Tuesday, November 5, 2013

That mom

I'm turning into that mom! The one I thought was a little odd for just... parenting different. I've come a long way in my parenting journey since Hudson was born. Although those were the easy days when he was new. I just went with the flow and did what people told me to do. Life was good. And then when he was about 8 months old and I found out I was pregnant with little miss Novabuns I learned about this whole other world of parenting! And I thought those moms were weird. I wont lie. They didn't vaccinate or circumcise. They slept with their babies and breast fed until 3. They "wore" they babies everywhere. They used all natural remedies and they used cloth diapers. They had their babies at home in the tub. These are the "crunchy" moms I learned and none of this I was familiar with. I was on the other end of the spectrum. I cheered for doctors! After all Hudson has needed medical attention since he was born! These moms did things their own way and I didn't like it because I felt like I had to defend my own parenting ways.

After getting myself into a few "heated" discussion on these deferent topics and realizing after each one that it doesn't matter what other parents do. They obviously love their children enough to be advocating for their natural parenting ways. And what's so wrong about natural? I also realized how little I knew. Since then I have done research for myself. I became a little more knowledgeable about vaccines and natural remedies. I learned more about breast feeding and how awesome breast milk is for our babies. I've learn baby wearing is a "thing" now but that it also makes having two kids a lot more easier!

I've learned a lot since having Hudson. And I don't  regret the way I've raised him. That's not the point. The point is that just maybe I'm learning to be my own kind of mom. It's OK that I leaned on my mom for support and advice on raising Hudson but as he grew and as I grew as a mother I'm finding what works best for our family and just doing simply what I want. And maybe that means becoming a little of "that mom". And that's OK. 

I still praise doctors for their knowledge, time and effort they put into their career. I still believe in vaccinating and we think it's best for our kids. We choose to circumcise our boys. My babies sleep in their own beds in their own room. And I'm all for epidurals and so thankful for formula!

Take the time to be your own kind of mom. Do what you want to do. Even if that means trying something new or standing out as being a little odd. :)

That being said Novabuns is a five month old now! Whaat!? Look at those cute little piggy tails! I seriously, seriously can not believe how fast it has gone by. I swear she was just in size 1 diapers yesterday... oh wait, that was yesterday. And speaking of diapers, yes, I made the switch permanently, she's a cloth diaper babe now! I did tons of research right before she was born and bought a stash when she was 1 month old. I never ever thought I would go down this road! But I had many friends who cloth diaper and they reassured me how much they love it! My main reason for switching was to save money of course. We will save about $700 in a year and even more since what are the chances she is potty trained in a year?! Yeah right!

So once I got them I did a trial run on Hudson until her little buns were big enough to fit in them. But 3 diapers later Hudson ended up with a rash and I was al ready to give up! Fast forward 2 months when I thought Nova would finally fit in them and all I got were leaks and a battle of yeast! So I gave up. But I held on to them because I still really wanted it to work out. SO, two weeks ago I tried them on her again. No rash and no leaks for a week and they actually fit! So I switched!

It requires a little more work of course and an extra load of laundry. What I thought I wouldn't be able to handle was the poop but it's really a piece of cake! Instead of throwing the diapers in the trash I just throw them in the wash. It's easier than I expected really. And she has some stinkin' cute diaper colors now! As if picking her outfit out wasn't hard enough...

So I made Hudson's and Nova's Halloween costumes! They turned out so cute! It was cheap and easy! Man, you can do anything with felt!! I love my superheroes! 

We spent our 3rd anniversary at Fountain Hills. 

Hudson has been the best brother ever to little sis Nova! He seriously could not be any more sweeter with her. I heard horror stories of older siblings being mean and rough with new siblings so I was a little concerned. But never once has he done anything to hurt her or be mean in any way. He gives her loves pats, brings me her blankets, and puts her pacifier in her mouth. He shares his toys with her and gives her goodnight kisses. He is the sweetest guy ever! We are so blessed! I can't wait until they can play together!

Nova is still my great little night sleeper! Hudson did not sleep through the night until 7 months I think. After our cry it out test. Occasionally she wakes in the night only to go back to sleep with her paci. She'll get up about 7:30 and then take a good morning nap until 11. After that it's iffy when she'll nap next. And I could act surprised when I tell you that she has started to scoot but I'm not. Since I could feel her move in my belly she was non stop. So I'm not surprised she's already on the move and determined! Looking like me is not all she gets from me...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Enjoying the journey

Isn't modern medicine just amazing?! Miracles happen thanks to such talented hands.

