Because Cole was born at 9:28 pm, the big kids were already in bed, and had to come and meet him the following morning. Luckily Corinne was able to come back and photograph that as well! I love taking pictures and all, but was so relieved not to have to worry about capturing moments that i wanted to remember, and just being able to ENJOY them.
Plus actually being IN the photos is a total bonus. Me and my sweet brand new baby boy...
I already know Riley was going to be head over heels in love with her new baby brother. And I was 100% right. She was absolutely smitten!! Here she is coming in to meet him for the first time...
Jackson was definitely interested at first, and came over to touch and look and see what the fuss was all about, but then decided he was more interested in exploring the hospital room. He didn't really want to hold the baby, or even sit for pictures, and that's okay. The next picture only happened because Mark was holding him up and throwing him up in the air. Anything to get all 5 of us in the frame and happy!!
This little girl is just so in love with her new baby.
These are just some of the photos taken by Corinne, I haven't even shared a single one that I took while we were in the hospital! Hard to believe this little guy is already 8 days old!
I wanted to get this written while it was still fresh in my mind, since I know from experience how the memory of birth fades over time! Although this time I was lucky enough to have a wonderful birth photographer there to help capture it all, which will hopefully make it that much easier to remember over time!!
Cole Henry Bartlett was born on Thursday September 4th at 9:28pm. Right on his due date!
That morning was just like every other morning. Woke up with the usual mild cramps that I had been having for over 4 weeks. I had to get the kids off to preschool, and then I had 3 hours all to myself! I actually really did NOT want to go into labor during the day because Mark had an interview that afternoon at 1:15, so I pretty much just laid low and hung out on the couch all morning. Luckily in that time I had no cramping, no contractions, nothing! I had a tiny bit of bleeding in the morning, but that was it.
Once the kids were home from school we all had lunch and took naps, and still at 4ish when everyone was awake I had no signs of labor. Mark picked up a Chipotle burrito on his way home from work, and we ate dinner while watching the big kids play in the backyard around 7ish I think. Riley really wanted to go in the hot tub, so I told her we could go in for a little bit. I was getting some mild cramps, but no different than the ones I had been getting for the past month. At some point I felt like I wanted to get out of the hot tub and go take a shower. We all got out, and around 8:00 I had my first contraction. Not painful, just barely uncomfortable. Immediately they were about 2 minutes apart, although still not painful.
At 8:05 I sent Corinne (birth photographer) a text to say something might be happening. I called the midwife and told her the same thing. We decided I would meet her at her office and call her when I was leaving my house. I took a shower, and when I got out of the shower and used the toilet, there was quite a bit of bleeding... which I knew meant baby was close. So we hurried up and left for the hospital around 8:45pm.
Once in the car the contractions were very painful, and still 2 minutes apart lasting about a minute. I was timing them with my phone but quickly abandoned that because it was obvious this was the real deal. The car ride was about half an hour, but no traffic and a fairly smooth ride, all things considered. We got to the hospital and Mark asked if I wanted to be dropped off, but to be honest I was worried about getting up to l&d by myself and Mark not being able to find me before baby was born! So we went in the parking garage and found a spot on the third floor.
As soon as we got out of the car (not sure of the exact time) I could tell baby was RIGHT there. As in, I felt incredible pressure and the urge to start pushing! All I could think was how fast could I walk to get to the hospital between contractions!! We booked it across the street and up to the third floor of the hospital to l&d, and my midwife was there waiting for me. The nurses wanted me to get all checked in (paperwork? now?) and I told them I needed to use the bathroom/felt like pushing, so we fast tracked it to the room to get all set up.
Once in there I tried to use the bathroom but quickly abandoned that idea to get on the bed to get checked. I laid on my side and my midwife checked me and I was 10cm, baby right there and definitely ready to push. And so I did! I think I pushed through 3 contractions while laying on my side, and then he was here!!!
He was apparently sunny side up (facing the wrong way) which is probably a good thing because that normally makes labors and especially pushing take a lot longer, so if he were properly positioned he may have been born faster, and in the car!!! Luckily that was not the case and he was born safely in the hospital.
He cried right away, but just for a few seconds, and then he was put up on my stomach. I could not believe he was already here, and that he had so much hair! He was, of course, absolutely perfect! Born at 9:28, under 90 minutes from my first contraction, about 45 minutes after we left for the hospital, which is when my painful contractions started!!! Little guy was in a hurry!
