Happy 6 month birthday to Makenna!

Our precious little girl is 6 months old today and she was such a little angel today! She was up later than usual last night (like way later) but slept in until 8:15 this morning. Took a nice, long nap this afternoon and during her wake times, was just so much fun. Lots of smiling and talking... she's just too cute.

We have her 6 month appointment on Monday so I'll be curious to see what she weighs. I am guessing 18 or 19 pounds...she's a little chunker! Luke was 20, I believe. Here's an update on what she's doing these days:

*still not sleeping through the night consistently. Every once in a while, we get lucky. Had 3 nights in a row a couple of weeks ago but no matter how much we try and replicate that night, we can't get it to happen again.
*still nursing and it's finally going well. we had a rough go earlier on but with a lot of hard work and determination and herbs and a prescription and lots of pumping (phew) we are finally in a more consistent routine. and i would be okay if i never saw a pump again. :)
*started some solid foods but her sensitive tummy hasn't responded well. She enjoys eating and actually has done quite well with the spoon feeding but I'm going to hold off until we see the pediatrician to ask some questions about her tummy's response.
*she's just about sitting up all by herself.
*she still only has 2 teeth but I'm pretty sure I felt another one coming through the gum. We've had a couple of rough days and nights accompanied by yucky diapers and a low fever here and there sooooooo.... if that's not proof enough...
*she LOVES Luke. She just lights up when he's around. It's actually quite helpful. :)
*she also LOVES her daddy. It's so cute how excited she gets when Jeff gets home from work.
*she loves to watch Mooshu too but hasn't shown the same amount of excitement... yet.
*anything & everything goes into the mouth.
*she's talking a lot. She has muttered "ba ba ba" and "da da da" the most.
*she laughs a lot. We can get a good chuckle going and it's absolutely precious.
*we are still swaddling her with one arm in. I know, I know.
*she naps pretty well... at least two naps per day, sometimes 3. One of these naps will usually last around 2 hours. Funny thing though, and this happened with Luke too... she usually wakes up 30 minutes into it and we have to go in and rock her again back to sleep. We figured this out after getting her up and unswaddling her as if nap time were over only to have her be completely cranky and rubbing her eyes. The efforts that go into nap times some days ... well... there should be awards for these sorts of things!
*her personality is actually quite cute. She's pretty happy most of the time, she can be very loud and she can also be very mellow. She's expressive in that we usually know when she's hungry or tired or needs a change of scenery but unlike Luke, she's been easy (for the most part) to figure out.

We are blessed to have two beautiful children and although some (or most some weeks) days are challenging, we have a lot of great laughs and know that these moments will be gone in the blink of an eye. I try to remind myself when my grace meter is low that God chose me to be the mommy to these two little ones and I have a lot of opportunity to show them love and grace every single day. This has been an adjustment for all of us but all in all, I couldn't love my family more!



Hello! My Name is....

Ahhhhh... !! Where have we been?! I know, I know... it's been way too long. Especially when we have two sweet ones to keep you informed about. Well I can't promise I'll be back more frequently but I'll do my best to try. :)

So, our last post, Makenna was about a month old and now she's 4 1/2 months old. Crazy! She has been rolling over for quite some time, has two teeth, babbles, blows raspberries, jumps like crazy in her jumperoo and I think will be sitting up and crawling before we know it. It's amazing how quickly they develop. She has had a hard time teething, which of course translates to interesting days/nights for her mommy & daddy. But aside from that, she is the sweetest little thing and we just love her to pieces. She is still not sleeping through the night but most nights is only up once to eat and most nights will settle back to sleep fairly easily, keeping me up only about a half hour or so. We do, however, have a night or two a week where it's much longer or she's up really early or she's up several times a night. It seems to be getting more consistent though. Her napping is pretty good. It'll definitely be easier when it isn't as frequent. She WILL fall asleep in the car which is great, Luke never would. But she naps longer at home in her swing so of course I prefer that. Her "long" nap is usually in the afternoon during Luke's nap so I've been fairly lucky that that has fallen into place where it has. So a couple of short naps and one longer nap of around an hour and a half to two hours and then bedtime is around 7-ish.

