Ani Rae Reckward
Updates Week 1-12
Week 0-1: March 2-March 5th
This will be a shorter update as 4 days of Ani's first week of life were spent in the hospital.  We came home Monday morning and had a very very good first day home.  The kids were very excited to see their sister come home.  They did a good job not jumping all over me and were very gentle with their sister.  Dennis is off of work for a whole week and this will give us all a good amount of time to adjust to life with 3 kids.  We just laid real low on Monday.  Hayden had an Occupational Therapy appointment that afternoon, so he stayed home from school and Dennis took him to his appointment.  I am usually the one to take him to see his OT (she is working on determing what sensory activities help Hayden's 'behavior') and Dennis was actually looking forward to going and seeing what they have been working on the past couple of months.  So, I had the girls at home and we laid down for naps that afternoon.  Our first night was all a learning process..........how do we like the bed?  How is the lighting in the room?  Is it warm enough?  This was especially a learning process because we are in a different room from when we had Macy and she was in a different bassinette.  I learned that we definitely need a dimmer of sorts in that room, the lighting sucked for geting up in the middle of the night to feed! :-)  She did pretty good that first night.  I was a little worried as she slept a good 4-5 hour chunk in the afternoon - I thought for sure this was going to be the start of our mix up of days/nights.  But, she surprised me and did very well........good 2-3 hour chunks of sleep at night and eating well in between.  She did not want to stay in her bassinette, no matter how close it was to our bed.........but........I figure, she's been with me for the past 39 weeks, we're both going to have a hard time separating from each other ;-).  Dennis slept upstairs with Hayden to keep an ear/eye open for the kids in the am and to let us sleep in the morning without having to get up when they did.
Tuesday, Macy had school and we got some visitors at the house!   A few co-workers came to visit and one of them being our friends Matt and Steph who just had their first baby, Karsten - so it was a 'kill two birds with one stone' kind of stop............the girls, Sabrina and Breanna got to see Ani
and Karsten!  Ani loved the snuggling she got and got to meet a potiential boyfriend :-).  She had her first bath at home that night, with the help of Hayden and Macy..........and Daddy took the pictures!  She didn't really like the bath so much............that is what the nurses in the hospital said too! :-)  I tried the swaddle bath and she didn't like to stay swaddled and kept kicking her foot out.  It was hysterical!!!  Look at the pictures and you will see how it it constantly sticking up and I said, that looks very familiar to what she was doing inside! ;-)  We had another good night - but I'm one that can go on little and interrupted sleep and still be ok, so this has not been the hard part having another baby.  She's nursing very well too...........the girl is doing exactly what she should be doing and I am SO grateful and SO blessed that she has been such a good baby.
Wednesday, both kids are off of school in the morning, so this is usually a good day to do something fun.  I was feeling so good and Dennis and I have both been running on all 8 cylinders for the past few months that it is hard for us to just sit back and do nothing.  So, we decided to get out and do something fun with the kids.........but nothing too wild.  We decided to take them to Pip Squeaks..we hadn't been there since Halloween and so this was a good way to have the kids blow off some energy.....plus with Dennis being home - he can be the one to run after and play with the kids.  Hayden had a hard time there after about 30 minutes.  I think it was just a way for him to get some attention or 'act out' for the new baby coming home.  He was just really pouty and sad/frustrated and mouthy off, the combo he doesn't usually do, so it was out of his norm.  It was frustrating and we ended leaving because he was just sulking and didn't want to play.  He continued to have a rougher day and I guess I wasn't surprised since we just brought the baby home..........and he had such a hard time when Macy came home, so of either kids I would guess he would be the one to act up.
Thursday was low key and both kids went to preschool that day.  Ani had her very first doctors appointment that morning.   She weighed in at 8lbs 5oz, which was not up to her birthweight yet but up from her dismissal weight of olbs 4oz.......so we were feeling good about that..  She eats well and has plenty of wet/dirty diapers, so we weren't concerned she wasn't eating enough to not gain enough weight up to her birthweight.  I think both Macy and Hayden were up to their birthweight by their first appt, if not a lot closer but Dr Valdes said, she is such a big baby that she doesn't expect a ton of weight gain.  We also discussed the reflux I think Ani is experiencing.  She definitely has gotten better than how she was in the hospital in regard to this, so I felt ok with not getting any medication started for her.  You can hear her do this little 'squeak' every once in a while - which had decireased more and more every day.........and you could hear some loud random swallowing  on occasion........but she was so mellow mannered and hadn't been spitting up at all, so we would continue to watch this. 
So come Friday, Ani was officially one week old.  We had our little girl in our life for one whole week!  A lot of people have been asking us if she is a good baby and very emphatically we say YES!!!  I think compared to the havoc that Macy raised, we would think no matter what Ani was a good baby, but with all seriousness......she is a mellow kid.  She doesn't cry a whole lot, she is very engaging with her gaze and just a snuggly,happy girl.  I had a friend tell me that just by looking in her yeys she could tell that Ani was a mellow girl.  In all honesty, with how active she was in utero I was really wondering if that would ever be the case! ;-)  Another question we get a lot of is, 'how are the kids doing with the new baby?'.  And, omigosh, they are doing SOOOOOO good!!!   I can't even believe that either!   Macy is the one that really has surprised us with how well she is doing.  She calls her 'baby' all the time and the two are always kissing her.  They like to rub her hair and give her kisses constantly.  They've been very good and patient when i'm feeding if they need something, they can either get it themselves or they wait for me.  Nevermind, they are asking for something every 5 minutes like usual!  :-)   It's been extremely helpful having Dennis home to help with all that little stuff too.  I've been feeling really, really good and have a lot more energy than I could imagine.  I think I was SO worn down from the pregnancy and from the nausea, that now that that part is all over, I'm on a high.  I've been trying to keep up with everything too so not to get too overwlemed.  We just spent all this time getting our house ready, organized and clean for Ani's arrival, I want to keep it that way..........so it's been A LOT of laundry mainly! ;-)  Just trying to get our 'routine' in order too.


WEEK 1-2: March 5th - March 12th  Ani is officially one week old!!!
The next day we were looking for more to do, so we packed everyone up and went to IKEA.  We are looking for a desk/sit-in-bar set up for the last part of our kitchen.  We packed up into our new car and made our first long trip/family adventure to IKEA with 3 kids.  We just got a 2005 Yukon Denali for the 3 seat option and it has lots of fun options too.  The bummer of the deal is, we don't have the bucket seats installed in it yet.  So, there are two bench seats which makes it a little harder to get Ani's carseat in and out.  I sat in the middle with Ani and the kids sat in the way back and Hayden was super sad and started crying.  I said, what is wrong?  And Hayden said, 'I can't kiss her from here'..........I said that if he wanted to give her kisses he could blow them to her or let me know and I will get a kiss to her from him.  I thought that was so sweet!  She slept the whole way up, ate a little bit once we got there  and slept almost the entire time inside the store.  She woke up right at the end while we were heading toward the checkout.  They had a little family bathroom sitting area there so I was able to nurse her before leaving, although let me warn you breastfeeding moms the doors don't lock there!  I had about 5 people walk in, nice!  So, it was a short feed.  We went home and then Ani and I went to my cousin's house for a Pampered Chef party.............I got to show her off a little bit more and enjoy some grown up time. 
On Saturday we decided to drive down to Decorah........we had some work that needed to be done on our car that was covered under warranty, so we thought we would drop the car off and give them a few days to get the stuff done and we would get a rental car for the time it was getting the little repairs done.  This also gave us a good opportunity to hang out with Jim and Judy and give them more time with the kids.  They didn't get to see Hayden and Macy when they came up to see Ani in the hospital.  We got to see Uncle Chad who took Hayden on a little shopping trip and got lots of treats!   We ate some Mabe's pizza and came back home that night.
Sunday was just a relaxing day at home.  I made a trip up to work with Ani to show her off to my weekend crew.  I had posted a ton of pics already to my facebook so everyone got to see what she looked like but of course, the proud mom wanted to show her off in person.  Everyone got to take turns coming to see her and she lots of snuggles from my friends at work.  Of course everyone thought she looked huge compared to the little ones up there but for some reason I think she looks little?........I know, weird..........AND we're STILL having a hard time deciding who she looks like!
