Isaac is 1 Month Old

Isaac is a month old today! He’s gotten so much bigger so quickly; I’ve already had to pack away his newborn clothes. This seems to have happened way sooner than with the other boys. He still grunts A LOT, especially at night, and is now spitting up too (I’ll be happy when that phase is over).  He’s still nursing like a champ! He went through a feeding frenzy a few days ago for couple days. He was nursing ALL THE TIME! That was exhausting. Lack of sleep and nursing are definitely the hardest parts of having a baby. I have to remind myself that this won’t last forever.

Milestones:

  • More alert
  • Lifting his head

Likes:

  • Loves bath time!

Dislikes:

  • Being swaddled
  • Doesn’t love the pacifier; he’ll use it occasionally

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His brothers still adore him and love showing him off. Isaac went to his very first Mass today. I was worried he would be fussy and grunty the whole time, but he slept peacefully in my arms without making a sound the entire time. The power of God :) Maybe we should try sleeping there at night! Every one was excited to finally see Isaac and his older brothers were very proud to showcase him to our friends at church.

Some more cute quotes from his brothers:

“He’s my best friend.” – Levi

“If you think he’s sweet, you should smell him; he smells even sweeter.” -Noah

“He smells like Heaven.” -Noah

Choosing Isaac’s Name

We had the hardest time naming our newest addition. For the other boys we had their names picked out weeks or months in advance. However, for our fourth we were stumped! We had a list, but none of the names seemed right. Plus we were over analyzing every name. We like classic names; names that stand the test of time and the names we’ve chosen for our boys all happen to be biblical; not necessarily intentional. We never picked a name because it had to be from the Bible, but the names we did pick happen to be in the Bible. So we toiled and toiled – Did the name flow well with his older brothers’ names? Did that matter? Was the name too Catholic? So what if it was, we are Catholic after all! Could the name be shortened to a nickname, an annoying nickname (this is sort of a pet peeve of mine)?

So days before his birth and after his birth we finally had it narrowed down to two names: Matthew Francis or Isaac Francis. We definitely wanted Francis as the middle name since our family has a special devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. Ever since Eli was very young, he seemed to gravitate to this saint, so he is Eli’s patron saint; thus he’s important in our family. And it doesn’t hurt that our Holy Father is Pope Francis. Win-Win! :)

We also added to his middle name, Wayne, as that’s a family name on Michael’s side. Michael’s middle name is Wayne, as is his dad, etc.

So we were told at the hospital that we had to have a name chosen by the time we left and since my stay was just 24 hours we had to make a decision. So we finally picked:

Isaac Francis Wayne

baby isaac

The boys voted Isaac and everyone who knew our dilemma was leaning towards Isaac. So that’s the story behind his name!

Blessings,
Linda
+JMJ+

Baptism Gift Ideas

I’m in full party planning mode as I’m working on the details for Isaac’s baptism. I LOVE baptisms! The chrism, holy water and Holy Spirit…what a combination! That’s definitely something to celebrate…oh yeah and the whole getting rid of original sin :) Nothing like cuddling a pure, sin free baby!

During the fun process of planning his baptism party, I’ve come across some great baptism gift ideas. I think it’s always important to commemorate this special sacrament and I love having keepsakes that the boys can grow into and use well into adulthood knowing they were gifted the item at their baptism (i.e. a rosary or crucifix).

So here’s my go-to baptism gift guide! Many of these ideas could be used for First Communion too!

Baptism Gift Ideas

  1. Rosary – We gift our babies a rosary at their baptism. I love that when they start praying the rosary, they’ll know it was the same rosary from their baptism. Plus, you can never have too many rosaries.
  2. Crucifix – Of course it’s important to have a crucifix in the baby’s bedroom. Since our boys share bedrooms, each room has a wall where we hang their Catholic items.
  3. Saint Medal – These are great little keepsakes, especially if the baby is named after a saint. They can attach them to their rosaries. Tiny Saints has a collection of super cute saint charms too.
  4. Baptismal Bowl/Shell – I wish I had known about these with my first baby. I love the idea of having a family one to use at each baptism and then pass it down as family keepsake to be used for all the future grand-babies. How cool to know that your parents, grandparents were baptized with the same bowl or shell.
  5. Saint Softies – These are super cute. She has so many saints to choose from, another great idea if the baby is named after a saint, or choose a Guardian Angel or Holy Family one.
  6. Holy Water Font – We have one outside the boys’ bedroom. Always a great reminder of our baptism.
  7. Saint Statues – We like to have statues throughout the house to remind us of our Heavenly friends. So I think these make great keepsakes as well.
  8. Portrait of Saints – A beautiful site that has a large selection of wooden plaques and prints of your favorite saints.
  9. Catholic Books – There are so many great books to share the faith with your little one. Sacred Heart Books and Gifts has a great selection.

