Thursday, April 28

Embracing Each Other

Fair warning... if you don't want to see pictures of my two boys all the time, you should probably stop coming here, because that's all you are getting for the foreseeable future.

Pictures of Finley holding Braden scare me a little--Finley has been really good around Braden so far, but it still makes me nervous.  I was taking pictures of Braden and Finley came in snuggled right up next to Braden.

Aren't they the sweetest?

And then Finley found a truck and drove it very nicely around Braden.  And sometimes on Braden.

And sometimes he had to chew on it.  Because he's two.

Finley looks quite a bit more angelic than he has actually been lately.  He was being very sweet and calm.

And luckily, Aunt Laura was here to take a few pictures of the three of us snuggling.  I really love having two boys.  Except when Finley throws things.  And when Braden poops on me.  The rest of the time I love it.

I'm grateful that every Thursday "Embrace the Camera" encourages me to take a few pictures with my kids and post them--I know I will be so glad I did in a few years!

Monday, April 25

Picture Equality

They say that second children have far less pictures taken of them.  I always thought to myself, I'm sure that won't be the case with me.  I love taking pictures and I tend to have really cute kids.  But I can't say I'm off to a great start.  I took this sweet picture of Finley the other day.  He really loves his new gardening tools from Sol's parents--he loves raking the leaves and sticks and playing in the yard.  Braden?  Well, he's not really allowed in the sun yet, and that's where the good picture taking light is.

Can you imagine if it was Braden in this picture?  Unsafe.

Little kids are a lot easier to photograph than newborns.  Finley is almost always running around doing something cute and holding his head up on his own.  Braden tends to lay wherever we leave him.  We took Braden to get some professional pictures taken of him last week and the primary result was me getting peed and pooped on about four times and getting about zero good pictures because Braden refused to sleep.  I've tried to take some on my own--but I just don't know what to do with him.

So send suggestions my way if you have any ideas for cute newborn pictures.  I have a blog friend coming over Thursday to take pictures of Braden and I'm going to continue to try to get good ones... I am determined to have picture equality between my children.  Even though this post is two for Finley and one for Braden... I'm already failing.

Thursday, April 21


My little boy is two today. TWO whole years ago he was born. It's been fun having the boys be born at almost the same time of year--it helps remind me of how little and sweet Finley was.  And having a new baby around makes it much easier not to get terribly nostalgic and mushy about Finley growing up--you go on and grow, Finn.  Braden is going to be my itty bitty baby for awhile.

Finley is so little for his age--it wasn't until I had little Braden in my arms that I realized how BIG Finley had gotten.  His hands, his diapers, the way he can hold up his head and his little teeth... he's not so much a baby anymore!

The biggest change in the last month is that Finley became a big brother.  Obviously.  His vocabulary is growing everyday and he is getting much better at communicating what he wants from us.  He can name most colors correctly most of the time.  He has developed some strong preferences--he likes to pick out his own pajamas and diaper and loooves school busses and dump trucks.  And mail trucks.  He makes up little songs (his last two were about milk and poop) and loves to sing and read. He also loves to play cornhole in the backyard with Sol--he calls the game "NICE" because that's what Sol says every time he gets a beanbag in.  "NICE!" He is so FUN to have around, even when he is being completely ornery.

He's adjusted well to Braden--he likes to look at him and talk about Braden's poop.  I'm having the tougher time out of the two of us, it's really difficult to feel like I'm getting enough time with Finley when most of my energies are focused on Braden.

Finley said his first spontaneous, solo prayer a few nights ago.  Sol put him on the changing table after his bath and in his sweet baby voice, fighting to keep his eyes closed, he said, "Dear Jesus, Amen."  We're beyond blessed to have him and so glad he started off our little family of four.

And this is my first time to Embrace the Camera with TWO boys, one of which is TWO!

Happy Birthday, Finley!

Tuesday, April 19

Little Boys

I just want to know how this:

Turns into this:

If you know, can you please tell me?  Because I need to make sure Braden stays little for, like... ever.  Thanks.

Monday, April 18

Finley's Haircut

For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to have a bunch of people over 50 hours after giving birth for a round of haircuts.  Clearly, I wasn't thinking.  Vic and I's hairdresser, Dominique, is between salons so she came over to our house to trim Victoria's hair.  My friend Kate and her two little girls came over to join on the fun... and so did Amy and Calvin.

