Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grace's Hospital Stay/Mommy's Vacation

Sometimes it takes a major surgery to get waited on hand and foot, but I couldn't help but marvel how Grace's hospital stay seemed like more like a mini-vacation from reality and less like a serious medical encounter.

Grace was delivered via a scheduled c-section, so despite my insistence that she was going to come early, Rick and I went to the hospital as planned on May 22nd.  It's always surreal when the doctors pull a real, live baby out of my stomach.  A true miracle of life.

Grace is absolutely perfect, healthy, and showed us a vigorous personality as she cried nonstop for the first two hours of her life.  (She hasn't really cried since those two hours.)
I was very anxious about Palmer's first meeting of Grace.  Although the recovery room was a little overwhelming for our three year old, Palmer did great and was excited to meet his sister.
Knowing what was waiting back home, Rick and I both tried to soak up as much one-on-one and quiet time with our new baby girl before we headed home to the craziness of two children.
We had plenty of visitors, but I also had a lot of wonderful alone time because Rick spent time outside of the hospital making sure Palmer's world wasn't too rocked.
On Saturday, Rick and Palmer went to karate as usual and then went for a boy's-only hike.
I asked Palmer for several days if he wanted to hold his new sister.  Of course, he wasn't ready until he came back sweaty and smelling of nature from his father-son hike.  After insisting Palmer wash his hands, take off his shirt, and we covered the rest of his body with pillows, Palmer finally held Grace for the first time.
And then this adorableness happened:
video
I think it's safe to say we are all wrapped around this little girl's finger.

-Bethany

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our Family of Three

On the night before Palmer was born, Rick and I celebrated our last night as a couple with a wonderful date night.  

This time around, Rick and I wanted a moment to again celebrate each other, but also time to honor our last days as a family of three.

A few days ahead of Grace's birth, Rick and I made time for a date night at newish restaurant I've been wanting to try, CBD Provisions.  We had a wonderful meal and stayed out on the town until the crazy hour of 9:15pm.  Ha!
On our last weekend, we spent time on the golf course (aka Rick and Palmer played golf and I met them for dinner at the club afterwards!)  We also met up with friends from Palmer's playgroup to visit the vintage kiddie amusement park, Sandy Lake Park.  Three of us mommas from the group were pregnant, so we let the dads take the children on all of the rides while we watched.  Palmer thought the park was so much fun and has already made requests to return with his new sister, Grace.
I had a lot of anxiety about our last moments with Palmer and was very nervous to say good bye before we went to the hospital.  Nana came in town to stay with Palmer during the hospital stay.  She joined us for dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood haunts on the night before Grace was born.
Then, we hit up a brand new gourmet popsicle shop for one last "special treat" before the big day.
And finally, the big morning arrived.  We tearfully (okay, maybe "I tearfully") said good bye to our little boy and told him to come see us at the hospital in a few hours to meet his little sister.  
Palmer, you will always be our special boy. You will be the best big brother.

-Bethany

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Welcome, Grace Mackenzie

Rick, Palmer, and I are over-the-moon smitten to introduce, Miss Grace Mackenzie Jordan.
Weight: 8 lbs, 6 oz
Height: 19.75 inches
Time: 9:45am on May 22, 2014

Grace Mackenzie is a family name: On Rick's side, we honor Rick's grandmother, Grace.  On my side, there is also a Grace deeper in the lineage.

Grandma Grace (GG) was tickled to learn our name choice on Thursday and I loved seeing the two Grace's meet each other.
Mackenzie is my mother's maiden name and my siblings and I all share the name Mackenzie as a second middle name (Bethany Jene Mackenzie Thomas Jordan).  In fact, my sister's full name happens to be Samantha Grace Mackenzie Thomas.

Our new family of four:
 And now, the boys and the girls in the family are even!
-Bethany

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sticks and Stones

No matter how much I try to ignore it, Palmer is more and more obsessed with weapons each day.  I try to pretend I can't hear him when he tells me he is "shooting the bad guys", but it's getting harder and harder.