Monday Dennis was going to be going back to work that evening.  I was really going to see what life with three would be like.  He was actually going to be working a partial shift in the evening in the lab in Rochester, so a nice way to break us in slowly! ;-)   My mom came after work and  helped in the evening around supper time and that is always nice.    It was also nice to have Dennis home in the morning to get Macy to preschool the next day too.  He was also home so I could take Macy to dance class.  She missed the previous week, Dennis didn't want to be the dad taking her to the "Mommy and Me" class........I said it would be sweet but he wasn't brave enough for that! ;-)  I actually took Ani with me to dance class too.  I brought the snuggli for her to sit in while I 'danced' with Macy.  We hadn't tried a bottle with Ani yet and the few times that I left for just a few minutes, even just to shower, she notices. :(........so I figured she better come too.  She slept the whole time and got wuite the response from the ladies there :-).....of course, she'sadorable.  Macy did her normal running around and not wanting to participate like she always does........not too much harder running after her with Ani in the snuggli as with her in my belly - so, it worked out ok.  We got home and Dennis went to work down in Decorah.  This was his first night away from us and we did ok.  The kids did really good.  I was nervous about the kids waking up or me not hearing the kids when they woke up.  But, we all survived :-).
Wednesday we met up with some friends and went to The House of Bounce for the first time.  This was my first outing with all three kids too.  The House of Bounce is a new place in Rochester that has all sorts of blowup climbing/slide/jumpy kind of things.  The kids had a really great time and could do most of the things completely on their own.  There was one slide that had little square blocks they had to use to climb to get up to the slide and Macy couldn't get up there and I had Ani in the snuggli and from my section, I was in no shape to climb up and help her.  But, one of the dads taht was there had helped her get up and then she kept wanting to go up again and again and again.  I think I'll have to bring Auntie Ash next time! ;-)  Otherwise, it was great too because it's so enclosed that I could just let them run and not worry too much about them getting into too much trouble.  I did learn though that my Saturn is kind of a pain to fit one baby carseat and two high back booster.  I intentionally got those carseats thinking it'd be easier, but with having to buckle the straps into the actual carseat buckles, I have to squeeze my hands in and it's a pretty tight fit......so I'm looking forward to using our new car for more of our 'travels' :-).  My lease will be up in May so I think we're heading in the direction of a mini van come that time..........yikes!  I never thought I'd go there, but it really is a lot easier!
Thursday was another test of getting the three kids out and about and it is easier than I had though.......Hayden and Macy have been doing SO good......listening well and keeping themselves under control, so I have been VERY lucky.......for now :-)!~  It was also my nephew Landon's FIRST birthday!!!!  My sister and I reminisced with what we were doing a year before :).........it will definitely be something I will never forget.  He is a blessing and I wish him a healthy and good life.........I hope that is what he gets!  There are many of us praying for that with him.  The kids were SO SO SO excited to celebrate his first birthday with him too.  They love him to pieces and they love a party too! ;-)
WEEK 2-3: March 13th - March 20th 
On Friday, Ani and I went to down to my aunt Tonia's house to do a little scrapbooking with some newbies - my aunt Tish and cousin Hollie!  How I love to witness someone else being seduced by scrapbooking! :)  I got a couple pages done because Ani decided to be a bottomless pit that day!  So, it seemed I would just get all situated and in the groove and then she would want to eat, I swear like every 30 mins!  I had quite a few people to help me hold her and loved doing it.  She even broke Auntie Tish in with a few big loud farts...........it was hysterical!  We stayed most the day and got back home to hear that Hayden and Macy did very good with their new babysitter....Auntie Ash's friend Kari!  She is going to watch the kids this summer for us, since Caroline won't be coming back to us :(.  But we're very excited about Kari too.....she has know the kids since they were babies  is going to school to be an Elementary School Teacher and has worked with kids with developmental disorders..........she is going to be fabulous! :-)  And Dennis said that the kids did great and the house looked great too, woohoo! 
Saturday, Dennis had plans to go down to Decorah to hang out with his friends and my mom and I took all three kids to the free movie at the Chateau.  They all did super, duper good!!!  Ani slept the whole time and Hayden and Macy sat and ate treats and popcorn the whole time..  I on the other hand didn't behave.......while we were getting ready to sit down with everyone with our treats and get all set up, mom had to run back and fill up the pop.  So I've got the huge bag of popcorn that tilts and spills about 1/3 of the contents out onto Macy's lap on the floor........and I, in a room filled with children and their parents, say outloud - to where I'm sure a handful of rows heard me, "SHIT!"......and then realizing what I did I got all flustered that next milisecond and tipped my bag over again and said, "GODDAMN IT"..........geez Louise!  Only I would swear TWICE in a child's movie!  yikes.  Then that afternoon we got to visit with our friends Amy and Hutson......Milt was out partying with Dennis in Decorah so we got to let the kids play and Ani got some snuggling in with Amy.  It's always good to see Amy, I miss that girl something terrible!  I will hopefullly be able to get and see her a few more times before my leave is over.  Then that night my family went out for dinner for my Dad's 50th birthday.  We just went to Old Country Buffet and it was completely NUTS with how many people were in line and so we didn't get to all sit together unfortunately with how many people we had and how busy it was there. 
Sunday was a mad rush to get Landon's birthday presents wrapped and ready to go.  But then come 11ish, we got a call that his party was cancelled.  I'm not going to go into the why but needless to say my kids were super super sad and I was very disappointed.  Then is was back on, then off again.........a huge mess.  So, because of this huge mess, Dennis just went and dropped Landon's presents off and we left it at that.  We would have loved to have had him come and celebrate with all the kids and we would have gotten some cake and ice cream for him and we would have loved to have seen him open his presents........but it was a huge mess and it wasn't going to be a good situation.  I'm not going to reflect on this any longer so onto Monday - which was a VERY exciting day!
My friend Anna was home visiting from Boston.  She and her husband moved their for him to do his residency and I haven't seen her since she left in June.  So, we got a few of us together to show off our new babies and to go out to a nice dinner and have a couple drinks.  It was so good to see her! I stayed out til 10:30 or so my girl was quite fussy so I thought I should not be out too late.  Despite calling it an early night it was a great night and I love seeing the girls............we don't get out as often as we should and it makes me miss Anna even more!!!
Tuesday was St Patrick's Day and Ani had the cutest little dress and tshirt/big combo for the occasion.  With it being St Patty's Day and not being able to see my Gpa (who is Irish) at Landon't bday party - I brought Ani over to his apartment for him to meet her.  It is also my Gma - his wife - that Ani got her middle name from.....so he has been dying to meet her too for that reason.  We didn't do anything special for St Patty's day otherwise, we did enjoy some Shamrock shakes that my mom brought over.  Ani did go to dance class again with Macy and I but we ended up leaving early as Macy was throwing a holy tantrum.  She did not want to participate or stay by me in class so she got warned a couple times that we would leave if she didn't listen.  She has done this from the first day of class...........and finally I'm putting the 'smack down' and she is going to start listening and stop driving me crazy while we are there.  Macy had a holy tantrum of course but we have to start enforcing some rules :(............oy.
Wednesday I finally got around to doing Ani's newborn pictures.  I actually did her photos in about 3 different sessions which is the nice thing about being able to do them myself and in my basement :-)...I get to get the pics when she is cooperating :-).  Now, bringing Hayden and Macy into the mix is the tricky part!  Macy of course was a little less than cooperative with the photographer and you can tell in her pics.  I will get a special page for all her newborn pics up or a link to the slideshow I'm working on with them set to music.  LOTS of things to do since she has arrived, it's a good thing I'm not working.....although - on Monday I did do my first photo session since my section.  I did my best friend's little girls.  We had planned a couple times to do them before I had Ani but it just worked out to where we did them after.  If felt good to get back at it and I felt great during and afterward....so I felt like I could go ahead and get some slots onto our calendar and start getting some pictures taken :-)  I can't go without it for too long!  I have been working on an announcement since before she was even before she was born.  I feel some pressure to make a really good announcement.  So then the next couple of days I spent whipping up a handful of announcements.  I just couldn't decide which one, so I left it up to Dennis to decide...........so when you get one in the mail, that is the winner! ;-)
Ani has still been doing her same routine with the sleeping.  She gave us one really good stretch of sleep just one night....she slept in her bassinette for a whole six hours   But that was a fluke :) - she typically will get up about 3 times at night.  She does a 2-3 hour stretch through most the night but typically, she spends most the night sleeping right in my arms or on my chest at night.  She may start in her bassinette, but after she has been up, she doesn't want to go back in there.  She has been going through quite a growth spurt right now and has been wanting to just eat and eat and eat.........so I've been pumping a few times a day and giving her a bottle of the pumped milk from a couple feedings to 'top' her off until I can get my supply up some more.  It only took a couple days to notice it got back up again as she was not eating as frequently as she was before.    She is starting to have a little more awake times now too.  I've noticed a little tiny bit of 'bulking' up that she is doing too :).So she is eating enough and doing what it's supposed to! ;-)
Thursday was fairly low key..........Macy I think is coming down with something.  She started having some fevers and has been wanting to lay around, which is not her usual.  So, we are going to try to keep everyone healthy, especially Ani.  We had a friend's little girl have to be hospitalized for a few days because she got some virus that caused her to spike a temp...and with her being so young they have to be very cautious with that.  But, with all the kisses and head rubs Ani gets, it should be a miracle if she stays healthy!  We're going to be doing some major handwashing and up keep on cleaning to keep those bugs away.

