The New One Smiles

Thursday, April 25, 2013

...among other things like eating, pooping, and sleeping (doing so much better! 7 hours at a time and things!). But the smiles! Gah! Nothing like first smiles.

Life is grand with this tiny girl:


Combed-down, post-bath hair:



Sleeping beauty (I can't wait to see how that hairline grows in)...


I know, I know, it's really strange that a mommy of two girls dresses her little baby in all these blue clothes. What can I say? I don't really have a good excuse except I like blue on girls (and that we borrowed some stuff from our friend Tuck)?

And here's the other one, also known as the "big baby" or "the old one"... (maybe her pink outfit will make up for all the blue above?)

If you can't push the wheelbarrow one way...


Try from the other end:


We're gaining some rhythm to our days and maybe one day soon I will do something crazy like cook dinner!

Tomorrow the little one will be 7 weeks old. A time so long and so short, all at once! It's a special season at our house.



(Also... Go Grizz!!!!!!!!! Believe Memphis!)

Juliette's Big Girl Room

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The time has come to share photos of Juliette's big girl room! I know you all were waiting on the edge of your seats, so here goes. (By the way, am I a blogging machine or what?!)

The room isn't completely finished, but I thought I'd carpe diem and share where we are now. Maybe you guys can toss your two cents in on the curtains question mark. Also, I am not nearly the photographer my husband is, but he wasn't home when this room was unoccupied and clean, so bear with me.

Entrez-vous!


This is the view standing from the stove in our kitchen, looking to your left. The room was formerly our guest room (you can see its former very sorry/very old state here), but "guest room" happened to be synonymous for "junk room" in this case. 

It took several upon lots of hours to get this room completely cleaned out and ready for Juliette's occupancy. As (I think) I mentioned previously, we wanted to move Juliette before the new baby came because the nursery is connected to our room, through our bathroom (making it easier to sneak in there during the night). 

Although it was kind of a stretch with a then-16/17-month-old, we tried to build up the whole "big girl room" thing to Juliette while we were getting it ready. I don't know if that whole thing really worked necessarily, but she does like her new room (and her new big girl bed). 

Here's what you see when you walk in the door...


Some details: 

The bed was in my in-laws' Arkansas lakehouse (and actually came with their house! So we don't know how old it is/where it's from). To make it lower, we put the box spring under the bed for now, and it's plenty comfortable for little Jules. We have retractable side rails from Babies R Us on either side of the bed. Many thanks to them for letting us use the bed! I think it's perfect here.

The quilt was made by Jonathan's grandmother, approximately 40 years ago. It is in amazing shape too! I wanted a multicolor quilt for Juliette's bed and could not believe my luck when Jonathan's mom offered this one for us to use. Total jackpot! Thank you, Nana!

The folded duvet and shams were from West Elm on clearance. The Euro shams were sewn by my sissy, from fabric I actually bought for Juliette's nursery and never used.

The heart pillow was bought for Juliette's nursery and purchased here, though it doesn't look like they have it anymore (I think it works much better in here). 

I'd love to replace the fan but we haven't gotten around to it yet ($$).


I mentioned in this post about the dresser (on the left), bought at an estate sale several years ago and in storage until now. The alabaster lamp was my mom's as a child, made over with a brand-new lampshade and finial. The giraffe was a sweet Christmas gift.

On the right is the little ikea hack side table I made a few years ago. The lamp is an estate sale find that was sitting around with no home, again made 100x better with a proper lampshade and butterfly finial. 

One of the missing pieces of the room is artwork for over the bed. I actually have something already in hand for over the bed (by one Andrea Ballenger), but am still brainstorming how to get it mounted/framed for hanging (and how to pay for it). 

Looking from the corner (where the chair is): 
See! We need curtains!


Juliette's beloved "DeeDee," the large pink mouse on the left, was a gift. We subsequently found the small mouse on the right, "Baby DeeDee," at a shop a few months ago and just had to get it! 