I had her cut one stray bang and trim the back a bit.

Since Dominique was going to be at our house I figured she might as well as cut Finley's hair. I had trimmed it a few weeks ago, but I definitely don't know what I am doing.  I think we found a hair style that both the pro- and anti-haircut supporters can approve of.

Finley sat on my lap while Dominique trimmed his curls.  I didn't want it to ALL get cut off--I really like it long--but it is certainly more manageable now.  His bangs stay out of his eyes and his little curls aren't tangly at all.  He was a champ--he played on the iPad the whole time.  And now he looks so grown up that we are letting him practice driving so he can get his license.

Braden's hair is brown and short and it feels like velvet.  Did you know that babies are so soft?  So so soft.

And they smell so sweet.

And they snuggle.

His onesie has monkey pirates on it and says "Ahoy Ladies!"  Perfect, right?

Saturday, April 16

Two Boys

On the day Braden was born, my laptop ran out of space.  I mean my dear dear MacBook is LITERALLY (please read "literally" in the voice of Rob Lowe on Parks and Rec) out of room.  So I've been doing a little soul-searching/deleting of old pictures.  I take an embarrassing amount of pictures, and there is LITERALLY no room for Braden pictures.  Which is unfair.

In the spirit of fairness, here is one picture of each of my two favorite children, in no particular order.

And I will leave you with this haiku.

I didn't even know,
How much I missed sweet babies,
I love you Braden.

Friday, April 15


We're home--which means things are getting busier!  I'm not stuck in a hospital bed anymore which means my time to sit with my laptop has diminished.

In the meantime, here are a few pictures.  I have lots of things I want to remember and type out--and I will as soon as I have the time!  Braden is so good and so sweet and Finley is adjusting really well... aside from a MAJOR meltdown about not being able to wear an "ornssshhh" diaper because all the orange diapers are dirty.  That's why I like Braden so much--he doesn't protest about what color diaper he wears.

Here's the whole family--all FOUR of us!

And here is Braden's cute little face.  More regular picture taking and posting will resume... sometime.

Thursday, April 14

Braden's Birthday

Mostly for my own sake, I need to write down what happened on April 12 so that I don't forget. It's only been three months. It's about time.

We checked into the hospital at 6 AM and it took awhile for things to get going.  The Pitocin finally started at 8 and I had light contractions for awhile.  My doctor came by to check on me around 10 and said he'd be back around noon to break my water.  I think my doctor had patients to see to until lunch, so he was trying to delay my labor a bit.  With Finley, he broke my water much earlier and Finley came a lot faster.

We passed the time playing Words With Friends and playing games on the iPad.  (I'm not a very creative opponent when I'm in huge amounts of pain.)

I was hoping the process would be as short as it was with Finley--but with the later breaking of water it was getting a little drawn out, so I went ahead and got my pal the Epidural.  (Sidenote:  the anesthesiologist told me I have a crooked spine and I should probably not run.  Also I spelled anesthesiologist right on my first try.)  Things got better after the epidural... for a bit.

Similar to with Finley's birth, my epidural stopped working and it became very painful, very fast.  My Pitocin was cranked up high enough that I was having one giant contraction with no breaks between.  I let my nurse know that the epidural wasn't working and was told that she'd give it a few more minutes before calling to see if they could give me more.  And then I almost died of pain, so she gave me more right away.

At that point, we determined it was time to push that sucker out.  Everything happened super fast because Braden was really ready then.  I pushed three times (which is considerably less than the 45 minutes of pushing with Finley) and he popped out at 2:25 pm.

They put him on my chest right away and he was slimy and yucky and so cute.  And big.  I was shocked right away with how big he was!  And even more shocked when they reported back that he was 8lbs 12 oz and 23 inches.  They measured him several times because they couldn't believe it. He got a 9 and a 10 on his APGAR, setting the bar very high for the rest of his testing career.  We have big expectations for you, little boy.

Victoria brought two of my favorite things, Finley and Chick-fil-a, to the hospital to meet Braden.  Much like with Finley, we had a hard time officially naming the little tot.  And in true Rach and Vic fashion, Vic read his name on her phone on her way up to meet him.  Finley hung out with us for a bit, and was mildly interested in Braden.  He was very interested in climbing around the room and the toolset his brother got him.

We were discharged the next day and went home to try to be a family of four.