Here is the link to a slideshow I made.............
click here   The song of the slideshow (You'll be in my heart)  is a special song.......it's one on a CD that we bought when I found out I was pregnant with Hayden.  Dennis would rock him to sleep with this CD playing.  It's from the movie Tarzan, which Hayden and Macy just love and then when I was pregnant with Ani, they kids would this song to her from my belly button!  Macy likes me to sing this song to her when she is feeling really sad  So, it has a special meaning for all my kids...........the song makes me 'tear up' when I really think of the words and how much my kids mean to me.  Here are the lyrics:

Come stop your crying
It will be all right
Just take my hand Hold it tight
I will protect you
from all around you
I will be here
Don't you cry
For one so small,
you seem so strong
My arms will hold you,
keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can't be broken
I will be here
Don't you cry
'Cause you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart, always
Why can't they understand
the way we feel
They just don't trust
what they can't explain
I know we're different but,
deep inside us
We're not that different at all
And you'll be in my heart
Yes, you'll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
Don't listen to them
'Cause what do they know
We need each other,
to have, to hold
They'll see in time
I know
When destiny calls you
You must be strong
I may not be with you
But you've got to hold on
They'll see in time
I know
We'll show them together
WEEK 3 - 4: March 20th - March 27th 
Macy still continues to have some fevers and it's hitting her a bit harder than the last day or so.  Hayden even took it upon himself to call me from the remote control up to his ear and said, 'Nurse Mom" for me to come and help Macy!  I just can't get a break from my duty as a nurse I guess ;-).  She is not having any other symptoms beside the fever and once she gets some Tyleno or Ibuprofen in she feels and acts just like normal.  So we've just been kepeing up with that and hope that is all that transpires.   Saturday I wanted to get the kids out of the house and do something special.  Ani and Dennis stayed home while I took Hayden and Macy to the free kids movie, Madagascar 2.  We had seen the movie in the theatres when it first came out but they usually sit and watch the movies really well, so I thought it would be something they enjoy.  We got all our stuff ready and got through about an hour of it and Macy started to feel bad again.and getting kind of restless.  She even said to me, I go home?  So, we left - and almost left Hayden's blue blanket behind.........we got outside the theatre and almost to the car and realized we left it on the car in the theatre!.....that would not have been good!  We got home, got Macy some more medicine and she perked right back up again.  Dennis and Ani were taking a nap and the rest of us played outside with sidewalk chalk and enjoyed the warm weather.  We drew outlines of ourselves and had to add in a new family member 'outline' Ms Ani! :-) and then Hayden drew Dennis since they weren't out there to actually outline ;-0   We're starting to fill up the driveway with all of us now! We even had Haylee on there.  Later that evening, we had the nicest visit from my cousin Hollie and her kids.....they brought us the nicest dinner all ready to eat!  The kids played a little bit, Hollie and I got to visit and she got to snuggle with Ani and then we had a great dinner........it was just fabulous!  IT was great weather all weekend and the kids would just be in and out all day/night and Dennis got some more yard work done.  I got started on getting our website a little more up to date.......and realized, like many of my projects that I want to tackle .............it's a HUGE mess that I get myself in way deeper than I originally think........but it'll be good to be back on track.  I sure let things slip completely out of control and need to get back on track.  Adding another baby is making me get more diligent and more organized and stay more structured......it is just necessary the busier you get...so I sure hope that I can stay on top of things....we will see :-).Speaking of adding to my 'plate' ....I ended up adding some more appointments to my photography calendar and am looking to get back into doing that more often.  I am back to doing photos again on Monday.  I did two sessions with a good gap in between just in case Ani needed her mom and/or the kids were all falling apart/acting up and Dennis could use some help!  They went really really good and I felt great afterward.  I even got the enhancements done in a fairly timely manner.  Ani has been a bit more 'noisy' lately.........in that she found her voice :-)  and has realized she doesn't want to miss out on anything.  She likes to be up and about - so we got a new fabric sling for me to wear and bring her around with me.  Based on her age, she should just kind of lie in there or lay on my chest and kind of be swaddle in there and just .snuggle right  in - not her :-) - she has to poke her head out and check out what is going on..........then I get more nervous about her not being held in there snug enough.  So, we're still learning how this works for both of us!  I'm also trying to get her to take her pacifier better too.  She is wanting to hang out on the breast and eat/fall asleep and I'm trying to find alternative ways to comfort her or get her to comfort herself.  It's hard to know when I need to get a little more 'tough' on this stuff.  I have many friends swear by the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby book.........I need to get my nose in there to see if and when we can use that at some point.  Macy was such a different natured child that I honestly don't think that would have worked for her but Ani I think may do better at some sort of sleep 'training' of sorts.  I honestly can't complain - she is a good baby but I think I need to get our lives more structured and routine. 
Monday we also went to get our taxes done. Auntie Ash came to babysit Macy and be with Hayden wnen he got off of the bus at school.  We brought Ani with - she is at such an easy stage and it's just easier to have her with mommy! :)  She was very good during the appointment - slept and ate and then slept the entire trip there and back.  It was also a special day for Dennis and I because it was our 8 year anniversary of the day we met!
Click here for our 'story' on how we met - those many many years ago! :-)  We were happy to get a tax return this year, so that was probably our best anniversary present we could get :-)!~
Tuesday Macy was still not feeling better and was having a hard time sleeping at night, so the girls and I made a trip to the drs office.  Ani had her first HUGE blowout in the waiting room..........then immediately got called back to the office - it was a bit of a scramble!.....and then realized I ended up using the last diaper the previous day so when I went to change the big ol poopy diaper.  A veteran mother going to the doctor without a diaper, nice!......how embarrassed was I to have to ask for a diaper?  Macy got some antibiotics and we went back home again.  We stayed home from dance due to her fever and not feeling well.
I've also been working hard on getting things ready for our March of Dimes team for this year's walk.  If you would like information on our team or how to donate for our work April 25th, go to
www.marchforbabies.org/MBredeson    We will be selling long sleeve white tshirts again and will be wearing those the day of the walk..........they were a huge hit last year and I'm excited to see the result of this year.  Now that
We are slowly starting to get used to our lives with the three kids........and I have started to be more content on just slowing life down a little bit and staying home.  I'm one of those people that runs runs runs all the time and the kids are so used to that too...........so on those days we just stay home, Macy is always saying - we go bye-bye?  She's used to that pace too.  I have also decided I am going to be cracking the whip and start getting the kids in 'shape'............eating their meals and at the dinner table, less TV, strict bedtimes, etc.  More of that trying to make life easier........the kids have been a bit resisitent to these changes, big surprise, but I think if we just stick to our guns it'll be good..........and then by the time Ani gets to be Hayden and Macy's age, what a sweet well behaved girl she will be, ha!? :-)
We'll see how this little plan of mine is at the end of my leave, keep checking back :-)!
WEEK 4-5: March 27th - April 3rd 
Ani is officially a month old today and exactly 4 weeks old - how the time has already been flying by!  She is really starting to bulk up now and I was curious to see how much she may weigh.  I did the whole routine of putting her on the scale with me and it figured her out to be 10.8 pounds!  She is gaining but I don't think as fast as the other two kids did.  She eats enough that is for sure.  Sometime I feel that is about all I'm doing these days.........but she is still young, so......that's what you gotta do. 
With Ani being one month old, I had put Ani in an old outfit of Macy's and took a picture of her just like a pic I had of Macy and put them side by side.  We are still not real sure who she is looking like but from these side by side pics, you would think she looks just like Macy!...........??
