Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Christmas Play

Reagan came home from preschool a few weeks ago, even more excited than normal to tell me about her day.  She was over the moon excited to let me know that she had been chosen to be Mary in the Christmas play!

Her teachers told me that it was an easy decision to make since all Reagan can talk about anymore is her baby brother and how she helps to take care of him.  It was only natural that she use those maternal instincts to play the mother of Jesus.

The day of the play, she could hardly contain herself.  She, and all of the other kids as well, were so proud to show us what they had been working on for the past few weeks.  Speaking of the other kids, Reagan also informed us that the young boy who would be playing the role of Joseph is named Matthew and that while he was her husband in the play, her was also her boyfriend in real life!

Her teachers were correct... Reagan has a natural maternal instinct!  In the video below, you will see that when the other kids began the loud celebrations of the birth of Jesus, Reagan/Mary places her hands over the baby's ears to protect him.  And once she and Matthew/Joseph place the baby in the cradle, Reagan keeps scooting closer and closer to the cradle so that she can keep touching her baby!  I apologize for the quality of the video... it was shot from my husband's phone and then we had to transfer it through 2 different editing programs before it actually made it to the blog!

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We were very impressed with how hard the kids had been working to learn all of their roles in the play.  We were even more impressed with the program itself and the Christmas story of the birth of Christ that our children very passionately reenacted.

I'm also including a couple of videos of the kids performing a few of the songs.  As you can see, they really had a lot of fun!

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Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

After the play was over and the kids had all changed out of their costumes, Matthew held Reagan's hand and walked her over to the snack table for the Christmas party.  They sat side by side the rest of the afternoon!  Ryan and I laughed with Matthew's mom about how cute they looked and about how we were going to have our hands full in the future, but I didn't realize just how much trouble we may have on our hands until it was time to leave at the very end of class.  Reagan gave her teachers a hug goodbye, and then she turned to Matthew and gave him a hug.  And then... she cried her little eyes out saying that she was going to miss him so much over the Christmas break and that she couldn't wait to go back to school in January.  Good grief!  We are DEFINITELY in trouble!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye

I am currently fighting a horrible case of mastitis, an infection that develops from plugged milk ducts when breastfeeding.  My fever has finally gone down, but it had gotten up to 102.7 at one point.  It hurts like the devil to nurse Myers on my right side, but nursing him combined with taking oral antibiotics is about the only thing that is going to make it go away.  I had mastitis twice while nursing Reagan, and the second time that I had it with her I ended up having to go to the hospital daily as an outpatient to receive IV antibiotics.  So far, this time around, I have been able to avoid that hassle.  Ironically enough, the first time that I had it with Reagan started one day after her one month birthday... the EXACT same day that it started with Myers.  Too bad that if I was going to get it I couldn't have gotten it about a week and a half sooner... then my parents would have still been here to pamper me back to good health!

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know by now that saying goodbye to my parents after our visits is NEVER an easy thing for me to do.  Over time, the goodbyes had gotten a little less painful, but I honestly think that this last one was just as hard as the very first one when I originally moved to Canada over eight years ago.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with my parents.  My mom is my best friend in the world, and there is rarely a day that we don't talk numerous times on the phone.  My dad has always been my hero, the man that I turn to for fixing things or solving problems.  As I said, I am lucky.  But I feel even luckier to know that my husband feels the same way about my parents.  The goodbyes are often just as emotional for him as they are for my parents and me!   I know that is not often the case between a spouse and their in-laws, and I will never take that fact for granted!

My parents flew up to be with us to help during the transition phase from one child to two, and I don't know how we would have done it without them.  They were with us for almost 6 weeks, and we could have had them here for 6 more weeks if we could have convinced them to stay.  Most people would think that is way too long of a visit... not us.  We never felt like they were in our way or that we had to entertain them as guests.  Maybe it's because other than the small act of giving birth and then breastfeeding a newborn, I didn't have to lift a finger from November 4th through December 13th!  They took care of Reagan, shuttling her from home to gymnastics and to school and back.   And when they weren't going from activity to activity, they were playing at home literally from the moment that Reagan woke up until her head hit the pillow again at night.  She has become so accustomed to having a constant playmate, usually Momsey, that she thinks that anyone who comes to our house now is supposed to get down in the floor and play with her non-stop...  I think that she would now invite the mailman inside to play with her if I would let her!  I made the comment to my mom one afternon that I knew she must be exhausted from playing... she said it didn't matter because she loved playing with Reagan.  I then told her that I was sorry that she wasn't getting to have tons of snuggle time with baby Myers since she was spending so much time playing, and she responded by telling me that Myers wouldn't have a clue if she was holding him or not, but that Reagan would know and remember that Momsey played with her endlessly.  What can I say... my mom is wise beyond her years!