Our friend and birth photographer Corinne made it just in time, thankfully, which is how we were able to get all these amazing images from his birth!!
He was super alert and calm, he just laid there just taking it all in, barely making a sound!
Honestly I was expecting him to be much bigger, but I'm glad he wasn't! He was 21 inches long, so pretty tall, but not a very big baby!
I'm not sure he really looks like either Riley or Jackson, but it's hard for me to tell. Maybe he will look like me since the other two look like their dad :)
Sooooo happy! Corinne was able to come back the next day and capture Riley and Jackson meeting Cole for the first time, more pictures to come...
All photos thanks to Corinne McCombs Photography!!
Let me just start this off with, yes, tomorrow is my due date, and no, still no baby.
Anyway. Yesterday the kids had their first day of school! Riley is an old pro, and barely looked back and of course had a good time. Jackson was not so happy about the whole thing, especially being left by mama, but it all turned out well and he ended up adjusting well and he had a good time!! Of course we had to take the "first day of school" pictures on the porch that morning, which is going to be difficult to continue since Jackson is not easy to keep still AT ALL. Don't be fooled by the pictures, I have no idea how I got any usable ones.
Runny nose and refusing to hold the little sign, and with his crazy new haircut (he cried the whole time, but that's another story), but still a cutie.
Ahhhhhh the more cooperative of the two. She actually LIKES the preschool picture thing. :)
Riley gets to bring a backpack this year, which she is pretty excited about. Hers is a My Little Pony backpack, and Jackson has a little Jake and the Neverland Pirates one. Also not pictured, of course, since he hates wearing it. :)
I must say I am actually glad that I was able to take them to their first day and be a part of their full first week of school without being stuck in the hospital or adding a brand new baby to the mix. It has worked out quite well! But now that we are approaching the end of the week, baby is free to come annnnnnny time he feels like it. Preferably sooner rather than later.
I quite often find myself referring to my children as either "my favorite girl in the whole world" or "my favorite little boy..." Riley can keep her title, but with another little boy due to arrive any day now, I'm going to have to think of a new way to refer to my soon-to-be TWO favorite boys!
This little guy is wild and crazy and silly and fun, and he loves to sing!! He sings for hours and hours and hours every single day.
And this little sunshine.... she starts year two of preschool next week, and she is sooooo excited! She can't wait to meet her teacher, and see all her friends, and make new friends! And this year her brother will be joining her at preschool too! He's a little less excited though, we'll see how that goes...
Sometimes, the two of them are just so incredibly cute together I just want to bottle it up forever. Not all the time, but when it happens, it just makes me so very happy.
Riley found her daddy's goggles today and was pretty excited. But soon decided that she really needed her own goggles on...
I asked her if she could take her goggles off for a few pictures, and her response? "Ummm no mommy I can't, my goggles are a part of me!!" Ohhhhhhhkay then!
We discovered today that Jack is extremely afraid of bees (and cannot distinguish between a bee and a fly). He was picking and smelling flowers, and a bee flew by. This sent him into hysterics, and then anytime any flying bug came near him, he panicked!
Really though, it's nothing a Grandma cuddle can't fix.
Jacky loves trying to break the code to get into daddy's phone. This usually results in daddy getting locked out of his phone for a while.
Tonight for dinner Mark and Jackson made pancakes. Jacky loves to help with each and every step, and the kid eats more pancakes than anyone else in the family! He LOVES his pancakes!
Riley's current absolute favorite activity is going in the hot tub with me. We have it set pretty low, so it's more of a warm bath temperature, which makes it comfortable even when it's warm outside. She loves to jump and splash and swim, basically anything but sit and relax.
My little floating fishy!!! Well... sort of floating, sort of sinking.
Gotta admit, I really enjoy going in the hot tub with her most evenings! Not exactly relaxing per se, but I love it just the same. :)
In other news... Baby Bartlett #3 due one week from Thursday!!
Any day now we are going to go from a family of four to a family of five. So these last weeks (or days), I'm trying to enjoy these two little ones as much as I can. Soak it all in. Cram in some fun. Let them stay up late. Play and play and play some more. It's pretty fun around here, I must say.
