Thursday, August 27, 2009

Keaton is One Week Old!

Hard to believe it was one short week ago that we were at the hospital and I was learning the true meaning of "natural childbirth" . . . yeeeeouch!!

Keaton not only turned one week old today but as Carson explains it, "Keaton's belly button fell off and he got a new one!"

Yes, this morning I discovered a dried up little crusty in the crib and it turned out to be the last of Keaton's umbilical cord! Gross and sentimental all in one little package!

Keaton's doctor's appointment went terrifically today! Our regular pediatrician was finally back from vacation (YAY because we love him and were much less enamoured with the two docs that we'd met with in the last week).

Keaton has gained 3 ounces in the last 3 days!! Yay!! Back up to 6.6! He's still a little bird with skinny legs and a wobbly neck but he's working hard at getting back to his birth weight!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keaton is now 6 days old!

Time flies when you're living in 3 hour segments! Still having to wake him up to feed him but he turned a corner at midnight Sunday! He's consistently eating at least 2 ounces or more which is a huge success for him.

He still sleeps a lot and poops even more! Every single diaper is poopy and we're going through them like crazy. Don't remember that about Carson.

Keaton is quickly earning the nickname "Little Tooter". He has quite a noisy tushie and it is so funny to hear him toot with every stretch.

Carson LOVES his brother! He is so gentle with him and gives him so many pats and kisses. And yesterday went MUCH better than the weekend. Just getting back in his routine, going to school, having a picnic before swim class with Daddy, and having a very successful swim class put him in a much better mood.

I am busier than busy with work and trying to figure out how to balance it all. Not to get too graphic (especially since our family blog is apparently now public knowledge at my office) but breast feeding is almost as disasterous as it was the first time.

To recap, with Carson I lasted all of 9 days of pumping breastmilk for him since that was the only option. My goal with Keaton, since he was early and is so small is too last at least until he is caught up, so 4-6 weeks.

Pumping sucks. Jeremy feeds Keaton his night bottles while I sit on the couch hooked up to the dairy grade sucker. Our consult with the lactation specialist left her shaking her head, stumped as to why my mammaries are so faulty.

The bright side of pumping, if you can call it that, the device that might just encourage me to keep going is a RIDICULOUS contraption that allows for "hands free" pumping! Please try not to get any mental images but at least now I can multi-task while I empty my jugs!

However, I can only go as far as the plastic hoses connecting me to the torturous pump. I'm looking into how many I can string together to increase the length of my tether and perhaps vaccum while I pump?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

4 day old Keaton update-good news

Like a prize boxer, Keaton had his "weigh in" appointment this morning. We were very nervous, as this is nothing like our first week with Carson, who ate like a champ and gained a pound a week for the first few months.

But as everyone is pointing out, newborn weight loss is actually more "normal" than our abnormal Carson.

The great news is that our little bird-legged doll of a baby is holding his own. Still 6.3 and his bilirubin levels are in the normal range. So even though getting him to wake up and eat is a chore, we're doing something right.

Who ever thought we'd be setting our alarm to wake up our baby every 3 hours to feed him!

He is a super sweet little guy with intense blue eyes and downy soft blonde hair!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Pics of TEENY TINY Keaton!

Since Keaton is soooo small and losing weight by the day (common for early babies), he sleeps all day and night. So just catching up on pics for everyone!

Heading to the hospital at 8 am Wednesday morning!Oops! Another contraction! They've been coming every 2 minutes for over an hour. In no particular order . . .

Aunt Liza Grandma & Grandpa Levy all the way from Sheridan!
Big brother Carson checking Keaton out from afar.
This isn't so bad!
Definitely brothers!
A few hours from going home on Thursday.
Too beautiful!