Spring Break is coming up although it sure as heck doesn't feel like Spring.  The kids were home from school all week............surprisingly it went really well.  I have decided that I am going to laying the smack down and whip these kids into shape while I am home.  I am totally cutting back on the amount of TV they are watching (plus this will help me keep my sanity because if I have 8 more weeks of nonstop Blues Clues I will go berserk!).........so we have been listening to a lot of music and the kids are discovering the whole two rooms of toys that have and seem to neglect!  I am also trying to get their mealtimes improved - like sitting at the table and actually eating their food......and the food we're having for supper and not their 'special ordered' meals.  Geez - they're going to think Supernanny had invaded our home!  They are just out of control and think they are in control of this house (and the TV) and it just isn't so!  I do have to say after a couple of days with the 'new rules' they stopped protesting and have actually adjusted really really well.......I think it's going to work out great.  WE just have to get daddy on board with these changes too!  That might take a few more days than the kids took :-).  No, I'm seriously thinking about how crazy life is going to be when I go back to work and I think getting some control now and getting these kids on track will be great and long overdue!   We have yet to determine Ani's schedule and preferences yet......but that will come over the next couple of months.......she's still figuring life on the outside out! ;-)
So what else did we do this week?  Well, Ani had her 'coming out' party with the pizza group on Friday!  Our family meets every other Friday for pizza (it used to be at Mr Pizza North but graciously my family has changed locations after I (and many of us) was insulted by their not-so-family friendly sign they had hanging in their entryway about 'keep your kids in their chairs and have them use their inside voices' incidient) and the last time they met was when Ani was being born!........so it was nice to bring her with and it had been a while since some of them had seen her.  The kids did just awesome!!!  Ani got lots of lovin from the Aunties  & Gma too.........and Dennis joined us in lunch too - so it was nice to get out, all 5 of us with lots of extra hands to help us ;-).  After lunch Hayden and Dennis went to the movie, Mosters and Aliens.  Macy, Ani and I went home and enjoyed some quiet time - just us girls and then me, Gma and Ani did some shopping..........like 5 hours of shopping!
It was so fun!  Ani slept almost the entire time and let us make lots of stops and do some major bargain shopping.  I was on the hunt for the girls' Easter dresses and some new jeans for me...........but instead found a Bday dress for Macy and a bunch of totally clearanced out clothes for me but no jeans (that I liked or wasn't going to spend a fortune on) of course.  So the hunt for the Easter dresses continue.......we've been having a hard time finding dresses for both girls that match and are the right size........they don't make ity bity dresses and toddler dresses that match and then I'm not going to spend $30-40 PER dress!.....just can't......I like my bargains too much.
The next day we just enjoyed some family time.  Ani and I got to sleep in as she is still not sleeping the best.  She typically wakes up around 1am and that is about the time I am going to bed - so I do a feeding then.........and then she'll be up at 4 and then again 6.  At 6 she wants to put up or has a hard time falling back to sleep.  She gets so antsy and gassy and just beside herself.  She acts like she wants to eat but then is real fussy and irritable and archy and won't eat.....she still does her little 'squeaking' noise and you can hear her swallowing very loudly at times just lying or sitting doing nothing.   Something is bothering her that is for sure.  We have been watching her reflux and I think it's time to get prescribed something.  She is starting to spit up more and with her irritability I'm concerned that is what it is.  Macy had it and has suffered from damage to her vocal cords (if you've ever heard her voice you would understand :) )  I finally ended up calling her pediatrician on Tuesday to get a prescription because I was so convinced she was refluxing.  My pediatrician is just wonderful and we just talked about it over the phone and she gave us enough to try until her 2 month check.
For the rest of Saturday we went and bought kites for Hayden and Macy.  It was a windy day but a little cool.........so we drove to the school right down the street from us and kept the car running for Ani as I stood outside the door and snapped pics of Dennis and the kids flying kites.  It was SO fun to watch them.  Macy's went up immediately and stayed up there really good.........Hayden's was a little more stubborn and kept flying to the right and then down.....so after some adjustments, he was running after his kite too.  It was great!  Then that night, my mom and I went out on a little 'date' to the St Judes Benefit Dinner.  My cousin's husband Jay is part of the board for the event and I have donated a photo session the past two years and I got to go this year!  A couple of my aunts and uncles were there as well and I got to enjoy 2 really good tap beers........YUM!  I had to be concious to not drink them too fast before dinner - my tolerance isn't quite what it used to be and then on an empty stomach, ha!  Before we left thought my little girl sure made her mom feel bad about going, without her!  Gma was holding her and I was saying goodbye and telling her that she cannot be fussy for her daddy.......and then 'on cue' she gave me the biggest frown/pout I had EVER seen on anyone..........it was like a cartoon it was so big!  It instantly brought tears to my eyes and I could NOT believe what she had just done!  I have never cried leaving my kids but I was close to shedding a few tears leaving her after that - that little stinker!!!!  Speaking of tears, at the benefit they showed a video about St Jude's hospital and what the money raised will go for and how it will help.........well, I was warned that maybe I should go 'to the bathroom' at that point - so not to see it.  I am someone that cries easily and then add a little mix of postpartum hormones and a dash of kids with cancer and that is a recipe for a huge meltdown in my department!........my cousin's husband Jay cries every year watching it and me seeing that would definitely put me over the edge.  So I used that time to call and check in on the kids............Ani had cried the first 20 minutes I was gone (which means it was probably more like 10? ) ......but then had calmed down and everything was going ok.  We didn't stay too long, so I was home in time to help get the kids to bed.
The next day we had a playdate with Jenny and Missy's kids at Jenny's house.  Missy hadn't gotten to meet Ani yet and was needing a baby fix, so I was so glad that we could all get together.  The kids played really good (exclude the first 30 minutes when they all want the same toys or having to adjust to new playmates).........but we go to hang out and chat and the kids got to play.  I miss those girls but am glad to see them when I do...........as our kids are getting older it's easier to get them all together to play just darn work gets in the way sometimes! ;-)  After our playdate with our friends, Gma and Auntie Ash took Hayden and Macy swimming at Northgate (where Ash works) and then to Burger King for supper and ice cream!  Let me tell you, our house seemed SO quiet.......it was weird!  Dennis and I were reminiscing about the days without kids or even just one.........it's an eery silence..........and we would trade all the noise of our house for anything!  It wasn't long before the noise was back as I did pics of a set of 3 year old twins and a 5 year old later that evening and then the kids came home totally wiped out!  It was early to bed with them!
Monday was a calm day - just hanging out at home..........I don't feel this burning desire to go run around like a mad woman so we've been chiling at home.  Plus me back to doing some pics I like the extra time to work on those during the day vs late at night like I used to have to.  Tuesday I had a lunch planned with a bunch of girls from work.  There are a ton of us out on maternity leave right now, so I arranged a lunch for us mommies to get out with the new babies and introduce them to our co-workers and have some socializing time!  It was great..........there was at least 20 of us, not the including like 5 o so babies?.....we about took up the whole dining room and I could have been there happily for 4 hours but our meals came quickly and back home we went! 
The next day was April Fool's day and no joke, thought I woke up to mastitis!  My left breast was so swollen and so sore I couldn't even hardly turn from side to side in bed that morning it hurt so bad.  I didn't feel feverish (yet) so I jumped in the shower immediately and kept thinking of what backup plans on who could watch the kids if I needed to get to the doctor..........or who could take me to the doctor if all of a sudden I feel like a Mack truck hit me like when I had it with Hayden.  So I did a hot shower, super hot warm packs and pumped like crazy and got some expert breastfeeding advice from Shannon and then I started to feel feverish.  Grabbed some Tylenol and Ibuprofen and prayed it would get better.  I think it came unplugged and i felt better.   Maria and Bentley came over later that morning and the kids played.  Maria and I got to enjoy our diet coke and chat some.  We ordered pizza and then it was naptime.........oooooh, how I love naptime!......although Hayden is starting to think he doesn't need a nap anymore....so, a lot of his naptime is spent 1- getting a drink 2- going pee 3- going poop 4- checking to 'see what time it is' 5 - 'I gotta tell you something'.  It's quite comical all the things he has to do during this time.
Ani is starting to have more awake times too.  Which means she is also wanting to be held more now too. She hasn't been digging her sling lately - she wants to keep looking out and gets so mad she straightens her legs up and won't get snug in there.  I think we're hitting that peak of crying that they say happens around 6 weeks.....so hopefully it will pass :(...........
That is probably enough updating for now - I gotta get the pics up here soon too!

WEEK 5 - 6: April 3rd - April 10th
We are starting to really hit some 'fussy' times with Ani and Friday being the worse.  She cried like I had not heard her cry before - some what in pain and plain mad!  I felt awful - I had pland to go out to dinner and to go out with some friends to see an 80s cover band - Hairball - and questioned whether I should go or not.  I felt bad leaving my baby if she wasn't feeling well and I felt bad for Dennis to have to try and console her and then have the other kids to wrory about too!  I had pics that late afternoon and she fussed almost the whole time and that is when I decided that I wouldn't go........but she calmed down some and Dennis said to at least go out to dinner and get out of the house for a little hwile.  So, I went out with some friends and had a quick meal and one drink and came back home.............and you know what - that little turkey slept the entire time I was gone - woke up once, ate and slept til almost 2am!!!!!  I could have gone out after all!  Well, I was kind of giving her a hard time for pulling her little stunt and she would just smile and smile!!!  This girl sure knows a thing or two about a thing or two........geez.