Today? We made pancakes. Walked/rode bikes to the playground. Came home and played outside. Followed by an hour of playdoh, followed by watching Crocodiles on National Geographic. All before noon.
Below is Jacky saying "not eating the playdoh!!!!!" Aaaaaaaand this is why we only play with wheat-free playdoh.
Riley was busy making a family of unicorns. Jackson just wanted to roll all the playdoh into balls. Lots and lots of balls.
Again with the "not eating" of the playdoh. He thinks he's sooooooo funny.
This kid could play with playdoh for an extremely long time. After I had made him probably 50 playdoh balls and 20 stars, I finally convinced him we had enough. But it wasn't easy.
Middle of the day for us is always low key. The bigger one has quiet play time in her room, and the little one has a nap. But rest assured, as soon as they are up and ready, the fun continues. Today was water balloons!!! Last time we played with "water balloons" we didn't actually have any water balloons, so we used regular balloons. Which are REALLY hard for little ones to break. This time was much more successful.
The highlight was definitely throwing them down the front steps.
Jackson was in heaven. Water play combined with throwing things?? YES PLEASE.
A certain little someone kept trying to get me wet!!!
How many balloons can one two year old carry??
12 more days until baby Bartlett #3 is due to arrive!!
We've gotten into a little routine here these days. And it involves a LOT of time outdoors. Lots of climbing and jumping and sliding and hot tubbing. This little dude loves to jump jump jump and is so happy when he gets to be outside. It's not too hot, not too cold, it's perfect.
After a little hiatus due to some splintering wood, the playground in the backyard is back in action. And these kids are little climbing machines!
Gosh this little dude gets more and more handsome every single day. Can't believe he's already two and a half, and about to be a big brother.
Bought this bubble gun at Safeway for six whole dollars. Totally worth it.
And this little princess. She gets funnier and goofier and more amazing with each passing day.
I made smoothies with this little guy the other day, and he was obsessed. He drank more than anyone else, although I use the word "drank" loosely... he only wanted to eat it with a spoon, which meant a HUGE mess. But a cute mess at least.
He is very in to throwing right now. He throws EVERYTHING. I try and channel his throwing desires to things that are appropriate, like throwing a ball into a hoop, buuuuuutttt..... that's only successful for a short while, then he's back to his usual antics.
I'm going to be a little sad when this warm weather leaves us, especially warm summer evenings. It's nice to be able to go out once the sun goes down a little, and have it be the perfect temperature in the shaded backyard. We could play out there for hours!
Especially on the swing. A certain little boy loves his swing.
Just some tidbits of our month.... we didn't have any actual water balloons, so we made HUGE ones with regular balloons and threw them down the stairs. :)
And bounced them on the trampoline....
Complete with butt slams, of course.
This little guy... he's two and a half, and obsessed with that paci. I'd like to say he only gets it when he sleeps, buuuuut that would be a lie. He calls it his "pay pay" and he wants one whenever he's tired, or sad, or sick. And look at those eyes... How can you say no???
This little boy would stay outside and play all day long every single day. He loves moving sand from one spot to another. Throwing things. Spraying water. Splashing. Putting sand in water. Water in sand. Etc....
Classic every day tired Jacky. Paci and blankie and he's good to go.
This little guy also loves to skype with his Nana and Grandad. Now he talks so much and is so expressive it's a lot more fun to skype with him!
Riley had dance camp last week, which meant (1) She was thrilled and had a blast and (2) I got to spend some extra 1 on 1 time with Mr. Jack.
This means we invaded Riley's room and jumped on her bed, of course...
And of course, sat glued to the window to watch the gardeners do their thing. This boy looooooves the gardeners!
And somehow before we knew it it was mid August and we were anxiously waiting the arrival of baby #3! Where does the time go???
We did something a little different this year for Riley's birthday party. It was simple, and low stress, and FUN. This was the first year that her party was all about HER friends, mostly ones from preschool. She wanted a Frozen themed party, so we had it at the local dance studio, where they provide an instructor to run the party, and we could choose it to have a Frozen theme! So they had all the costumes, all the songs and dances, and it was perfect. They started off with some fun gymnastics...
Jackson was sooooo excited he actually got to participate! In the past, he's just been to this place to pick Riley up from a class, so he never actually gets to play on any of the stuff!