The bookshelf:


I'm not the most confident bookshelf arranger, but this is my current crack at it. Uncle Scooter is Jules' Jellycat collection patron.

My stationery and some other paper goods are stored in the bins on the top shelf (the bins have interior dividers!), and my envelope stash/other paper supplies are stored in the cabinets. 

Here's the chair corner (and location of the cockroach incident!). I would love to have this chair recovered sooner rather than later. It was purchased at an antique mall for $70, and we had it sitting in our living room...placing it in this corner was a last-minute decision. Work with what you have, right? I think it works (especially since the majority of our reading now takes place on the bed).


The blanket was knitted by Jules' Grammy (my mom) after she was born, while she sat up in the night with me while I nursed.  :)  The little lace pillows were pilfered from my Granny's condo before she moved, and I got the knitted Mickey at Disneyland this past August when Marth and I visited our bro.

The amazing J table was made by Juliette's "Uncle" Grant, and stained by Daddy.

The "For Like Ever" poster (here)... I know, I know, it is all over blogland ever since the Domino cover. I just loved it and thought it would be really cute and punchy in here. 

The rug is from Urban Outfitters and a really amazing price for an 8x10. Since we got such a good price on the rug (and it's of corresponding quality), I sprung for an extra thick & extra awesome rug pad from our local rug store (Kiser's). I don't think it'd stay in place very well with a thinner or smaller rug pad.

Here are Juliette's play kitchen and toys! 


I'd love to get a little bench or something for this wall, but it definitely works for now.

This wall-hanging configuration is not at all my finest, but I guess it's ok for now. I definitely wanted to hang Jonny's mandolin (this past year's Christmas gift from me! I'm proud of that one) on this wall, and the other three pieces were moved over from the nursery (Juliette's name in Scrabble letters, the Romeo & Juliet quote by Andrea Ballenger, and the baby fox print). The platter I had in my serving pieces stash. I have a mirror that I need to hang up too. 

Here's another piece from the nursery, also by Andrea Ballenger. It looks so sweet against these pink walls. (A closer look at it is here...Juliette's name is on the bunting.) The closet door also needs one of those little things in the handle, what are they called?


We used this paint color in the nursery, on the dresser, so I knew I liked it already... White Beet from Sherwin Williams. I didn't know how well it would work on these walls, but it's absolutely perfect. You can see from the photos how it looks really really light in some light, and more pink in others. It's not too pink for me.

So the glaring missing piece in the room is CURTAINS! I found what I thought was the perfect fabric at Jo-Ann, but proceeded to have a nightmarish experience trying to acquire it, and had to abort the mission. Back to square one. Haven't seen anything yet that I like nearly as much as that other fabric. Originally, I thought maybe a red ticking stripe would work, but it was way too light-colored when I held up the sample. Anyone have any ideas? 

I am extremely indebted to my talented sister-in-law, the beautiful Amanda Jerkins, for helping so much with the room! She provided invaluable suggestions, advice, and endured a million annoying texts from me while we were working on it. Thank you, Amanda!!!

Thank you to my friend Laura for coming to help me clean out the parts of the room that were making me stuck and frozen (see: bookshelves, closet). You are a master! Also thank you to our good pals Burkes and Redings for taking Juliette to the zoo one Saturday afternoon so we could paint, undistracted... :)  Much appreciated. And to my darling mommy for coming to the rescue on my laundry room, and other stuff we cleaned out of here. I love you.

I love spending time in the room (roach notwithstanding!), but of course, I am just mostly thrilled how much Juliette likes it! She is always proud to show visitors her big girl bed, and luckily, took very quickly to this being her room. We're very lucky that she didn't have any problems taking so well to her new space. 

Whew! (I forgot how long these posts take!)


********
Believe it or not, I actually took photos of Molly's updated nursery while taking taking these, so I'll be back to share those soon!

7 years, Not Itchy

Monday, April 22, 2013

I love this man!  (Even if he does look really confused in this photo? Why? Wish I remembered...)