 

60th Birthday Celebration

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Last weekend we celebrated my father-in-law’s 60th birthday. I admit I was a little nervous and worried about hosting a party a week after delivering Isaac because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel recovery wise. So we kept it simple – I made all the printables weeks before delivering Isaac and gathered all the party supplies well in advance and we had the food catered.

Michael’s family came in from Wichita to celebrate the big event. The boys had fun playing and visiting with their cousins and everyone got to see the new baby.

Aunt Missy and Cousins, Mariah and Carson holding Isaac

Aunt Missy and Cousins, Mariah and Carson holding Isaac

Party Details

I went with a tennis theme as that’s one of his favorite pastimes. I also made him a Birthday Chronicle that highlighted fun facts and events from the day and year he was born. He’s a retired history teacher so I thought he’d enjoy something unique to mark his 60th.

The dessert table included cupcakes, Chicago Mix popcorn and chocolate covered pretzels. Michael even made some refreshing lemon strawberry infused water.

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Boys helping blow out the candles

Boys helping blow out the candles

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A good time was had by all. Good food and good company made for a great celebration. Happy 60th birthday to an awesome husband, father, father-in-law and grandpa :) We’re blessed to have you in our lives! We love you!

Isaac’s Birth Story & Life Updates

Isaac is already 2 weeks old today!

Isaac at 2 Weeks Old

Isaac at 2 Weeks Old

He’s already looking older :( They always grow out of the newborn stage so fast. He’s already so alert and super smiley and his brothers still adore him. He grunts A LOT, especially while sleeping and it’s funny seeing his little arms flail in the air at times. He doesn’t like being swaddled and he’s already outgrowing some of his newborn clothes. I love that he knows the sound of my voice and how he curls into a ball as soon as I hold him. I’m trying to enjoy every moment as it does go by way too fast.

Recovery is going well. This is the last week I’ll have my mom here before she heads back to work and she’ll be sorely missed.

Noah Playing a Game with Grandma

Noah Playing a Game with Grandma

I haven’t had to cook or clean a thing over the past 2 weeks, so I’ve really used the time to rest and recoup from delivery. I’ve taken advantage of sleeping as much as possible during the day while my mom is here as I’ve been up through the night nursing Isaac. He’s definitely getting more into a routine of sleeping 2-3 hours each night, but it does wear on me not having a full solid nights sleep. I love my sleep and this is always the hardest part of having a newborn; that and breastfeeding. Although he’s nursing really well and it’s definitely going smoother this time around, it can still be a challenge especially in the beginning. I’m thankful for the graces God has bestowed upon me to get me through this phase.

We’ve had lots of help from our family and friends. We’re so thankful for the meals brought to us and all the help and gifts we’ve received. My sister has been running the errands for us; doing our grocery and Costco shopping for us has been a huge help. We’re blessed :)

The older brothers are still dealing with their colds; Noah and Eli are pretty much over it, but Levi has it the worst, which is always the case. So far Isaac and I have been spared, I just hope it continues.

It’s been hot here this week (temps in the high 90s) so the boys have enjoyed going to the pool about twice a day this week.

poolside

So since Isaac is 2 weeks old today, I thought this would be a good to time to share his birth story.

Getting Induced

I’ve always had an induction date set after the due date on all my pregnancies, and for all of them, except Isaac, they decided to arrive on their own. Isaac’s induction was set just a day after his due date, but I was certain he’d be here early. I mean this is my fourth pregnancy after all and my previous two came 6 and 4 days before their due date. The closer to the induction date, the more nervous and anxious I became. His due date arrived and there was no sign of him arriving on his own, no contractions…nothing! So I knew I had to come to terms with getting induced.

