Two Weeks Ago ...

... we had a little baby girl and our family of four grew to a wonderful and blessed family of five! Happy Two Week Birthday, Katelyn!

Tummy Time - Katelyn practices "downward dog" (with her bum in the air) and "sun salutation" (raising her upper body towards the sun).
Collin beat Owen to the punch Saturday morning and snuggled with Kate while I brushed my teeth to head downstairs. Then he held her while I got his and Owen's morning milk:
Sunday morning the three kids played together! Well, sort of ... Katelyn was the official. *Collin proclaimed he was Captain Hook for the morning, went upstairs and dressed himself, and played all morning in his pirate hat and snow boots. : )
We had hoped to hit the Farmer's Market Saturday, but the curious April weather vacillated from snow, to rain, to sun pockets all weekend (we awoke this morning to a blanket of snow for the third day in a row, but it's gorgeous and sunny and the ground is dry outside right now!) Sunday warmed so much that Kevin and Owen went outside (without jackets even), mowed the lawn, trimmed the edges, and played in the sandbox!


Happy Friday!

DAY ELEVEN (Yesterday's Pic)
Katelyn had her two-week well-child exam yesterday (a few days early since she was only 11 days old), and everything checked out beautifully! By the time we left the hospital last week, she'd gone down to 8 pounds, 2 ounces from her birth weight of 8 pounds, 9 ounces. Yesterday, she was back up and over her birth weight, weighing in at 8 pounds, 12 ounces! (75%) Woohoo!!

She also grew and inch and a half! What?! I asked the doctor about this, and he assured me that more likely she was 21 inches at birth, but the nurse was "too kind" and didn't want to stretch her out to get a more accurate measurement. He said depending on which nurse does the measurements in his office, babies tend to grow and shrink a few times in the first 2 months! ; ) So, yesterday, she was 21.25 inches long! (90%)

Her head, more accurately measured but not without room for error, measured in the 45%.

We're hoping to take a family outing to the Farmer's Market tomorrow, but the weatherman is calling for snow. Plus, still recovering from the c-section, I am reluctant to be out walking too long (the Market is only a quarter of a block long, so it's mostly the walk to and from the car, I suppose). Nonetheless, the trips to my doctor's visit Wednesday and Kate's doctor's visit Thursday really tired me out! I was truly shocked - and wondering when I'll be up for a walk around the block or a run around Lake Padden again! I'm ready to get active - it's been too many months! (And it's time to lose this "blubber" - is that what he called it, Shana?!)

At any rate, I'm feeling better and better each day. So, unless the snow hits hard, I imagine we'll make it out, and you can bet I'll post pics!

BTW - What's up with snow, 80 degrees, then snow again - all within three weeks?? In April!


Father and Daughter

It's clear looking at Kevin's baby photos where Katelyn got her thick infant hair! I was born nearly as bald as they come, and, much like Owen, remained relatively bald for many months of the first year! Collin had a few more wisps than Owen and I, but nothing compared to Kevin and Katelyn!

Owen's Outpatient Surgery

A week before Kate joined our family, we spent a morning at St. Joe's Outpatient Surgery Center, where Owen had tubes put in his ears and fluid drained from behind his eardrums. Let me back up ...

Owen is a true trooper. We hardly ever hear a fuss when he's ill, and we have never known when he's had an ear infection. In fact, twice when we were at the doctor's office for routine visits, we learned that he was suffering ear infections. One time, we were even told that on a scale of 1-10 (10 being worst), he was experiencing no less than a 7. And yet, he showed no signs at all. What a trooper.

Then at his two-year check-up in January, we learned that Owen had fluid behind his eardrums. The pediatrician asked us many questions and was shocked to discover that although Owen couldn't hear us very well, his vocabulary was astonishingly developed! Of course, as I became more and more aware of his hearing impairment, I realized that I was often interpreting Owen-speak for others. It turns out, Owen was hearing everything - but he heard it in much the same way you or I would hear if we were laying in a pool or bathtub and had our ears under water. Everything was muffled or slurred. And, so was his speech. Well, not all of his language, but many of his words.

So, the decision was made to drain the fluid and put in tubes to keep the passage clear from fluid blockage, and the appointment was scheduled for April 2.

We went in that morning with no idea what to expect in terms of how Owen would react to the anesthetics or the surgery. We left with a great sense of relief (he did great!) and were quite pleased with the care and attention he'd received.

The hardest part of the process - for Kevin and I at least - was watching Owen drink a "loopy liquid" that put him into a seriously "loopy" state. I felt like I was watching my little two-year old on hallucinogenic drugs! He was giggly and laughing at the silliest "nothings." Then at random moments, he would shift focus and point out one of the many fish on the walls as if he was seeing it time for the first time. He'd start cracking up, all goofy-like. It was so bizarre. It seemed as if he actually thought they were flying or swimming in the room. It was so "trippy" - and not at all in a good way, from a parent's perspective.

Then they rolled him away and put him under for the surgery -- I had tears timidly streaming down my cheeks, but I kept it together. The nurse sang "Twinkle, Twinkle" as they ventured down the hall, while Kevin and I stared after them. Thankfully, Owen was in recovery in less than 20 minutes, surgery went "excellent,", and by the time we saw him the "loopy" drugs had worn off. He was very unsettled and teary, but once we got him home and he had a good breakfast, a nap with Mom, and some one on one playtime, he was in great spirits ~ albeit totally unbalanced and discombobulated! (We couldn't let him walk unassisted for the first couple of hours because his balance was so off!) *As we drove home and was "coming around," Owen seranaded me with his faorite renditions of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

By evening, Owen was his old self ~ we even went out bike riding (I walked, Owen ran with his truck, Collin rode his bike) after dinner. And I was already noticing new sounds in his speech, such as a distinct "c" and "t." Now, two weeks after the insertion of the tubes, Owen's speech is recognizably improved, his vocabulary significantly increased, and my "job" as interpreter has nearly come to an end. Thank heavens for modern medicine! And bravo, Owen!!