What else did my parents do for 6 weeks?

They cooked all our meals; they spotlessly cleaned my house every day; while Momsey played, Pops would fix things in our house; while Pops played, Momsey would do the endless loads of laundry; they decorated inside and out for Christmas; Pops even installed new lighting and electrical outlets in Ryan's shed; they did all of our grocery shopping... heck, they even footed the bill for all of our groceries!   But most importantly... they gave us all their LOVE!

They snuggled with their new grandson...

They spoiled our dog Dixie...

Pops shoveled snow...

They all played in the snow, pulling Reagan on the sled and helping to build a monster sized snowman...

Pops lost his computer to Reagan and Momsey during this visit...

And he became a jungle gym apparatus for Reagan to climb on...

They even cooked a full sized Thanksgiving dinner for us to enjoy at home with Ryan's boss and his family as well!  This picture is of Reagan helping to get the turkey ready for the deep fryer!

So as you can tell, the past week without them here has been quite the adjustment for us all.  We ALL miss them like crazy, and can't wait for April to hurry up and get here.  The next four months are going to seem like an eternity until we can finally see each other again!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One Month Old

It's hard to believe that a month has already passed since the birth of sweet baby Myers.  It's been a busy month for him!

He spends a lot of time sleeping... even giving me 3 hour stretches of sleep during the night!

And he spends a LOT of time eating... he's working on perfecting his large belly!

He has played in the snow with his sister...          

He posed for our Christmas card... 

He spends time just hanging out with his big sister Reagan...

And on today, his one month birthday, he got all dressed up in big boy clothes for a few pics...  he's normally dressed in a sleeper! 

Just to document the growth of that belly, I took a few shots of it today too!

He is certainly growing... he already weighs over 10 pounds (he was 8.5 when he was born) and he has grown over an inch.  He is just like his sister in that he is a very good baby... he rarely fusses and sleeps very well considering that he is only a month old.  Our only problem has been a battle with a severe diaper rash... and that battle continues!  He has started to become more alert during the day, and he's even watched a couple of episodes of Baby Einstein already.  I love all of the new little cooing noises that he has started to make this past week, and I can't wait to hear even more.  Actually, yes I can wait... he's growing up too fast already!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Baby Boy

Here come the details of our precious new addition, Mr. Myers Tyson Knopp!

We arrived at the hospital on Thursday morning, November 18th, at 7:00am.  We were admitted, and by 10:00 that morning I had received my insertion of the prostaglandin gel.  At 11:00, the nurses asked me to go for a walk, and at noon they checked my progress.  I was still only 1.5 cm dilated, and I was only having mild contractions.  So, the waiting began.  I was convinced that I would be waiting for at least another full day at this point... I WAS WRONG!

My obstetrician came back to check on me at 8:00 that evening, and I was having some pretty serious contractions at this point.  I had only dilated .5 of a cm more, so she decided that it would be a good idea to add a pitocin IV drip to get things moving faster.  My contractions decided right about this time that they had a mind of their own, and that they did NOT want to have any pitocin added.  Thankfully, the printout reading of the intensity of my contractions caused both my doctor and nurse to agree that the pitocin was indeed not needed!  Instead, the nurse decided that I needed to get into a hot shower to try to SLOW things down a little bit.  After my shower, a bag of penicillin was added to my IV since I had tested as Group B Strep positive.  This was also the point in the evening that I asked for some medical intervention for the pain.  I very quickly became best friends with the nitrous oxide mask!  Ryan kept teasing me and calling me Darth Vador because of the raspy voice that the mask gave me.  I didn't care... I wasn't about to put that mask down! 