Michael’s parents came into town the evening before so they could be here with the boys, as we had to head to the hospital at 6 the next morning. This was a huge help, knowing the boys would be well taken care of the rest of the week and they could continue going to VBS, as they were really enjoying it and didn’t want to miss it. The night before going into the hospital, I only slept for maybe 3 hours, I was so worked up. Just worried about EVERYTHING:

  • would I have to get a c-section
  • how painful labor would be with an induction
  • how would the baby handle it all
  • would I have a good nurse
  • who was doing the epidural

July 10th arrived and I nervously got ready to go and we headed to the hospital knowing we’d finally have baby #4 that day. My nervousness continued, but I was relieved to know I had a great nurse assigned to me. She was super nice and super attentive. Everything happened pretty fast after all the questions were answered. IV went in and IV fluids and Pitocin were started. I was relieved to see my doctor and happy to know he’d be delivering our fourth (he’s only delivered our first as I’ve had on-call doctors for the other two). He broke my water at 9:00 a.m. and soon after that the contractions were happening.

Labor and Delivery

With an induction, I learned that the labor is fast and furious. The contractions go from mild to GET ME AN EPIDURAL STAT really quickly!!! I was hoping to labor as long as possible without an epidural, but quickly realized the contractions were too much for me. Luckily my nurse knew it was going to get intense and had already lined up the epidural. Even better, the anesthesiologist was the same guy that performed my epidural last time and he was excellent. All my worrying about having a good nurse and anesthesiologist During all the intense contractions and discomfort of having the epidural, I offered up many intentions and Hail Marys. The contractions were so intense, it made it hard to focus that all I could do was offer a Hail Mary. After some relief from the epidural, I was able to relax a bit, just for me to start feeling the contractions again. I’ve never felt contractions once I had an epidural put in so started to worry it wasn’t working. Apparently the contractions were coming on so strong that the epidural couldn’t keep up. The nurse was able to give me a couple boluses which helped and by then I was shaking uncontrollably. This always happens to me and usually means it’s time to have a baby. Sure enough, my nurse checked and it was go time. Everything happened so fast! I usually labor forever, this time it was only 5 hours!  There was a lot of pushing this delivery. He was still pretty high up ; I must’ve pushed over 12 times compared to 3 with my last two. He really wasn’t ready to make his debut apparently. After about 20 minutes of pushing, Isaac made his arrival at 2:17 p.m.

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I’m grateful that everything went so smoothly. I had an awesome labor and delivery nurse, anesthesiologist and doctor on staff. All my worrying for nothing of course. By the next morning, I was ready to go home. My night nurse was terrible. I was in a lot of pain and they were only giving me Ibuprofen. Plus, the bed was uncomfortable and I had barely slept, so this was 3 nights in a row with little to no sleep. All I wanted was to soak in a tub and get some real sleep, even just a few straight hours. The doctor and pediatrician agreed to discharge us early and we were all home in time for dinner.

Big Brothers Checking Out Isaac

Big Brothers Checking Out Isaac

Blessings,
Linda
+JMJ+

Introducing Isaac Francis

Introducing our newest blessing, Isaac Francis!

Introducing our newest blessing, Isaac Francis!

Isaac Francis Wayne finally arrived and not on his own terms. He’s our first baby to be induced (he was due on July 9th) and I was scared; terrified really. I can’t even put into words the anxiety I felt during this pregnancy, especially towards the end, so I’m relieved he’s here and that all was uneventful. It was a safe and healthy labor and delivery for both of us.

He’s a week old today…already! Hard for me to believe that at this time last week I was delivering this precious baby. And we’re lucky we were able to finally decide on a name!!!

I’ve definitely been taking the past week very easy, just trying to recoup as his delivery wasn’t as easy as my last two were. Thankfully my mom has taken two weeks off to help run the house and care for the older boys. I LOVE my mom :) She’s been cleaning, cooking and watching the boys. Moms are the best! And I’m so thankful to have such a wonderful mom who does so much for me and her grandsons. My sister, Kim, has also helped out with the boys in between her shifts at the hospital. All the help has been great! We’re very fortunate to have it. Each day is getting better and Isaac is slowly getting into a schedule and sleeping a little better some nights. The older brothers are suffering from a terrible cold…in JULY! How does that happen in the middle of summer?!? Looks like Michael is the next in line. I’m praying they get over it soon, but it seems to be lasting forever with no end in sight. I’m praying and hoping Isaac doesn’t have to suffer through one so soon. His brothers just want to love and hold him and they haven’t been able to do so since the first day I brought him home before they all got sick.