 "And to others it is given to have faith to heal." D&C 46:20 

I believe that healing others is the gift doctors were given. And I'm so grateful to Hudson's surgeon for not hiding his gift.

I have had hundreds of comments made to me about how amazing Hudson lip looks and I can't help but agree with every person who mentions it. It really is an amazing repair. I always returned with a thank you but really I wish Dr. Beals could be there to hear every comment made about Hudson.

We are so blessed people! To live in this amazing country with such advanced technology right around the corner from us. We didn't have to wait years and years for someone to come along and give Hudson the surgeries he needed. He was taken care of the instant he was born. And he'll continue to be looked after well into his teens.

That face. It just makes me smile. I hope I can teach him to appreciate all he has been through. And to look at his baby pictures and see a miracle in progress. I want him to be confident in the way he looks and be proud of the fact that he was born with a cleft. It's nothing to keep a secret. It's who he was and is and because of the strength he has shown this far I know he wont stop here.

October 5th was six months since his palate repair. Is it weird that I miss his cleft palate too? Well I do. What a day that was. Seriously that was the hardest day of my life so far. That's not what I imagined when we knew Hudson had to have surgeries. Everyone would tell me that it would be an "easy fix" and "not a big deal" compared to what other possibilities there were. Well that was OUR little boy on the operating table, it wasn't an easy fix and it IS a big deal.

So now he has a perfect little palate scar to join his perfect little lip scar. Always there to remind us that there will be hard times we have to go through in life but that by pushing through we can make it out with a smile on our face. If there is one thing I can't stress enough is to enjoy YOUR journey, what ever it may be.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A girl named Nova

I'm a slacker! Seriously. I blogged every time Hudson turned another month older until he was one year old! Plus some! I'm three months behind on Nova. But let's be honest, Hudson was a cleft more interesting to read about than Miss Nova! I really have nothing to post about her unless if you want to hear how she sleeps 10 hours straight a night and poops 5 times a day? That's what I thought.

But really, she's great! Gosh, is there really anyway you can describe your love for your children?? I just look at them and want to hug them to death they are so darn cute!! I can't stand it! Nova's laughs make my heart want to burst and Hudson's squeals of excitement as we chase him around the island... They are more than perfect.

Ok well if you really do want to know more about Nova here you go...

She is now 11 pounds 2 ounces and 23 1/2 inches long! She's been rolling over both ways for a few weeks now. She LOVES to be on her tummy! Which is so weird to me because Hudson hated it! But I know it's because she has slept on her tummy since we brought her home. I'm hooked. Tummy sleeping is the way to go! No more flat heads in my house! The girl is still a great sleeper! But we've all known that since day one! Her bedtime is between 9 and 10 and she'll sleep until about 7 and go back to sleep for another 2-4 hours. Which has been nice cause when she goes to sleep then Hudson gets up so I can feed him and spend time with him. And then he goes down for a nap and she wakes up. I actually like it that way. Everyone says to put them on the same schedule so they nap at the same time, but it's easier for me to take care of one at a time!

She smiles, talks, laughs, and plays so much more now. I love watching her! She'll play on the floor for quite a while by herself. She also likes the walker and her swing. Gosh I can't believe she is 4 months old already!! I feel like it took forever for Hudson to turn 4 months old! Maybe it was just the anticipation of his surgery. And I can't even imagine Nova having surgery at this age! Hudson was just so old and ready for it! He was so much bigger to me! And technically he was. He has been over a pound bigger than her at the same age. My petite little girl!!

At 4 months old I already had Hudson eating baby food and cereal. Nova just doesn't seem ready to me. I was planning on waiting anyway. It's kind of a pain in the beginning so why do it sooner than I have to? Plus... I don't like messes. I can't believe how much I have learned with Hudson that makes having Nova so much easier! It's awesome! I know what I'm doing with her, but Hudson... He's another story. All his mile stones are still knew to me. The tantrums? Hilarious, but frustrating when I'm trying to get him to eat! And potty training is just around the corner! Sometimes I get excited about it and then other times I think it would be easier to just stick with diapers. I'm lazy.

And everyone and their dog who told me it would take about three months to get nursing down well, you were right. I feel so confident now! We are gonna make it! And speaking of lazy... I love not getting bottles ready and packing formula. I LOVE not having to wash bottles!! I seriously loathed that chore for some reason. We just grab the diaper bag and go! I just love it! She'll look up at me and smile and then go back to eating. It really is quite a bonding and special thing. It's been really hard work to make it this far and I'm very proud of myself for not giving up. It's kind of cool to think that even outside of my belly I'M the one still making her grow! And I never would have understood any of this if I wasn't breast feeding.

