This can only be the work of true pumpkin-carving geniuses!
Tonight we carved "punks" as Taj calls them. He was more than happy to help as long as he didn't have to touch any pumpkin guts. He bludgeoned the guts to death with that aluminum straw and also did his best to carve with it. He had a lot more fun than I thought he would. I actually think we all had more fun than we thought we would:)
Enjoying the spoils of his wins at the carnival: a candy bracelet that he picked out himself with the tickets he won. He was very proud to show it to me too! Haiven all bundled up at the Halloween carnival:) A quick spin in the swing helped Taj to forget about the costume for long enough to enjoy an hour at the Halloween carnival. We thought we picked out a good costume for Taj considering he can't stand to have anything tied on him, have weird textures or pressures from his clothing, or to have anything on his head or face. We were wrong! It took three people to get Taj in this costume and the meltdown was epic! One of the best we've ever witnessed! I love this picture of Taj. It melts my heart every time I look at it and reminds me of the sweet little boy he really is even when he is not at his best:)
We are slowly settling into a routine around the Morse house and life is starting to look sunny once again. The first two weeks after having a baby are always hard for me. It definitely hasn't been easy adjusting to a newborn's schedule and figuring in a toddler's schedule as well. Taj has generally been doing pretty well with having Haiven around. He is very gentle with her and he loves to help me swaddle her, get her dressed, help her with her binky, and with getting me things. The tough part has been figuring out how to give Taj the attention he needs every day while taking care of a newborn. Our latest challenge has been with Taj taking off his diaper every time he goes peepee or poopoo. Naturally, the products of his diaper end up in and on various things/places in our house. I have been busy shooting our water bill through the roof with our washing machine and keeping companies like Clorox and Lysol in business for the past week. Part of me believes he is surely ready for potty training and part of me thinks he is doing it to get attention. I've tried duct taping his diaper on, but somehow he still gets his diaper off. Never underestimate what a toddler can do, especially a little boy! The tentative game plan for now is to slowly introduce the wonderful concept of going peepee and poopoo in the potty. I know I've already asked for potty training advice of Facebook, but if any of you bloggers have some good advice or resources that would help, please let me know! I'm feeling a little more than slightly overwhelmed with the idea of potty training and taking care of a newborn right now, but life cannot go on as it has been at our house any longer, otherwise I'm afraid our house will smell like a pet shop! As challenging as motherhood/parenthood can be, I'm still thankful at the end of each day for the wonderful blessing of children. Taj and Haiven are my life and I think I have a pretty sweet life!
Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I can use some positive vibes right now! I recently did a guest post for Shabby Apple's blog on the inspiration behind my line. Here is the link if you would like to check it out! http://blog.shabbyapple.com/
p.s. The only dress in the 65 collection that is not my design is Block Party. That is the fabulous creation of the Shabby Apple team:)
The first five dresses modeled on this ABC4 news segment are from my line.
I am so excited to announce the launch of my 1960s inspired vintage dress line with Shabby Apple! This has been a long time coming for me and it definitely has not been easy! There has been much stress, several sleepless nights, and many tears shed, BUT it has all been worth it. I have learned so much about the fashion industry and what it takes to turn simple sketches into an actual line of dresses. I have learned that it takes a lot of heart, hope, faith, prayers, and guts to see a dream through to the end. My line officially launches on the Shabby Apple website www.shabbyapple.com on October 21st, so if you like 1960s fashion, take a minute and check out what I've been working on the past year!
Haiven Mary Morse made her appearance on Monday this week, the 10th of October. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 4 oz. and measured 20 1/2 in. long. She weighed less than Taj did, but was a full inch longer than Taj was at his birth. I really hope she gets her daddy's long legs! She has a head full of long dark hair too, which I am loving:)
This labor could not have gone better compared to Taj's. I arrived at the hospital at 7:15 a.m. to check in and by 8:30 a.m. I had the IV going, the Pitocin started, and my water broke by the doctor. Things progressed pretty quickly, but I wanted to hold out on the epidural until I was at least dilated to a 5, since last time I had the epidural at a 2 and it took 12 hours to become complete. This time around I dilated to a 6 in about 4 hours and then I very much wanted an epidural. I am such a baby! Kudos to women who go without the epidural because there is no freaking way I could ever do it willingly! My whole body literally shook, I mean teeth chattering with every contraction. They were really intense while they were putting in the epidural and I held on to my mom and I think I nearly ripped the belt loops off her pants. Sorry mom! Brannon wasn't present for the epidural or the IV, so he showed up in time to basically watch the baby come, which was great because we didn't need him passing out again:) I had the epidural for one hour before I felt A LOT of pressure in the nether regions. By 1:33 p.m. we were meeting our sweet baby girl. I pushed about 20 minutes this time versus 2 hours last time. It was wonderful to get it over with so quickly! Another HUGE plus was that I didn't have any tears or require an episiotomy. So my labor this time around was about 5-6 hours, with Taj it was 14 hours, obviously a tremendous improvement! I stayed one night in the hospital and since all was well with both me and Haiven, we got to go home the next day. So far she has been a really great baby. She basically eats and sleeps all day and all night as well. I usually only have to get up twice in the night to feed her and then she goes right back to sleep. Another great thing about our sweet baby girl is that she is a champ at breastfeeding. I never really got to do that with Taj, so I'm glad that I get to experience that with her, although I never knew it would hurt so badly! For some reason every time she first latches on and the pain is really intense, the words "Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!" go through my mind. At this point I have scabs and am bleeding, so you can imagine what it feels like to reopen a wound about every two hours every day. My mom says it will get better soon and I'm really hoping that proves true!