Proud Big Brothers

Proud Big Brothers

They’ve completely accepted him with open arms and so much love. I’ve loved seeing their interactions with him and how much they truly love him. Here are some quotes from his brothers on what they think of their new baby brother.

“Awww!”

“He’s the cutest baby ever!”

“He’s so sweet!”

“He’s so tiny!”

“He really likes me!”

We were also lucky enough to have a visit from our good family friend, Sr. Mary Jacinta. She only comes into town once a year and this was the weekend she happened to be here. She’s a nun in Nebraska at the School Sisters of Christ the King. They’re doing great things there. So blessed that Isaac got to be held by such a holy nun :)

Sr. Mary Jacinta with Baby Isaac

Sr. Mary Jacinta with Baby Isaac

He’s really been a good baby; super sweet and cuddly. I love how he rolls into a little ball when I hold him. I’m taking all these little moments in :) Oh and there’s always that wonderful new baby smell!

I’ll write a separate post on his birth story. We just wanted everyone to know we’re doing well (except for the sick older brothers and lack of sleep) and appreciate everyone’s prayers! Please keep them coming!

Blessings,
Linda
+JMJ+

Proud Grandparents

Proud Grandparents

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Baby #4 Update – 40 Weeks

Tomorrow I’ll be 40 weeks and I thought for sure I’d be holding a newborn right now. My last two were born 4 and 6 days before their actual due date, so I’m completely shocked this baby hasn’t arrived yet. I’m getting increasingly anxious and nervous and dreading the idea of having to get induced on Thursday morning. I’m just so on edge and completely sensitive and emotional to everything, not to mention physically uncomfortable as well.

This has been the hardest pregnancy for me. I fortunately only had one bad month of 24/7 morning sickness, but then had a bout with the flu and several terrible colds during this pregnancy. There’s also been the lack of exercise, as I was mostly sick during the winter and by the time Spring was here I was already feeling huge and uncomfortable and then Summer is just too hot and miserable to be out exercising with all this extra weight. All of this, along with me being an emotional mess (which I never really had issues with in my previous pregnancies), I’m definitely having many second thoughts and doubts on whether I could do this again and I haven’t even delivered Baby #4 yet.

The boys are super excited about his arrival, which I’m grateful for, as lately I’m feeling like the pregnancy has become a burden and taken its toll on me and everyone around me:

  • the logistics of who will be where when,
  • the upheaval in routines,
  • don’t have Baby on this day (as if I have control over that),
  • what’s for dinner (I hate this question),
  • is my labor and delivery going to be pretty similar to the ones in the past (I have a funny feeling it won’t be, just considering the weirdness of this pregnancy),
  • praying recovery is quick and without major issues, as I just want to be able to get back to normalcy sooner than later,
  • praying that breastfeeding goes a bit smoother and isn’t nearly as painful this time around

These are just a few of the concerns going through my head. I’m trying not to think so negatively, which is why I’m just blaming it all on the pregnancy hormones. I know all babies are blessings of course and I know it’s all going to work out whether he decides to arrive on his own or I go in Thursday. I’m just trying really hard to just let all the worry go and trust in God, but the anticipation is driving me crazy!!!

So here’s praying I can find some peace and Baby arrives safely and healthy, even if I get induced.

On a positive note, my house is super clean. Bathrooms, laundry, hardwood floors and even the spindles on the stairs are squeaky clean. Only thing left to do is pack my hospital bag, which as I was gathering Baby’s items I realize I’m having a newborn in July and have only one onsie with short sleeves. He’s my first summer baby and I just assumed I had plenty of newborn clothes from his brothers, but just realized last night they’re fall and winter babies. Worst. Mom. Ever!!!

Which reminds me of another mommy fail. I’ll never forget we were getting ready to bring our second baby home from the hospital in the month of February and as I was placing him in his carseat to leave, I realized I had no blanket to cover him up with. How could I forget a blanket in the winter for my baby?!? Yeah, I’m that mom!!! So I was just going to use the thin hospital blanket when the lovely nurse informed me I wasn’t allowed to take it. Seriously?!? I would’ve paid the $5 to cover for the blanket. I don’t even remember what I used, I must’ve just used my coat to cover him up with. Oh the joys of motherhood!

St. Gerard, pray for us! Holy Family, pray for us!

Levi enjoying some snuggle time with Mama and Baby

Levi enjoying some snuggle time with Mama and Baby