Friday, March 24, 2017

Proud Big Brothers

Adding a new member to our family has brought a monumental change into Jaden and Cody's lives. Overall, Jason and I have been so proud of the way our boys have handled this change. They have been so loving to Adley and very helpful around the house too. 

Grammy and Papa stayed at our home with Jaden and Cody while Jason, Adley and I were in the hospital. Both boys drew pictorial directions so that Grammy and Papa would know how to take care of them. Cody crossed off his pictures as they did each step together. He translated the pictures later for me as follows: eat breakfast, go to school, go to bed, playtime, go to bed, eat breakfast. 

Jaden's directions focused on the nighttime routine: give us a bath, brush our teeth, read us a story, put us to bed, and then you can go downstairs. 

The boys asked to hold Adley at least once a day after we brought her home from the hospital. They held her for very short periods of time (only a few minutes) but always very carefully. If Jaden and Cody ever left the house with Daddy, their first question when coming back home was, "Mommy, how's Adley doing?"

Big Brother Jaden

Big Brother Cody

One day recently I asked the boys what the hardest part about having a baby sister was. Without hesitation, they both responded, "When she cries!" Then I asked what the best part was. Jaden said, "Giving Adley hugs." Cody's response was, "Pushing her diapers down into the diaper genie." Ha! :)

Jaden and Cody love doing all they can to keep Adley happy. When Adley cries, the boys love bringing her stuffed animals or rattles to help calm her down. Their tactics often work!

One day, Cody and Jaden decided to entertain Adley by dancing along to the music on her bouncer.

Cody was convinced that little Adley starting dancing right along with them! :)

On Jaden and Cody's first day back to school after Adley's birth, we sent them with a photo book of pictures that they could show to their teachers and friends. Grammy took the boys to school this day, and she said that they were so excited and proud to share the photos! (This day also happened to be a PJ dress up day, in case you're wondering what the kids are all wearing.)

Ever since Adley's birth, the pictures that the boys have drawn at school and home have looked a little different. So precious to see the extra little family member that they are now including! :)

Cody's picture below sums it up pretty well. (Be sure to read his words in a snake-like pattern.)

Big Brothers Are Great!
We are so thankful that God has given our boys a smooth transition so far and pray that their love for and patience with Adley continues for a long, long time! :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Few Firsts

Since arriving at home, Adley has experienced a variety of firsts:

First Bath
When we first poured water over Adley, she seemed interested and didn't cry at all.

Of course, her pleasant temperament didn't last long at all.

Mommy and Daddy finished Adley's bath as quickly as possible....

...and got right to the best part-- snuggle time at the end!

Almost as nice as the snuggle time was the "getting all dolled up" time! After the bath, Miss Adley was a happy girl. 

First Bath from Brothers
After Adley's umbilical cord fell off, we felt better about having Cody and Jaden help with her bathtime, something the boys had been begging to do. Cody and Jaden helped get Adley wet and scrub her down. They were quite concerned about her loud cries.

All clean! Jaden and Cody were so proud. :)

First Snuggles
Newborns sleep a lot! (Funny, we don't remember quite this much rest-time when Jaden and Cody were newborns. This is likely because A. they didn't always sleep at the same time or B. Jason and were trying to rest along with them every spare second that we could!) Our little girl's favorite place to rest is up against one of her doting family members. We, of course, are happy to spoil our little girl.


First Week
By the time Adley was one week old, she had gained back some of the weight she lost in the hospital. When we brought Adley home, she weighed 9 lbs, 1 oz. At her 1 week doctor check-up, Adley was up to 9 lbs. 5 oz. The doctor declared Adley to be a healthy, "just perfect" baby girl. We couldn't be happier! :) Here is Adley at one week:

First Trip to Church
When Adley was just 10 days old, she attended her first church service. This trip was only possible because Grammy and Papa came to our house early that morning to help out. Daddy always leaves extra early on Sunday mornings, and Mommy isn't quite ready to manage three kiddos and their schedules in the morning on her own yet! I couldn't have done it without you, Grammy and Papa-- thanks so much! :)

Here is our sweet girl, all dressed up and ready to go! The cute dress and shoes are both from Grammy and Papa too. We think she's pretty adorable! :)

Jaden and Cody take so much pride in their little sister. They both insisted on helping Papa carry Adley's car seat in to and out of church. While carrying it, they periodically would look up and beam at anyone passing by as if to say, "She's mine!" :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Adley's Homecoming

After Adley's birth, our hospital stay was short and sweet. We had caring, attentive nurses and received good care, but we were eager to return home to our boys and to begin our new life as a family of five. So, on Saturday evening, Adley and I were officially discharged from the hospital. Naturally, we had to put our sweet girl in a nice, new dress for the big occasion.

