Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lincoln's First Week Home

This picture fell between the cracks. We had so much fun having Jeff's parents stay with us for a week. One night we made pizza! And sadly this is the only picture I have documenting David and Mary's stay.
Eli's hair is evidence he didn't lose any sleep worrying about Lincoln in the NICU.
Let's just take a moment to realize his face is barely bigger than my thumb.
Dressing Lincoln is impossible. I rummage through my limited supply of newborn clothes, pick something and think, "Surely this is small enough to fit him!" And then it proves to be way too big for his still tiny frame. Here's one of our better attempts to clothe our babe.
Eli loves tummy time as much as Lincoln does!
Every evening I hold Lincoln just so and imagine him still in my belly. It's crazy that he technically shouldn't even be here yet! He looks teeny tiny to me until I picture him still inside me and then he looks ginormous.
Often when I'm nursing Lincoln I see a little curious hand creeping my way.
Then Carson shyly gives a wave and runs away. I think he's still not sure what to think about this whole baby thing.
I took Lincoln for a little ride to pick Eli up from preschool one day. Eli thought it was so fun having his new brother greet him after school.
His legs! As much as I love his chicken legs, I've been force feeding Lincoln all week in hopes of adding a few fat creases to those thighs. He feels so fragile since he's so skinny!
The boys have still been nothing but angelic with their new brother.

Lincoln's middle name (Blair) comes from my dad's middle name. I always loved his middle name, and I thought Blair sounded perfect with the name Lincoln.
Jeff took the boys to get their hair cut one day while my parents snuck over to see the baby in a nice, quiet house. It was refreshing to relax and dote on baby with the bigger boys out on an excursion.
While Lincoln does occasionally love to be awake for 3-hour chunks at night, he appears to be a good sleeper! I keep remembering that even as a newborn Carson wouldn't sleep for longer than 20 minutes at a time, so it's been a relief to see this boy frequently succumb to some shut-eye.
Having three kids has been a surprisingly easier transition than I thought it would be. Though Jeff is still off work. And I haven't even attempted to go anywhere with all three kids. Especially not by myself. So maybe ask me again in a week when that all changes. But so far we've adjusted seamlessly. I already can't remember life without our newest bundle of adorableness.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Family Pictures 2014

I'm just remembering I never posted our 2014 family pictures! I love, love, love the way they turned out. Big thanks to my brother-in-law Dallas Golden for getting these shots!

The Brothers Meet

Since Lincoln was in no hurry to leave the comfort of the NICU, we figured it was time to take Eli and Carson over to the hospital to prove Lincoln's existence. 
The boys weren't allowed to go into the NICU because they're little germ balls, but the nurses were able to cart Lincoln over to the well baby nursery so the brothers could peek through the window at each other for a tender (and sterile) first meeting.
Lincoln's foot poked out of the blanket for a second and the boys thought that was hilarious. They were instantly in love with their new baby brother.
There was lots of "oooooohhhh"ing and "aaaaaaaahhhhhhh"ing and several times when Carson proudly announced, "He likes us!"
Then we tried to take advantage of our first family photo op. The glass proved to be a hinderance.
After the boys visited, we charged through another 5 days of NICUing.
By Saturday night, Lincoln had successfully gone 5 days without any breathing issues, so we were ready to begin the discharging process. Since Lincoln was coming home on a monitor, the hospital required me and Jeff to stay at the hospital overnight for one night to learn how to use the monitor and test our preemie care-taking skills.

The funny part -- it was Valentine's Day! Ha. I loved that Jeff and I had a little romantic getaway at Hotel Hospital. It was more romantic than what we otherwise would have done, so thanks for the excuse to have a little getaway, Lincoln!
One of the first days after I was released from the hospital, Jeff and I went to the store to get a few preemie outfits since all the newborn sized clothes I anticipated our new baby fitting into drowned little Lincoln. It was so fun to have a night finally all to ourselves with Lincoln and get to dress him up how we wanted and start to feel like he was finally ours.

Lincoln had been wearing a green and blue beanie for his whole NICU stay, but on Valentine's Day, the nurses made Lincoln and his surroundings as pink, red and purple as they could. Unfortunately, that was all the stuff we got sent home with. So Lincoln ended up with a very girly looking beanie for his hospital keepsake.

We passed our overnight test without the alarm going off a single time. Yay! In the morning we were all set to go home!
It kind of feels like you're stealing a baby when you finally get to break your kid out of the NICU.
My parents had taken over our duties at home while we were gone. They were at church with Eli and Carson when we arrived, so we had a little time to break Lincoln into his new place before it got too crazy with his brothers around.

Before long, we heard the garage door open and two little boys came racing inside.

Eli and Carson were so so cute. Seriously. It was adorable. Carson was lovingly "awwwwwwwwwww"ing for a solid hour while Eli meticulously inspected every one of Lincoln's little features. It was the sweetest thing ever.
They spent the day closely following Lincoln wherever he went. Eli showed high interest in Lincoln's monitors, and was anxious to help Jeff match the cords up to their correct plugs.
The older brothers could be caught sneaking peeks at their new brother throughout the afternoon.

My parents welcomed Lincoln home with their traditional roast beef Sunday dinner.
Ben even made his way up to see his newest nephew...or to get a nice, hot meal.
Not only did my mom watch my kids on demand, she kept us nice and fed through all our NICU madness.

With full bellies, we spent the afternoon cuddling a little ball of baby.

Eli and Carson would run over to Lincoln between imaginary Transformer battles.
The boys had found a bag of marbles while Jeff and I were gone. As I saw the marbles laying all over the floor I thought, "That was a bad toy for them to find right as we are bringing a new baby home. Talk about a choking hazard."

Moments later, Eli eagerly ran over to Lincoln to "show" Lincoln one of his marbles. Then he attempted to put the marble in Lincoln's hand for Lincoln to play with. Then Carson got the brilliant idea to stick a marble in Lincoln's binky.

I'm happy to report the marbles have since been put away and will likely not return until Lincoln is old enough to ward off brothers trying to stick things in his mouth.
I'm beginning to feel slightly outnumbered...
Jeff's parents came to help us out on week two of NICU. While they were here Mary got Lincoln a few cute outfits. Here he is sporting one of them.
The boys were so excited to play with their new brother first thing Monday morning for our first full day with him.

They had to show Lincoln everything they love. Eli would hold Transformers up to Lincoln's face (at point blank range), and Carson read Lincoln books, educating him on airplanes and trains.
I have three kids! I got all my nesting done a month early, and I was going to spend my last month of pregnancy mentally preparing myself for a life with three kids. I didn't get that last month to conspire how on earth I would go grocery shopping with three boys, or how I would manage going on walks with three kids, or how I would ever orchestrate getting three little people to all be asleep for a consecutive 6-7 hours at night.

I didn't get that time to envision every 3-kid chaotic scenario that may happen to me, so I was never able to devise a game plan for how I would outsmart my three rascals. And now I suddenly have three kids! And this is the perfect picture depicting how I feel about it:
It's crazy and chaotic, as we expected it would be, but it's fun! And I'm sure we'll figure it all out with many laughs along the way.