This is when things got really interesting.  It was sometime around 10:00 pm, and I wasn't sure what had just happened.  I knew it was one of two things... I was either so high off of the nitrous mask that I didn't realize that I was peeing in the bed OR my water had just broken.  It was the second option!  I was still no further dilated, so I returned to the shower to try once again to gain control of the pain on my own.  It was a useless attempt.  Once I made it back to the newly cleaned birthing bed, I could only manage to get one word out of my mouth to the nurse between breaths of sucking on the mask.  EPIDURAL!  

Thankfully, within only a few minutes, the anesthesiologist was walking through my door.  At precisely 11:00pm, the epidural was in place and I was ready for my break.  With Reagan, once I received the epidural, I was able to sleep for almost 4 hours before it was time for me to push.  Not this time.  Once the anesthesiologist left, the nurse said she was going to do a quick check of my progress.  All I remember is hearing her say in a very loud and shocking voice, "WOW!  You are at 9cm and ready to push this baby out."  I replied with an expletive that I won't repeat here!  So much for taking a nap!

By 11:30pm, my OB was back in the room and was ready to help me deliver.  The epidural had not had enough time to take a full numbing effect on me, so I was still able to use my legs.  My doctor asked me to stand up on the bed, hold onto the birthing bar, and then to squat over the bed.  Easier said than done lady!  I held my squat position while pushing for over half an hour before I finally told her that I could NOT do it anymore...  my legs had turned to jello! 

Once I was again laid back on the bed, all I wanted to do was rest.  I was exhausted!  But, as my doctor pointed out to me, there was still work to be done.  Myers's head had crowned by this point, and, again as my doctor very pointedly told me, it wasn't like I could just leave him there.   I very pointedly told her to just get him out of me!  I was begging for her to use a local anesthetic and for her to perform an episiotomy.  She kept telling me to do it on my own, but my body would not cooperate.  After about 15 minutes of pushing with no further reward, she finally made the cut.  Moments later, Myers was born!

The next four and a half minutes were the longest minutes of mine and Ryan's lives.  Myers was not breathing.  He was blue when the doctor placed him on the bed between my legs.  Within seconds, she had cut the cord and whisked him away to the other side of the room.  Ryan and I could hear both the doctor and nurse working on him, but what we really wanted to hear was the screams of a baby.  They went through a series of procedures to try to get him to breathe on his own, and all the while they were bagging him with oxygen.  At exactly four minutes and 23 seconds after he was born, they gave him a shot of narcan and within 20 seconds after that he was breathing on his own and screaming like a champion.  It was music to our ears!

My obstetrician explained to Ryan and I that the cord had been wrapped around Myers's neck.  Also, when I was given the epidural, I had also been given a shot (or possibly two) of fentanyl,  a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine.  It had caused Myers to not be able to breath on his own, and the narcan was administered to remove all traces of the drug from Myers bloodstream. 

The doctor handed Myers to Ryan, and after those first few seconds of taking him all in, Ryan  announced that we definitely chose the perfect name for him... he looks EXACTLY like my dad!

Finally, Myers was placed in my arms and I was able to hold onto our newest bundle of joy.  He immediately began nursing, and has not stopped nursing since!  He is a non-stop eater!  Born at 12:54am Friday morning, November 19th, 2010, weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 21.5 inches long, he is absolutely perfect in every way. 

My parents brought Reagan up to the hospital to see us first thing Friday morning, and she is just as proud as can be.  She is going to be the best big sister in the world!  She wants to hold him constantly, and she is very gentle and protective of him.  She came into our room just this very morning and told me, "Go back to sleep Mommy.  I've got this.  I'll take care of Myers for you." 

I'm doing as well as can be expected.  I'm very tired and extremely sore, but I'm soaring!  Myers and I were released from the hospital on Saturday morning, and we've been settling in at home ever since.  I must admit that I had forgotten how often newborns nurse... like every hour on the hour!  So I may not be doing a lot of blogging in the next few weeks, but I'll try to stay in touch!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Myers Tyson Knopp

Just a quick update to let you know that the wait is finally over! 

Myers Tyson Knopp was born at 12:54am on Friday morning, November 19, 2010 weighing 8 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 21.5 inches long. 

Mommy and baby were both released from the hospital yesterday, and we have spent the last 24 hours settling in at home and doing LOTS of snuggling!  I'm very sore and very tired, but couldn't possibly be any happier. 