I've really enjoyed having a girl! Even though she hardly ever gets bows in her hair! Keyword: hair. She has some (OK a lot) so maybe I don't feel as obligated. Plus I think they are really annoying! Bur for some reason I keep buy them. They are so dang cute!! She does have her earrings and bracelet that is always on though! There is just something about having a little you that is so special and makes you want to be all matchy, matchy. It's fun. I love her.

She's going to be a ball of fire I know it! She's very dramatic already. No patience. Wait, that reminds me of someone... She'll be the one to toughen Hudson up! My sweet, caring little boy.

Oh what fun it is to have one of each!! Having two has still been pretty easy! Their age gap of 16 months has been perfect!!! To all those who said otherwise. Ahem. Seriously, why do people have to be such downers? I got tired of seeing peoples eyes grow wide when I told them how far apart they would be. And all the "Your gonna have your hands full!" comments. Ya well I'll have my hands full with 2 no matter what. Then there was this one day at church when I was already well over half way pregnant and I actually got my first "Your going to love it!" comment. I seriously wanted to cry!! She made me feel so much better!! So don't be so doom and gloom with your comments to parents. You may not agree with their situation but they do and negative comments are nothing but unhelpful!

Life is beautiful and so is this girl!!!

San Diego Temple 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

That face.

Our Hud the Stud turned 18 months old yesterday!! That just seem so old to me! He's turning out to be quite the goof ball/ nerd/ weirdo. Ok so maybe we already knew all that... since day one pretty much. But it sure has been magnified as of late! Making us laugh is one of his specialties. He's quite the character.

He is about 20.8 pounds now and that is just me putting him on our scale. He's got 10 teeth now. Still missing his two  top and bottom left laterals. It's weird that those ones have still not come in. It makes me wonder if those teeth will be missing since his cleft was on his left side. I'm excited for him to get an x-ray. Whenever that will be... He does have another dentist appointment in September. I don't think they will do anything then though.

We were very disappointed to discover a fistula in palate a few weeks ago. That is a tiny pin hole on the roof of his mouth, towards the front, like behind his top teeth. It either never closed after palate repair or reopened sometime after. You can totally tell he has a whole when he sucks from his sippy. He's very noisy and it's probably equivalent to us sucking through a straw with a hole in it. I have still not called his surgeon about it. There is a chance the fistula will close on it's own or it will need repaired later on. I obviously don't know any details until I can talk with his surgeon. I'm real sad about it though. Just one more thing that will need fixed. His next surgery, if needed, wont be until he goes to kindergarten. So we still have time. I just worry about it affecting his speech and eating.

Speaking of speech he still only says "mama" and "uh-oh". He's been saying some other things that we don't understand. And some words like "thank you" he just says the sounds with out pronouncing any letters. I'm still not quite worried about his speech yet. But it does make it very frustrating for both of us when he is trying to tell us what he wants. Usually he just takes us by the hand and drags us to what he wants or where he wants to go. And then does this whinny "uh uh" as he points. Funny guy.

He has come to LOVE Curious George! When he wants it on he'll come up to us "ooo ooo". He probably watches too much during the day... When one episode ends he immediately yells for another to be one. Even if he is in the other room not watching it he hears the ending music and runs in the room for another one to be one.

He's still a great sleeper! And still loves to collect things in twos. He gets quite obsessive about it too. As of late we have had to leave the wooden spoons out for him or else he throws a fit. Wooden spoons, spoons, pens, chapsticks, plastic sand shovels, blocks, and cords are just a few of his favorites. He still loves his ball pit, even though he got attacked by a scorpion in it! And he loves to play in the water!

He has already mastered being a big brother to Nova! While in the car today Nova had a blanket over her carseat and Hudson lifted it up and peaked in and "awwed" at her. It was quite precious. He also gives great hugs lately and if you ask for a kiss he'll give you one. He also gives high fives and knuckles. He sure is a lot of fun lately!

Next stop... a 2 year old!

Life with a princess...

Miz Nova Renae is 6 weeks old as of today! Yet it feels she has been with us a life time. She just fits in so perfectly in the Hofmann home. I am so in love with her!!! I love having a girly! She has continued to be the most perfect little thang! And I just don't get it! Besides all Hudson has been through he really has just been an easy going guy so I thought for sure, for sure, this girl would give us some trouble. Think again. The only way she could possibly be any easier was if she didn't poop but that ain't happening! I keep telling myself she must be my prize after billions of appointments, NAMs, and surgeries we went through with Hudson. She's a keeper!

