Stewart

I know I have a million things to blog about, but I feel like I have to post about this first before I do everything else. Because Stewart was my first baby. I got him right after I moved to Tallahassee to go to FSU. He was the cutest thing ever and fit in the palm of my hand.

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He went with me everywhere and he was the best dog ever. He drove me crazy once we had kids and he did incredibly annoying stuff like jump up onto our table and steal food, or pee on the corner of our couches. But… I loved him.

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We had to put Stewart down a few weeks before I had Holland. June 10th, actually.

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It all happened really fast. I was scratching under his neck and I noticed his glands were both swollen to about the size of a golf ball. I hadn’t noticed it before and neither had David. It was a Friday so I figured I’d call the following week if they weren’t better by then. Well, Monday I forgot to call so I called Tuesday. The vet had his surgery day that day or whatever so they asked us to bring him in at 7:30 the next morning. We dropped him off the next day and later that afternoon they called and I assumed they were telling me to come get him, but it was the vet, and not the secretary, so I knew it wasn’t good. He said he thought he had lymphoma and by the looks of it, it was already pretty advanced and aggressive since he had just been seen there not long ago and there weren’t any signs of it before. He said he was sending the labs out and they should be back the following Monday and we’d make plans from there. In the meantime, we picked up a vitamin for him because his blood work wasn’t great. When I picked him up from the vet that day we stopped at McDonald’s for a cheeseburger because #dogbucketlist.

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Monday came and I missed the call during dinner with the lab results so we called Tuesday morning and the labs confirmed he had lymphoma. We didn’t really have many options. Stewart already had heart problems that are typical in his breed and he was almost 11. The vet said chemo would maybe give him 2-3 months, but we already knew we weren’t going to go that route. Instead, he gave him a steroid that he said should help Stewy feel pretty normal for another month or so. So we picked that up and started it on Tuesday. Stewart was still acting pretty normal for the most part and just seemed a little lethargic. David went out of town Wednesday and that’s when the decline started. By Thursday I had to pick him up to go to the bathroom because he couldn’t really walk anymore. We decided we would call the vet in the morning and see what we should do. We wanted him to be comfortable and that was really all that mattered at that point.

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After David and I had that conversation we all went and hung out with him in our room on the floor. He didn’t really even notice we were there. I know this because he really doesn’t like the girls and he didn’t care that they were near him or touching him at all. These 20 minutes where I took these pictures are probably the most contact they ever had with him and it’s funny to us because they think he was the best. dog. ever. The girls always got so excited if he licked them or let them touch him. We just never told them he only licked them because there was food on their face. :) When I got Stewy, David and I talked about he would be around when we had kids and how that was so cool. I had visions of a much sweeter dog/child relationship, but I get it. We rocked his world the day we brought Kennedy home and he wasn’t happy about it.

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Back to the story, that night it went from bad to worse and we stayed up with him trying to decide what to do. At about 3 am he barked randomly and I knew he was done. I tried to give him some water and then I called the emergency vet. He peed all over me while I was holding him. I put his bed in a laundry basket and laid him down with some blankets and David carried him to the car. I stayed with the girls and David went to the vet. We were both so afraid to make the call to put him down, but the vet told us she didn’t think he would have made it through the night. That gave us peace of mind at least.

He would have turned 11 last week. The girls still talk about how they miss him and the other day Kennedy was letting Lexi in the back door and was calling for Stewart to come in and we had to remind her that he’s not here anymore. Stewart Gilligan, Stewy, Stew-Stew… thank you for the cuddles, the endless amounts of pee that I can now laugh about, and every other memory I have of you. Thanks for being patient with me and taking that backseat to the girls, but always being ready to step back in when I was there. We’ll miss you.

#3 is here!

She’s here! Her arrival was nothing like I was hoping or anticipating, but she’s here and now that’s all that matters. She also has a name… her middle name was decided while I was in labor so nothing like waiting until the last minute.

My littlest baby girl is named Holland Taylor Donaldson. Kennedy has decided her name is “H-cha” or maybe “ate-cha”, but she’s coming around to the name Holland.

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She was born Saturday, June 25th, at 10:07 in the morning. She weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 20.75″ at birth. Kennedy and Reese are head over heels for her and they love to help. I’ll get to her birth story at some point, but I wanted to announce her arrival first:)

Baby #3 |38 and 39 Weeks|

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Musings on the Weekly Photo(s):
– swelling. so. much. swelling. I don’t know whose legs those are, but they’re not mine.
– I really need to figure out what wordpress is doing to these pictures…
– At least there is one picture where Reese proves my kids wear regular clothes sometimes and aren’t either naked or in a princess dress all the time.

