's Birthday Weekend!

Andrew's birthday was on Saturday. He had to work, but that turned out to be a good thing because I had a lot to do to prepare for a couple surprises I had planned!

As far as he knew, the plan was that he would come home for one of his favorite meals (Tikka Masala), then my parents would come down and join us for huckleberry pie and a few presents. That was it... or so he thought!

After he opened gifts, my mom spontaneously suggested that Andrew and I go out and do something together. I looked at him and shrugged my shoulders as if it was a possibility. At that point he knew something was up!

So we rushed off and I took him to see our community theater's production of Fiddler on the Roof! It was very good and well-done! We had a great time and he was pretty surprised.

But wait, there's more!

The next day, after we came home from Mass, he found this sign on our front door:

"Whaaaat?" He questioned with a smile.

When he went in the house he found a fridge stocked with beer and pizza and snack food covering the counter (Thanks to my mom and dad who set it up while we were at Mass!).

I told him that some of his buddies would be over soon for a "guy-day." They played poker and Halo. Everyone stayed all day and into the night - so I think they had fun!

John, Peter and I went upstairs and spent the day with my parents. So we got to have a special day too!

Andrew, I love you so much and hope you had a wonderful weekend! You work so hard to provide for us and we really appreciate everything you do! Happy birthday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Birthday!! {How to make straw rockets}

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today is Andrew's birthday - or as John would say "Daddy's happy birth-dee." This year, John got in on the gift giving. A couple of days ago we made straw rockets. You can see below that we have Super Daddy, Super Mommy, Super Johnny, and Super Peter. I drew the figures and John colored them (I colored the capes).

Stapled to the back of each figure is a paper tube that I rolled around a crayon which was slightly larger than the straw. You can't roll it around the straw because then it will be too tight and not fly off easily - trust me, I tried it! Then you just put the figure on the end of a straw and blow! It's lots of fun for a 2-year-old and his daddy!

This morning I told John that it was Dad's birthday today. He ran to where we hid the gift and brought it to Andrew (who was still sound asleep). Andrew woke up and opened his gift. It was so sweet to see John's excitement! I know that Andrew is his hero!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Big Brother

John has taken very well to his new position as Big Brother. I love watching him smother his brother with kisses. He is totally smitten with Peter and that makes me think about his own call to fatherhood in the future - be it physical or spiritual.

I have noticed that with multiple kids, you have the added responsibility of teaching the older child how to care for the baby. There are so many life lessons for them when having a newborn around, but it does require more patience on my part to teach those lessons.

John is a great big brother and I look forward to seeing his relationship with Peter blossom over the years.

Here are some cute things John as said about Peter:
Pointing at Peter: "Look, so good brother is!"
"I like Brother."
"Let me hold him!" (says this about 100x a day!)
"Baby Brother a Baby?"
"Baby Brother so nice!" 
"I love Peter."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Peter Julian's Birth Story

Below you will find Peter Julian’s birth story. It is written to him and I plan on putting it in his baby book for his first birthday, as I did for John. Warning - it's pretty long! =) 


We eagerly awaited the blessing of a second child. It took six months before you were conceived and this was a sign to us of God’s perfect timing. When your dad and I got married we made the commitment to let God plan our family. It was a lesson in patience for me when month after month, I was not pregnant and then finally in January of 2011 - the pregnancy test was positive and you were present on this earth! We joyfully welcomed your eternal soul into our family!

I also learned to be patient at the end of my pregnancy because you were not born on your due date - just like your brother, John. My goal was to birth you naturally, with no drugs of any kind. I had the same goal for John’s birth, but because I was induced and didn’t know much about the birthing process, I ended up getting an epidural. But with you, we prepared ourselves by taking class on natural child birth. Even though we were still anxious about your birth, we felt more prepared this time.

Since you went past your due date, our doctor suggested inducing and advised us that we should not wait longer than two weeks. We scheduled the induction exactly fourteen days after your due date - to take every chance we could to let labor begin naturally. As we neared the fourteenth day, we questioned whether we should go through with the induction or keep waiting. Thankfully, you were born on the twelfth day, so we didn’t have to make that decision!

