Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Birthday Parties

Just wanted to post some pictures from a few of the birthday parties Layla has attended lately!  She's been having a blast!
This is what happens when you go gift shopping for a friend that loves Minnie Mouse:

 She loves celebrating with her friends!


Singing "The Wheels on the Bus" - I believe this part was the babies crying!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Two Months

Maddie, you turned two months old on May 19th.  I cannot believe how fast time is flying by! 

We are having such a wonderful time with you.  You are a smiling, happy baby and I can't get enough of it.  You grin and coo whenever anyone talks to you, and we just discovered that if we stick our tongue out at you, you do it back - so cute!  You are shaping up to be an imitator, just like your big sister!  You already have such a great personality and I can't wait to see how you grow!

You are becoming much more interested in your playmat and toys and are starting to reach for things.  No rolling over yet, but you can lift your head pretty well during tummy time even though you still hate it.  You still love bath time with your sister, and the car seat puts you to sleep every time!

You eat about every two to three hours during the day, but last night, you slept from 9PM-3AM before waking up to eat!  That's pretty much the first time you've slept more than a four hour stretch.  Of course, I kept waking up, wondering if I should go in your room to check on you.  I remember that Layla started sleeping much better around the two month mark as well, but I'm a worrywart.  I probably jinxed you sleeping through the night by writing this too :)

You are still a petite little girl, but Dr. Wilber is happy with your progress.  You weighed 9 lbs, 1 oz at your eight week check up which put you in the 14th percentile for weight.  You were 21 inches long, which I believe was the 21st percentile.  I worry about you getting enough to eat - I can't really gauge it since you are still refusing bottles - but Dr. Wilber was happy with your growth, plus you are having regular wet and dirty diapers and seem pretty content, so I guess we are good to go so far!  I am definitely looking forward to being able to give you food, I want to fatten you up!

Maddie, you bring such joy to our lives.  Your daddy and I were watching Layla play with you last night, and we are so thankful for the family that God has blessed us with.  I love you more every day and can't wait to see what the next month brings!

Bath time!

Tummy time still ends this way

Thursday, May 2, 2013

One Month!

Maddie, you turned one month old on April 19th - what a great birthday present for me!  This first month has flown by, and I've loved every second of it.  You are my little buddy and I am so enjoying the time with you.  You are just the cutest little thing, and I can't wait to see how you continue to grow!

As far as milestones, there isn't too much to report just yet!  We do tummy time every day, but after about five minutes of screaming, you usually end up like this:

Layla is always telling me to go take you off of the mat because she doesn't want you to be upset, she's so protective of you!

You have pretty good head control as well, and when you are on your tummy, you definitely try to squirm around and roll over although you haven't succeeded yet!

I've gotten some smiles out of you as well, especially after you just ate and are nice and full.  You snuggle down into my arms and smile, ready to take a nap, and I don't have the heart to put you down so I end up just holding you while you sleep!  I love those times with you, and definitely know they are short lived so I'm taking advantage of every minute that you will let me cuddle you.

You sleep like a champ during the day, which is great!  However, nighttime is a different story,  For some reason you just don't sleep for long blocks of time at night...I was hoping you would have gotten days and nights straight by now but not yet!  Sometimes you'll give me four hours, which is great, so I'll repeat the exact same routine the next night and you'll be up every hour!  I think I need to go ahead and start getting you on more of a schedule, maybe that will help.  You basically still eat and sleep on demand, but now that you are a bit older and have gained some good weight, I should probably start to get into more of a routine at night that will hopefully help with the nighttime feedings.

You are eating great, and so far I've not had to supplement with any formula.  I am already looking forward to the day when we can start to give you some real food, you are definitely an eater and I'm sure you will enjoy it! 

You love taking baths!  I put you and Layla in the tub together and she "helps" me.  Bath time is another time I can get some smiles out of you!

You also love the car and your carseat - totally different from your sister!  A ride in the car will put you right to sleep. and you'll continue to sleep in your carseat no matter what is going on.  I usually end up having to wake you to eat.   You also sleep really well in your swing, but the best place by far is in someone's lap!

You still fit into your newborn clothes and some 0-3 month.  We have your well baby visit next week, so we will see how much you've grown!

So far we are calling you Chunky Monkey and Munchie - don't ask me where they come from!  You are such a sweet angel and have made our family complete.  Love you my baby girl!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Delivery Day!

I fortunately had a great experience with Maddie's delivery.  Since I was being induced, we started calling the hospital at 5am on March 19th.  They were having a really busy day, plus were short on staff, so we didn't get the call to go up there until 12:30 that afternoon.

My mom was in town to watch Layla while we were at the hospital.  When we received the call that they were ready for us, I really thought I was going to lose it.  As most people with their second child, one of my biggest concerns was Layla - how she was going to react, what was going to change...I had such mixed feelings.  Of course, I was excited about a new baby, but at the same time I was sad that it wasn't going to just be us anymore.  I tried not to dwell on those fears - instead, we just loved on Layla, explained that we were going to go to the doctor to get Maddie out of my tummy, and away we went! 