Uncle Ga

Heading home but not in the car seat we showed up with! Keaton is too small for ours so we had to buy another one from the hospital store. It's horrible!
Bye-bye uncomfortable hospital Daddy bed!
First night home was good. Keaton is very small and sleepy so we have to wake him up every 3 hours to feed him.
Friday we took Keaton to his first doctor's appointments. He is doing well but still losing weight. Started at 6.11, left the hospital at 6.5 and is down to 6.3. A bit scary and he is now on preemie formula for the extra calories. We're supposed to be feeding him at every possible opportunity but he's just not eating enough.
The good thing is that he's doing well in all other aspects.
Today, Saturday we're a bit frustrated and nervous. Keaton just isn't eating enough and sleeps 24/7. My breastmilk finally came in (I pump every 3 hours) so Keaton is getting that as well, when we can get him to eat.
Carson came home Friday night and loves his brother. Lots of pats and he brings him toys and blankets. However, today he started acting out. Meltdowns right and left on our errands. It was less than enjoyable but not unexpected.
Tomorrow we head back to the doctor for a weigh-in appointment in the morning and a lactation consult in the afternoon. Hopefully all goes well!
We had to buy him a few preemie outfits since we don't have a single outfit that even comes close to fitting him! Carson was almost 3 pounds larger at this time! The preemie stuff will hopefully be outgrown soon and then we can start buying him some Newborn sizes, which we don't have either!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Keaton Clifford has Arrived!

To continue the last post!

The car ride to the hospital was not so fun. I was bound and determined to stop by my office to tie up one loose end but quickly realized that wasn't happening. Laboring through contractions every 2 minutes in a car seat on bumpy, windy roads was not so fun.

We got to the hospital at 8:30 am. Nurse escorted us to an "assessment" room and then quickly realized that baby was truly on the way. Already dilated to 5 cm!

We walked down the hall, stopping for several contractions, and got settled into our delivery room.

I squatted through about 30-40 minutes of contractions by the bed and then moved into the shower and labored on an exercise ball for the next 30-45 minutes.

Back to the bed for an IV because Keaton's heart rate was a bit high at times and they just wanted to be prepared for anything.

Our wonderful midwife checked me and found that I was 7-8 cm and my water hadn't broken. At this point, the pain was pretty intense but I knew I had to have her break it to speed things up.

OMG- Jeremy described an 18 inch long chopstick, a loud pop, and a massive gush. And then INTENSE pain. Pain like I've never felt. Not from the breaking of the water but of the instant pressure on my cervix as Keaton slid further down in the shoot.

Not to get too graphic but I basically went right into pushing and was more comfortable on all fours. So I gave birth, literally, just like a cow would. Apparently I'm a screamer. I felt so badly for anyone walking by our room. It was the most intense pain I've ever felt.

It felt like hours and hours but they told me it was only 10 minutes.

Jeremy, my midwife, and my labor/delivery nurse were all rockstars and when I said (screamed) I couldn't take any more, they got me to re-focus and "bring me back to center"

I can say that it was totally worth it and the feeling was absolutely euphoric afterward. Thank goodness he was small though! If he'd gone full term, I definitely wouldn't have made it.

Keaton was born sunnyside up (a tougher route out) at 9:45 am, 6 lbs, 11 oz, 19 3/4 oz long.

He is adorable and a super sleer . . . let's keep it that way! Blue-grey eyes, blond hair! More to follow later!

Heading to the Hospital

Uncomfortable contractions slowed down last night after I was able to get off my feet. Midwife on-call said call back in the morning.

Woke up at 4:30 this morning with painful contractions and they are now 2 minutes apart.

We dropped Carson's suitcase and Jackson off at Nana's this morning. Nana picked him up about 25 minutes ago to take him to school.

Midwife on-call said, "Come on down!"

So we're heading to St. Vincent's! Wish us luck and a speedy delivery. I'm still aiming for epidural-free . . . oh my goodness it's going to hurt!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Baby Keaton Could be on the Way!

Midwife checked me today after a week of a non-stop contractions . . .

Now 3 cm dilated (from 1 last week)

and 95% effaced (from 50% last week).

She said he is pretty much locked and loaded, estimating him to be about 7 pounds.

She said she'd prefer him to stay in there a few more weeks but said she's be surprised if I made it to my next appointment.