Days and days passed with no sign of active labor. Grandma St.Hilaire came down for a few days before your birth to help me around the house and entertain your brother, John. We had told her and Grandpa Stockton a few months prior that they could be present at your birth. She had never seen a birth and we wanted to give her that special gift of seeing her new grandson being born. It was such a blessing to have her stay with us and her company made me feel less impatient for your arrival. 

I did a lot of walking to help bring on labor. A couple of days before your birth, I started feeling contractions when walking with Grandma St.Hilaire and John. That made me hopeful, so the next day I went on three walks! That night around midnight I began to feel regular contractions. They were not painful, but they were strong enough that I couldn’t really sleep. I stayed in bed and tried to rest. Around five in the morning I got up to get a bite to eat, knowing that I should eat while I could since, once admitted to the hospital, the nurses would not let me eat. Sourdough toast and string cheese sounded good to me, so that’s what I ate while sitting on my exercise ball. I woke your dad up a couple of times during the night so he could time the contractions. Thankfully he was able to get a good amount of sleep so that he was well-rested in the morning.

Your dad took the day off from work and we sent John upstairs to be with Grandma and Grandpa Stockton and Grandma St.Hilaire. It was so nice spending the day with your dad. We played Dr. Mario together, went on walks, and danced! It was actually fun being in labor! I felt like the whole day was one long date with your dad!

Based on what we learned in our birthing classes, we thought that I was in early first stage labor for most of the day. Hours went by and not much seemed to change. So we kept enjoying ourselves between the contractions with more games and fun. When a contraction came on, your dad would help me through it with encouragement and massage. Around four in the afternoon your grandparents told us that they were going to the Saturday Vigil Mass. Since it was the weekend, they thought it would be good to go to Mass before you were born, so they wouldn’t miss anything. 

Shortly after they left, your dad and I finished up playing a video game (which your dad won, sparing no mercy on your laboring mom!), and looked at each other wondering what we should do next. Should we eat dinner? Go on a walk? We decided to time the contractions to see if they were any closer. I laid down on the couch. The contractions were getting closer but were still more than five minutes apart. We thought we’d try to stay home until they were less than five minutes apart.

We were listening to a Bob Dylan album. As I was laying there, listening to Blowing in the Wind, I began thinking about you and how blessed I felt to be a mother. Knowing that I was going to be able to hold you and nurse you in a short time filled me with joy. I started crying. Your dad thought the pain was the cause of my tears but I told him they were tears of joy. Around this same time I started feeling like I was going to throw up during the contractions - a sign to us that I might be entering transition which is the last phase of first stage labor. These emotional and physical signs told us that we should leave for the hospital.

Your dad scurried around the house grabbing last minute items, while I got my shoes on and grabbed a few things in between contractions. We got out to the car and hopped in. As we drove the contractions got stronger and closer together. Dad tried to console me while driving, but I told him to focus on driving and that I would be fine. Dad called your grandparents, who were still at Mass, and left a message. We figured they could just head to the hospital when they got out of church.

After the fifteen minute drive to the hospital, we arrived and your dad asked me what we should bring into the hospital. I just told him to get your diaper bag and we could get the rest later. I started walking ahead to the entrance of the hospital but a contraction came on. I motioned to Dad to hurry over so I could lean on him. He ran over and when the contraction had ended I remembered that my cute laboring gown was still in the car, so I sent him back to get it.

We checked in and they wheeled me to room 16. Two nurses were there to greet me. I told them I had my own gown to wear and they complimented me on it saying that whoever made it could make a fortune. I got the gown on and tried tying the bow in the back. I was having a hard time tying it so one of the nurses helped me. Then I hobbled onto the bed and the nurse checked to see how dilated I was. She said I was between 8 and 9 centimeters dilated (the goal is 10). Your dad and I were both surprised and excited that most of the work was done. Shortly after that I felt like I was doing to pee in the bed. I warned the nurses and asked if that was alright. During the next contraction my water broke and I started feeling a slight urge to push. At that point the nurses were in a flurry trying to prepare for your birth. I looked at your Dad and told him that I had to push during the next contraction. Pushing you out was something I couldn’t really control - my body just did it! It took about three contractions before I pushed you all the way out. Your warm, naked body was immediately placed on my chest and I kissed your precious face. I told you that I loved you over and over. I called you by name - Peter! Dad got to cut your umbilical cord and he touched your sweet body for the first time.

