Friday, May 31, 2013

Strawberry picking!

Strawberry picking is something that my girls look forward to each year. The week before the baby came, Karis started asking when we would go.  I was a little worried that we would not be able to fit it in this year since I would be recovering from the birth, but I knew she really wanted to go.  So we decided to go on Memorial Day when I had my folks here to help us.  We got tons of delicious strawberries and froze a bunch for smoothies and made strawberry bread and ate ridiculous amounts and gave some to friends.  So glad we were able to go!

Abbi had a hard time pulling those berries off so she and Daddy had a nice arrangement:  He would pick them and hand them to her and she would put them in the bucket :)

This little rascal did not really want to work hard to fill up a bucket -- she just wanted to eat!

Susanna and I mainly watched and took pictures (and slept):

Don't let her bucket fool you!  She stole all those from Papa Eric!

Now Karlie was actually a very hard worker and searched carefully for the perfect berries:

Once again taking a break to eat a few...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2 great recipes for laboring and post-partum Moms

1.  Laborade -- This is a great drink not only for moms in labor, but for anyone who does sports activities or works out.  I drank this after each contraction and also the first week of nursing when I am ever so thirsty.  I got the idea from THIS original recipe, but added it to coconut water instead of plain water for extra electrolytes and potassium.  It was very easy to throw together... Mark made it for me in just minutes at 3am while we were waiting for his parents to get to our house to stay with the girls so we could go on to the birth center!  I don't love coconut water by itself because it is a little too sweet for me, but the lemons added a nice sour flavor that made this drink the perfect "labor-ade" for me.
3-4 lemons
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp real sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Coconut water or just filtered water
 Directions:  Mix well; can keep in fridge and add to 1/2 gallon of coconut water when needed.  Or just add a couple of Tbs to a cup of coconut water.  I'll be honest, we didn't really measure and I think we added more than that.  But it was good and really worked!

2.  Home-made Frozen Witch-Hazel Pads for Postpartum Healing -- My friend gave me this recipe and these are awesome and really help promote healing.

For 4 Pads:
4 Tablespoons of witch hazel
1 tsp. teaspoon of aloe vera liquid
12 drops of lavender oil. 
Directions: open the pad up and then pour the mixture on along pretty much the whole length of the pad. Fold, wrap individually in aluminum foil, put in a ziploc bag, and stick in the freezer.  Use one every couple of hours. The comforting sensation/healing lasts for a good half hour or more with each one

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday, Karis Lynn!

Ever since we found out that this baby was due on Karis's birthday, she has been telling everyone that she was going to have a baby as her birthday present.  Then when we had surprise snowdays on both Karlie and Abbi's birthdays, she would say, "Karlie and Abbi got snow for their birthdays, but I am getting a baby!"  

Well, amazingly enough, Karis got her wish! We had planned an early zoo party for her since I tend to be overdue with my babies.  However, bright and early Sunday morning, the day of her party, I went into labor and gave birth to Susanna Beth!  I was worried that Karis would be sad about missing her party, but she was so excited about her new baby sister and never once showed the slightest bit a sadness for missing her party.  We told her, of course, that we would plan it for the next weekend, and she was perfectly happy with that.  I was incredibly proud of her!

Her actual birthday was on Wednesday and she was excited to wake up and find a card from Nina with 6 dollars in it!

After getting dressed, Daddy and Nina took her to Build-A-Bear, where she got a fancy dress, necklace, and sparkly high-heeled shoes for her bear.  (She had gotten the bear at Karlie's birthday, but she didn't get any clothes.)  She decided to re-name her bear, "Fancy-Nancy," after one of her favorite storybook characters.

Karis had requested peppermint cupcakes baked in an ice cream cone and Grandma had the wisdom to make some ahead of time and freeze them in case the baby came and I didn't have time to make them.  Thank you Grandma!

She closed her eyes while she blew out the candles :)

So excited about her special cupcakes!

Abbi had to lick every single drop

And Karlie chose the chocolate chip ones

That evening, Papa Marvin came by and brought Karis her special present: a PRINCESS bike!  She has been riding a blue one that was given to us for a while now, but it was much too small for her.  She has been asking for a new one and was amazed at how beautiful this one was!

On Saturday afternoon, we finally made it to the zoo!

The red panda is always a favorite!

Evi is one of the girls' very best friends and we were so glad she could come with us to the zoo even after we changed the date to a holiday weekend!

After the zoo, we had a picnic-party at the park.  Karis was very excited that our neighbors could join us for this part.  We have the best neighbors and the girls play outside with them almost every day.

And of course we had to go see the star before going home!

 We saved some of the presents for at home because of the wind so Karis had yet another party at home!

I think that because of Susanna, Karis ended up with a week of birthday fun rather than just a day of it :)  She sure did have a happy birthday and we are so thankful for our sweet 6 year old!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Susanna's first week!

Susanna had a pretty quiet first week of life.  I was pretty amazingly blessed to have lots of help this week.  My parents stayed until Tuesday and then Mark's Mom came and stayed until Saturday when my folks came back for the weekend!  And Mark took off work a bunch to help out as well.  Needless to say, the big girls had a pretty exciting week and I had a wonderfully relaxing week to recover.  

Every single morning, I call the girls in our room once I have fed Susanna and they are ever so excited to pick out her clothes.  They always choose a hairbow and socks as shoes as well.  This baby is dressed to a "T," even if it only lasts about 15 minutes because she gets so exhausted after getting dressed that it is always quickly time for her nap.  The big girls help me put lotion on her and change her diaper and get her dressed, and then they each take turns holding her.  They are so sweet to her and pretty much fight over who gets to hold her every time she is awake.  After they finish their morning snuggles, Susanna goes back to sleep for a couple hours.

Day 1:  

Day 2:

Day 3:

I just have to write about how sweet Abbi is with Susanna.  All day long she will sneak in my room and say, "hold Susanna Bef, pwease?"  And then once she is holding her, she will talk  to her in the sweetest, highest voice and give her lots of kisses and say over and over, "I wuv you, Susanna Bef."  It is truly one of the most precious things ever.

Karlie has wanted to hold Susanna a lot as well and she is always telling me to take away my hand because she wants to do it all by herself.

Day 4:

Karis is really good at holding Susanna and asks to hold her all day long, but she often wants to take care of her more than snuggle for too long, it seems.  She wants to do everything I do to Susanna and keeps her surrounded by her toys and blankets and keeps telling me that she bets she could nurse Susanna if I would let her :)

Right after Abbi has just given Susanna a kiss:

Day 5:

Day 6:  Susanna's first outing -- to the park at the zoo for Karis's birthday.  It was super windy and I kept her in my wrap the entire time.  She happily snuggled there for about 2 hours :)

My sweet snuggle-bug:

I love all the different faces she makes when she sleeps:

It has been such a wonderful week with Susanna Beth!  I still can hardly believe she is here!