Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our sweet Cole has arrived!!!

I cannot believe it, but he is finally here!! This sweet little boy has stolen his mommy and daddy's heart in the week he has been here, and it is impossible to imagine life without him. His sisters are incredibly fond of him and our days are spent allowing them time to hold and coo over him. These are very very sweet days.

I was induced at 6:45am and at noon I knew I was ready to push. My dr was not in the hospital so they wanted me to wait for her to get there. Waiting was not fun, but with my wonderful epidural I waited til 12:16 when the dr. arrived. I was incredibly blessed and by 12:19 Cole was born!!
To our complete shock Cole was 7lbs 15oz. We thought for sure he would be huge since he was a boy and the girls were 9.1 and 9.5. But...he is just a little peanut!
I kept making comments about how tiny he was and the nurses just looked at me strangely and said, "he's really over average", but after having two 9 pounders he was TINY!!! I didn't even have any newborn diapers at home, confident he would be wearing 1's upon arrival.
God knew I was worried about this little boys arrival and what my girls would be doing, who would be with them, etc, and of course he had all the details worked out. Since he arrived around noon, my mom picked up Clare from school, everyone went home for naps and two big sisters came to meet their little brother that afternoon.
Our hospital stay was really quiet because of an ice storm on Thursday night and Friday morning. Other than a few visitors it was really just Cole and us, which was a precious time!

It is so hard to believe we are now a family of FIVE!!!! We are outnumbered and I told my mom I am amazed that these three children all live in our home and are ours to raise. What a blessing :)
We had a few treats for the girls for when they came to visit and the biggest hit were these books. Clare has yet to put her princess book down. My mom told me she went up to check on Clare the other night and Clare had a flashlight in her bed reading her book. My mom reminded her it was bedtime and Clare said "Grammie as soon as I finish this last book!"
Cole has been the best baby. He's incredibly content and peaceful. When he has little bursts of crying a paci soothes him very quickly.
I had made this little wreath the day before induction because the girls have always had a sign or something on the door upon coming home from the hospital and I did not want my third being left out!!!
I love this picture. I dont know why 3 seems like SO many children right now!!
The last hospital surprise we had was at 4:30am when my beloved OB (seriously, she is the best), popped her head in our quiet room to tell me that Brittany had her baby!! Brittany was one of my very first friends when moving to Charlotte and her little girl Mae is the same age as Elle and they are the best of buddies. Brittany had come to meet Cole Thursday night, joking she would see us when she went into labor later that evening....and the next night it really did happen! So sweet little Henry and our Cole are 2 days apart! It was fun walking across the hall to meet him!
And then it was time to head home!!!!
He was ready to face the world in his first Michigan attire!
Clare had chosen to go to a birthday party over waiting at home for Cole's arrival (any 4 year old would, especially when the party was at a bounce house!). But Elle was very happy to welcome Cole home.
And as soon as Clare got home, she wanted to spend some extra time cuddling with Cole. (Take note of her "party dress")
So...he is here. Our sweet little boy. I love wondering what type of personality he will develop. What the future holds for this little peanut and the impact he will make in this world. It is going to be a fun journey for sure!
LD and I are astounded that these 3 little babies were given to us to raise and to love. So welcome to the world little Cole Joseph, you are now part of the Jackson 5!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Preparing for Cole

Yes, its official, we are not keeping our little boys name a secret.  Cole Joseph has been his name almost since the time we found out we were pregnant.  I think the reason we decided to announce his name and not the girls is because we had no doubt that nothing would change his name...we knew with certainty.

It has taken the full 9 months for me to feel prepared to welcome home my little man and I FINALLY feel ready!!  This past week I had my 38 week appointment and was sure that I was going to walk in and hear I was dialating and he could come at any moment.  BUT..this little guy is coming at his own pace and I am not dialating at all, so we wait :)  The good news is he will be here on January 24th at the very latest when I will be induced.  That means we are only a family of four for a week and a half!!!

Also this week, some friends from church hosted a little shower for Cole.  It was SO sweet and so fun to have an evening where I could mentally just focus on this new little boy!