You were born fourteen minutes after we arrived at the hospital - at 6:06pm. The doctor wasn’t even there for your birth! In hindsight, your dad and I are so thankful that we even made it to the hospital! 

Your grandparents called Dad when they got out of church. Dad asked them, “Do you want to know his name now or when you get here?” They couldn’t believe you had been born already! They went home to grab a few things and then headed over to the hospital to meet you.

They came in the room with John and Miss Jordan. John had on his shirt that said “I love my lil’ brother”. He had decorated cupcakes for you earlier in the day with your grandmas. We all sang Happy Birthday to you. John was beaming and really enjoyed eating your cupcake for you!

Everyone got a chance to hold you and welcome you into our family. We apologized to Grandma St.Hilaire and Grandpa Stockton for not waiting for them so they could see your birth. They forgave us! 


It wasn’t long before we were transferred to a different room. It was getting late and eventually the family left to go back home. You, your dad and I were left alone for the night. I was feeling great and on a natural high from giving birth to you with no pain medication. You and I were both doing so well that we were released from the hospital less than 24 hours from being admitted.

We came home to a house full of people wanting to meet you; including Great-Grandma Launceford, Grandpa St.Hilaire, Uncle Aaron, and Mr. Friedman. We ate a big meal together to celebrate your birth.


As I write this, you are now one week old! You are a precious addition to our family and we thank God every day for your life. He has entrusted you to us here on this earth and it is a true honor to be your parents. May you have a long life filled with love for God and others!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Introducing Peter Julian!

Peter Julian St.Hilaire
Born on October 22, 2011
9 lbs
19.5 in.

Stay tuned for the birth story...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Clean up!

In the past month or so I've been relying on John more and more to clean up after himself, since I can't do it all and endlessly picking up toys off the ground is no fun when you are 9 months pregnant!

I know that for him to meet my expectations, I need to teach him and train him how to do it first. We began by cleaning together and we put everything in its home. One day I thought of a way to make it a little more fun - I made this short youtube playlist with some good songs for cleaning (disclaimer - some of them are slightly annoying and get stuck in your head!). So now when I tell him it's clean up time, I turn on the music and he is capable of doing it all by himself. Notice I said "capable" - meaning he can do it but doesn't always do it without more encouragement and help. At this point the event after clean up time dictates how quickly and thoroughly he cleans. For example, "clean up so we can watch a show" gets better results than "clean up so you can take a nap."

We typically do this routine before nap and bedtime. A couple of days ago it was time for nap and I was thinking that I'd just clean up for him since it was getting a little late in the afternoon. But when I told him it was story time (which we do before nap) he said "no, clean up first!" I wasn't going to argue with that, so I turned on the music and let him clean!

Here are some before and after shots of our pre-nap clean up time today:



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Less than one week to go! (Maybe)

Well, there is now less than a week until my due date. I've been trying to not focus on that date though because I don't want to go crazy if he arrives late. John was nine days late and the waiting game was very trying emotionally. I'm already beginning to feel anti-social and homey.

The other night I asked Andrew if he ever forgets that I am pregnant. He chuckled and said "No!" But I can honestly say that some days I feel like I forget, or sometimes I have dreams that I am not pregnant and then when I wake up it's a big shock that I am indeed pregnant and the baby will be coming out very soon. I guess it's just hard to imagine having another baby in the house. John and I have a particular rhythm to our days and I don't feel prepared to have that change yet. These last nine months have really gone by so fast!

But "ready or not... here he comes!"

39 weeks pregnant

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Nemesis: The Dishes

One spoon... Harmless, right?

But if your spoons are anything like the ones in our house - they multiply - very quickly!!

I'm not just talking spoons either. Dirty dishes. They attract one another like magnets:

(Not my kitchen... but some days I feel like it looks this way!)
Well, I've taken up an experiment for the past week and a half. I've always struggled with keeping the kitchen clean. It is especially difficult cleaning up after dinner because I am generally tired at the end of the day and I want to relax!

One day, Andrew gave me some advice (in a nice way, of course!). You see, his parents' kitchen is always clean! It's like magic! And I know his mom does a lot of cooking, so it should be getting dirty, right? He said that growing up, his parents always cleaned dishes immediately and if any dish could go in the dishwasher, you put it there right away - no time hanging out in the sink!