Once we got to the hospital, we got set up pretty quickly.  I was lucky and got another AWESOME L&D nurse - she made the whole experience so great.  In addition to the other issues, apparently the computer system at the hospital was down that day, so my nurse had to stay in the room the whole time instead of monitoring me from the main station.  So there was plenty of chit chat, which was fun and really helped to keep my mind off of the contractions!

I received the pitocin at 1:45.  The contractions really weren't bad at that point - nothing I hadn't already been experiencing that week, just closer together.  However, my doctor wanted them even closer before giving me the epidural.  She said if we really wanted to get things going, we needed to break my water.  I was NOT excited about that at all but wanted to get the show on the road, so we went ahead.  Yeah.  Literally 30 seconds after that fun little activity, my contractions went crazy!  They were coming every minute or so and were so strong!  I immediately wanted the epidural at that point.  Luckily, since I was already progressed so far before coming in for the induction, I was able to get it right away and didn't have to labor too much without the meds!  I was so happy to see the anesthesiologist, my hero :)

Once the epidural kicked in, it was smooth sailing.  After just a little while, my nurse said that the baby's heart rate was dropping with contractions, checked me, and said we needed to get set for delivery.  Again, I was fortunate that my actual OB could deliver me.  So she came in, they gave me a bit of oxygen, and after just a minute, Madeline Nicole Banker was born at 5:55!  It was a four hour induction start to finish, not bad!

Maddie was a teeny little thing, she was 6 lbs 5oz, and 19 inches long.  But she had a great set of lungs and was just perfect, so cute!  They got her all cleaned up and brought her over, and we had some great family time before the visits started.

When I had Layla, the first thing I said when they handed her to me was "You look like your Daddy!"  She was seriously a mini-Nick.  With Maddie, not so much.  I don't think she really looks like anyone at this point, but if I had to choose, I think she is taking more after my side of the family.  She has the lighter features (hair, eyebrows and lashes), long fingers and toes, and the frowny forehead! 

Here are newborn pics of the girls.  I don't think they look anything alike! 


We actually had the option of leaving the hospital after only one night, which I absolutely wanted to do.  I was ready to get home and let Layla meet her new sister!

Layla was so excited to see us and meet Maddie.  She has been an angel, showing nothing but love and affection to the baby.  She just wants to hold her, give her kisses, and help with her all day, it is so cute!  Here are a few pictures of the girls:

First time to hold Maddie!

Please excuse Layla's hair and Maddie's nostrils!

Tummy Time!

We are having a wonderful time as a new family of four and are thankful every day for our two healthy, beautiful little girls!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Pregnancy with Maddie

Well, my pregnancy was definitely different this time around! It's funny, because for such a little thing, Maddie gave me so much more trouble than Layla did!

We were so excited to find out I was expecting again.  Layla had her "I'm a Big Sister" book memorized, and we couldn't wait to start planning out everything for the second baby!  As soon as we saw the ultrasound, I knew it was another girl.  I was really excited for Layla to grow up with a sister, she is such a little mommy and I know her and Maddie will have such a great time together.

Unfortunately, this pregnancy was not fun.  My entire first trimester was comprised of cramping and thirst, and second and third were basically just a whole lot of pain.  By the time I was ready to deliver, I could barely even walk because my hips were hurting so badly. 

The scariest thing happened about a week before I delivered.  At my 37 week appointment, my doctor told me that my stomach had not grown since the week before.  This can indicate low fluid, so she said that we would give it another week and then, if still no change, go in for some testing.  She also made it very clear that if there were any changes in the baby's movements, to let her know.

So, of course, Maddie's movements slowed down over that next week.  Up until that point, she was constantly kicking and moving, so much so that I never had any concerns.  Then all of a sudden, that significantly slowed.  She passed all of her kick counts, but it was definitely not her normal pattern.

So, at my 38 week appointment, I let my doctor know.  She told me that the best way they have to monitor the baby is her movements, and since they had slowed, wanted to send me to the hospital for some non-stress testing and an ultrasound to make sure everything was OK.  So off I went, freaking out, and proceeded to spend the entire day hooked up to monitors and waiting for results.  I was already having contractions at that point. The baby passed the monitoring fine, so I went over to get my ultrasound and that's when it got a bit scary for me!

For the type of testing they were doing, there are four items that the baby needs to pass in the ultrasound - movement, fluid, heartbeat, and breathing.

So the tech comes in, explains what she'll be doing, and starts the ultrasound.  Maddie passed the movement and heartbeat off the bat.  As far as breathing goes, they want to see the baby "practice" breathing (expand and contract their lungs) for 30 consecutive seconds in a 30 minute period.  Well, Maddie was just not going to do it.  The tech did everything she could think of to get Maddie to move - I drank juice, walked around, etc. but nothing worked.  So, she told me she was going to have to fail her on that part.  Basically, they really can't tell anything about the baby's lung development until they are born, but no practice breathing could be an indicator of underdeveloped lungs.  Then, the tech throws in that the fluid looks low as well.  So she was going to fail Maddie on half of the tests!  She then told me that the actual radiologist had to come in to validate her findings and left to go get him.  So there I was, on the table by myself, crying, calling Nick and scaring the heck out of him with what she had told me.