**The doctor told us that the fluid they drained from behind Owen's ears before inserting the tubes was as thick as taffy. Yuck!!


More of Our Baby Kate

I feel it going so quickly; I am helpless to slow time down. But although I'd love to slow it down, I am enjoying each and every minute of this blessed time! Like big brother Collin did for his first two years, Katelyn loves the pacifier.

She's the first of my children to suck her thumb! It was amazing today to watch her find her thumb and suck it until she'd put herself to sleep.

Then she awoke and during a diaper change peed all over herself! ... So different then with the boys ~ with them, uncalculated pee covered both the boy and the changer!
Katelyn was my only baby to routinely have the hiccups in utero; she now has them at least once every day. (I can count on one hand the number of times the boys have had a case of the hiccups.) In the pic above Kate's experiencing a round of hiccups and eying me suspiciously ~ probably because I find her hiccup bouts so cute that I'd just made a video of her hiccuping!I LOVE that when I talk to her , Katelyn will already almost always turn her gaze to meet mine. Similarly, when Owen gets up close, she's already started to reach out and attempt to grab his nose or touch his cheek. Sweet dreams little princess!

This isn't pictured, but Kate is the first of my babies to not only like being swaddled - the boys both hated it and still tend to sleep with their feet out of the covers - but also to be nearly immediately calmed as a result. Practically nothing calmed Collin the first two months ... and then he discovered the pacifier; Owen loved to be "shhh"d and either cuddled or laid on his belly while his bum was rhythmically patted.


One Week Old

Grandpa C
First Bath
DAY FOUR - Thursday
Great Grandma G
Great Grandpa G
The Tepker Kids and Great Grandpa G

DAY FIVE - Friday
Owen snuggles with Katelyn first thing Friday morning!
Tandem Sit and Spin
My two babies nestle for a little nap.
First Bath at Home - Not so sure at first ...
... but loving it in the end!

Meeting Cousin MarleyGrandpa Y
Aunt Janae

DAY SIX - Saturday
Checking out Uncle Jared
Marley adores her little cousin! She wanted to hold her and was quite disappointed that she couldn't "carry" her around. She had high hopes for a real, live doll!Enjoying the sunshine and t-ball game with Grandpa Y.

Put the t-ball stands aside ... these boys are ready for the big leagues! Collin hit the ball and sent it sailing towards the crowd!
Then Owen stepped up to bat and hit his first RBI!
Caught in a dream ~ smile!
It snowed last week and yet Saturday had highs in the near 80s! We quickly shed the long sleeves and although Kate was kept mostly in the shade, we couldn't resist a few sunny shots! She slept through most of the afternoon, but that didn't stop us from letting her "play in the sandbox!"
Realizing that her pink and white sundress was incredibly too big still, we dressed our "real, live doll" in the cutest little sun outfit!
It was a great afternoon in the backyard ~ exactly what I pictured for an April birth!
Owen tried to show Katelyn the worm he found buried in the bottom of the sandbox.
As the evening set in, the weather cooled, and the firepit was lit! That evening the kids enjoyed smores as they warmed beneath their blankets.
Can you believe that at one point on Saturday all THREE of our kids were crashed out at the same time!?!
Kevin introduced Kate to the neighborhood!

DAY SEVEN - Sunday
Meeting Aunt Chrissy and Jacqui
Kate had a lot to share with Aunt Chrissy about her first week!
High Five, Dad!

DAY EIGHT - Monday
One Week Old
We have had the most wonderful week! Katelyn is an amazing little girl. She's sweet and alert and cuddly and loving. She seems to take everyone in with a warm heart! Our evenings have thus far been a dream come true: she sleeps in four to five hour increments and doesn't seem to have mixed her days and nights, as most newborns do. She is a healthy eater, and I couldn't be more pleased!

The boys have taken to her wonderfully. Collin has proven that he needed the week to process the new changes in our family. What began as "she's cute" and appeared to be simple indifference to her presence in our home has grown to curiosity about her "tiny toes" and newborn abilities. He is greatly interested in knowing her feeding routine and schedule. Yesterday he asked, "How come you don't still feed the big boys, Mommy?" Although he's not quite ready to be photographed with her, he does sneak quite moments with her. I caught him Sunday night sidled up next to her, touching her cheek gently and saying, "Goodnight, Baby Kate." Then this morning, he was more than happy to crawl into bed between his brother and sister and sneak an arm around his sister in a "good morning hug."

Owen, as you can see, is thrilled with his sister's union with the family! She is the first person he runs to each morning and the last person he says goodnight and "Sweet dreams, Baby Katelyn" to each night. He rushes to her aid each time she whimpers and is quick to ask if he can "hold my baby" in between play activities. He refers to her as "my baby" and "my sister" and "Baby Katelyn" and enjoys naming her many body parts (knee, eyes, nose, etc.) and comparing his size to hers ("BIIIIIG" and "tiny"/"little"). He was fascinated to count her fingers and toes and to discover they both had the same number! "Just like me, Mommy!"

Both brothers especially enjoyed sister's first bath with them last night ~ a sure sign, especially to Collin, that she was part of the family and "one of the kids." : )