4-22-06, one of the best days ever.

In 7 years, we've ...

  • Lived in 2 houses, in 1 city
  • Had 3 cars
  • Worked in 5 combined jobs
  • Attended two schools (JRJ)
  • Had 1 cat, 1 fish (RIP)
  • Given birth to 2 children
  • Established our family
(A lot of that list actually isn't that crazy for 7 whole years? Are we homebodies? We're homebodies, Jonny)

6th anniversary // 5 year post // 4 year post // 3 year (none, whoops) // 2 year post // 1 year post


********
p.s. THANK YOU for the comments on the no-shoes post. After re-reading the post, I realized that I didn't make the connection between my first point, which was how much I hate going barefoot, and the concept of a no-shoe house. The point is-- I've realized, when barefoot, how much I hate stepping in miscellaneous dirts/crumbs that are trekked into my house. The other point being I fear visiting a friend's house and being asked to go barefoot on their mysterious floors (yipes!). So yes, maybe we'll do no shoes for us, but not ask it of guests (unless they want to).

Considering: No Shoe House

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I don't like to be barefoot. Really ever. My feet are usually cold, and uh, stepping in crumbs or liquid? Horror (#firstworldproblems, I know).

If Jonathan ever does see me walking around barefoot, he gets all proud and congratulates me. Ha.

Spending all this time in my house, I have realized how quickly my floors get dirty. The area of the kitchen floor underneath Juliette's chair is unavoidably messy at this stage of life. But otherwise...it's occurred to me that if no one wore shoes around my house ever, the mess would be even less. Right? It's common sense, yes?

There are a few issues with this:

1. Is it just plain weird/awkward asking guests to take off their shoes? How much of a stickler do you have to be? Do people freak out and never want to come over again?

2. Do you have to have slippers or something out for guests to wear? If so, that would stump me (where to put them, what kind to get, how to point them out normally, etc).

3. Is the weird factor insurmountable? I'm just afraid that it is.

Does anyone operate their home this way? Any words of wisdom?


A List, Featuring Crystal Light

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

deep thoughts ahead!

1. Crystal Light: daily I think to myself, am I the world's biggest fan? Is this an unhealthy love? Are my insides coated with light pink powder? Being home, and breastfeeding, I am consuming a large amount of this daily (I do force myself to drink several glasses of water here and there). Dang that strawberry-kiwi is so good, my first love. I made some decaf lemon iced tea today to switch things up. We also love the peach-mango green tea and of course, the original Guinn staple, peach tea. Jonathan loves the cherry-pomegranate, which I do like, but it's pretty potent. Thank you, Crystal Light, for brightening up my beverage consumption.

2. Some of you might have seen this photo I posted on instagram today (I'm @lesliejerkins):


We are on Day 5 of no working dishwasher in the Jerkins household. Man, it's a drag. I GREATLY admire people who live this way 24/7. I do not have the fortitude (or maybe it's because we're supposed to have a working dishwasher and are used to it?).

Before my dramatics get the best of me, I should let you know it will probably/hopefully be fixed tomorrow.

3. Dawson's Creek (via Amazon Prime) and I have been spending a lot of time together over the last 5 weeks. I watched the show live through high school (and I guess into college?) and had been looking forward to an excuse to get reacquainted. All I have to say is...a lot happens in 15 years! Their clothes! The hair styles! Carpenter jeans (on girls!)? Jen's season 2 haircut (the WORST!)? It's all pretty hilarious to watch in 2013. I mean, I thought they were all so cool when this show was going on.

Taking a little more serious turn here with a preface: I'm not going to dare to dive into any of my specific opinions about this topic in this space/time...BUT I have to say that watching the episodes where Jack realizes he's gay and comes out have made me glad for the progress our culture has made over the past decade and a half. If I'm remembering correctly, he was one of the first major characters on a show to do so. The commentary/reactions and verbiage surrounding this plot line would be completely unacceptable in this day and time. And for that, I am glad.