Then the radiologist came in and did his own exam.  And wouldn't you know it, right off the bat, there it is - Maddie breathing consistently, clear as day.  Then he tells me my fluid is fine as well!  I was confused and frustrated at that point - how could two people see such different results?  But the radiologist was the actual MD that specialized in these ultrasounds, so since he passed Maddie, that was the official result.  It was a terrible, confusing day and I was definitely uneasy about the whole thing.  I know it was nothing compared to what some people have gone though with pregnancy, but it definitely scared me.

So, I spoke with my doctor again, who was happy to hear that she passed.  However, she said that considering everything - the slowed movements, my pain, and the fact that I was already dilated and having contractions, it sounded like it was just time for Maddie to make her arrival.  Although an induction scared me, I agreed with her - I just wanted to make sure she was OK!  Being able to walk again sounded good as well :)

I'll do a separate delivery post soon! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Well, Hello There!

So...it's obviously been over a year since I've posted anything...just wanted to put that out there!  I don't really have a reason other than I'm a total slacker when it comes to social media.  However, I'm determined to keep up with the blog this time around!

Let's see, so much has happened over the past year!  As far as Nick and I go, things have been wonderful with our family.  We've had lots of great changes take place in our lives and feel very blessed.  The biggest item on our plate right now is building a house!  We purchased a 2.5 acre lot in a neighborhood in Richmond and are in the process of building.  It's been interesting and stressful, but fun as well.  We went with a custom home, which means lots of decisions on the smallest details.  It's exciting though - I know it will be worth it when it's all said and done and we have the exact house we want!

Layla has been the light of our lives!  Every day she makes me laugh with something new that she cooks up.  I enrolled her in Mothers Day Out twice a week, and she LOVES it.  She's always been a pretty social kid, and going to "school" has only made that more apparent.  She loves being with her friends and teachers, and comes home each week with new stories and songs to show off.  Here are a couple of pictures that pretty much highlight her personality at this point (sorry for the quality, they are from my phone):

Our biggest and most exciting news is the arrival of Madeline Nicole Banker on March 19th, 2013!  She's such a little pumpkin pie and we have been having a blast with her.  She is a very easy going baby, loves to snuggle, and would prefer to be held 24/7 if possible!

Layla loves her little sister.  Every morning, the first thing she asks is "Where's Maddie?"  She is such a great helper, going to grab diapers, burp cloths, whatever I need.  She loves to talk and sing to the baby, and gets very concerned when she cries and makes sure to let me know that I need to "go get Maddie, she's upset!"

I'll be doing another post soon with all of the details of the baby and more pictures, so stay tuned!  I promise it won't be a year from now...

Monday, January 30, 2012

18-ish Months

Well, I am the worst blogger on earth.  We have been so busy over the last few months and I just haven't gotten a chance to sit down and capture it all! It was a wonderful holiday season, and Layla had a blast with all of our family and friends.  She was the little princess this year and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Layla, you turned 18 months old on January 17th.  This has been such a fun and amazing time for us.  You are such a talker.  At this point your vocabulary is too big to really name off all of the words you know, but let's just say you can definitely make yourself and your wants known!  You will mimic anything we say and seem to pick up on words really quickly.  You love to name animals and make their sounds, and you have the names of all of our pets, family's pets, and friends memorized!  The first thing you say in the morning is "Manard?  Tukee?" (Mallard and Turkey).  You usually follow that up by asking for a "Faffle" (Waffle).  You are great at naming colors, until you get tired of me asking you, and suddenly everything is "ye-yow".  You love to draw and color, and can scribble with the best of them.  You can also count to 10, but really, you just have it memorized - I don't think you really know what you are doing. It is cute to hear you counting along with Sesame Street in the mornings, though!  Speaking of Sesame Street, "Mo Mo" (Elmo) is still your favorite, although Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Ernie are closing in.

You really like to sing and make the hand motions - your favorite songs are Itsy-Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, and If You're Happy and You Know It.  You are also a little dancing machine and will start bopping along and waving your arms to pretty much any music you hear.  We are still going to Little Gym, and are about to move up to the Birds/Beasts class.  You favorite activity is to run around the class and say hi to everyone - and you love the attention you get back!

You are still a Daddy's Girl, and you two have a blast together.  As soon as you hear the garage door open in the afternoon, you run to the window to watch Daddy get the mail and then run to the kitchen to greet him when he walks through the door.  He makes you laugh like no one else can, and I love the special relationship you have. 

You make us laugh every day, and we are so blessed to be your parents.  I can't wait to see what 2012 holds for us!  We love you sweetie girl!

Here are some pictures that my good friend Kate took for us in December.  Check out her website here - she is an AMAZING photographer.  Thank you again Kate!