Saturday we took the kids to Dudes and Divas and Hayden and Macy got their haircuts.  I wanted to get a little hairdo for Macy and ended up getting almost 6 inches cut off!!!  It is SOOOOOO  cute, seriously!  Nevermind she ate about 20 suckers in the meantime!  It was neat, because Karen (the owner) was there and she is a nurse I work with and then they had also asked to use some of my phtography in their studio........so it's mega fun to go.  I also got to show off Ani - although she slept the whole time.  The kids did great and historically Macy throws a tantrum every time we leave...........but luckily for me she didn't this time.  Although Karen takes that as she is in need of updating some of her inventory if kids are tantrumming when they have to leave the store! ;)  Then, that afternoon, I attempted to grab Easter pics.  There weren't any good ones of all 3 kids as Ani was not cooperating with the photo shoot!  Surprisingly, Macy cooperated and totally got into it.  She looked so adorable and then hayden wanted creative control over his poses for the pictures.....it was quite an interesting shoot.  I was trying to get Ani to settle down but yet keep her posed so I could grab the pic fast........so that entailed me leaning over and nursing her while everyone was in their positions.  Well, Dennis thought it'd be hilarious to grab some pics of my leaning over and nursing Ani.......I was screaming for him to stop...........and believe me, those pics got delieted right away!  I gave up on Ani's pics and decided of all the kids, she'd be easiest to get all gussied up and start snapping away when I had a little time and a happy baby.  That night Dennis and I went to a movie and my mom came and watched the kids for us.  Ani did a fabulous job taking the bottle from grandma and didn't fuss too much, which made me happy.  I tried to have the kids in bed and asleep before we left so that she would have her hands too full.  The rest of the weekend was low key.
Monday had a playdate with some girlfriends; Maria, Tracy, Sheila & Tammy and kids.  We did potluck and had a really yummy lunch.  The kids all played really really good and the weather is starting to warm up - it's really starting to be Spring!  And with summer coming and me having to go back to work soon, I am really going to try and get Macy potty trained by the time I go back.  She is going to be 3 in just a matter of weeks.  She loves being in her underwear as she has a ton of 'princess undies' but the downfall to that is, when she wets and has to get a new pair, it's another pair that she wants to wear!  So at times I'll have to just leave her in wet underwear so it's not a 'reward' to get a new pair of princess underwear.......she'll be making requests for the next pair, 'now Seeping Duty' (that is Sleeping Beautry), 'now Cinderella' , etc.  So, we'll see what and if it takes...........
Wednesday night, our work put together a going away dinner for our friend Krisitn who is moving to IA (BOO!  I's so sad she is leaving us!).  My mom ended up staying with all three kids and I was nervous to be out that long and with all of them at home, especially because it was bedtime and that can get kind of chaotic.  I thought I'd be just gone for supper and maybe stay for one or two drinks.  I got home around 9:45 and all went very very well.  Ani took the bottle really, really good for my mom........the kids got in bed at a good time.  Dennis was home for a little while before he had to leave for work and was able to give her a little hand.......so that made me feel better too.  It was nice to get out and the beer tasted AWESOME!  Yum, I sure missed the taste of a draft beer! It's been SO great being home with all the kids and being able to get out and still see the great girls I work with and just get to socialize :-).  What a treat!
The kids have been so good and it really has been fun being home with them.  We keep a nice balance of getting out and staying home.  Life is being kept at an easy pace........nothing too wild and crazy.  I'm very interested to see how this is all going to work when I'm back to work.........let's keep our fingers crossed that we can stay afloat! ;-)
WEEK 6 - 7: April 10th - APRIL 17TH
I spoke too soon about the kids being really good! grr!  No, generally speaking it's been ok but....Spiderman has been asked to leave our home for the second time and won't return until we see some outstanding behavior.  Hayden has such a hard time keeping himself calm and a hard time not obsessing with Spiderman when he is surrounded by it.  So, anything with Spiderman on it was put in a tub and out in the garage.  This includes his backpack, tennis shoes, toothbrush (no worries - he has another!), etc.  He has the opportunity to earn them back.  We haev a little chart system going on and so far he has done very well understanding the chart and what he needs to do.   He usually gets one reminder that what he did or wasn't doing is part of his chart system.  And we know his motivation toward Spiderman.....
Another exciting thing is the kids got to see Caroline again.  She was home on leave for Easter break and Caroline got to meet Ani!  She snuggled with her for a little while and the kids were ecstatic to meet her.  We are hoping to see more of her this summer.  She will be nannying full time for another family but has offered to watch the kids on weekends if we need her.  So, I'm sure we will be seeing her!
Then we celebrated Easter with both of our families.  We met my parents, some aunts and uncles and cousins at Perkins for breakfast.  The kids did SO good!  They were all decked out in their Easter best and then sat so well in the booths.  When we got done we ended up driving down to Decorah and had dinner with Dennis' family.  It was great to see everyone and the kids had a really really good time.  They had a ton of candy, of course and got a couple of little stuffed animals.  Hayden has really taken to taking care of his Biker Bunny - Jon.  He likes to undress him and have him sit with him at mealtime.  I think he feels the need to take care of something since I'm so busy with Ani.  I think it's sweet.  He was determined to find shoes for him and wanted a pair of PJs for him too. :)  We got the movies Bolt and Tale of Despereux from my parents and the kids have enjoyed watching them over and over again.
I had my 6 week checkup this week too........6 weeks already.........it's ok to lift more than 15 pounds now.  HA!  Like I followed that restriction for what, 5 days?  One week?  All checked out good and Ani got to come with and I showed Dr Traynor what a cutie she is!
Wednesday, we had beautiful, beautiful weather and I decided we needed to get out and enjoy the nice weather.  So we packed a picnic lunch and loaded the car.  We went to Three Links park and the kids did SO SO good!!!  They didn't stay real close to each other for more than a few minutes but in the same playground area so I was able to stroll around the playgym and keep an eye on both of them AND keep Ani happy because we were moving.  We then went and had a little lunch in the picnic shelter and even stopped for ice cream on the way home.  It was a great day.......but then that afternoon I have a funny story to share with you!  This was posted on my facebook page, I'm just cutting and pasting it to here.

You laugh at this and I kill you! :)..........Share
Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 9:21pm | Edit Note | Delete
Ok, so the most common question I am getting these days is, 'how is life with three treating you?' and very much to my surprise I have to say we are ALL adjusting very very well! I cannot even remember how bad it was having baby #2 come into our life, as I think I have completely blanked it out - but am left with a memory of being completely overwhelmed.......the details I have completely forgot........so I was very very worried about #3 coming along. It's been great...........until tonight and all within a 20 min timeframe. Tonight. The bottom fell out beneath me. My husband used those words Monday night - but honestly, 'his bottom' has nothing on my 'bottom'.

So, what happened? Well, everything all at once, of course.......and on a day when I really thought - I got this mother of 3 thing in tha bag! I took them all to the park by myself, didn't lose anyone, didn't have to break up more than just one fight, kept the baby asleep, had a picnic (with healthy food) and got everyone home without any sort of breakdown. I'm getting my routine down - we had fun and I am keeping up. AND Ani gave me more smiles today than any other day, I was LOVIN it! But then supper time came. I was expecting Dennis home around 5:30 from his overnight shift in Decorah...........I had planned an easy supper of some frozen chinese stuff I had in the freezer, so I knew it wouldn't take long to heat on the stove, so about 5 I start to pull the stuff out. The phone rings and it's Dennis - he's just leaving Decorah - it won't be til 6 or 6:15 before he is home. Ok - supper is on hold.....so I go back to work on some photography stuff while the kids played. Hayden was watching something I taped on DVR and Macy decided she wanted to play outside. Well - the new thing I have been doing is after her naps, I have been putting underwear on her to get more practice going on the potty. Normally she just runs around in her underwear but she wanted to go outside, so surprisingly she 'agreed' to wear pants (and for those of you who know Macy knows - if she doesn't 'agree' to it - she doesn't do it!)..so I ask her if she has to go potty and she says, 'yes!' - that's new!.....usually it's NO! and she runs off and I have to chase her down and convince to 'try'. Ok- woo hoo - she goes potty! Off she goes. Well before I know it, it's 6 and we're hitting the brink of Ani's fussy time. I start making supper and it's going well - I'm not burning anything and Ani is just making little wimpers from her bouncy seat. It's about 6:10 and I knew it wouldn't be much longer and Dennis will be home - start getting the kids' plates of food already and on the table. Just minutes left on my meal......(Rachel Ray, who needs 30 minutes?! :) and rice is in the microwave. Everything will be hot and ready to heat when Dennis gets home. Ok - Ani is starting to fuss a little louder and starting to get impatient........I'm stirring my veggies and telling her it's going to be ok! mommy will be there in just a minute. Macy comes in from outside and says "I'm WET!' OF course!! Ok - I quick get my stove turned down..........call Hayden to the table to start eating. (It takes 3 or 4 times of me asking before he finally comes - so I knew it would be a while before he actually got there and that would make the timing perfect for the quick wardrobe change I was about to do with Macy's soiled clothes.........until...............