She EVEN had the nerve to half-jokingly say she thought I might already be in labor.


It's quite possible.

Checking my cervix caused me to have much longer, more frequent, and much more uncomfortable contractions. And that hasn't stopped all night. Plus, stop reading if you're squeamish, but there is a fair amount of "leakage" going on.

When my water broke with Carson, it was a massive gush. No questions about what had happened.

This time there seems to be a trickle effect going on. Enough that three of my friends demanded I call the midwife on duty.

Midwife on duty gave us a list of options. So as of right now, we're sitting tight at home waiting.

And let me be clear that the stress level around here is at nearing peak levels.

From the time I left the midwife's office until 5:30, I was typing with flying fingers, coping copius amounts, and trying like mad to tie up loose ends in case I didn't make it back to the office tomorow. Sweat was dripping down my brow and I was talking to myself like a crazy woman.

Why? Because I just sold a house this afternoon which means a mountain of paperwork and lots of things to schedule and do. AND I have a new listing that is supposed to go active tomorrow which is also a lot of paperwork and logistics.

I was mentally preparing for a delivery on Saturday or later. NOT today.

Jeremy is (I love you honey) extremely tense and stressed. The vibes are rubbing off on Carson and I so I really would like him to just have one drink to chill out.

Carson, I can't lie, watched tv from 6-7:30 tonight as we worked madly on packing bags, installing the carseat, typing instructions, getting the cats set up for a long indoor vacation, doing laundry, etc, etc, etc.

From here on out, I will try to post daily updates. If a few days go by without a post, we may just have a new baby!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Joys of Country Life

We absolutely LOVE living in the country and can't imagine ever living in a neighborhood again. Yesterday while we put the finishing touches on the nursery, Carson rode his Gator around the field. He is super proficient with the two gear and reverse. We don't worry about him at all.

We were working on the valence and happened to see out the nursery winow the cutest scene ever! Jeremy raced to grab the camera and capture the moment!

FOLLOW UP NOTE: I started this post earlier this afternoon and now I'm finishing this post this evening. We had almost tramatic event involving the gator . . . which I wrote earlier that we never worry about.
First Carson learned this evening about X-treme gatoring. He puts it into 2nd gear and flies down the gravel path at top speed. Then he lets off the gas which is the equivalent of jamming on the brakes. He skids down the path fishtailing and spewing gravel.
It was driving his Daddy CRAZY because Daddy is very anal about his gravel path. I, on the other hand was cracking up . . .at Daddy's ultimate frustration and the fact that he has forgotten what it's like to be a kid and doesn't have much patience for it.
Then as Daddy and I were relaxing on our patio swing, I hear 2nd gear wind up, tires flying down gravel. But then Daddy says aloud, mostly to himself, "Look forward, look forward, (voice increasing in volume and stress level), LOOK FORWARD!"
And then a giant crash!
We lept up (I rolled right, fell out off the swing) and ran for the orchard. Carson had crashed head-on into a tree. My heart did jump into my throat envisioning a concussion and picturing my child's limp boy on the hood of the gator.
However he was just stunned by the event and more worried about his trucks that went flying out of the dump bed than anything else.
Any my dear husband, instead of worrying about a trip to the ER, was feeling the tree for damage!! No kidding.
The tree actually did sustain damage and now has to be staked. Keep in mind, this is at a 10+ year old apple tree! It isn't small! It's rocking down to the roots! Poor thing.
I told Carson that he is in danger of losing his Gator license. Dangerously close.

Washington County Fair 2009

Sadly I found these two week old pictures from our third annual trip to the Washington County Fair on the camera while I was downloading the recent baby bump (scratch that, baby mountain) pics. Belated but finally posting!

And in an attempt to wrangle the toy piles out of the family room, I FINALLY bought a toy bin organizer. So great that we bought one for Keaton's room too! And the close up . . . yes, the former teacher in me and anal personality insisted on creating picture & word labels AND laminating them for each bin. It's been so helpful. If not yet for Carson, at least it is for us!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nursery Finally Ready & 36 Weeks Pregnant!

