Max’s Baptism

On Sunday, August 5, we took our sweet boy over to St. Ignatius Church with our family and friends to have him baptized.

As it was a 90+ degree day with exceptionally high humidity, a few scattered rain showers and thunderstorms popped up, but never took away the humidity.

It was so wonderful for my family to drive in from New Jersey to celebrate with us!  It was also their first time to meet Max and to see Jack for the first time in a few months, so there was a lot of catching up to be had.

As Max was 6 weeks old, he had a growth spurt this past week and was eating more and a little bit more fussy than usual, but the day of the baptism, he woke up with a smile on his face and was happy all day long.

Our friend Father Kelly returned from his vacation to come down to his old parish to baptize Max.

Max wore the heirloom christening gown that my mother, uncles, cousins, sisters, Jack and I wore.  The beautiful Irish linen gown is close to 100 years old and is extremely delicate, so we opted to dress him at the church.

His Godmother, Colleen and I dressed him, which brought back many memories of my mother dressing Jack in the gown two and a half years prior.

As we were waiting for a few other people to arrive at the church, we decided to take all of the pictures with the family, etc… ahead of time.  Max’s Godfather, Jeff and Colleen posed for pictures and we also made sure to get the whole family together for one big family shot for the first time in a long time.

Jack loved playing and sitting with his cousins and we were all very glad to spend time together and laugh.

Max was very good during the baptism, and when it came time for Father Kelly to pour the water over his head, he literally moved his head side to side in delight as he poured the water.  Looks like we may have another water baby on our hands!

Following the baptism, we all headed back to my mother’s house for a little luncheon.  We enjoyed lunch and of course, the children were anxious to get to the cake.

Two friends of mine so graciously offered to spend the Friday of the baptism weekend to bake a cake from scratch and to make my Aunt’s famous icing for our celebration.  As I do not have one cooking or baking bone in my body, I was absolutely nervous, but we did a fabulous job!  My Aunt who makes the famous icing also had some of the cake and said that we hit the nail on the head and that it was delicious!  We were thrilled!

It was a lovely day and a wonderful little celebration for our Max!  May God bless him always.

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Fourth of July 2012

Max got up with the sun for his first holiday and was soon followed by big brother Jack.  After a quick breakfast and letting Daddy sleep in for a little while longer, we got the boys dressed in their red, white and blue outfits and off we went for a walk before it became ungodly hot.

We ended up stopping at our friend’s house for a quick hello which turned into spending the majority of the day with them.  It was very nice to relax, let the kids play, talk for a while and soak up the air conditioning instead of spending the time out in the hot and humid air.

Our friends were heading to a party and we decided to get the kids home and off to bed at a decent hour as Jack is terrified of the sound that fireworks make and to alleviate the crying and late bedtime, if he would just go to sleep, we wouldn’t have the hysteria when the fireworks started.  Our plan didn’t work out, but at least we tried.  😉

Jack and Max enjoyed a few sparklers before bed, and that was the extent of our day.  Not very exciting, but that was the best part.  Just a day to enjoy and take it easy.  Exactly what the doctor ordered!

The patriotic boys

Jack loves his baby brother!

Jack in his red, white and blue

Max in his red, white and blue

 

 

 

Max’s Birth Story

On Monday, June 18 at 9:30am, we were admitted to Labor & Delivery after a whirlwind of events from the week prior.

The nurse escorted us down the hall to room 341 and asked me to get into the gown, get settled and that another nurse would be in shortly to do our admissions paperwork, start an IV and check to see how I am progressing.

Chris and I decide that it is probably smart for him to rush home, repack my bag and come back to the hospital with all of the supplies that we will need for the next few days.  He leaves and I sit in the bed thinking about everything to come and soaking it all in.

Our nurse, who was actually a midwife was phenominal.  She remembered hearing my story from the previous week and was very caring and reassuring that all would be perfect.

My doctor came back at 10:30am and broke my water.  No meconium or issues that he could see, but he did say that I had a tremendous amount of amniotic fluid, which probably came in handy when I fell.

Around 11:30am, he began the pitocin drip and emphasized to the nurse that I went quickly last time and that he expected the same this time.  He also asked to be alerted to any changes with my progression and that I could have my epidural whenever I felt that I needed it.

Around this time, I was contracting about every 3-4 minutes and the contractions were increasing in their intensity.  Chris came back to the hospital around 11:45am and was shocked to hear that I was at 4cm and 90% effaced and progressing very quickly.

My nurse asked me in between contractions that I had been breathing through if I wanted my epidural.  I said that I was still doing well with breathing and that I was hesitant because of possibly stalling labor so early in the process.  She reassured me that it would be fine and that she would call the anesthesiologist to come in and get me set up.

The anesthesiologist was wonderful!  She was calm, caring, funny and sweet and I am so thrilled that I was able to have her.  Unlike my previous delivery where Chris was my support while getting my epidural with Jack, they had Chris exit the room and the nurse midwife was my support while they hooked up my epidural.