All sticks=some sort of sword or weapon.  I am ever-trying to throw sticks over the back fence into the alley, but I swear the trees overhead in my backyard are against my efforts and keep gifting Palmer with more branches for his imagination. 
Palmer's buddy Charlie had an "army guy" birthday party and Palmer was so so excited to participate in the camo and military activities.

I am currently struggling with how to have good boundaries with this inevitable passage of boy-hood.  At the moment, I am working on "don't shoot at people" and "the trees outside are the bad guys".  

But, I am clearly outside of my territory here...

-Bethany

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Karate

A new karate gym opened near our house and advertised two free trial classes and a free uniform to children who were willing to try it out.  Little did I know that we would in fact have FIVE free trial classes and a little boy who just loves karate and begged to sign up.

I was already looking for an activity in which to enroll Palmer and in the process of previewing various gymnastics gyms when we came across the new karate place.
I don't know much about karate and was clueless as we went to our first trial session.  What I am learning is that karate is very focused on self-control and discipline.  Some might say that I run a tight ship around this house, so I am loving the strictness of this extracurricular activity.

The free trials are not just for the family to try out karate, but also for the karate studio to make sure that the child is a good fit where he is placed.  Because the emphasis is on self-control and listening to commands/rules, it is important that the child isn't disruptive to the flow of the rest of the class.
After two private trials and three group trials (one of which was in a class that was too old for three-year-olds), Palmer was finally "allowed" to sign up.  (I mean, this place is genius.  By the fifth class, we were practically begging them to accept our son and take our money.  Great business strategy!)
Nevertheless, Palmer adores karate.  He loves the kicking and punching and games as any crazy three-year-old would.  We love that he has to focus in an active environment and think the controlled structure is ideal for a kid like Palmer.
video
We are so proud that Palmer already earned his white belt for saying the "7 magic words: please, thank you, yes sir, no sir, yes ma'am, no ma'am, and you're welcome".

He also was very proud to earn a blue stripe on his white belt last week for being a good listener in class!
-Bethany

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Me and My Boy

I'm getting a little weepy about my last days with just one child.  I'm excited about having a little girl and about Palmer having a sister, but I'm still sad that our special days of 100% one-on-one time are nearing an end.

Recently, a friend suggested I try to plan a special "Mommy and Palmer Day" before our baby girl arrives.  I've been wanting to take Palmer to the drive-thru Texas safari, Fossil Rim, for some time and when we couldn't coordinate a date with friends and I realized that precious time is running out, I decided to go spur-of-the-moment.

Although I was a little nervous to drive 1.5 hours away from town (in case of labor), I did make a mental note of several small-town hospitals on the way to our destination.

First stop: Dairy Queen, also known as "Texas' Small Town Stop Sign".  Palmer LOVED his Dilly Bar ice cream treat.  (What Texas kid doesn't have fond childhood memories of a Dilly bar??)
I'm not sure if Palmer was more excited about seeing the animals or sitting in the front seat of the car!  We picked up a big bag of animal feed to entice the animals to our car windows.
Palmer kept yelling out the windows, "Heeeey, animals!!! I have food for you!!!!!"
However, when we had friends like the one below come and actually visit us, he was a little terrified.  
"Mom!! Save me! Save me!" Palmer was especially squeemish about a very large and ugly bird putting his head thru my window.  "Mom!  Drive away! Drive away!"  It reminds me of the last time I visited Fossil Rim when I was about 10 yrs old and got bit by an ostrich thru the car window.

One happy boy with his head out the window:
We loved the giraffes and Palmer was totally impressed/scared out of his mind when I fed the giraffes out of my hand.  "Mom!! Are they biting you??"
I'm so glad we took the risk and made the drive out to Fossil Rim.  It was such a fun day and Palmer had many tales to tell Rick when we got home.  Meanwhile, no baby over here (although I am going to see my chiropractor in a little while and may have her sneak in some of her labor-inducing acupuncture tricks!)

-Bethany