I put that advice on the back-burner for awhile - after all, surely that would not work for me. I've never been the clean-as-I-go type.

But in the flurry of nesting mode, I decided to give it a go... By golly, it works! The kitchen has been clean for pretty much the last week and a half! Sometimes a few things pile up, especially when I am in the middle of cooking or baking, but I always make sure to clean it up as soon as I can. I don't even let one spoon hang out in the sink because that, my friends, is the beginning of the slippery slope. It's also nice not having to scrape dried food off dishes - who knew it rinses right off if you clean it immediately!

Andrew has even commented that when the kitchen is perfectly clean he feels bad leaving one dish out, so he is also motivated to clean up immediately after himself. Whereas, before if there were already dishes collecting in the sink, what's wrong with adding a few more?

I know I'll have down days, and everything won't always be perfect, but I am really hopeful right now that I'm developing good kitchen habits that are here to stay. My favorite part about having a clean kitchen is I feel like I have more time to do other things - like play with John and keep up with the rest of the house.

If this sounds appealing to you, go ahead and give it a try! =)

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Magic Dragon

This morning was rough. John use to stay in his bed and yell, "Open door please, Mama!" Until I relented and rolled myself out of bed to open his door. I think he did this because he was afraid to get out of bed. Well now we have entered a new phase of independence. I even tried to open his door once this week and he told me to "let Johnny do it." With this new independence also comes earlier wake up calls because he gets up the instant he is awake. Yesterday he was bright and chipper at 6:15am and today he let me sleep in until 7:15am. I'm generally accustomed to sleeping in until 8am - spoiled, I know!

But this morning he was up and not so chipper. I told him that I would send him back to bed if he was going to be so crabby. Once we got to the living room and started playing with toys he was better. But I was still finding myself annoyed by little things.

I was making sandwich bread and he wanted to help put the salt in. I let him do it, but tried to guide his hand. He wanted to do it on his own and sure enough - he dumped the salt on the counter right next to the mixing bowl. I know it's not big deal, but I've noticed he wants to be independent when he really still needs help, and dependent when he doesn't really need help (i.e. wanting me to pick up his toys for him).

Anyway, I was feeling very negative with all these little things. But once the bread was in the oven and the kitchen was clean, I went into the living room to be with my little guy. I really do love him. He has such a great imagination - acting out voices for his stuffed animals and little figurines. He also loves to read. He could be read to all day if I was willing. His bookshelf is in constant disarray because he is always pulling books out to read.

Today he found a book by Peter Yarrow that is full of lullaby lyrics and beautiful pictures. Attached to the inside cover is a CD with all the songs. We got it as a baby shower gift before John was born and we've never listened to the CD. I asked John if he wanted to listen to it with me. He said yes. So we busted it out of it's untouched case and put it in the CD player. It was a great album. I really like Peter Yarrow's voice. We sat on the couch and I sang along with the songs.

When Puff the Magic Dragon came on, I was surprised by my reaction near the end of the song:
A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, Jackie paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar. 
I cried.

John was surprised too. He is always so concerned when I cry. "Cuddle Mama," he said as he came over and hugged me.

It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day. Picking up toys constantly, repeating yourself over and over, dealing with crabbiness, picky eating, being pulled out of bed at who-knows-what-hour... I instantly felt so bad for feeling irritated earlier. My little boy will not be little forever. This precious time I have with him is so fleeting and I resolve to value it more. Who knew good ol' Puff would bring me to my senses... for today.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: New Wipes!

Since I just got a bunch of new diapers, I thought I'd freshen up my wipe stash too. I have been using wipes made by a friend which are one layer of flannel surged around the edges:

They definitely did the job! But I recently envisioned a new wipe that was more heavy duty, because sometimes you just need a little more than flannel. So I made some new wipes that are the best of both worlds - one side is terry cloth (for the dirty work) and the other is flannel (for a smooth finish!).

I started using the new wipes with John and I really like them. I am usually able to do a big job with only one wipe. I made a set of 20 wipes so that should be plenty. I still use the same spray bottle solution to get the wipe nice and moist before using it.

