Monday, July 25, 2011

Calling All Mamas...

Meet my eldest son...
Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (you can see both in this picture right?)

I knew it was coming...I have been waiting...the time is now officially upon us.

Dr. Jekyll:  AKA Luke-loves his "BABEEE", is super duper helpful, gives kisses to the baby, hugs, wants to help feed him and is genuinely excited to see him each morning and throughout the day.  These are the heart melting moments.

Mr. Hyde:  AKA Lucifer-hits baby on his head, pulls his hair, wants to do trust falls on to the baby, and is overall too rough with the baby.  All of these antics are done typically while I am nursing the baby and Mr Hyde/Lucifer looks at me and watches for my reaction while he hits etc.

I know he just wants my attention and is jealous.  I know that at heart I really have Dr. Jekyll/Luke, and in all honesty I have my nice sweet boy much more often than I have my challenging one....but the challenging moments can get a little scary.  I learned last week that disciplining didn't get the desired result nearly as quickly as taking a moment away from the baby to show love and affection and attention to Luke, but the reality is that I can't always take those moments away when I am feeding the baby and I need for Luke to realize that his actions aren't acceptable.  I don't want to give bad behavior too much attention, because that is reinforcing the behavior, but I also don't want to ignore it completely and have him think it is okay.

So, I need some advice.  Mamas of 2 under 2 (or any age for that matter)...any ideas/thoughts?  How did you handle these issues.  I am not a proponent of spanking just to be clear, but I do need some suggestions, words of wisdom, success stories...and maybe to hear that it gets better?  :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

What It's All About

Brotherly Love...this is what makes life great!

These moments melt my heart...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Motherhood Take Two...

Before I was a mom, I was a REALLY good parent...meaning I could easily spot all the things other people were doing wrong with their kids...then I became a mom and realized I had been a fool.  I realized that you do what you have to do to survive.

I have had friends tell me that I  give great advice when it comes to parenting or babies or whatever, truthfully I never believed it.  Now, I know for sure that it isn't the case, I am clueless.  I just got LUCKY folks.  I had a EASY baby, don't hate me.  A baby that loved to sleep (and still does), a baby that rarely cried except when hungry, a baby that only cried through the night when he was sick (and that wasn't until he was 10 months old).  I got LUCKY.  He breastfed the first time I put him to the breast, and while we had a few beginning hiccups the first few weeks, it was pretty much a seamless transition.  He ate, he grew, he got fat, we were all happy.

I didn't understand moms who said that "breastfeeding didn't work out" I secretly thought they just didn't try hard enough or maybe they didn't like the uncertainty of it all, that they preferred knowing exactly how much their baby was eating, maybe they were control freaks.  After all, breastfeeding was easy, right?  My apologies ladies...I get it now.  I didn't realize how lucky I really got the first time around, and that's exactly what it was LUCK.  I now am realizing that sometimes no matter how much you work, how hard you try, or how much you try to will something in to being, sometimes it just doesn't go to plan.  Seems that little Bowen might be a big flashing message to me from God that I am not in control, that I need to learn flexibility.  This message has been coming loud and clear since January in the form of a high risk pregnancy, a breech baby and subsequent c section, and now a baby that just doesn't want to breastfeed.  Apparently, I haven't been listening.  I am ready to listen now.

I haven't totally give up control yet, but I am coming close.  I am realizing that sometimes "breast is NOT best" contrary to what all the experts say.  What is best is being a mom that I can be proud of, one that has the time and energy to devote to my active 20 month old and one that has the time to nurture my 2.5 week old, not the kind of mom that is exhausted with breastfeeding, pumping and bottle feeding.  Something has to give.  I wish the issue would correct itself, and it still may, but the lactation people have one more chance to salvage things and then we are going to have to move on to hopefully greener pastures.  The bottom line is that I want to enjoy my babies, and anything that takes away that joy and creates stress, just isn't worth it, no matter the potential health benefits.