Luke... our little parrot. He is just too fun right now! He had a rough first couple of months with Makenna becoming a part of our routine but he is absolutely so sweet with her now. He loves to greet her when she awakes from her naps, he loves to tickle her, swing her in her swing and whatever he can do to get her to smile. He truly adores when she smiles at him. It's very sweet. He is saying anything and everything so we have to watch what we say (he he). He's still very into garbage trucks, monster trucks, riding his bike and reading his books, not to mention Max & Ruby (ugh).

So life with two: In many ways, it's harder and in many ways, easier. Harder: I have NO time. For anything. It's getting better and more balanced but it's been a tough reality for me. Washing my hair once a week, unable to connect with friends/family the way I would like to, limited computer/phone time, too tired to exercise, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, cleaning my house, LAUNDRY, LAUNDRY AND MORE LAUNDRY, eating, peeing and even napping. The days I finally get to the point of laying down for a nap are the days Makenna decides to sleep for like 30 minutes. I know, right? My grace meter tends to empty more quickly on the days Makenna's not napping as well or her teeth are bothering her. And Luke's misbehavior can get to me more quickly too. Some days I feel like maybe we were meant to have only one? And other days I feel like supermom... those easier days: naps fall into place, we've made it to nap time with no tantrums or time outs, we've run an errand and it's gone smoothly or we've gone to the park and left happily. Then I came home, folded the laundry, tidied the house and made dinner. Or maybe this only happened one day. Or maybe I dreamt it. :) However it happened, it felt good. :)

Anyhoo, of course I could go on and on because it's been so long but I'll try and come back sooner with another update. I'll have to let you know how their dedication went at church and how Luke did when we took his pacifier away and with his "big boy bed" transition and what Makenna's percentiles are... she's a chunk! :) Lots to still share...

Below are some recent photos...


Luke meets Makenna:

Makenna at 2 months:

Makenna at 3 months:

Luke and Makenna:

Luke helping daddy mow the grass:

Luke in Palm Springs having so much fun at an indoor arcade:

Luke, at almost 2 1/2, the day of his dedication:


The Big Four

Well it's been almost 4 weeks for this family of 4. We are still adjusting to life with a newborn and a toddler but all in all, it's gone better than I thought it would. Luke has been SO much more accepting of his little sister and has been trying to "help" mommy & daddy with certain responsibilities involving her. He likes to help push her in the swing, pat her back for burps, turn her light on in her room if we're going in there, hold her bottle when she has one... it's pretty cute and although it's not much, this has been pretty exciting for us to see. Now if I can just get him to not help me put her down for naps... somehow that never gets done quietly! :) He does cry sometimes when she cries.. not so fun for us, especially for mommy and especially when we're in the car. I try not to ask him to do something quietly because it seems to encourage him to make more noise. I might revisit this in a couple of weeks or even momths. We'll see. I think some of this is related to his not feeling well. Sadly, Luke got sick the first week we were home from the hospital and again this past week. It seemed to be just a 24 hour of something but he had a very high fever with the chills both times. So strange (and heartbreaking) but we're just praying that was the last of it. And we're grateful that nothing passed on to little Makenna.

And speaking of "little"... we may not be calling her that for too much longer! She's definitely getting a bit "chunky" ... it's quite adorable! She's finally fitting her newborn size clothing and I'm sure will soon move up a size. She's eating and sleeping well for the most part although it's been quite tough to keep her awake for her feedings and I think that's been affecting her sleeping during the night. And she's also been keeping us up with her grunting. We did not experience this with Luke but from what the doctor said, as well as some of my other mommy friends, this is normal. Boy is it loud. But Jeff & I both agree that if that's our challenge with her, we'll take it! She doesn't really cry and once she gets out what she's grunting about, it's peaceful again. But it does take a while and we're not quite sure why it tends to happen in the middle of the night... what about 4:00 in the afternoon? Please? :) I'll have to video it one of these nights for you to give you an idea.