Taj is also loving his new baby sister. He always points to her says, "Awww, my baby!" He loves to try and help by giving his sister her pacifier, or giving her a push in the swing, or by sharing his blanket and stuffed animal of the day with her. He loves to pet and tickle her head, which is his idea of being "soft." Really though, we are all very surprised with how much interest he has in her. We thought he would think she was neat and then go on back to whatever it was he was doing. When he wakes up in the morning and from his naps, the first thing he says is "My baby" and he takes off running to find her. I know he will be such a good big brother to her. I think the biggest challenge with this baby is going to be balancing my time between the baby and Taj. I am just going to have to make mommy and Taji time every day.
I am so blessed to have such good family and a great husband. My mom has stayed the week with us to help me get back on my feet. She has been an enormous help with Taj and with keeping the house put together and our stomachs full. Taj will certainly not be the only one sad to see her go back home, but I know my dad and youngest brother are dying to have her back as they've been eating freezer burnt chicken and whatever else my dad could manage to find in the cupboards. I think they even attempted to have the house cleaned up for when she returns, but as my dad pulled a groin muscle vacuuming (who knew that was possible?!), who knows how far they were able to get:) It's been great to have my mom here and I know the next week or two may be a little rough until we find a new routine. Brannon has been a great help as well. He spends every evening one on one with Taj so that Taj doesn't feel as though we don't pay him enough attention. He also takes care of Taj's bedtime and bathtime routine, which is a big relief. I'm so thankful I don't have to raise two kids on my own and I'm so thankful I have such a wonderful, helpful, and patient husband!
Taj turned the big 0-3 this week and just in time too! Still no baby yet, so we were able to have a small family party and celebrate with too many presents and overindulgence in Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcakes. Taj will not eat cake, but he will at least hold a cupcake and lick the frosting off the top, so we thought cupcakes were the way to go. Taj was VERY spoiled this year by his family. I was so excited to give him a bike for his birthday, but he couldn't have cared less about it as he favored the Hot Wheels Big Wheel from his Auntie Terri and the remote control car and Radio Flyer wagon from my parents. So back in the shed the bike will go until we see some warm weather again. I can't believe my little boy is 3 now! It seems as though I just had him! Some good news about Taj is that he is talking more and more now and we are seeing A LOT more of his personality that his language barrier has kept hidden away. All I know is that I think the "Terrible Twos" were just a precursor to the "Terrifically Terrible Threes." I know I just have to tell myself to enjoy this phase of life because it will soon be over. We are thankful for our little Taj man though and how unboring our life is every day because of him. I know he is going to be a great big brother:)
After the big celebration I did some major mall walking to try to induce labor, but little Haiven is content where she's at. So once more I have the house cleaned top to bottom (thanks to the help of my mom and Brannon), the laundry done, and the cupboards and fridge stocked and ready to go. Tomorrow we are meeting our baby girl for sure and life is about to get a little or most likely a lot chaotic!
I love this picture. He is a little apprehensive about what I am doing making him stand against a wall and why we are here in the first place. As you can see he is clutching his little truck pretty hard:)
Today was Taj's first day of preschool. I am actually posting this with my free time while he is at school. It's such a strange feeling to be at home alone without Taj running all over the place. It's so quiet....not sure yet how I feel about that yet. I think I may come to find that I will like having a couple hours of breathing time. I am really anxious to see how Taj does today. He seemed pretty excited to go to school and as soon as I walked him through the door to his classroom, he didn't even look back for me. He really is my big boy now!
Today we celebrated Grandpa and Grandma Morse's birthdays. Grandpa is going to be the big 8-0 and Grandma the big 8-3. They both have October birthdays, so usually the family gets together to celebrate. I've been thankful that I've had time to get to know them and claim them as my own grandparents. They have certainly made me feel as one of their own and I've learned many priceless life lessons from them. Brannon has wonderful family on both sides. I really lucked out in in-laws! ;)
So still no baby yet, but I'm not freaking out as much as I was about two days ago. I've decided what my problem is: I am trying to have absolutely every little thing done before the baby comes, almost as if the world is going to stop when she is born. I set myself up to be overwhelmed, so I've been reminding myself every hour of every day that life will go on, that I won't be totally incapacitated when the baby comes, that I will still be able to go out and run errands and go to the gym and go to the park, etc. I guess I was just trying to be so prepared that I wouldn't really have to do anything but survive for the first two weeks. Lucky for me my mom is able to come and stay for a week and Brannon will take some work off after that, so I should survive just fine!
p.s. Anyone have an natural ways to induce labor that worked for them? This is just me getting desperate...have mercy....the picture above clearly conveys my suffering!