After gymnastics they got right into the Frozen songs. Dressing up like Elsa was first, for a lovely version of "Let It Go..."
The girls had a blast, and even though Jackson refused any sort of costume, he still had fun singing with the girls.
I love watching Riley. She is just totally into singing and dancing and performing, it's adorable.
Elsa was followed by Olaf and Anna and the coronation song, all of which were equally super cute. This little 4 year old wanted a Frozen party, and that's exactly what she got.
Of course there was cake. And pizza. Man these little tiny girls ate a TON of pizza!!
Overall, it was a pretty perfect birthday party if you ask me!!
July was definitely a fun month!! HOT and busy and we had Nana and Grandad here to visit!!
The kids absolutely adore their Nana and Grandad, and were sooooo excited to have them visiting us all the way from New Zealand! We tried to cram in as much fun as possible while they were here, and we were definitely sad to see them go :(
Below is Jacky's favorite way to eat a snack. Cracks me up every time, the boy likes to lounge!!
We took Nana to Six Flags to see the animals and go on the rides, and Jacky really enjoyed the tigers!
Riley loves the water park part of Six Flags, and she played and played and played in there forever!
Good thing it was a hot day, this little one was totally soaked!!
Grandad had to go home a little early, but Nana got to stay and experience her first 4th of July in the US with us!! We started out by going to the local bike and dog parade!
This was their first year participating in the bike parade, and the kids both did really well and had lots of fun!!
Jackson's favorite place to be in the whole wide world is up on Grandpa's shoulders. He would stay there all day long, happy as can be. I think it's so funny how he uses Grandpa's ears as handles!!
We didn't have any sparklers this year, so we just played with those little pop-its noise makers, which seemed to make Riley pretty happy. :)
I was trying to get ONE good picture of the two kids together. Man that can be so hard these days!!!
Everyone took long midday naps, which meant we were all good to go for late night fireworks!! There are a couple spots in town that are great for viewing fireworks, but the parking is a nightmare, and with Mark just a few days out of knee surgery, we decided to park right in front of Safeway, got out our seats and enjoyed the show!!
Jacky was so excited!!! He kept pointing and yelling "look at dat one!!!" "Did you see dat???"
Riley loved them too, but she got a little cold so she needed some extra snuggle time. :)
A very fun and very long day for these little cuties, but well worth it!!
My little miss is four years old, so I think it's about time for a proper four year update! I still haven't taken her outside for her "four year pictures" but at least we went to the studio and did these ones! Of course she chose to wear her favorite dress ever for the first set of shots, she loves this dress and would wear it all the time! In fact, she wore it so much that it got all torn up in the front and we had to go and get it fixed so she could keep wearing it!
Riley is the sweetest, smartest, silliest little girl there is. Some of her favorite things right now are: Anything "Frozen" themed, playing with legos, singing and dancing, playing dress up, reading, and playing board games. She will sit and play with legos and build and build for hours, orrrr until her brother tries to destroy her hard work.
She can legitimately READ. And it amazes me!!! She can open up a book she's never seen before, and just read it! Obviously we are talking about kid books, and she still needs help with some words, but the girl just LOVES to read. She is constantly asking me what different words say while we are out and about, or what signs say while we are driving. She is extremely into all the "early reader" books right now and insists on reading to me every night before bed. I'm just blown away at how interested she is all on her own, and how quickly she has picked everything up!
She loves Life cereal and sun butter sandwiches more than anything. Macaroni and cheese is probably right up there too. She adores her brother, especially playing chase and jumping on the bed with him. In a few weeks she will start her second year of preschool, and she is very very excited! She absolutely loves preschool and loves being around friends her age.
Her daddy has introduced her to a game called Township on the ipad, and she is obsessed. She loves building her town and is learning all kinds of fun things by playing that game! Her current favorite TV show is Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and her favorite movie is still Frozen. In fact she just finished Frozen dance camp last week and she had so much fun!!
She is such a little sweetheart, with a feisty side of course. :) She loves playing outside and riding bikes, and LOVES going in the hot tub with me in the evenings! She has been learning how to swim and has done so well at her lessons!!! She is very very excited for her new baby brother to arrive, which could happen any time now! Hard to believe it was over four years ago that I was waiting anxiously for her arrival!!