I go into the bathroom and start to undress Macy..........there is POOP in her underwear! Ok - for you mothers out there - we ALL dread the #2 accident in potty training..........this is my first, EVER! Well, for you nurses, you aren't going to be totally grossed out on the details (and they are important) and for Auntie Tish - STOP reading right now........I'm serious. Ok- it looks runny at first so I just slowly pull them down and out plops a big ol turd amongst the runny stool too! Hayden was peeking in on the whole ordeal and gagged and went running when he saw the turd land on the bathroom rug! And all I can think is, 'oh Lord! what am I going to do'............did I mention Ani's level of screaming has raised at this point and she wants Mommy NOW! I think if she knew that mommy was in the midst of poo she may have changed her tune but she was in the living room and not a clue :-)~! So I get Macy on the toilet. It's a freaking mess............it's in and on the back of her jeans..................where do I put the turd?..........it's on her shirt...........can I salvage the jeans?.........the underwear gone.............what do I wipe with? A baby wipe? That cannot get her clean enough - a bleach wipe? no...... Hayden keeps asking, mom, what did Macy do? Poop? I keep thinking - 'ok ......Dennis has GOT to be home ANY minute now, please!' I take trips downstairs bringing the dirty diaper and 18,000 wipes out to the garage..........I take a trip to the laundry room with the rinsed out clothes sans underwear..........last trip - the bathroom rug. Ok, any minute now Dennis will be home. Ani, still screaming..........me full of poo germs. "Hayden - keep Ani entertained! Sing to her or something!" Ok, so I think I got Macy all cleaned up.......and send her out of ground zero and to her room until I can get everything cleaned up and a diaper on her when I am done. She comes crying back ' wet!'.........and I see more poop..........it is probably just some I missed.......grr! So, I use another pack of friggin baby wipes and wipe some more. Still, no daddy........baby still screaming.............me, still full of poop germs. I get the tub starting to fill and LOTS of bubbles. I get macy in and start washing............scrubbing to be exact. I grab the screaming red baby and bring her in her bouncy seat into bathroom, after washing my hands of course. She quiets right now to the sound of the running water.....I've learned this trick and thank the Lord that this calms her - otherwise I may have to miss a shower a few days of the week when Dennis is working. I get to washing the bathroom - sink, toilet, floor, etc..........she starts fussing again. On my hands and bleaching out whatever poop germs may be there........scrub my hands afterward. Pick the baby up and get Macy out of the tub and dry Macy...........while holding the baby. I have both kids getting into their pjs when finally comes in the door..........dad to the rescue!!! He finds my story of Macy pooping her pants amusing but I don't let him laugh more than 2 miliseconds before I say firmly - 'I wouldn't recommend laughing if I were you!'...........he literally came as soon as everything was finally over and cleaned up and I was bitter and resentful!.Did I mention I dropped one of the plates and chipped in on the tile floor.........when the dust flew, I was terrified it was actually a tile that broke....but it was just a big ol chip in the plate......we ate our dinner - Ani before I .....and while I was feeding her looked at my feet and toes (that are in desperate need of a pedicure and/or polish change) and saw a spray of liquid poop on and in between two of them......lovely. I went and wiped up hopefully the last of the and finally got to sit down and eat myself - after washing my hands.......of course. Dennis went and talked to Macy after the dust settled and said, 'Macy, where do we poop?' and she said to him, "Oh My God, Fuckin Poop!"............straight from Mommy's mouth to the mouths of babes - ladies and gentlemen. Any hopes of winning Mother of the Day were gone after that single statement. :) It did take Macy dropping the F-bomb before I could actually look back at the situation and laugh............that is until bedtime when I went to go read stories in Hayden's room and noticed that they had broke the curtain rod to his window............then I got pissed all over again!

But, yeah - life with three - going great!

Thursday I ended up calling the Lactation Consultant because Ani is doing a lot of choking when she is eating and is extremely gassy and she is just miserable.  I had been doing a little investigating and wanted to just get their input on what they thought it was.  I was certain it was a fast let down and too much milk and they confirmed it.  So, I had to get some info on what to do to try to get my supply down.  I'm hesitant to do that just because you always worry that you're not going to have enough milk and plus I want to be able to store a bunch away.  I currently have 2 walmart bags completely overfilled with frozen breast milk storage bags and I like to see that freezer fill up with them!  But, the girl is miserable and if I can at least rule out that that is what is making her choke and have tummy aches, then when we go for our 2 month check in May - we can say whether or not it worked to help.  I have to just feed from one breast for 2-3 feedings to get the other breast to stop producing so much milk.  PLus this gets to the hindmilk which is higher in fat content and they get more full and they won't eat so much.  The foremilk (the milk that comes out first) is higher in water - so it quenches their thirst so they don't fill up and want to eat more often, which cause more milk production too.  But this foremilk is higher in lactose which makes them more gassy too.  So, it was worth a try to see if we can see a difference.
Friday was a fun day planned for me and Ani.  We went to lunch at Pescara (the new restaurant in the Radisson downtown) with Maria, LaRae and Tawnya and a couple of their friends.  Then my mom and I went up to IKEA.  She had never been there and I loved being able to take her their her first time!  We spent 3 hours there.  We got to see the whole place - the bathroom/family room - Ani had to eat and then the cafeteria - Mom had to try some of those yummy swedish meatballs.  Ani stayed awake the whole time we were there.  She slept for a little bit in the car and then woke up in Cannon Falls and screamed from there to Zumbrota.  Of course, there is no where to turn into in the dark, dark night on that stretch so the poor girl was so wound up.  We tried to sing, 'rock' her carseat a litlte....but then I stopped and fed her in the parking lot of the Covered Bridge restaurant and the girl had the biggest toot.  I thought we were going to have a leaky diaper.........but just air.  All the crying I'm sure didn't help that!  We got into town around 10:15 and then I dropped Ani off and Mom and I went out to a movie.  I kind of took this day to myself because Dennis was going out with friends on Saturday night down in Decorah.  Our friend Jason was home from New York and we were both going to go out but we weren't able to leave the kids with Jim and Judy and have them watch them  - so I stayed home in Rochester and hung out with my folks instead.  It was a fun night - we all had supper and the kids took a swim in their tub.  They played with their cousin Landon who they hadn't seen in about a month and they all had a really good time.  We love that bugger and were so happy they could be together again.
WEEK 7 - 8: April 17th - APRIL 24TH
I spoke too soon about the
Friday was a fun day planned for me and Ani.  We went to lunch at Pescara (the new restaurant in the Radisson downtown) with Maria, LaRae and Tawnya and a couple of their friends.  Then my mom and I went up to IKEA.  She had never been there and I loved being able to take her their her first time!  We spent 3 hours there.  We got to see the whole place - the bathroom/family room - Ani had to eat and then the cafeteria - Mom had to try some of those yummy swedish meatballs.  Ani stayed awake the whole time we were there.  She slept for a little bit in the car and then woke up in Cannon Falls and screamed from there to Zumbrota.  Of course, there is no where to turn into in the dark, dark night on that stretch so the poor girl was so wound up.  We tried to sing, 'rock' her carseat a litlte....but then I stopped and fed her in the parking lot of the Covered Bridge restaurant and the girl had the biggest toot.  I thought we were going to have a leaky diaper.........but just air.  All the crying I'm sure didn't help that!  We got into town around 10:15 and then I dropped Ani off and Mom and I went out to a movie.  I kind of took this day to myself because Dennis was going out with friends on Saturday night down in Decorah.  Our friend Jason was home from New York and we were both going to go out but we weren't able to leave the kids with Jim and Judy and have them watch them  - so I stayed home in Rochester and hung out with my folks instead.  It was a fun night - we all had supper and the kids took a swim in their tub.  They played with their cousin Landon who they hadn't seen in about a month and they all had a really good time.  We love that bugger and were so happy they could be together again.