We had forgotten how quickly these little ones change! Makenna has been smiling for the past week now and she is holding her head up as well. She's definitely strong like Luke was. She enjoys her baths ... when she gets them... :) Funny how baby #1 gets a bath every night and #2 is lucky to have one in a week's time! She still smells good though so we're not too worried about it. :) Like her older brother, she does not like her carseat, but unlike Luke, she will fall asleep in it. We'll see how long that lasts. Not much more to report .. she's leading a pretty repetitive life consisting of eating, sleeping, pooping and smiling so far. Oh and grunting too. :)

Life for us as husband and wife has once again been dramatically changed. It's definitely an adjustment going from one to two kiddos and so we are learning new routines and trying to give Luke the love and attention he needs and deserves while we continue to get to know Makenna and learn how to parent her. I've been lucky that they've napped at the same time most days (so far) but some days, Makenna just wants to sleep on me and some days, Luke only naps for an hour. Most days, I'm lucky to get a shower in before our day starts or get out the door at all. And this dishes stay dirty longer than I would like and the laundry sits for days before getting washed and then a few more days before it's folded but we're still working on finding that balance of what works best for us. I mean, it's only been four weeks, right? :)

Here's the latest picture of Makenna taken by one of my most thoughtful, talented friends, Steph. For not being a "professional" photographer, she sure takes some awesome photos. And in addition to that talent, we are excited that she is creating Makenna's birth announcement. Stay tuned for that! :)


We'd like you to meet....

our little Makenna. Makenna Evelyn Hepting joined our family at 11:55 a.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 7 lbs 2 oz and 19.5 inches long. She is absolutely precious and we have really been enjoying getting to know her. So far, she has been pretty relaxed. She's eating really well and sleeping a lot (gotta love the first weeks of life with a newborn!). We were in the hospital from Tuesday through Friday since she was delivered by c-section. We were hoping and praying for a vaginal delivery but we knew all along it was in God's hands and for some reason that He only knows, she wasn't meant to arrive the way we were hoping. But in all honesty, this experience has been FAR better than what I went through with Luke. Perhaps because I didn't labor at all beforehand and so it was easier on my body but whatever the reason, my recovery has been much, much easier. Praise God for that.

Many have asked how we arrived at the name "Makenna". To some of our friends and family, this is a name they've never heard of. All I can say is that we both had heard of the name and we just really liked it. We decided to go against the most common spelling which is "McKenna" only because it made us think of the menu at McDonald's but either way we went, we knew it'd never get spelled correctly anyhow. I think it's just one of "those" names. :) The middle name we chose, "Evelyn", is my grandma's name and since we chose a family name from Jeff's side for Luke's middle name (Henry), we really wanted to honor my side of the family as well. My grandma is very special to me so I am really happy that she has a "normal" name for us to use. :) It will be a meaningful moment when we can share with Luke and Makenna who their middle names are named after.

We have had two doctor appointments since leaving the hospital. Makenna is gaining weight very well and is in the 33rd percentile. Luke was always in the high 90's so it is just amazing to us how tiny she is! When we left the hospital, she was 6 lbs 10 oz. At her first dr. appointment, she was 7 lbs and one week later, she was 13 ounces heavier! Her doctor said she definitely had a growth spurt! She's still such a little peanut but you can definitely tell that her cheeks are filling out.

Luke is adjusting pretty well. We've had some challenges but almost three weeks into this and I can see a huge difference. He's warming up to Makenna and will actually go near her now... and touch her. He had asked to hold her a couple of times when she first came home but quickly changed his mind and would pull away from her. I could tell he was hurt by me too as he didn't really want to cuddle with me at all and wanted Jeff to do everything for and with him. It definitely hurt me as it's been an adjustment for me too (and I have crazy hormones :) but I know he doesn't understand. It breaks my heart when he asks something of me that simply isn't possible due to Makenna. We're getting into a groove though. Jeff has been working from home the past two weeks but goes back to the office on Monday. I am dreading it!!

Many of you may have seen this already, but if you haven't, you can click here to see the slideshow the hospital provided. Makenna is 2 days old here. The password is AZS121610bMakenna .