Reality check: James Van Der Beek is now 36 years old (AND shares a birthday with my second born).


(Hurrah! A post not entirely about babies!)


Molly Frances // One Month Old

Monday, April 15, 2013

On April 8 this year, I not only turned 29 years old, but also celebrated one month of life for this little cutie pie!

This bootcamp first month of baby was a little less shocking to the system this time around. Not only have I have had a much easier physical recovery from childbirth, but Jonathan and I both would say we feel more confident in caring for this little pipsqueak. Breastfeeding has not been a question mark (though geez, no break on the soreness with the 2nd babe), and I have a living, breathing reminder that these long and sometimes tough but precious first days are fleeting (thank you, big sister). 


Plus, this baby is just SWEET. Yes, in the first weeks, she went through some fussiness in the evening (coupled with cluster feeding), has slept some really short stretches (30 minutes, anyone?), and got her first cold and high temp.

But people, I put this baby down in her bed awake and she lays there quietly until she goes to sleep. Even if it takes 20 minutes. I'm serious. She's not sleeping super long stretches yet (currently around 3-4 hours at the longest, with one gold star of a 6.5 hour stretch), but she wakes up, eats, and goes back to sleep. No fussing, no drama. I think she's going to hit her stride soon.

During her awake time in the day, she stares up at my face or looks around, so contentedly. I just love her. She favors Jules to me, but she is not a spitting image--looks like her own little self.


Mollywolly,

You have joined our family in such a sweet way. I am perceiving that you are going to continue developing your laid back spirit, content to let big sissy keep the spotlight for now. You put up with some rough "hugs" and "kisses" from her--literally, rolling with the punches. 

Your hair is quite the hit wherever you go! I bathe you, comb it down, and it's back poufed up under a minute. I just love it, it has quite the mind of its own. I love watching you sleep with your little crown of hair spraying up above. 

You eat every 2 hours when awake, wear size 1 diaper, and 0-3 month clothes (still some newborn gowns). 

The gratuitous falling-over photo:



I love you Molly girl! Can't wait to watch you grow.


Juliette at one month

One to Remember

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I'm 29 years old now. It's not so bad (it seems sort of the same as 28? I'm not saying that in a "ironic" way--I think I may feel a little different when actually 30? I dunno).


Today, I was driving with the windows down in the 80 degree weather, admiring the new green buds on the trees everywhere, the cherry blossoms at their peak (or just a little after), and thinking how just one week ago, it was 42 degrees, grey and drizzly, with wintery-stick trees surrounding us. Spring seemed so far away then...and here we are, one week later and bam! we're wearing sandals!

The analogy here is that I keep waiting for Molly's sleeping skills to surprise us in that same way...like, maybe we'll suddenly look back over a week's span and think, "I can't believe this time last week she wasn't sleeping longer than 2-hour stretches."

Yep, the sleeping ju-ju you guys all wished on me for future babies when Juliette was sort of killing it (things like a 7-hour stretch at 2 weeks old) has come back around. I count myself lucky to get a 3 hour stretch of sleep at night (maybe happens once/night, sometimes not at all). However, the ladies of our house all came down with a cold last week so I can't be too hard on ole Molls--she didn't feel well at all for a few days and still has some lingering congestion.

My little Molly girl is such an absolute sweetheart though! I am loving her little self and treasuring the time I have to spend just staring at her little face. I love our days together. I love moments spent with her sleeping on my chest. These days are fleeting, and I've maybe hit a stride where I'm tired but functional. She may not sleep for long periods, but she doesn't fuss when she wakes up, just eats and goes back to sleep.

*** (here's where the "One to Remember" part starts)

So today? I haven't taken too many trips out with both girls yet (or really been at home with them much alone either, Jonathan has been off and home until this week) -- and oh boy, it was a multiple children baptism-by-fire experience, to be sure.