I know this is a lot of information to share, but it has come to my attention recently that a lot more people read this blog than I ever realized.  A lot of other mamas out there, or soon to be mamas.  There is a lot of pressure these days to breastfeed.  I feel it.  It's partly why I want it to work out so much.  I feel like I need someone to tell me that it is okay if it doesn't work out and that I have given it every chance that I can.  So instead, I am telling anyone reading this that if you are struggling, have struggled or may potentially struggle with breastfeeding and you have tried as much as you feel necessary and don't think you want to continue, it is okay.  You are a good mother and breastfeeding does not define motherhood, the relationship you have or will have with your child, and your child will grow up happy, healthy and secure, I did.  Now if I can only heed my own advice!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


It's been a busy week around here.  We are continuing to adjust well and are consistently amazed by Luke's interest obsession with Bowen.  Bo is going to be one tough kid...while Luke loves to hug and kiss Bowen almost constantly, he can be a little rough in his attempts to help "burp" him, he tries to roll over him, kicks him in the head while he is feeding,  and overall is just a little confused that Bowen isn't his personal jungle gym.  Bowen already pushes his hands and arms out to protect his little body and yesterday actually rolled over (I think it must have been a fluke) to escape one of Luke's sloppy kisses.  I am going to have some great blackmail material some day!

Everyday gets a little bit easier, but I can't help but feel it would be much easier if I could just sprout another set of arms!  I have to remind myself that we have TWO babies...not really a kid and a baby, but TWO babies!  It is very fun though and I can't picture it being any other way.

Uncle Aaron came in to town for a quick 24 hours this week for my grandma's services and was able to play with Luke (while I got to shower!) and meet Bowen.  We are super excited that he and his entire family will be back the beginning of August for a week!

We are definitely much lazier this go around with documenting Bowen's first moments...I feel a little guilty.  We have taken maybe 5 pictures since we came home from the hospital.  Hopefully I can get a little better this week about capturing some fun moments.

Here are just a few pictures from the last few weeks....
Dr. Luke before we left the hospital

Big Brother helping with Bo's first bath

Loves the water!

Snuggling with Daddy

The greatest OB.  We adore our doctor and are so blessed that she was able to deliver both our babies!

Swimming with Daddy at Mimi and Granddad's pool

Uncle Aaron is way more fun than Mom!

Celebrating Grandma Hovel's life

Newborn Photos

Last week our good friend Bethany Good took some newborn and family photos for us!  She did a great job.  Here are a few of my favorites!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dorothy (Bowen) Hovel 1921-2011

I couldn't help but post a few pictures that we have been sorting through from my Grandma's a few of my favorites, I will try not to get carried away!

My grandparents on their Honeymoon

Grandma pregnant with my dad

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Circle of Life

Yesterday afternoon my sweet 90 year old Grandma passed away with my Dad by her side.  She had been suffering from dementia for many years and the last three and half months her quality of life had declined tremendously.  While we are happy that she is now at peace and has her mind back, we are saddened by her passing.  She has been praying "for the good Lord to take her home" for quite some time and it makes me feel peaceful that her wish was finally granted.

Friday we got a call from hospice that she didn't have much time remaining, and so I was able to take Bowen to meet his Great Grandma and namesake.  The last time my Grandma opened her eyes and spoke was when I placed Bowen on her chest....she opened her eyes, placed her hand on his head and said "he's beautiful."  I can't imagine a better memory to take with me for the remainder of my life.  I am so happy that she was able to meet her fourth great grandson.  I feel so blessed that she was able to meet both my children.  I am confident that Bowen will help live out her legacy.

It has been remarkable to watch in the past week both the beginning and ending of life, the state of how we enter this world is often very similar to how we leave.