Keaton's nursery is finally finished! Here is the finished product! Bedding came first and established the color theme. Then the realization that we had a beautiful piece of artwork (thank you Nana & Poppa) from Kauai.

And the loosely based surfing theme was born.

I say "loosely: because certain people, who will remain unnamed (but you know who you are), tend to go THEME CRAZY! And this is pretty much the extent of the surfing stuff you will ever see.

The handmade wood inlay surfboards arrived from the east coast and are beautiful! And I love the French Memory board I made (pat pat on my back)! Close up pics below!

The valence was a bitch (pardon my french) but just like the cooking show "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee" it is a combination of an already made tab top valence with a little handiwork with scissors, a staple gun, some L brackets, a piece of MDF, and iron-on hem tape. It'll get the job done, just don't look closely.

And finally, the reason I am so DONE being pregnant! Lugging this large child around in my belly even one more week may just do me in.
I am now 36 weeks pregnant, 17 pounds heavier than when I started, and stretched to my max. I am hoping, praying, and begging for Keaton to arrive next weekend. There is no way in God's green earth that I will make it another 4 weeks, let alone 5 weeks if he follows in his brother's footsteps of being a week late.
36 weeks with Keaton
36 weeks with Carson- I see a BIG difference! Tomorrow I promise to find time to post some cute pics that I just found on the camera of Carson at the county fair and some we took just today of him picking apples in our orchard!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Keaton is kicking along!

Quick update:

Midwife appointment yesterday at 35 weeks, 3 days pregnant.

Still head down.
Went from 1 to 1+ cm dilated.
Went from thinning cervix to 50% effaced

Comparison: with Carson at this exact point I was 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced and put on BED REST.

So I am so excited that my stats aren't changing all that much and I am NOT ON BED REST!! WooHooo!

My contractions are not as fun though. Coming quite regularly and fairly annoying. Nothing that indicates an early delivery but I'm still hopeful!

For my fitness freak friends, I've gained 18 pounds so far compared to 24 with Carson. Several midwives recommended watching the calories these last 4 weeks to try to keep Keaton from growing too big. I'm really not wanting a 9+ lb baby so my nightly ice cream/pudding is going to have to switch to back to the Biggest Loser jello + lite whip cream dessert.

Pictures of the nursery coming soon. Hopefully by this weekend! Everything has arrived and now just needs to be hung!

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back!

After three disasterous weeks in a row, we were just dreading tonight. After last week's 3 minute $16 swim class, Teacher Sierra ordered Jeremy back into the pool and Mommy to hide in the viewing room.

One step forward and two steps back.

This is how Jeremy described his feelings going into swim class tonight. But I tried to explain to him that raising a child is not always a forward motion activity.

For example, Carson has been in his current school with his same loving teachers for almost a year now. Yet he still hit a regression phases and for the last month, absolutely LOSES it when I drop him off. Hysterical sobbing like I'm never coming back.

But with my background in daycare, I know that 5 minutes after I leave, he will be fine. And sooner or later, he will go back to his easy going self and skip the drama drop off routine.

Tonight on the way to class, Carson interrupted his own constant chatter to tell us that "it is inappropriate to say that" . . .

Not only was he talking about himself, he used a very grown up word completely in context. I quite literally peed myself laughing (a little because I'm preggo and a lot because it was hilarious).

But then two minutes later his bi-polar pendulum swung in our least favorite direction and he got really pissed off. When Daddy said no more snacks Carson yelled at him (keep in mind we're "carpooling" to swim class and we'd just dropped off Daddy's car in a parking lot), "YOU GO BACK TO YOUR OWN CAR!!"

It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. Our tactic of choice at that moment was to ignore his tantrum. It worked well. After yelling that he doesn't like my car either and that we should get rid of it (more silent laughing from us), he quieted down and asked, "Mommy, you not happy?"