Marination Time: 39 weeks

Fruit of the Week/Size of #3:
This week she is the size of a pumpkin or mini watermelon (6.2 to 9.2 pounds and measures about 18.9 to 20.9 inches)

-We had our growth/position/fluid check ultrasound and they had her measuring in the 40% at 6.6 lbs at 38 weeks.

Movement: Yep and she was perfectly positioned at the ultrasound so yay for not having a breech, transverse, or posterior baby. Finally.

Cravings:
-nothing really

Symptoms:
– lots of braxton hicks
– I lost my legs/ankles this week thanks to the ridiculous heat/humidity we got all the sudden. It’s not a pretty situation so she can come out now.

Labor Signs: still at home so nothing that’s sending me to the hospital yet. At least not when I wrote this post.

What I Miss:
– having a full range of motion, but I can deal with it for another few days at this point

Sidenotes/Highlights
– She’s still a girl! I still have people stopping me everywhere to tell me it’s a boy, but now I have 2 ultrasounds that say otherwise.
– Her room is almost done and I’m pretty excited. It might be my favorite of the 3 nurseries…
– Pretty sure she has a name now… the middle name might still be up in the air. I think we’re going to wait to announce it until she’s here though I’m kind of over people’s opinions this pregnancy, but that could be a whole post of it’s own.

Baby #3 |35-37 Weeks|

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Musings on the Weekly Photo(s):
– I don’t even know anymore… my posture is kind of terrible in week 35.

Marination Time: 37 weeks

Fruit of the Week/Size of #3:
This week she is the size of a head of romaine lettuce (18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs 6.2 to 9.2 pounds)

Movement: Yep.

Cravings:
– none really…

Symptoms:
– I’ve done pretty well as far as swelling goes, but we ate really bad over the weekend so I think my sodium was crazy and by Sunday night I had elephant legs. Anyways, it’s back to normal now.

Labor Signs: starting to have some, but nothing that’s about to send me to the hospital

What I Miss:
– Same as usual, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel so it’s not so bad anymore.

Sidenotes/Highlights
– I’m still measuring behind and at my last appointment they couldn’t figure out how she was laying so I have an ultrasound set up for my next appointment. It’ll be nice to see her and to double check she’s a girl because no one believes she’s a she. Really… it’s annoying.
– I’m making some progress in the nursery! It probably won’t be finished until after she gets here, but all the work will be done and I’ll just have decorating type stuff to finish up I think.

Baby #3 |33 and 34 Weeks|

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Musings on the Weekly Photo(s):
– there isn’t a 33 week picture… and I’m pretty excited to have something other than a number on my chalkboard

Marination Time: 34 weeks

Fruit of the Week/Size of #3:
This week she is the size of a butternut squash (4.2 to 5.8 pounds and 17.2 to 18.7 inches.)

Movement: She’s still either transverse or breech, depending on her mood, so I have feet coming out of my sides pretty regularly and it hurts.

Cravings:
– sushi. I had a weird sushi experience and I couldn’t finish eating it. I didn’t want it at all for a while, but now I want it again.
– guacamole. I make it every. day. If I don’t eat it for lunch I make it at dinner even if it doesn’t go with our meal at all.

Symptoms:
– heartburn
– can’t breathe when I’m laying down
– I guess I’m nesting. I cleaned the baseboards the other day and I decided that they needed to be painted. Right then. My kid doesn’t have a room, but my baseboards look so nice.
– I don’t feel hungry much and I’m full pretty quick.

Labor Signs: none yet, but the BH contractions have definitely picked up

What I Miss:
– Being able to sleep our normal way. Usually, I sleep on my stomach and David has one leg kind of over me… I don’t know if that makes any sense. That’s super uncomfortable right now obviously so we’re both annoyed with our sleeping situation. He can’t complain too much though because I’ve at least stopped using the snoogle.

Sidenotes/Highlights
– The walls in her room are painted so I can actually say that I finally started the nursery.
– The girls came to my appointment last week and my super sweet midwife let them use the doppler and took pictures for me. I’m not usually a fan of showing off a pregnant stomach, but the pictures were cute. Clearly the bump hasn’t seen the sun in a long time.