Next we started getting ready for Macy's 3rd birthday!  We didn't have any formal plans made until the last minute and then it was kind of a fly by the seat of our pants party.......we invited just some family and a few of her friends to come out to pizza with us and then we went to the House of Bounce.  We went with a loose Princess theme, since she absolutely LOVES the Disney Princesses.  I tried to convince her to wear one of her dress up costumes to the pizza place but she didn't want to........although she did agree to her sparkly pink shoes that she had carried around for about 2 days after we bought them.  They even went into bed with her..........but then again, I think she has taken about everything in our home has gone to bed with her at some point in her short live so far! ;)  The girl is VERY particular about how she likes things at bedtime too..........this goes this way, this goes that way, the door can only be open so far.....the nightlight has to be in a specific outlet, etc etc.  Talk about high maintenance......oy!  She had a blast at her party and we had a good turnout on such short notice.  Because Macy didn't want to go with the princess theme, I had Ani decked out in a princess shirt and she even wore a tiara....too cute!  She enjoyed the attention at the party and got to get some snuggling in with a few people :)
The next day was Macy's Special Day at school and Dennis took her and her treats to celebrate.  He did a very good job grabbing pictures for mom..........he sure knows how mimportant that is to mommy!  Then we had one of our last dance classes and Macy did an outstanding job with the routine.  She got into participating a lot more than she has in the past too........makes me hopeful for some decent dancing at the recital!  When we got home we had some birthday cake, that I ventured to make, with grandma and Auntie Tish.  Tish is her godmother and brought over her present and enjoyed a piece of cake with us.  Macy LOVED her gifts and loved eating the frosting off of her cake :)
Ani has been doing a much better job too when she is not with mom.  She gets fussy and notices when I'm gone so it's usually a little rough for poor dad......but she is napping better and doing a better job calming down faster.  The girl is also smiling so much too..........it is the most precious thing you've ever seen.  She is SO responsive and so interactive.........you just have to talk and smile to her and she usually does a good string of 4 or 5 smiles right in a row...........and let me tell you - if you haven't gotten the chance to see it yet, it's absolutely gorgeous and you can't help but smile back.  She'll even do a little bit of cooing too.  What a sweet baby she is! 
Then we ended up getting our new roof put on this week too - that put a little damper on the napping and the playing outside we could have done..........macy was hilarious..........when she first saw them climbing on the roof she yelled at the front window - HEY, get DOWN from there!!!   That girl cracks me up all the time! 
I've also been getting ready to go scrapbooking this upcoming weekend so there have been lots of trips to Hobby Lobby and to pic up pictures to get printed.  I have high hopes in getting a ton of pages done!  Ms Ani will be coming with but she is such a good baby - I should be able to get some work done.........will have to bring a few things to entertain her but for the most part she'll do fine!  We also are doing the 6 mile fundraising walk for the March of Dimes and I sold tshirts as a fundraiser for our team........we've been making lots of trips dropping off shirts and we're praying for some nice weather for the walk.  We are hearing temps in the 80s-90s for Friday - YES!!!
Next weeks update will let you know how much I will really get done with my scrapbook - but the good thing is many of the other girls going are new moms too and will also be bringing their ity bity ones too.  Til next week!

WEEK 8 - 9: April 24th - May 1st
GORGEOUS weather today now if we can get it to stay.........but it's expected to get cold again :(....and just in time for us to do our big walk of the year for the March of Dimes!  Ani and I got to scrapbooking around 2pm on Friday and immediately fell in love with the house - which is an old cheese factory.  It had the old farmhouse appeal to it and I started snapping away........there are so many neat place I would have loved to have just plopped her down but I ended up just taking a few pictures using the amazing sunlight that was coming into the house.  The outside was amazing too but I wasn't prepared with any cute outfits or anything to use out there - may have to remember that next time I go :).  The first part of the night was spent getting organized and settled - me and Ani......then we were assigned to make supper that night.  Ani slept in her sling and let us make supper and even eat it while it was hot still :).  I finished up some of the pages in Macy's 1st year scrapbook that I had to complete and called it an early night as we were going to have to get up early the next day.  We left Mantorville around 7am to get ready and to the start of the walk by 8:30.  It was cold and damp but not raining..........so we toughed it out with about 30? other NICU Nurses Team Members and walked our 6 miles.  Ani was sick of the stroller around mile one, so in the sling she went and we walked the rest of the way together - much like the way I toted her around the last few months of my pregnancy and boy did my hips hurt when we were done!!! :)  We went back to scrapping and it wasn't long before we both needed a nap.  I woke up out of a sound sleep and felt really sick and started throwing up :(.......so we packed everything up and headed back home.........my scrapbooking weekend was a busT!!!  3 whole pages out of Ani's scrapbookng - man did I have high hopes!!!  But, the little bit of time I had away and with my girlfriends was nice and I did enjoy that!  I got home that night and Dennis snuggled Ani until she wanted a midnight snack.  I had gone to bed at 9pm and woke up to do a few feedings and then didn't get out of bed until 9am!  I needed that!
Then came Ani's official 2 month mark........I can't believe how fast the time is going and how big she is getting.  WE are enjoying her so much and I love her more and more everyday.  Hayden and Macy still can't get enough of her...........Macy must say about 20 times a day, "I see the baby?!" and will have to give her a hug and kiss.  Sisterly love!
Another big thing in the household since my return to work is fast approaching is getting Ani to sleep in her bassinette and for longer periods.  I've had several friends rant and rave about the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby".  I had borrowed it from Shannon for my sister Megan to read and use some of the techniques on Landon - not sure what and how much she used the info....but I got it from her and thought I would try it myself.  It's been great information to learn and I am hoping we get a baby that sleeps well and is extra happy before I go to work!  The first night she slept in her bassinette the whole time...........which she normally doesn't do  so I thought that was a great accomplishment.  She ate a couple times and then went right back to sleep.  Then we went onto taking naps after being awake after about 2 hours as the book states and that worked out good too.  It's been hard to try to get a good place for her to nap as she 'shares a room' with Macy and the kids are NOT quiet.  Then, come Macy's naptime, I don't know if I quite trust having them both in the same room.  Macy has climbed in the crib before Ani has been born and I"m not quite sure if she would do it now or not?  But, it worked out to where they napped at different times so it was successful.  The second night she had an hour stretch of sleep!  I about died when she finally got up - of course I was checking on her left and right - EIGHT hours!!!!  The next night - she was up for the day at 5:30am, I was not digging that! ;) So, it's all been a learning game.  But I have definitely been able to see that when she is not getting some good chunk of sleep during the day she is way more fussy.......and I've been definitely seen an improvement on her being content when she is getting that sleep.  It definitely makes a mommy feel like she has got a bit of a grip on stuff!  A lot of my friends have been 'inspired' to go out and buy the book......I hope it works for some of those mommy friends of mine that are having a heck of a time getting some sleep with their new little ones in the house!  I have found it motivating and informational to help me understand their schedule more. 
Macy had her last day of dance class this week and this leaves us with just dress rehearsal and the recital left!  I'm going to put money on the fact that she will probably be a stinker at the time of the recital and throw a stink or a mild tantrum of sort.  She has gotten better at dance, so it would be possible that she could actually cooperate, but you just never know with that girl!  Will definitely keep you updated on that whole situation :)  There could possibly be a good story in regard to that...........my kids tend to make any situation a little humorous!

WEEK 9 - 10: May 1st - May 8th
Happy May Day!
I honestly thought about whipping up some May Day Baskets for our friends, but then I sat and thought about having to drag all three kids out to get the supplies and it made me think, well why start this year? ;)  awful aren't I?  But, we were fortunate to have had a special visitor who took the time to make 3 baskets for the kids - THANK you Iz & Cealy!  It was so cute when the kids saw them in the door Macy was grabbing them and Hayden kept trying to kiss Macy and it was ticking her off and I was like, Hayden - what are you doing?  I forgot about the part that you have to kiss the person that gave you the basket......and they had learned that in school I guess.  It was very sweet to watch him desperately try to give Macy a kiss.  Those two - they have the whole 'can't live with them, can't live without them' relationship going on.  It's been a lot of refereeing on my part and their favorite playtime activity is pulling all the blankets off the bed and terrorize each other with pillows, jumping on each other, crawling under the sheets.  I personally am sick of making the beds about 5 times a day........so that has now been a skill that Hayden has been perfecting!  He's getting to be quite the little bedmaker  :)........Macy she just chooses to make the mess and refuse to do any sort of clean up.  What a surprise  I know..........she's such a 3 year old! :)
Both girls had doctor appointments on Friday - Macy had her 3 year check and I thought she was going to need some immunizations........but I guess they stopped doing those at this age.....so we were all happy about that!  She weighed 35 pounds and this put her 84th%ile for weight and about 50some%ile for height.  I honestly thought she's been 'thinning' out some - but she has consistently been in this percentile her whole life.  Ani, was 12lbs 14oz, which put her about exactly the same - 50th height and 84th for weight.  Ani on the other hand had to have 3 shots and an oral vaccine.  She cried but actually you would never have been able to tell that she had shots - she slept and ate just like normal afterward.  Am always happy when it doesn't go bad afterward - you feel bad enough about all the shots and esp at one time.
