Friday, September 18, 2009

Third Time's a...

...I'd really love to say charm, honestly. And although my labour was far quicker this go around, I can't say it was any easier the third time. In fact, Caleb had to be coerced into the world, as he was comfy and snug in the womb with no sign of vacating the premises (despite many attempts to evict him...).

So I'll spare the gory details - we women all have our labour/delivery stories - but I had to be induced in order to deliver Caleb, which was an altogether different, and might I add intense, experience. I was rather overdue by that point, though I'm not entirely certain of how many days since the doctors never really agreed on a "due date" per se. And so after only 5.5 hours of labour, including the time I was induced and the drug took effect, Caleb Cameron Rebelo finally entered this world!
Caleb weighed in at 8 lbs. 7 oz., 20 inches in length - the middle weight and length of my three boys. He was close to being born on 09/09/09, but neither of us were willing to wait another day at that point! He's been home now for 10 days, and this morning I took him to the Well Baby Clinic to weigh him and he's up to 8 lbs. 12.5 oz., which is great because he left on the 10th at 7 lbs. 13 oz. So as far as feeding, he's doing well. He's not the greatest nurser - mostly in terms of latching - but we're making progress, and he's the most content of the three, going usually 3.5-4 hours between feedings. His nights are getting slightly better, though we've a long way to go before I see solid sleep again, that I know! (What is the trick, Juliana?!)
The older two absolutely adore him - they're constantly wanting to kiss him and hold him. They love to lie down beside him, and are the first to inform me when he's awake, as they're desperate for another playmate. So far they haven't been too possessive of mommy, and in fact they've been incredibly understanding of mommy's need to attend to Caleb's needs first. KNOCK ON WOOD! They seem, so far, to be proud big brothers.
As for handling three, so far it hasn't been that bad. We've not had to adjust our routine too much, since Caleb mostly eats and sleeps during the day, save for a few moments of wakefulness spread throughout the day. He's been a fantastic baby so far, and though I know it will be harder as he grows older, particularly in a few months' time, I'm very blessed to have such wonderful children. I know I said I'd be disappointed if I never had a little girl, but I wouldn't trade my three boys for anything - they are the most precious things in the world.
Looking forward to sharing the next steps of our lives with three children under three (for awhile, at least...). Hope you enjoy reading the snippets of our adventures!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Backyardigans Story

On the long weekend of September we decided to take the boys to Storybook Gardens (which Isaiah called Backyardigans Story all day - likely confused because he's already pretty excited to attend the Backyardigans concert in October). We'd been meaning to go all summer, but many of our plans never materialized - we always seem to get busy doing nothing really. Anyhow, we ended up going with Stacey and her boys, Mateo and Sebastian, and our cousins: Janice and Shorty and their daughter Jasmine, too, which made for a better experience for the boys, I think!

Storybook hasn't really changed much over the years, as I haven't been there since my own childhood. The play equipment is much advanced, and the kids took advantage of the great day to play on three different sets. Both of them are fairly skilled at climbing and sliding, but it was a full time job trying to follow them around and make sure they were safe, particularly as the park was rather busy. Braylon and Isaiah both loved the slides, and climbing the different levels.
As for the animals, the boys were pretty excited to see the different "attractions" - though I'd say the variety and numbers aren't by any means impressive, even for a toddler. Braylon has a fascination for ducks right now, so he was the first to notice them all wading in the mucky water. The peacocks were a hit too, as were the three seals (even though they never did surface on the rocks for a good picture).
The new feature - the splash pad - was of far greater interest, especially as it was a hot day. Well, that is for all the kids except Braylon. He's very cautious by nature, so he was reluctant to be convinced of its advantages. Daddy tried to coax him in, and got pretty wet in the process, but Braylon wanted none of the unexpected sprays. Eventually he was entertained in a "limited spray" area, but Isaiah and his cousins were running around through the water all afternoon!
The boys are, thankfully, relatively easy to please as well. Even though Braylon wanted nothing to do with the water, he was easily entertained in the stroller. He finds the smallest things hilarious, and his laugh is something I wish I could bottle and store for years. It is the most adorable sound. I kept him busy in the shade (since I was 11 days overdue at that point), tickling him and whatnot. He is such a ham!
Isaiah was thankfully easily coerced out of his wet clothes since he has a genuine affection for his cousin Jasmine, and wanted to dote on her for awhile. So that allowed us to get ready to finish the route through the park...
...which we finished off with the typical picture with Humpty Dumpty.
Afterward we took them over for a train ride, which of course was a favourite too. The boys were first in line, watching intently as the train made its way round the course, anxious for it to return and pick them up. Both of them were happy to ride 'round the park, except of course when Braylon caught sight of the geese (which he still calls ducks too, since we go to the conservation area on a regular basis to feed the ducks here, where there are both ducks and geese). At that point, he wanted off that train to chase the geese (which always makes me incredibly nervous because I don't trust geese at all...).
This is Braylon exclaiming repeatedly, "Duckies, duckies, duckies!" and then chasing after them!
All in all it was a great day, and the boys were happy to get out of our normal every day routine. Hopefully now that Caleb has arrived (which I'll blog about soon, I promise) we can still get out and do things, as the boys really enjoy new adventures!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Swimming Lessons