I hope to post all the details and a few pictures by tomorrow...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Induction Day

Currently, we are in the hospital, in the midst of being induced to deliver baby Myers. We arrived at the hospital this morning at 7:30, and by 10:00 I had received my injection of the prostaglandin gel. Nothing major is happening thus far... It is now 5:00pm and we are waiting to see the doc again to find out if she wants to do another dose of the gel, or if she wants to move onto the pitocin IV drip. I'll try to keep you posted!!!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, November 15, 2010

39 Week Update *STILL PREGNANT*

Yesterday was the first day of week 39 of this pregnancy, and I honestly thought for a few moments there that it could also be the last day of this pregnancy!  I'll get to that in a minute...

Last week, week 38, was busy with just about any and every attempt to get this baby moving on out.  On Tuesday, I had acupuncture to prepare me for labor.  On Wednesday, my OB did a "sweep" of my membranes.  A membrane sweep, also known as membrane stripping, or stretch and sweep, is done during an internal examination.  The doctor moves her finger around the cervix to stimulate and/or separate the membranes around the baby from the cervix. This causes a release of prostaglandins which can help to kick-start labor.  On Wednesday I also mopped my hardwood floors to a sparkling clean shine while rocking out and dancing to all of my favorite Glee hits!  On Thursday, I drank a labor cocktail that had been given to me by a midwife.  On Friday, I must have walked close to three miles and bounced on my birthing ball for over an hour.  Friday was also the day that I lost my mucus plug.  On Saturday, I had another round of acupuncture to promote labor.  A few of you had suggested spicy foods... we've been spicing it up all week.   I even became desperate enough to partake in some "relations" with my husband a couple of times this past week in the hope that it would speed things along.   

Yesterday, Sunday,  I ended up being admitted into the hospital with contractions!  When I arrived, my contractions were coming in waves of about 4 contractions every 10 minutes, and sometimes even faster than that.  The nurses monitored me for almost an hour and then decided that I was definitely in labor and should be admitted.  Ryan and I got settled into our room and the waiting began.  I was certainly feeling the contractions, but it wasn't anything that was so bad that I was breathless or ready to start asking for the meds.  The nurses went ahead and started an IV drip so that when I was ready, it would be easy to administer any pain medications or the antibiotic that I would need for being Group B Strep positive. 

Within only a couple of hours, my contractions started to slow down.  I eventually fell asleep (thanks to the whopping dose of Ativan that they gave me) and when I woke up this morning my contractions had slowed to only one every 10 minutes or so.  I was still only 1.5 cm dilated and 50% effaced, so the decision was made to remove my IV and to let me come home and play the waiting game here. 

So, who knows!  It may start back up as soon as tonight, or it may be another few days.  I do have another appointment for acupuncture tomorrow, so I'm hoping that will help if things are still stalled out!

Regardless, rest assured that I will keep you posted.  HOPEFULLY MUCH SOONER RATHER THAN LATER!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

37 Weeks and READY!

Holy Hallelujah!  My parents are here, which means I can finally relax about going into labor!  I was beginning to worry that Reagan was going to get a very early lesson in exactly how babies are born, but I can now rest assured that she will be taken care of at HOME while we are at the hospital.  My neighbors across the street had offered to keep her, and I secretly think that they were hoping that I was going to go into labor before my parents got here.  We would have gladly sent her to them, but felt like that was a lot to ask of them as well!

I am now at the end of my 37th week, and I am READY for Myers to get here.   For the longest time, I kept saying that I wasn't ready for his arrival because I wasn't ready to NOT be pregnant any more.  You see, this could quite possibly be my last pregnancy, and I am one of those women who love being pregnant.  But I have reached my breaking point.  I'm done.  I'm ready.  Bring on the labor and get what feels like a 20 pound baby that is already 3 feet long out of me!!!  My bags are packed for the hospital, and they are already loaded into the truck.  I've finished all of my nesting projects, and the nursery is done.  I'm READY!

At last week's Doctor's appointment, I was half a centimeter dilated.  This week I was at a full centimeter.  I am hoping that means that labor is not too far away!  For Reagan, I didn't dilate until I went into labor, so hopefully this is a sign of a smoother delivery than hers.  For that story, click here!