Tuesday, April 12

Braden Luke Scott

We're so happy to meet him.

Saturday, April 9

The End is In Sight

Friday was my last doctor's appointment for this little boy.  Unlike the last time around when my OB had a baby a week before Finley was due and ABANDONED ME, this doctor is more than happy to deliver this baby in a timely manner.  (And thanks to our resident photographer and Finleysitter, Victoria, for taking these silly pictures and for watching Finley so we could go on a very special date tonight!  We convinced Finley to take these pictures by telling him to put the mailtruck on his head.  Very normal.)

So the original plan was to be induced Monday, but my doctor has had something come up and was hoping I'd be ok being induced Tuesday--which I am because I like the 12th and Tuesdays better than the 11th and Mondays.  He'd mentioned several times before that he didn't think he'd have me come in the night before--he could probably just start me on Pitocin in the AM and pop that sucker out.  That's the medical terms he used.  But now, he'd like me to come in the night before and give me Cytotec which apparently can jumpstart labor which means I'd likely have the baby in the middle of the night.  Not exactly my preferred way of starting off baby #2.  We're going to call Monday morning and make a final plan, but I'm hoping I can sleep in my own bed Monday night and just go in Tuesday morning.  Anyone have any experience being induced with a pill rather than Pitocin?  I don't know much about it.

I was induced last time about a week late and delivered Finley in just over 6 hours.  My epidural didn't work and it kind of hurt.  My plan this time?  I hear second babies are faster, so my goal is to be beat my marathon time of 3 hours and 40 minutes.  I think I can totally do it.  I'm also leaning towards not having an epidural--I figure as long as it is shorter than last time then I'll be fine.  I think all I have left to do before having the baby is make my childbirth playlist--I'm taking my cue from Quinn Fabray and going to have Bohemian Rhapsody playing on repeat.  So actually, I'm totally ready.

How do I know the end is in sight?  Well for starters, I have definitely done permanent damage to my jaw by the sheer amount of ice I consume. I have self diagnosed TMJ and it's escalated to a very sharp stabbing pain when I try to bite anything. It's out of control.  I'm always trying to figure out where I'm going to get my next nice cold cuppa ice.  And its about time I don't make myself a bowl of ice for my late night snack.

And the expiration date of the milk is past my due date--but only because I cheaped out and bought non-organic milk this time.  My organic milk expires in like a month and a half.  I better not be pregnant then.

So stay tuned... hopefully there won't be any more posts before we have another little guy in our ranks!  Wish me luck.

Friday, April 8

Last Day of Teaching

What a bittersweet day for me--it's my last day teaching for quite awhile.  I'm totally, totally excited about staying home with my boys for the forseeable future, but it's a little scary to be giving up what I've done for the past 6 years.  I've heard that the average length that teachers teach is five years, and I definitely get that.  My patience is a little shorter, I'm a little less excited day to day and a little more jaded about certain aspects of teaching.  I still love middle schoolers and I still love math, but it is time for a break.

It's strange not knowing when I'll come back to education--and in what capacity.  I'm not sure if I will want to teach, or do something with that Master's I got when we were in Boston.  And if I do teach again, my heart is really with the inner-city kids; I loved teaching in Boston and have never felt quite as fulfilled teaching in suburban Virginia.

It's a rather anticlimactic end to my time here--I have to run out to my last OB appointment right after school, so there's not much time to be sentimental.  But I have been so lucky to work with really great teachers, have relatively easy kids to work with and an excellent administration to work under. The kids have been so funny--asking me what will happen if my water breaks and what I'm naming the baby (which will obviously be something from this list) and how much it hurts (AWKWARD!)  Some kids have sweetly said goodbye and given me cards, and some have rudely celebrated my departure. And some of my students became strangely obsessed with the fact that my Masters is from Harvard and won't let it go. Middle schoolers are awkward and really weird.

I'll also miss this girl.

How lucky have I been to get to teach with my college BFF?  We were living the dream, that's for sure.  I'm looking forward to not being mistaken for her mom/sister/aunt/cousin anymore though.  I guess that's what happen when you wear the same clothes to school and used to have the same haircut.  I'll definitely miss her drawing excellent profile pictures of me.  This one is totally accurate.  And not at all inappropriate.