My sweet friend Teresa planned our evening and we ate at Red Bowl (YUM!)
And had the most delicious cake pops!  They were SO good!!  Clare and Elle each had one the next day at lunch and agreed they were quite tasty!
I opened the cutest little boy things ever and some homemade gifts with Cole's name on them like a car seat cover, burp clothes, and things for his room.  I am so thankful that even though he is number 3, he has things that are just his own!!
I am so thankful for these sweet friends and their love for me and for our family!
We had such a great evening!!
And of course after getting some new fun things to put you in the nesting spirit, LD and I worked on finishing Cole's nursery over the weekend!!  I am so excited about how it came together.  I mentioned before, but my neighbor and sweet friend Melanie let us use her boy bedding, curtains, etc that she had with her 3 boys and I LOVE it!  It is so sweet and southern!
And my friend Kirsten (the most creative girl I have ever met), made me this photo board for his room.  She made one for Clare when she was born and that moved into Elle's room.  Clare has already informed me she is the only one without a photo board, so I think I'm going to have to put in a request to Kirsten.
Kirsten also made this cute little box...yes, she hand painted it, and friends all wrote little notes of encouragement and stuck them inside.
And then this weekend I worked on this little pinterest idea for over his crib.  I love how it all turned out!!  Now we are just missing our little boy!!!!
I am still in slight shock that I am going to go through this birthing and newborn process again, but I feel so ready to take on the challenge!  The girls are so excited and we have 3 weeks of help lined up with my mom, Vanessa and LD all taking a week.  I have never had more than a few days of help, so I am thrilled!!!
We cannot wait to announce the arrival of sweet Cole Joseph Jackson :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cold turkey Paci

This week was Elle's very first visit to the dentist. We had not taken Clare until she was 3, but Elle was already added to the insurance so it seemed silly to wait to take her since she would be going with us anyway.   I was very apprehensive for one reason: I knew the dentist would want her to get rid of her beloved paci and I was dreading it!!!
Clare on the other hand was THRILLED her sister would be getting her teethed cleaned too.  Clare loves the dentist and who wouldn't when you get a treat bag, there are toys in the waiting room and a tv on the ceiling above the chairs?!?  So she filled Elle in the whole way there.
We waited a lot longer than normal, but of course the girls were happily occupied with the waiting room toys.  And just as I suspected...Elle thought it was a fun treat and not an event to be dreaded.

She climbed on the table like a PRO and opened up her little mouth.  I think the hygienist was very surprised with the ease Elle decided to participate.  But all it takes is your big sister to know its going to be ok.

I love this sweet little dentist.  It's so cute that they got their teeth cleaned right next to each other.

And I love our dentist.  BUT...he did tell me the news I was dreading.  Paci needed to leave...asap. I explained that I was due in um...2 weeks and he still thought it would be better to get rid of it before rather than after. 
He said it takes 1 year for their mouth to naturally go back to normal and most likely I would not want to try dropping it after I had a newborn not sleeping through the night, so I would end up putting it off another 6 months.  Which I might add, is probably very likely.

Clare reminded me that when she went to the dentist the first time she was able to go to the cupcake store (that girl remembers everything!).  Thankfully we had made cupcakes last weekend and had a few at home, so we went home to indulge in our celebration of no cavities with nothing better than sugar!!
I left the girls with our neighbor and sweet friend Beth after lunch while I went to staff meeting and mentioned to Beth that we would probably stop paci that night.  When I got home, both girls were sleeping and Beth informed me that Elle had NO paci.  WHAT?!?  This is not what I expected!!
Last night was a little harder, but she only cried for about 30 minutes and then slept from 8 til 6:30 without a peep.  Again, I was so surprised!!!  At 6:30 (way too early for her) she was crying for paci and I went in a few times to give her a book and tell her to lay quietly, but the mornings will be hard for a while I think.  The poor girl fell asleep in the car today on the way to library class at 10:15.
The good news....I think paci is officially gone and hopefully she will not be a paci thief once our baby boy arrives!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bittersweet farewell

Everyone knows it is difficult to make meaningful, deep relationships as an adult.  I have a lot of friends and I am blessed because of it.  But I only have a small handful of friends that can show up at my doorstep while I'm still in my pjs, or that I invite over for a luxury dinner of pancakes on a Sunday night, or that I will jump in the car and run to Starbucks with at 9pm to chat, or that I can complain and whine about a bad day and know that its ok.