For two weeks during the month of August the boys, along with their cousins Mateo and Jasmine, were in swimming lessons for 1/2 an hour each day. They really enjoyed the time in the pool, save for having to do things on their backs or with a life jacket, and I didn't even mind having to sport a maternity bathing suit for 2 weeks straight since by that time summer had finally arrived (though it has long since vanished). And although by the end it had become somewhat repetitive by nature (singing the same songs in a circle, rocketship glides, starfish floats, etc.), that's what practicing skills is like (so they'd best get used to it since daddy expects all three to be professional hockey players!). Anyhow, just thought I'd post a few pictures of their time in the pool (hopefully we'll have our own one day, but for now we've signed them up for lessons again next summer).
Here they are on day one, "painting" their bodies with water in order to ease them into the pool (which most days was refreshing since we lucked out with warm weather):
Of course we couldn't help but capture some back work (Braylon nearly ripped my earrings out each time, he dreaded back starfish float):
Isaiah didn't mind the life jacket so much, though by the second week he wasn't fond of having to swim with the instructor as he'd long since learned mommy was in the pool with Braylon and he should have a chance with mommy too:
Both boys loved jumping in off the side, quite possibly Braylon's favourite thing to do. He would leap like nothing and if you didn't help him back up quickly to jump in again, you'd better watch out! Here are a few pics of them jumping:
And we played a few familiar games, such as drip-drip-drop:
Overall it was worth the money we paid for them to just get in and used to the pool, beginning to learn the basics. It will be hard to practice in our inflatable pool with 1' of water, but hopefully by next year we'll notice a difference when we get them in swimming!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Play equipment

This summer, the boys have been obsessed with play equipment. It's been nice to get them outside to enjoy the equipment we (and many of our family and friends helped) purchased for them in our backyard, but they've also been able to use some town equipment sets too - here in Strathroy as well as in Grand Bend.

Braylon favours swinging, though he quickly mastered climbing the stairs so as to go down the slide. Isaiah learned quickly from the neighbour girls how to do things the "big kids" do, like climb up the slide barefoot. He's a master of the rock wall and has little fear of steep slides. We'll have to keep an eye on him! Both of them thoroughly enjoy spending time in the sandbox too, though I can't say I prefer when the majority of the time is spent there simply because they're very dirty boys when they're done playing, and if you know me you know I'm a neat freak. Anyhow, I thought I'd post a few pictures of them sliding and swinging - they had a playdate with their cousins yesterday on our equipment but I haven't loaded the pictures we took.

Here's Braylon ready for take-off down the slide at Strathroy's new equipment:

And big brother Isaiah is starting to show interest in the "activities" on the equipment there:

Isaiah is launching off down the slide on our equipment:

As Braylon follows suit:

Playing together in the sandbox:

Isaiah is quick to pick up what the big kids are doing:

Teeter-tottering together:

Going down the twirly slide:

Due Date #2

No wonder they call it expecting... for all three pregnancies, I've expected to go into labour much earlier than I have... or will in this case. I'm now officially at due date #2: September 1, and there is no baby in sight. Of course, as is typical for my cervix, I am closed. Not that that means a great deal - I'm not one of those types of women who dilate weeks in advance. In fact, with both past pregnancies I showed absolutely no sign of starting to labour the day before. So there is some sense of hope left that I will not be having a mid-September baby; Caleb could potentially still make an appearance today in fact. However, yesterday I had a stretch and sweep done, as I was apparently "favourable" despite being closed, and yet there's still no Caleb in sight (I'll spare you the details, but it's supposed to work in about 10% of women... apparently I'm not so fortunate to be one of those lucky few). I've a feeling all three boys will make a record with their 10 day late arrivals... just a hunch.
It's funny... I'm really not a superstitious person, nor do I believe in the moons (yes, Tia Connie, I know you're likely going to be right regardless in that he won't come until Friday at the earliest) or any of that, but I do think he has reason to wait (besides that my womb is apparently a warm and cosy comfortable abode). That is because we don't have a middle name. We've yet to settle on one we both like, and Greg is stuck on a list of three that I'm not too fond of or I just don't feel suit this baby. Here's some of the ones I've looked up that I like, though none of them "speak" to me as "the" middle name to give him: Jaxen, Avery, Levi, Asher, Korbin, Halden, Emil, Milan, Rowan, Julian, Kaden, Nicolai, Ephraim, Ewen, Ayden, Malachi and Finley. I don't know... I like when the name flows well, but we're pretty darn stuck. Hence Caleb's reluctant attitude about joining us in person! :)
Anyhow, I'm hoping he decides to make a natural appearance rather than having to be induced, especially as SMGH favours drug inducement (though they're closed this weekend so should he decide to arrive on the long weekend we'll be travelling into London for the delivery). But I hate the waiting game. I'd love to know why our brains aren't able to tell our bodies when to have a baby (or at least be informed via the inhabitant of the womb when he is ready to make his appearance); it boggles my mind at how much we have absolutely no control over! How can I have no clue whatsoever when my labour will begin? It's my body!!
So I'm trying all the natural methods I can think of, save for castor oil, to get this labour started... the boys and I went for a nice long walk today to feed the ducks to see if gravity could play a hand, but as of now I'm feeling little else besides the same low pressure and the dying cramping effects of the stretch and sweep yesterday.
Oh well, soon enough we'll be a family of five (well, six if you count Raider... our fish have long since passed, by the way). I'll be sure to post as soon as it happens, so stay tuned!!