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: 2 years later...

We have been cloth diapering for over two years now. If you've been around our blog that long, you'll know that we settled on Fuzzi Bunz. They are "One-Sized" meaning they are designed to last from birth to potty training.

Here is the series I posted when we were making all the decisions and getting into cloth diapering:
  1. The beginning (We started with Bun Genius)
  2. The sun is amazing (stain removal via sunlight) 
  3. Reviews and new diapers 
  4. And the winner is... (decision to use Fuzzi Bunz) 
  5. Cloth wipes 
  6. How I wash those smelly dipes
My review of Fuzzi Bunz and cloth diapering in general - 2 years later...
  • Smell - After the diapers are cleaned, they smell pretty neutral. I have noticed that once John goes pee the diapers smell like ammonia sometimes. After looking into this problem, I discovered that it is probably caused by soap build-up. This can be solved by "stripping" the diapers. I don't do this on a regular enough basis to know if it would really work. I have stripped the diapers and it does seem to help, but I generally just try to keep him in a dry diaper and deal with the stinking factor.
  • Repelling - Sometimes the diapers have repelled pee. For example, more than once the diapers have leaked and they weren't even wet! Again, this problem was solved with a good stripping.
  • Rash - About a year ago, John had a terrible rash. His skin was raw and welted to the point that cream would not stick to it. He had it for weeks and I was trying everything to get rid of it. We had to switch to disposables during this time because I didn't want to damage the cloth by using various creams that we were trying (you must use special creams on cloth diapering that won't build up on the fabric, which can cause more repelling). I believe the rash was caused by his "all night diaper" as we called it, which was a Fuzzi Bunz diaper with two absorbing inserts inside... let's just say he had a fluffy bum at night! His bottom just couldn't handle being exposed to all that moisture during the night and the diaper wasn't good at pulling the moisture away from his skin. I sought advice from many friends. One told me I should try athletes foot cream because it has an anti-fungal properties. She told me the key ingredient was Clotrimazole. I was willing to try anything, so we went and bought a tube of athlete's foot cream. It worked!! Within three days, the rash was pretty much gone. Two results came from that experience: 1. We keep athlete's foot cream in our diaper supplies, and 2. We put John in a disposable diaper at night. Thankfully, we have not had the problem again since the disposable keeps his skin dry at night.
  • Fitting - The one-sized Fuzzi Bunz diapers grows by adjusting the elastic in the legs and back. This system has worked well and the diapers have really grown with John. He is 2 years and 4 months old now and the diapers still fit!
  • Quality? - I still think the Fuzzi Bunz diapers are high quality. No, they are not white anymore and they've seen better days. But, since I've only had 8 diapers, these diapers have been through a lot of washing and wear. I use to have 9 diapers, but the PUL on one of the diapers started to separate, so I had to take it out of the rotation. I think this happened because I started drying the diapers in the dryer instead of air drying them - to speed up the process. Now I make sure to air dry them to prolong the life of the diapers.
  • The Verdict - I am very happy with Fuzzi Bunz and we just got more for Baby #2! My friends threw a shower for me a couple of weeks ago and they gave me a set of diapers! I requested a set of 12 so that I could have more in my rotation. It will be especially nice when John is potty trained and I can use all the diapers for Brother. So when John is out of diapers I will have 20 diapers to use for one child (a dream come true!).
Here are some pictures comparing old and new diapers:

New diapers!!

L-Old, R-New (Notice the old is pretty brown!)

Lining of the old diapers, the fabric is pilled and not as soft

New diaper lining - it's like a cloud!

Diaper inserts: L-Old, R-New (notice the old is brown and isn't as soft)

That wraps up my 2 year review! Let me know if you have any questions

Kitsap Fair

We went to the Kitsap Fair two weeks ago. John loved seeing all the animals, but most of all - he loved the rides! Andrew took him on three rides and John was hooked! He also ate cotton candy for the first time. I'm not sure if he liked it, but he did eat it!

The fair holds a special place in my heart because I did 4-H when I was a child. Sewing, square dancing, and cats were my focus. For a few years, we camped at the fair the whole week, since we had to be there everyday anyway. This day trip to the fair brought back a lot of memories for me and I hope the fair will be a special event for our children too.