Ani also got to meet her Great Grandma Bredeson too.  Gma lives in Arizona in the winter time and comes back in the fall and came over from Owatonna to see the kids.  We didn't get to see her at all last summer and the kids were very excited to see her   When Ani was born, she joked that she better get over to see her before she starts walking because, 'once your kids start walking they don't want to sit on my lap anymore'........SO true :)  and my kids walk early.......and are very busy so she had a valid point! :)  She is a retired teacher and brought books for the kids and read them a story, they loved it.  We got to catch up on a lot of things.......it was a great visit.  I spent a lot of time with this grandma growing up and had a lot of memories being with her so I get awfully proud to show off my kids to her. 
Ani had her first trip to Home Depot on Saturday and 'observed' Hayden and Daddy building a Mother's Day plantar wheelborrow project.  Macy was just too busy collecting hammers to build anything so......it was Dennis and Hayden who did all the work and it turned out beautifully!  We got some seeds to plant some sunflowers along our fenceline in the back.  I guess there is a huge sunflower field outside of Decorah and I have never been able to get pics of the kids down there so I am hoping to make my own little area in the back I can do some pictures.  We got some vegetable seeds as well.  Our tulips are finally blooming and the kids have some little tiny pots of flowers that they have been tending too.  They really do enjoy learning and discovering how that works.
Dennis has been getting out and golfing or at least to the driving range a couple to a few times a week now that the weather is getting nicer. Oy, golfing season..........it's much like hunting or fishing season for other men- complete obsession and not a lot of time at home leaving us poor wives - single moms! :)  His cousin Matt came up and the two went gofling and had a good time.  On Sunday Dennis took Hayden and Macy down to Decorah and got out for another 18 holes while Ani & I had a knock off purse party.  I love to entertain and I love purses, so I enjoy these type of parties.  We had great weather and a great turnout and I got 3 new purses for less than $2!!!!  The lady who puts them on is a wonderful hostess and I have done 3 or more parties with her!
I've also gotten out for an outdoor photo session and will be starting to do more of those.  I LOVE being outside - you feel so free to let the kids run and just be themselves........I'm very much looking forward to those type of sessions as it seems like a long winter being stuck inside! :)  Ani is not really digging me not being her 'sole careprovider' when I am doing these photo sessions and I'm beginning to fret over what kind of trouble she is going to give her father when I go back to 12 hour shifts..........and the poor babysitter too!  She senses as soon as I'm gone and starts to fuss.......and then takes her bottle on with a 'karate' match - she will karate chop her arms toward the bottle and shake her head all about......Dennis does a great imitation of it.  What a stinker.  Then she spits and sputters and gags on the nipple.  So, we have tried a couple different bottles looking for a short soft nipple.  She has a very sensitive gag reflex and even with a pacifier she is like that too.  But, in due time she will have to learn and adjust.
Tuesday was a busy day and Ani got to come with me, Macy and Grandma to dress rehearsal.  She slept up until the time Macy and I had to get on stage and do our routine! So my mom who was there to watch Ani and help take video and pictures - did a great job and held fussy Ani at the same time!!!  Macy wanted to get up on stage the minute we walked into the auditiorium!  She kept trying to climb up the stairs to the stage and was imitating the pretty 'Barbie' ballerinas in their long tutus.  I see a future of dance for this girl and it makes me super excited for the recital and future dance classes!  Hayden stayed back with Grandpa and Landon and they had a great time. 
Thursday was a great day for Ani and I........we had a work baby shower with 6 other babies!  There were 6 of us that had babies in Feb & March and my friend Tracy had a shower at her house for this group of nurses plus one that couldn't make it to the last shower.........she's a few months older than the other ones.  There was Katy & Jill (born Oct) Maria & Evie (born Feb 17th), Steph and Karsten (born Feb 24th), Me & Ani (Feb 27th), LaRae & Julia & Beth and Noah (both born on Mar 15th just hours apart!) and Sara & Tanner (Mar 23).  Hard as it may be to believe - it was not too chaotic!  We have had SO many babies born to nurses that work on our unit that a 7 baby baby shower has been the norm every few months that we are getting this shower business down! ;)  We had a great time - Ani wore her Easter dress and was so content the entire time you wouldn't even know she was there.  Must be a little indicator of how crazy our home life is that the hub bub of all the babies and people didn't bother her! ;)  Then later that night - a bunch of us mommies got out without the babies and had some dinner and drinks.  We were going to go see a movie but had so much fun visiting that we decided to stay at the restaurant and chat some more!
Well, two weeks before I am back to work - so I better get all the socializing in before my 'free time' is even less frequent!  I am in the stage where I'm just anxious about how the going back to work thing is going to go.  I feel like I have a pretty good grip on housework, laundry, activities, etc...........then add about 32-36 hours of work at the hospital and then another 12 or so with taking pictures - should make life interesting!  BUT, we have a great friend/sitter hired for the summer.  My sister Ashley's friend Kari.  She is a college student going for elementary education and has a lot of experience with children and has known all the kids since they were babies.  We are very happy to have her this summer. 

WEEK 10 - 11: May 8th - May 15th
This was a great 'mommy' weekend.  I initially got to spend the evening with some old friends from college.  We went to Chesters and then drank some wine and played Rock Band and had many many laughs about the old days!  It was so great and Daddy and the kiddos survived a long night out.  I then got to sleep in a little and spend the day with the kids.  It was a gorgeous day.  On Sunday was Mother's Day and Macy's dance recital!!!!  Will she or will she not dance? :)  Jim, Judy and Uncle Chad came up to attend her recital.  We decided to do the dance routine in the living room for everyone in case she decided not to dance and also to get it on video since we couldn't video at the recital.  She got really shy but performed great as always.  Then came the recital and the girl did AMAZING!  I about cried when we stepped out on stage.......I remembered my days of doing this and with how much she enjoyed it - I can many years of dance and recitals in her future.  Very sentimental......We had a little party for her when we got back.  I had a great Mother's Day!  We even got our new car to replace my Saturn.  We decided to get just a little 'commuter' car that would give us better gas mileage with Dennis' driving.  We got a Mazda 6 which I had had in the past so we knew we liked it.  It sure is weird to sit down so low and drive a stick shift again - but I love it.
We have had an opportunity to have a few LONG nights of Ani sleeping which is great!!  I hope this is a trend we're on here!  Hayden was sleeping in his crib and pretty much through the night at 10 weeks old so Ani has some big shoes to fill :). The going to bed part is getting somewhat easier but still no walk in the park!  She has been just a joy and such a sweet sweet baby girl  I am starting to really dread going back to work - the countdown is definitely on and I'm starting to feel the 'crunch' of my time left.I have a ton of stuff I want to get done.......for example potty training.  I honestly thought that we would have it done in the 12 weeks but I'm not sure if we're even anywhere close to any sort of progress.  She is starting to grow and get stronger and stronger - she has tried out her Hop N Pop and she did a really good job keeping her head   upright and the kids found this as an opportunity as a new way to play with her.  The sounds and the pop might be a little overwhelming but it's a new thing for her and she is happy!  We haev also been trying to do a few more bottles to get things in preparation for momm being gone 2-3 12 hour shifts/week.  We've been trying different bottles and trying to nail down the one she likes the best.
Tuesday we had a little pizza/dance party with Macy's dance class.  We did group pictures and had a fun little potluck and a crazy photo session with all of them! ;)  We just love the parties and keep having them while I'm home! ;)  The pics turned out cute and I can't wait to get one for Macy's room.  She has enjoyed dance so much that I think she'll love having the pic to look at on her bedroom wall.
Well, one week left and onto a new page for updates and onto a new 'page' of our life - back to the real world! 

WEEK 11 - 12: May 15th - May 22nd
AAAAh!
One official week!  I got another night out but with my mom this time!  We went and saw Foreigner and Ani is getting more and more easy going for someone other than me!  Daddy and she are spending a lot of time together and really getting some good bonding done.  She is doing a lot less 'kung fu fighting' of the bottle and sleeping as well.  Also got out on a date with Dennis this 'last' weekend off of work.  Went to the Redwood Room and went to see Angels and Demons.....it was very good both the food and movie.
The big news is, my girl rolled over!!!!!!  She was playing under her little playgym and I was filling out Thank You Cards from the baby shower and I looked over and she had rolled over!  I could see she was trying and was onto her side but completely and independantly got over on her own.  We sure celebrated and the kids were very excited.  It might be a complete fluke and not happen again for a while but it was very exciting!