Twice she has slept 11 hours straight. I didn't think that was possible for a newborn! And she continues to sleep 6-9 hours at night! What the!? Somehow she was born with a sleep schedule already. I'll try not to act so surprised when all hell breaks loose and the trouble begins with her. I keep waiting for it to happen but she keeps being so amazing! I thought for sure with all the bragging I've done karma would get to me. Not yet.

I've been sleeping her on her tummy since she came home from the hospital. And maybe that's why she sleeps so great. I've been afraid to test that theory though. Plus I have to keep that little head perfect for all that beautiful dark hair! I'm in love with her head! We don't want any more flat heads... ahem, Hudson. Ooops.

And nursing... whoa, is that another story! I knew it would be hard, but not this hard! I'm proud of myself for making it to 6 weeks! I'm one to take the easy way out of things if at all possible and those first couple of weeks a quick bottle was so tempting at times when I would end up in tears of frustration. I really don't know what has kept me going! The easier it has gotten the more I have enjoyed it though. AND learned that breast feeding really is easier than a bottle! I think she will be the one to teach me patience. Plus I'm a Nova hog and like the fact that I'm the only one who gets to feed her which makes me that much more her favorite. For now at least. It really is something special to be able to nurse her.

So the little lady now weighs 7 pounds 15 ounces as of yesterday! I either just have little babies or I'm starving them... I love that they get to stay little longer. I get my moneys worth out of their newborn clothes that's for sure!

Hudson has just been awesome with her. I really couldn't ask for a better 18 month old big brother! Most the time he doesn't even notice her but when he does he's giving her her paci, touching her toes, rubbing her head, and sharing his blanket with her. Still wont hold her yet though. But he is so sweet to her! Since he's been awesome and she's been awesome having two kids has really been a breeze so far. It has it's challenges for sure but it's been easy to handle. And maybe that's because Curtis gets home from school at 1 and helps out a lot with Hudson. Life is good.

There is just something extra special about little girls. Her spirit is so sweet, so fragile and pure, the way I wish she could stay the rest of her life. I think it takes some extra care in raising a Daughter of God. On Sunday Curtis gave her a name and blessing and I started to tear up before he even started. It was such a perfect day! We love being surrounded by everyone we love!

She really is just so perfect! She is asleep on my chest as I type.

Father's Day 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Along came Nova

Excuse me while I take a few paragraphs to brag about my labor and delivery, and a beautiful little girl named Nova...

It all started about a week before I was due which was June 6th. As the date slowly grew closer I began to lose hope for an early baby. Thanks to Hudson being 8 days late I tried not to get my hopes up but that plan quickly failed when I was 3 weeks away from being due. I knew that just the next day would be "the day"! But I was disappointed when that day would end with not one sign of labor. So a few days before my 39 week doctor appointment I got the idea that I wanted to be induced. This was a big debate for me because I am a strong believer that babies will come when THEY are ready. Hence, why we waited an extra week for Hudson. Plus I've heard horror stories about inductions that kinda scared me. Ones that lead to c-sections and that's definitely not what we wanted.

At my doctors appointment that Friday I found out I was already 3cm dilated and 90% effaced! So close right!? Well I was excited to know I was progressed so far already but this is what happened with Hudson, I had the same progression for another week before he was born. The PA let me know that I could be induced anytime now. She said all I would have to do was call the office and tell them I was done! Well now that I knew having our baby girl was just a phone call away I had all weekend to talk it over with Curtis, who felt the same about inductions as I did. And continue my own personal battle in my head whether it was the right decision or not. I had wondered why this decision was so hard for me. I had wanted her to come early, to come now! This is what I wanted! Besides I was done being pregnant. Curtis told me Sunday that he supported me in what ever decision I made. So I said let's do it!

Monday morning as soon as I could I called my doctor's office and told them I was ready and wanted to be induced! Well the front desk gave me the extension to the lady who schedules the inductions which of course went straight to her voice mail. I left my detailed message and waited anxiously the rest of the day to hear back from her. By 4 o'clock with no call, I called again, just to be sure my message wasn't missed or anything... But I had to leave another message. By five I gave up waiting for her call since the office was closed. But at 5:10 I got a call and sure enough it was her! She explained that my induction was approved but she could not call the hospital today because the scheduling department was closed but she would get back to me first thing in the morning.

Well Tuesday morning I made sure the sound on my phone was up high and kept it close by at all times. I didn't want to miss this call! I tried to keep busy with Hudson as we played out back. And at 10 AM she called! To my utter surprise and delightment she got me scheduled that day at 1 PM!!! I thanked her a billion times and we hung up. With only 3 hours to get ready I didn't waste time! I let Curtis know who was in school and would be done at 12 (perfect!) and called my mom.