In January of 2006 LD and I met Jared and Heather.  LD and I got married in August of 2004 and Jared and Heather had gotten married in August of 2005.  Jared was the youth pastor at Next Level and we had just started attending.  We just recently talked about meeting in the hallway after church and Jared and Heather shortly inviting us over to hang out.

They were our very first friends we made in Charlotte and we had no idea the life adventures we would share together.  We took a few trips to the beach, a few to the mountains, the zoo, the pumpkin patch, and they both at different times went to Detroit to be at LifeChangers (without LD and I) and got to know my parents very well.

But we just hit it off, right from the beginning.  As an adult couple it is incredibly difficult to find other couples that you both enjoy equally, that you would both choose to spend a Saturday evening with.  There were many times that Jared and LD would meet up for a drink one evening and the next evening Heather and I would head to Starbucks.  We never made plans, rarely had a plan once we decided to hang out and over the years it turned more to a family than a friendship.

Before either of us had children we had our sweet babies Bella and Tonks.  LD and I would dog sit Tonks while the Kirks were out of town and they would return the favor when we left town.  They were most definetely our first babies :)

When you don't have family that lives close as LD and I do, your friends become your family and you rely on them for a lot.  We have called Jared and Heather in the middle of the night for emergency situations, cried to each other over saddness, loss, anger or hurt.  We have moved each other to new homes, celebrated over new jobs, and most importantly....celebrated new lives as we became parents!

Jared and Heather were in the waiting room when Clare was born and were in the room minutes after she entered the world.  Jared prayed for Clare and for us as parents and it was a time I will always remember.

And of course they were there when Elle was born too!!  I sadly missed Jude's birth when I was visiting Michigan and was so bummed not be visiting her moments after becoming a mama.

Not only were they there when the girls were born, they love our girls.  They were there for first birthdays and first steps...all the big milestones.  They stepped into the role of our family in Charlotte.

While I was pulling up pictures I noticed that I have NO pictures of Jared and LD and I guess thats just because we are cuter...just kidding!!!  I do think there are so few pictures of us because it just became normal life to be together and not an event.

When Jared and Heather told us they were planning a move to Boston because God called them to start a church there, I wish I could say LD and I were instantly overjoyed and celebrating in all God had called them to.  But was hard from the beginning.

LD and I both knew that the Kirks leaving Charlotte was going to change our everyday life.  LD and Jared had started leading a men's life group together early Friday mornings in the fall, which only deepened their friendship.  Heather and I started a tutoring program at the church in the fall that we co lead.  And when we moved to our new home in Wesley Chapel we lived only 4 minutes from Jared and Heather, so Heather and I spent at least once a week walking to Target :)

There are a LOT of funny memories we have shared with Jared and Heather, but I think our last night before they left sums up how we did life together.

After having a big farwell party Saturday night, I was still not ready to say goodbye so I told them we would run by sometime Sunday.  Of course the day went fast and they were busy and it was 8pm and our girls were in bed.  I had spent most of the afternoon crying as I tried to write a card to Heather and knew I just needed to run by and give them both a hug.  Well...LD was not letting me go without him.

So we called our neighbor and she ran over to sit with the girls while we went to say goodbye.  When we got to their empty house, Jared was attempting taking down a baby gate and Heather was cleaning.  A friend had given them a bottle of wine the night before and after much frustration with the baby gate, Jared was determined to open the bottle of wine.

After a few youtube videos on how to open wine without a wine opener, LD and Jared accomplished the task with a screw and pliers.  They were incredibly proud of their achievement.

So the three of them (minus the preggo lady) said cheers with their solo cups of wine in their empty house and toasted to friendship.  On the first drink Jared swallowed funny, and out came a mouthful of wine, right onto Heathers face and shirt!  There is never a dull moment with Jared :)

Sitting on the floor of their empty home with solo cups of wine, toasting to friendship was the perfect last memory of this chapter of life.

We are SO going to miss watching Jude grow up on a daily basis and keeping him at our house while they have an occassional date night.

We are going to miss having our first Charlotte friends live 4 minutes away to do life with.  BUT...God is good and has called them to something bigger than they had ever dreamed.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for them and the lives in Boston that will be changed because of their obedience to his call.

Praying for you dear friends and we are so thankful God allowed us to have the last 6 years full of memories :)  Love all three of you!