It started with a car ride home with both babies crying, Molly for an unknown reason, and Juliette because she'd gotten in trouble for tearing apart the styrofoam part of her carseat (uh, yeah). We got home and I got Molly out first which made Juliette even more upset. I somehow got both girls into Juliette's room and calm (after several more minutes of craziness) so I could feed Molly while Juliette played in a confined space (yes, necessary).

Juliette was coloring on the floor and accidentally rolled a crayon underneath the chair I was sitting in feeding the baby, so she crawled under the chair to retrieve it. She popped her little face up at my armrest, holding up to show me a wiggling cockroach! I involuntarily shrieked (of course) and kinda motioned her hand away so it flew across the room, all of which of course completely freaked her out and she totally lost it.

I had to pull the tiny one off from her feeding source (which made her pretty mad), and rushed Juliette to the bathroom to wash her hands, trying to calm her down, telling her not to pick up bugs, but everything is ok. Poor thing, I hope I didn't scar her for life. We left the dying roach in her room and relocated to the nursery so I could finish feeding the baby, calming Juliette down with some Sesame Street youtube videos. Poor gal. I felt so awful. All evening she kept looking up to us and repeating "No no bugs" and "grossssth, grossssth."

Poor little cutie.


I hope they survive my learning curve. I'm new.

Easter

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

We had a wonderful Easter! Our first trip to church as a family of four (quite a feat), a wonderfully delicious lunch and family time in the afternoon, and plenty of baby snuggles...

And finally, some photos of the sisters with Juliette not trying to tackle Molly.

Two sweet little bunnies...



And here's Dudley's montage of our attempt at a family photo:



Juliette is just totally freaking crazy right now!

We're snuggled in today, the high is in the 40s (brr!), and I'm watching our new Yoshino cherry tree in the back try to get some blooms. Even a cold weather-loving soul like myself is excited to see leaves on the trees again! See you soon, spring!

A Birth Story

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Again with the posterity. I want to have this recorded somewhere, and I guess the clouds are as good as any place. And for the record, I started writing this post on March 26.

40 weeks came and went on Thursday, March 7. I had been 2 cm and 50% effaced for about two and a half weeks, but nothing was happening. I'd get up expectantly every night to go to the potty, willing my water to break...SOMETHING to happen. Nothing did!

My doctor had planned her spring break trip for the week following March 7. I really preferred to see her at some point in the labor/delivery process (although I knew if it happened quickly in the middle of the night, it would maybe be one of the doctors she shares call with), so I went ahead and reserved an induction spot at 4 a.m. on the morning of March 8. It was the very last spot on that Friday available when I got it the week before, but I fully believed that the baby would come on her own, before then.

Not to be, said she!

(my 40-week belly, complete with swollen fingers)



For some reason, I didn't really want to be induced. I can't really adequately explain it--mainly because the surprise would be taken away? I don't know. That combined with the fear that induction with a second baby would possibly take way longer than naturally going into labor on my own. Even leading up to the very minutes we were getting in the car to leave for my induction appointment at the hospital, I was holding on to hope and belief that I'd go into labor on my own. I expected every second that my water would just break. Apparently it's not something you can will to happen, because man, I tried!

We got to the hospital at 4 a.m. on the nose. When we got there, there was a couple checking in ahead of us, and she was in labor and in pain already. That's when I thought, maybe being induced isn't so bad?

So Jonathan and I are sitting there waiting to check in, and I was going to go ahead and get out my drivers license. Um, it wasn't in my wallet? The hospital is a good 20 minute drive from our house, and I knew it would set us back probably an hour to go home and get it. I started frantically searching through my wallet for some other form of photo ID. With a giggle, I pulled out my Sam's Club membership card and showed it to Jonathan -- "Do you think this is enough to get me in to have the baby?" Ha ha ha.

Thankfully, when I got up to the counter, she didn't need my drivers license. Then Jonathan reminded me that duh, why would anyone show up to the hospital at 40+ weeks pregnant and want to impersonate someone else? That's a pretty complicated impersonation job.