In the meantime, I plan on being the world's awesomest mother (except all the other awesome mothers I know), running a lot and putting some serious effort in to my Etsy business.  I'm struggling a little with the fact that the answer to "What do you do?" is no longer "Teach Algebra." The answer will be "Change diapers and try to nap on the couch."  But I think I'll make it.

I will also be taking suggestions on what to do at home with little children.  Help.

Wednesday, April 6

Circus Party!

Well, let's talk about the decorations for the circus party.  Get ready for a lot of pictures.

First, people were invited to the party.

For some reason, it took me forever to pick colors and figure out how to make the invitation look the way I wanted to, but in the end I was really happy with how it turned out.  I saw this fun idea for putting balloons behind the food table and this it turned out very fun.

I also stole this idea for giving the house a circus tent feel and really like the way it turned out.  I also made a few tissue pom poms to hang in the corners of the rooms and they were surprisingly easy to make.  Actually the whole ceiling thing was much easier than I thought--I was able to tear the fabric instead of cutting it and Sol used 5 staples total to hang it up.  Success.

I made little elephant PB&Js for the kids:

And had four types of Popcorn Indiana that Vic picked up for me.  I tried to send little bags of it home with people but I missed a few.  I got these white take out boxes on super clearance at Michaels and cut them to be perfect popcorn containers.

The cupcakes were one of my favorite parts.

I had seen a bunch of people use marshmallows that were cut in half and dyed yellow to make cupcakes look like popcorn, but I did not think that would be very delicious. Instead I made red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting that I somehow piped to look somewhat like popcorn.  This was also MUCH easier than I thought it would be.

And I loved this fun cupcake stand, even though I was pretty sure the cupcakes were going to fall out.  They didn't.

I made wrappers for water bottles...

And a banner...

And little treat bags with animal crackers.  The other treat bags had silly glasses, a clown nose and some homemade crayons that were REALLY HARD TO MAKE (blog post almost written on those) but I forgot to take their picture.

Also some thank you cards.

I obviously love planning parties and decorating for them... and I've loved the fact that I've already sold a few of these items in the Etsy shop!  I'm a little torn about what will happen in years to come--having two kids whose birthdays will be weeks apart means that my opportunity to throw an extra party every year is not looking good.  I don't think anyone can come to two parties so close--nor can I manage planning that many.  So if your little one has a birthday that is NOT in April... let me know because I'll probably be itching to design something in say... November.

Thanks for turning TWO Finley!

Tuesday, April 5

Friends of the Birthday Boy

We are so blessed to have so many people who love us--or love Finley--or maybe just love eating free food.  For whatever reason, we had a house full of friends on Saturday and had a blast entertaining them.  It was difficult to get pictures with all the people who came and even sadder was the fact that some of the pictures were a little icky since I would have to hand it over on Auto or (GASP) with the flash on.  We didn't even remember to take a family picture until the party had been over for several hours.  Whoops.

We can pretend that this is a family picture with Finley and his twin.

You can barely tell I'm 9 months pregnant in that last one!  Planning a party when you are 9 months pregnant is a silly idea.

Finley did not eat his cupcake for the second year in a row.  Although he talked about cupcakes incessantly for the week leading up to the party... I have no idea why he wouldn't eat it.  He was also quite suspicious of the singing (second picture.)  And we almost got him to blow out the candle.  He was very sweet.

One of the best parts of the party was that my pal Megan and her husband Dane got to come!  What a happy surprise.  She is a busy OB resident a few hours away, so it was nice to have her nearby if I wanted to just have the baby during the party.  The show must go on, right?  That's what circus folk say?

Do you like the tent-like draping on the ceiling?  I asked Victoria if it was too much to buy red fabric to make the house look like a circus tent, and she said it was totally fine.  And then when she was helping me put it up, she told me I was crazy for listening to her.  Whatevs, I loved it and was very sad to take it down. Thanks for enabling me, Vic (and Vicki!)

I was also so grateful for Amy (or MAMIE! as Finley calls her.)  She helped me assemble cupcakes and make food while our babies napped. And also brought us Chick fil a. What a great friend!

The party also had some very exciting clown noses...

And balloon animals... (by the way, I make a mean balloon bunny.)

And lots of fun decorations, which will be another post.  This one is already pretty picture heavy.  I can't believe my wittle wittle boy is going to be TWO in a few weeks.  And I can't believe that I'm going to have an even wittler boy before that happens!
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