For now, we are just playing the waiting game.  Have any tips on how to naturally bring on labor?  If so, send them my way!  Did I mention that I am ready?  Ryan is ready too!  And Reagan... she's ready to hug her baby brother for REAL instead of through my belly!
We are all ready!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Little Reader

Reagan LOVES to read!

She's learning to read at preschool by sounding out her words as she sees the letters, but she can also "read" from memory.  After only a couple of times of listening to me read this Barbie book to her, she was able to "read" it back to me on her own! 

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Show Days at Preschool

The last class of each month is considered to be "show day" at Reagan's preschool, and the families of the children are invited to come see a short production of all the kids have learned that month.  September 29 was the first show day of the new school year, and the kids were all VERY excited to show off for us all.  As it was the "transition back into school" month, September's curriculum was a bit more relaxed than the rest of the year will be... the main focus was Winnie the Pooh!  The kids also perfected writing and using the letters A and B in both upper and lower case.

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The letters for the month of October were C, D and E, and the science curriculum was all about Tropical Rainforests and Jungles.  The artist of the month was Emily Carr.  I am always amazed at the things that Reagan comes home and TEACHES ME from preschool.  These kids are learning things that I don't remember learning until middle school, if at all!

Needless to say, the boys and girls loved showing off their Halloween costumes for all of us on show day as they performed!

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Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Monday, November 1, 2010

Trick or Treat... It's BARBIE!

Reagan, aka Barbie, had a fabulous Halloween this year! 

We spent most of the day at the neighbor's house across the street for a Halloween party complete with games, haunted gingerbread houses, and a cotton candy machine.  More than a couple of people commented on Reagan's OCD tendencies as she was helping to decorate the haunted house... every candy corn and gum drop had to be strategically placed and in alternating color fashion.  What can I say, she's just like her Mommy!
(Thank you again Stephanie for an awesome afternoon, and for taking care of Reagan so I could rest while watching and taking pictures of all of the fun!) 

Of course, Barbie did some trick or treating with her Daddy.  Mommy was quite impressed with the big bag of goodies that they came home with... and from the way baby Myers was kicking later that night, I would say that he enjoyed a few of those sweets as well!

Needless to say, we were a pair of proud parents of our pretty Barbie princess!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ice Skating

As I type this, Reagan and Ryan are on the ice at the recreation center.  Me?  I'm laid up relaxing on the couch!  I went with them last weekend, and decided that the bleachers are just not made for a very pregnant me to sit comfortably by any means.  So I let them go enjoy themselves without me today.  Now, if they come home and tell me that she skated all by herself, without the aid of the pushy thing, then I will be VERY upset with myself.  She was determined that she was going to skate all by herself last weekend, and she did get to a point where she could hold her balance and slide her feet without holding on... but she never really "skated" on her own.  I guess I'll just have to wait to hear all about today's adventures when they get home.  In the meantime, here's a few of the pics that I took last weekend!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Little Fall Fun

For the past three years, we have gone to Meadows Maze to enjoy a little Fall Fun and this year was no different.  Well, it was different in that I more or less just sat off to the sidelines taking pictures while Ryan and Reagan wandered around and enjoyed all of the activities.  I'm pretty much to the point where I can barely stand, much less walk around for any long period of time!  But other than that, it was the same fun as always.  We decided to go on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend... also known as Columbus Day to all of my American friends.

Each year, Reagan picks out a baby goat that she claims as "her" goat.  This year, she had several of them eating out of the palm of her hand... literally!  If she didn't hold her hand out for them, then they would prop their front paws, er... hooves, um... feet, whatever, up on her chest to get at the food.  She loved it!

She rode the barrel train over and over and over again.  I think she was trying to get as muddy as possible since the driver would pull the kids through what had to be the muddiest section of the entire acreage each and every time!

And of course, she rode the pony rides.  It was the same pony, Cheyenne, as from last year.  Ryan and I seriously began to think that we would never get her off of the thing, and the trainer even told us at one point that it was time to get her a horse of her own.  Um, sure thing lady.  We'll get right on that as soon as we win the lottery!

On the way home from Meadows Maze, we stopped at a pumpkin patch not far from our house.  After Reagan and Ryan searched through the fields for what seemed like an eternity, they made their way back to where I was waiting at the entrance area with a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins.

Once we were home, Reagan helped me to organize where all of the pumpkins should go to decorate the house.  We are now officially ready for Fall!