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Baby #3 |31 and 32 Weeks|

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Musings on the Weekly Photo(s):
– Totally normal to have blue chalk hands on my clothes and again with the yarn hair.

Marination Time: 32 weeks

Fruit of the Week/Size of #3:
This week she is the size of a head of lettuce (2.5 to 3.8 pounds and 15.2 to 16.7 inches.)

Movement: Yep. So the other day I felt her do this huge roll which was really unpleasant and I told David I felt like she was trying to stand up. She was moving the rest of the day and most of the night and at my appointment the next day the midwife said she had turned and wasn’t head down anymore. She might have already turned back because today I’ve felt some pretty strong kicks in my ribs, but I dunno what she’s doing in there.

Cravings:
– sushi and ham.

Symptoms:
– I’ve got a couple of spots where I’ve gotten these spider veins on my legs and the other day Reese said, “mommy, why do you have spiders on your legs.” Fingers crossed these go away.
– I’m officially doing the roll off the bed move otherwise I’m just not getting up

Labor Signs: none yet…

What I Miss:
– energy… I actually asked my midwife to check my labs to make sure I wasn’t low on iron or there wasn’t some magic vitamin I could take to make me a little less tired, but that’s just life with a 2 and 3-year-old when you’re super pregnant I guess.

Sidenotes/Highlights
– Last Saturday a couple of my friends took me to lunch and we had a little “sprinkle.” Loved hanging out with them and we were all kid-free (except for Erin who has a newborn) so that made it that much nicer.

Snip Snip

It’s like a cardinal parenting rule:  Should your kid become too quiet go figure out what they did wrong, broke, painted, or in my case CUT.

So, one day back in February I was sitting in the living room, working on painting the headboards for the girl’s new room, during Reese’s nap.  Kennedy had been sitting with me, but she left and went into her room.  She doesn’t take naps anymore, but when Reese naps Kennedy is supposed to do quiet activities.  I didn’t think anything of the fact that she was being quiet, especially since Reese was asleep in there, and there isn’t anything she can’t play with in their room, BUT I should have known.

Kennedy had recently used a pair of scissors in one of her classes and cutting with scissors was her new favorite thing.  I didn’t want her using our big scissors, or any pair for that matter really, but I went and got her first pair of scissors, a preschool pair.  Earlier in the day, she had been practicing cutting out shapes at the kitchen table.  I had no idea the scissors were still out or when she got them, but when David went into her room to check on her she was sitting on her floor innocently cutting out shapes from paper.  It was time to wake up Reese anyways and I didn’t want her using them in her room by herself so I went in there.  I walked up to Reese to wake her up, brushed the hair off her face, and that’s when I saw it.  Little clumps of hair all. over. her. bed.   While Reese slept, Kennedy had played hair salon.

Immediately, I’m thinking 1000 things at once.  Why didn’t I check on her sooner?  We went over the NEVER cutting hair situation when we got the scissors… why did she cut her sister’s hair?!  Why did I ever mention cutting hair like that was even a possibility?  Poor Reesey… she hardly has any hair at all and she’s dying for long hair like her sister and now she looks like Rihanna with a half-shaved head.  The worst haircut ever.  All the feels.

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Anyways, I had to deal with the aftermath somehow so I debated 2 options.  Give her a pixie cut or trim it up to conceal it a little better and ride out the awkward.  I went with the second option because I felt terrible cutting off her hair when I know she wants it long.

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Luckily, her hair is so blonde that it was hidden a little more that way too, but the first few weeks were definitely awkward.

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Now, it’s been about 2 months and it looks so much better than it did that first day. Much less blunt and lucky for her, her hair is growing pretty quickly right now.


Kennedy realized what a bad idea the haircut was when she asked me to fix it and I explained that I couldn’t fix it.  My parents were coming to town the next day and she kept asking me over and over not to tell them that she cut Reese’s hair.  She was so anxious about them finding out.  I told her I wouldn’t tell them, but if they noticed we’d have to explain what happened.  She ended up just spilling the whole story about a minute after they walked in the door and you could tell she felt so much better that they knew. Sometimees Reese still tells people that Kennedy cut her hair or she’ll mention it to me when I brush it, but she wasn’t really phased by it at all.  I’m forever traumatized and not sure Kennedy or any of my children will ever use a pair of scissors again.

So that’s, that.  I think it’s the first sibling right of passage we’ve had at our house and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  Good luck, #3.