We went back to our room with the sweetest nurse, Mary, who got me all set up. By 5:30, the pitocin was going and the show was getting on the road. I was pretty nervous the contractions would be awful, as I'd heard pitocin contractions could be pretty brutal. I didn't really start feeling anything too awful until 7 a.m., at the nurse's shift change. Luckily, we got another awesome nurse, Kelly. They had both told me repeatedly I could have my epidural whenever I wanted it...it was just this weird decision to make. I was hurting, but it wasn't hurting enough to seem like I needed to go ahead and get a needle in my back? You know? But then on the other hand, if I was going to get an epidural, what was I really proving by waiting to be really hurting? Kelly told me that my doctor would probably come around 8 a.m. and break my water to get things going, and then the contractions might really get intense pretty quickly. When she came back, I told her I'd like to go ahead and get it before my doctor came, and she said she'd already put us on the list just in case. Lucky she had, because we ended up getting skipped, and my doctor came and broke my water before anesthesia made it to us. (I know, the timing is sort of confusing.) Having my water broken didn't hurt thankfully, and I was getting pretty ready for the epidural by the time it came. I was 3 cm when my doctor checked me then.

I told the nurse I'd had terrible heartburn with epidural in my last labor, so she went ahead and gave me something for it, which definitely helped. I was feeling pretty good and mellow, and we had some family come check in around this time, but about an hour later, I was still feeling the contractions, especially in this one concentrated spot on my right side. Kelly checked me then, at 10 a.m., and I was 4 cm. I was pretty bummed--1 cm in 2 hours? My family members' guesses started to seem more plausible (they were guessing things like 5:30 p.m., and even 9:45 p.m.!). Then, the nurse anesthetist came back in to give me another epidural dose to help the pain. This is when things got a little weird.

I got really nauseated and my blood pressure apparently plummeted. Kelly put my flat on my side and gave me something for my blood pressure and got a little worried about the baby's heart rate. This part is a little fuzzy but I did start feeling better, but that same spot kept hurting--I could feel the contractions so strongly in that little spot. Kelly wanted to put in an internal monitor around this time (I don't know what this means), and came back with her charge nurse who wanted to check me before doing the internal monitor. Kelly was like, "you're probably gonna tell me she's hurting so bad because she's like 8 cm or something." The charge nurse just said, "Yep."  I was 8 cm! This was around 11 a.m. and it was funny because we'd just told our family that was visiting to go back to the waiting room and it ended up being good timing sending them off and not just into the hall because we were getting ready to have a baby!

They went ahead and called my doctor to come back, who had told them to not let me push until she was standing in the room (I only pushed for 20 minutes with Juliette so she said it wouldn't take much for this baby). The anesthesiologist was checking on me around this time, because I was still hurting pretty bad in that one little spot. He gave me even another dose, which didn't end up working. I told him it was fine because I was about to push the baby out and I could definitely handle it for that much longer.

I was 10 cm around 11:45 (maybe a little earlier?) and they were getting the room set up to push the baby out. The anesthesiologist was sort of funny, he came in to check on me one more time and I was still hurting pretty good and he said in a kinda funny way, "Sorry. I failed you."  I knew it would be fine and actually feeling the contractions would help me push.

My doctor and entourage came in and we were ready to go! 3 pushes later at 12:10 p.m., my little 7 lb 7 oz bundle of Molly girl came out! The doctor and nurses were telling us while I was pushing how much hair she had (sorry if that's a gross visual). And wowee, does she ever!

Minutes old:


Bear hat, day 2 (I bought it the day we found out she was a girl).


With her birthday buddy Aunt Martha (their birthdays are 26 years and 364 days apart).


Daddy of girls -- get a load of that hair (the baby's, that is)!


All in all, this birth experience was great. Basically 6ish hours in labor and no real problems, not many pushes and we had a baby!

I am so thankful to God for a healthy pregnancy, healthy delivery, and healthy baby girl! We are falling in love with our Molly more and more each day.


Welcome to the world, baby girl!
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