We stayed at the hospital just long enough for Amy to eat one last meal and to receive one final dose of meds, and then our family was homebound!

The evening that we left was rainy and a bit cool.

Adley looked so tiny in her carseat! She slept the whole way home.

Upon arriving home, we were greeted with some fun decorations, courtesy of Grammy, Papa, Jaden and Cody. These four had decorated one of our trees with pink balloons and had colored a welcome sign for our garage door.

Each letter of this sign was decorated in a different way. Cody was particularly proud of his letter D which he had meticulously filled in with orange marker. We heard that that this took him forever! Jaden especially liked coloring stripes in the letter O with Papa. We could tell that our boys (and Grammy and Papa too) had put a LOT of time and love into the decorations. What a wonderful welcome! It was so good to be home! :)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Hospital Visitors

Adley got a lot of attention from family members during her first few days of life in the hospital. Grandma and Grandpa in Minnesota had a beautiful balloon bouquet and pink rose delivered to our room. Our whole family enjoyed the festive pink decorations. :)

Later in the afternoon of Adley's birth day, Aunt Chelsea, Uncle Jon and cousin Isaiah stopped by the hospital to meet Adley after their own family's baby appointment. We loved seeing our first set of family members and dreaming about Adley's newest little boy cousin soon to come!

Adley slept peacefully through their whole visit. :)

Shortly after their visit, Grammy and Papa brought Cody and Jaden to the hospital (straight from a full day of pre-K) to meet their new little sister. Cody and Jaden were both full of smiles and were very eager to hold Adley.

These two boys could hardly take their eyes off their baby sister. I absolutely loved seeing Jaden and Cody's faces! While holding Adley, Cody declared that Adley was "the prettiest girl I've ever seen!"

Jaden had his turn next to hold Adley. It's hard to tell in these pictures, but Adley is wearing a onesie that says "Cutest Little Sister." Cody and Jaden proudly wore their "Big Brother" shirts.

Papa was the next one to meet Adley, his second granddaughter and 8th grandchild.

Grammy's arms were very cozy and welcoming for Baby Adley. What a treat to have all these family members in town to meet Adley right away!

Adley is such a great little sister! She gave presents to Cody and Jaden on her first day of life. :)

The little remote control vehicles that the boys received were perfect toys to play with in the hospital.

Jaden and Cody took a break from their vehicles when it was time to change Adley's diaper. They were very curious about this process!

We were so proud of the sweet natures our boys showed to little Adley. We pray that this continues for a LONG time! :)

Our first picture as a family of 5

Unfortunately, that night I had a terrible bout with nausea and struggled with vomiting for quite a few hours. The doctors said it was a reaction to the anesthesia, so thankfully it didn't last beyond the early hours of Friday morning. Jason and I took all of that morning to rest and recover, so we turned down a few church friends that wanted to visit that day. By Friday afternoon, though, I had recovered enough to see my sister Kim and her boys.

Each of Adley's cousins were so gentle and loving with her! Ryan probably would have held Adley during their entire visit if we would have let him. He just loves babies!

Ian, the most experienced big brother and cousin, looked so natural as he held and played with Adley. This girl has a whole team of big brothers and cousins to look after her in life! She's either going to be one spoiled or one tough little lady! :)

Even Nathan asked to hold Adley. He was so still and sweet with her!

Uncle Matt, who was at a conference for a few days, dropped by the hospital, too, the next day on his way back home. We forgot to take a picture of Adley with her Uncle Matt, but we were very thankful for his visit!

Cody and Jaden, along with Grammy and Papa, visited us on Saturday morning again, after the boys' soccer game. The boys thought it would be fun to pretend to be statues in front of the hospital.

We're excited to introduce Adley to more family and friends in the days to come!