This was it!

I dropped Hudson off at my parents and met Curtis there. We were both so excited on our way to the hospital! Once we got there we signed a few papers and waited an hour for a room to be ready for us. And a little after 2 we made it into a room. I changed into the 3XL gown and got hooked up to the monitors. Woohoo! At 3 I got an IV and then at 3:30 the pitocin started. The contractions started almost immediately and at 5 minutes apart! The nurse was surprised at how far I was already progressed and said that this should go fast. I didn't doubt it! My labor with Hudson was only 6 hours and everyone told me the 2nd is always faster. I thought maybe it was no coincidence the thought of being induced came into my head. This might go a lot faster than we all anticipated!

Funny guy

Keep em' comin'!

After a half hour maybe with the pitocin the nurse came back in around 4 and uped the dose. She said they range the amount from 2-36. Starting at a 2 I was now at a 4. And my contractions were already getting uncomfortable and closer together. She left us again and I was already considering an epidural. She mentioned to us earlier how another patient requested the epidural before her water was even broke, as if saying she might not have needed it that soon. So I felt like I had to tough it out now until my doctor came to break my water. Well every contraction got worse and closer together and I was getting nervous! She came back in again and unhooked me from the monitors so I could get up and move around which did help the pain. With no certain time on when my doctor would be in to check me I told her I could use that epidural now. Now I'm not a very assertive person and she kind of talked me out of it. So I waited some more. Bad idea. Don't try and tough it out if you already know you're going to get an epidural!

At about 5:30 the contractions were pretty unbearable and very close together. I told my nurse I was ready for the epidural! Now! I was having flash backs to Hudson's delivery. It all happened so fast That I didn't get my epidural until I was dying in pain and already 9cm dilated! Well that's how I felt now. Stupid for not just getting it earlier because I was too afraid of what the nurse would think of me for wanting an epidural after only an hour of contractions...

It took about a half hour for the anesthesiologist to make it to my room and another few minutes to set everything up and get ready to give me the epidural. It was about 6 PM now. All the while I was sitting on the side of the bed wanting to cry with each contraction! Just as he finished with it I had the strangest feeling. My body was making me push!! But I didn't say anything to anyone. I wasn't quite sure what I was feeling. Once back in bed and the pain slowly wearing off I turned to Curtis and told him I think I need to push! Shortly after and during a contraction my water broke! Everyone heard it.

There were 2 other nurses in the room along with my nurse and the anesthesiologist who was finishing up on the computer. They were all surprised! And one went to get my doctor. Meanwhile my nurse was telling me not to push yet! Luckily the pain was pretty much gone and the urge to push wasn't as bad. But I sure felt a lot of pressure with each contraction and it was hard to hold back! Once my doctor got there he checked me and sure enough I was 100% ready to go! My nurse was amazed with how fast it went! Heck, we all were!

Well after 3 pushes in the span of 2 minutes a princess was born...

Nove Renae Hofmann
6:20PM 7 LBS 20 INCH

Who knew labor could go so quickly! It was a little less than 3 hours from when the pitocin started! And only 2 minutes of pushing! If you're wondering why I still look so good, well there ya go! I knew we made the right decision to be induced after that! The feeling I've had each time I hear that little cry for the first time is indescribable! The moment is so heavenly and so so special. We were in love with her full head of dark hair and her sweet little face!

Miss Nova has been an angel! I can't get over how perfect she is and has been! She's been sleeping 4-7 hours at a time and never cries unless I take too long to feed her. She is the cuddliest little bug ever and has so many sweet sleepy smiles. 

So far having two kiddos has been 10x easier than I thought it would be. Hudson is pretty much awesome anyway and Nova is an angel so its been a breeze! They even nap at the same time already! Hudson is slowly warming up to her. He'll "oooh" and "awww" at her now. And he plays with her toes. Today her paci fell on the ground and he said "uh-oh" and brought it to me and tried to put it in her mouth. And here I thought he would just steal it! He wanted nothing to do with her in the hospital. He shook his head at her and shrugged away. He was even mad at me! But he's been his normal self since he came home.

We are in love with this little girl and love dressing her up! There is no denying how blessed we are and have been!

And then there were four.

Home sweet home!

She loved getting her hair done!

First sponge bath. Loved that also!

Her hair is so curly when it's wet and she gets the perfect wave on top! Unfortunately when it dries the curls are gone and it's pretty crazy.