My Grandma gave of herself very unselfishly.  She and my Grandpa were house parents at the Milton Hershey School where they helped raise orphaned boys in a group home for twenty years.  She loved to sing and was a part of a variety show in her younger years.  She had an eccentric and eclectic taste in clothing, jewelry and decorating and loved arts and crafts.  She will always be remembered for her "sayings" and the way she often confused words that sounded similar, for example:  "He was a very extinguished gentleman, " "This RV on my arm is uncomfortable" (instead of IV), "they had to do the Hemlock remover"...the list goes on and on.  She was sweet as can be and she always claimed that "good things come in small packages" after all she was only 4'8.

With Luke at his Baptism

Mother's Day 2010

Meeting Bowen on Friday

I will always remember her fondly.  We love you Grandma and we are grateful that you are finally at peace and no longer suffering.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Couldn't Ask For More

One week in to our family of four and the thought that Drew and I each have each night when we go to sleep (for 3 hours stretches) is that we couldn't ask for more.  We feel so incredibly blessed to have two healthy, beautiful baby boys.  Luke has been a dream come true this week.  I never in my wildest dreams would have thought he would handle the first week of being a big brother with such grace, fun and love.  He has never been in to other babies at daycare or interested in our friends' babies, but there must be something different for him when it comes to his baby brother because he is obsessed with him.  Each morning he comes racing down the stairs yelling "BABY" he then runs to the nursery, pulls down the bumper so he can see Bowen and puts his hand in the crib and waves yelling "Hi Baby!"  He brings us blankets, burp cloths, binkies, bottles, you name it to try and be helpful without being asked.  He is just as sweet as can be.  He has grown up tremendously and we are so incredibly proud!

We have learned a lot of parenting lessons this week as well.  Rule number 1) Just because this isn't our first rodeo doesn't mean we have it all figured out or have a clue what we are doing (I wasn't really expecting that) 2) all kids are very different and we can't compare our little men.  There have been many more but those are the biggies.

Bowen is a great baby, he loves to sleep, cuddle and is very mellow, not much of a crier.  So far he has been nearly perfect.  Our biggest obstacle is that he is having a very difficult time nursing.  I wasn't sure I was going to share all the troubles we have had this week on the blog, but after talking to a few friends I realized that lots of women struggle with nursing.  As women we aren't very good about sharing our struggles, we are more apt to share our successes and hide behind the things that don't always go to plan.  So I am going to throw it out there that this week has been rough as far as feeding is concerned and pretty emotional for me.  I can't quite put my finger on why nursing is so important to me.  Of course there are the obvious health reasons for the baby, but let's be honest, formula fed babies turn out just fine, most of us in my generation have at least!  There is just an emotional factor to it all, and I desperately hope that we can work it out.  Right now we are bottle feeding pumped milk, which means that I try to breastfeed without success, then have to pump, then have to feed a bottle which is very time consuming especially with an almost 20 month old watching.  All the hormones certainly haven't helped.  We have taken a few days off from even trying and will get back to it again this weekend.  I am still holding out hope that the little man will take to it, but if he doesn't it will be okay.  I just never in a million years thought that breastfeeding would be hard the second time around, I was prepared for it with Luke, but this time I just thought it would be easy especially since it went so well the first time around.

The important thing is that our little man is doing great, he is snuggly and cute as can be and we are falling more in love with him each day.  We couldn't ask for more, we are richly blessed and I couldn't be happier.

We haven't taken out the real camera this week so these pics are just courtesy of the iphone plus one sneak peek from a newborn session we had yesterday with our good friend Bethany Good, of Bethany Good Photography, google her, she rocks.  We were hoping for some great sibling pictures[
 yesterday but Luke decided to have his first real toddler moment since the Bo Show's arrival, in all honesty the pictures of all of us smiling and Luke screaming will probably be more funny looking back anyway!  :)

Heading home from the hospital!

Luke enjoying some watermelon on the 4th of July!  He had to be hosed off after!

Such a snuggle bug!

Bowen meeting his Great Grandma and namesake.  Unfortunately, Grandma is not doing well again and may not have much time left.

The Bo Show!  Love this picture!  Thanks Bethany!