But back to swim class. It went great! Less than a minute of tears. Fortunately having Daddy keeping him company in the pool worked wonders. Unfortunately we only have 3 classes left before the next session starts. And parents can't be in the pool for the next session. Hopefully we can work out all the kinks before then!


1. Thank you to my wonderful cousins for throwing me a super fun family baby shower. Abbie and Becki, you're the best! And to the rest of the Bride Tribe, thank you for making the drive to Tualatin to help me celebrate Keaton!

2. I am done. So done. This baby is cooked and I am ready for him to be out. Why?

a. Heartburn: I made the mistake of bragging that it didn't happen with this pregnancy. Two days later, it started. Late in the game but here with a vengence.

b. Ever since the midwife flipped Keaton back into the correct head down position, my contractions have been coming every hour and get more and more uncomfortable by the day. The pressure on my cervix increased exponentially.

c. I can hardly work out anymore. I am out of breath. My contractions get painful. And I just can't keep up with the group any more. But I'm bound and determined to keep going.

Speaking of working out, here is a cool new advertising video for Baby Boot Camp. It's short and sweet and you'll see Carson and I several times!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Outta the mouth of Babes

Speaking of babes, there were these two princesses . . . .

Carson loves his "Big Book of Classic Disney Stories" and today as he was yet again flipping through the pages "reading", he announced:

"Pocahantas has boobies on just like Ariel!"

Leave it to Disney to emphasize the female anatomy with bra tops and bare tummies.


I must admit, as much as I complain about the Horrible Threes, the good times do outnumber the frustrating times and the good times are HILARIOUS! Carson has a wonderful sense of humor, compassion, and a memory like an elephant! We love him to pieces and appreciate his intelligence, physical skills (which includes jumping into the air and landing on his knees, a move that would put either one of us in the hospital), and the fact that he still sleeps like a champ! I can only hope that his brother follows in his footsteps!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Unexpected Excitement with Midwife!

Today was my 34 week appointment and I was very apprehensive about getting jailed on bed rest. I selfishly want to keep working out but was very honest about how things are going.

Clues (looking back) that something was amiss.

1. Keaton, a mover and a shaker, hasn't been moving as much in the past week. A little worrisome but wasn't in the dangerous category.

2. I kept having to push down on my belly to be able to breathe.

So back to today's appointment:

Midwife measures my belly, right on track at 34.5.

Proceeds to push around to make sure everything feels right.

Looks surprised and asks, "How long has he been head up?"


I didn't freak out but was not happy, as I do NOT want a c-section. She explained that for the next two weeks it will be more possible to manipulate Keaton physically or with a type of acupuncture. However, once I hit 36 weeks, it gets ugly.

So she spent the next 5 minutes "encouraging" Keaton to get back into the head down position. It was somewhat painful and very strange. I could actually feel him spinning around inside me, which made me laugh, which made it hurt even more.

She was successful! Yay!

However, Keaton is now putting a LOT of pressure on my bladder since he is head-butting it. I've had to pee every 5-10 minutes ever since. LAME but I will take that over a c-section. Also, the kickboxing movements inside me have returned and I'm about 10x more uncomfortable with his tushie in my rib cage.

The other good news is that I'm cleared for working out!! No more dilated than last time and my cervix is only a tiny bit shorter. YAY!!! I'm so happy!

I go back in a week to make sure he's staying head down. Fingers crossed!

Carson Update:

OMG SWIM CLASS WAS THE WORST YET. Jeremy decided it was his turn to hang out in the air conditioned viewing room and I could suffer in the sauna/swampy hot pool room.

This was probably the worst decision yet. Carson walked over to the pools steps obediently. Good so far.

Carson sat down next to Sol, his fun buddy and they splashed and laughed. Still going well and the goggles were still on.

Then Sol and Teacher Sierra bobbed off across the pool. Carson turns to look at me and bursts into tears, "ME NO WANNA SWIM!!!!" Sobbing ensues. Violently sobbing.

I smiled encouragingly, stood up, waved good-bye, and then hightailed it across the pool deck. Wailing and screaming sounds followed behind me. I hid behind a giant blue mat.

The former teacher in me knows this is just a phase. I know that kids are usually worse for their parents, hence me leaving.

Then the teacher spies me hiding and flags me over. Nothing I say or do calms him down. So we call in the big guns. Daddy is flagged down from his air conditioned comfort.

I resume hiding and Daddy tried to calm Carson down. I'm watching it all transpire from the front desk where no one can see me.

I then see Teacher Sierra call in back up. Another teacher gets into the pool to continue teaching Sol so Carson can have some one-on-one. I am DYING!! Remember, I'm the jerky mother who complained about the other kid (who by the way is mercifully absent tonight).

In the end, we ended up having to leave class early ($16 for 3 minutes in the pool). Next week, Daddy has to get back in the pool with Carson.

We're going to finish out this session but it's looking more and more like we're going to have to withdraw from the fall session. I can't stomach wasting any more money and perhaps we just need to allow Carson to get through this "slump" in other ways.

Please, please, please let next week go better!!!!

Sunday, August 02, 2009


I really didn't think that hot weather would bug me but I was dead wrong! The triple digits multiple days in a row this past week about put me over the edge!

Keaton is following almost exactly in Carson's pre-natal footsteps. I started contractions in earnest with Carson around 34.5 weeks. Yesterday I couldn't stop the contractions once they started, and I'm at 34 weeks. I stubbornly refused to got to triage. They mostly stopped overnight.

And after spending 3.5 hours in the direct, hot sun at the Washington County Fair today, surprisingly, I didn't have very many contractions. Tonight they're coming and going but not consistent. The rule I'm supposed to follow is: no more than 4 an hour for 3 hours in a row. If more, then I get to go in to triage.

My 34 week midwife appointment is Tuesday and I'm hopeful that she'll just confirm things are progressing as expected BUT no bedrest. I'm even willing to give up working out if it means I can keep working. The real estate market waits for no one and it's just too busy right now for bedrest.

I do have to share the cutest Carson story. About every other day we have the SAME conversation on the way to school and it goes like this:

Carson: What is Nana's name?
Me: Kelly

C: What is Poppa's name?
M: Gary

C: What is Daddy's name?
M: Jeremy

C: What is your name Mommy?
M: Kristin

C: What is Ga's name?
M: Jeff

C: What is Liza's name?
M: Liza
C: No Mommy! What is Liza's NAME?
M: Liza

I can't help but laugh every time. Poor kid just doesn't understand since everyone else has a real name :-)

Another cute one:

After Carson helped me run many errands and spent 45 minutes at my office on Saturday, I thanked him for helping me.

His response: No problem Mommy!

I love the random grown-up phrases that he throws out there completely in context. I chuckled as did the woman in front of us in line at JoAnn Fabric.

KEATON's Nursery:

The nursery is coming along and we ended up accidentally falling into a surfing theme due to a beautiful piece of art my parents shipped to us from Kauai awhile back. We've never found the right place for it until Keaton's walls were painted and bedding was in place.

The brown, blue, and tan compliments the hand-painted Kauai art of a Woody station wagon, a sunset, and a surfer standing on the beach. I searched the Internet and found a man who hand-makes miniature surfboards out of several different types of wood. Simple and understated yet artsy and classy.

I ordered a two-tiered shelf with two vertical surfboads and two horizontal shelves AND a horizontal surfboad coat rack. The woods match the woods of the crib and changing table almost perfectly.

I also found a neat distressed wooden board at Craft Warehouse in complimentary color and am mounting white distressed letters on it for Keaton's "name board". Looks very beachy.

Lastly, I (a bit Martha here) am making a French memory board. Found a pale blue suede fabric that is a pretty close match to the crib bedding and ribbon that mimics the brown stripes in the wooden surfboards. I'm pretty darn happy with how it's all turning out! Will post pics as soon as it's all put together.

How Old is Carson?

How Old is Keaton?