Once I was comfortable, I laid back and waited for labor to continue to progress.  About 15 minutes go by, and some alarms begin going off.  The baby’s heart rate was dropping.  Hy heart was in my throat as my thoughts traveled to an unforeseen issue with the baby from the fall.  The nurses turned me on my side and his heart rate came back up.  Thank God.  The deceleration of his heart rate happened every so often after that, but was always remediated when I moved a different way.

Around 3pm, the nurse checked me and said that I was about 8cm dilated and that it shouldn’t be long now.  The nurses also changed shifts at 3pm, so my wonderful nurse midwife left and another great nurse came in.  My doctor called for an update and announced that he would be back around 4pm to check me again.

As I had transitioned quickly in my last labor, I knew that I would never make it to 4pm.  Coincidentally, I began feeling every contraction, pain- just everything and was practically climbing the walls in pain.  It was almost as if the epidural just completely stopped working.  The nurse saw the amount of pain that I was in as I clutched the rails on the side of the bed, breathed and let the tears continually run down my cheeks.  Word could not escape my mouth and I felt as if the baby was going to come at any minute.  Our nurse called the anesthesiologist, who was also new due to the shift change and was beside himself when he saw the pain that I was in.  He nervously poked me with a sharp popsicle stick and continued to try and ask me questions as I breathed heavily and continued to let the tears fall.  He said that he would give me a bola (sp?) to help with the additional pain that I was in.  Chris was smart and said to the nurse that she may want to check me again as this was similar to my previous labor.  She checked me and immediately called my doctor to come and deliver.

When my doctor arrived a few minutes later, he said that he wanted to see how I had progressed and when he looked, he asked me to wait so that he could put on his coat for delivery.  He announced that he could already see the baby’s head and that this was going to be quick.  Other nurses and the pediatrician flooded the room and he said to start pushing.

With only two pushes, our sweet and beautiful baby boy was here!  Max Russell came into the world on Monday, June 18 at 3:50pm.  He was 8lbs, 9oz and healthy as could be.  He received 9’s on his APGARS and was absolutely perfect!  I felt my mother in the room the moment he was born.  She was there watching over all of us and ensuring that this wonderful and beautiful boy was safe.

Max was cleaned up a bit and handed over to me where he almost immediately wanted to nurse.  We bonded as Chris and I soaked up every minute of our secind son’s first hour of life as he nursed and cuddled us in the hospital.

How lucky and fortunate we are to be blessed with this wonderful little baby.  🙂

Max Russell

Turning 30

Yesterday (June 13) was my 30th birthday. It was also my sister Lisa’s birthday. She and I are 14 years apart and both of us wanted to welcome this baby to the world on our birthday, but alas, he is content where he is.

It was a bit different waking up in the morning yesterday just knowing that my age now begins with a 3 instead of a 2, but knowing how special my mother made every single birthday feel, it was difficult to remind myself that I wouldn’t be seeing her or hearing her sing “Happy birthday” to me the minute that she woke up in the morning. I really did think about her much of the day, and knowing that I would be doing this, Chris and friends of mine tried to make my day as special as they could and focused on happy and positive things. I am so lucky.

I arrived at work, and my coworkers decorated my office with everything from banners to signs and confetti on everything! The fun continued with a few of my work friends taking me to lunch and surprising me with tiger lilies. I come back from lunch, the staff has a cake for me and then I get an order of a dozen roses from Chris, Jack and Baby G2! It was such a wonderful day at work! Lots of cards, hugs and love to go around.

Chris and the boys also bought me a beautiful pearl necklace that I will cherish forever, and if I ever have a little girl, I will be able to tell her that this was my 30th birthday gift and make it a wonderful heirloom to pass down through the family. 🙂

My friend Jared met us for dinner at Olive Garden, which was wonderful, and we ended the day with Dairy Queen ice cream cake. My sister Kate also joined us for cake! I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Just a wonderful day with the people that I love.

Don’t get me wrong, I still miss my Mom terribly, but I know that she was right alongside me celebrating the day away.

This morning, I wake up with a big smile on my face as I begin the second day of my 30’s with the happiness in my heart leading the way. Lucky doesn’t describe how I feel to have these amazing people in my life. 🙂

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Memorial Day Weekend 2012

We tried to keep this weekend as low key as possible and were pretty successful, I might add.  However, the central air in my Mom’s house went on Friday (it was 90 degrees + each day with tons of humidity) and I was ready to jump off a cliff.  Everyone that we knew with a pool was either away or hadn’t opened their pool yet.  But we survived.  Barely.

It’s funny how quickly you are thankful for the little things in life when you no longer have them.

We spent much of the weekend playing in the backyard, working on the yard, remembering the fallen soldiers, and we went and put flowers on my father’s grave.  Not much, but just enough to make the most out of a long, relaxing weekend.

Monday morning, we went and watched our local Memorial Day parade and cheered on our Veterans.

A special thank you goes out to my Dad (Air Force), my father-in-law (Marines) and brother-in-law (Marines) for their service.  Without your selflessness, we would not have what we have- including (fixed) central air.  Thank you!

Waiting for the parade to start

So excited!

In between picking up candy

Watching the parade with Daddy

It All Happened Over a Deadliest Catch Marathon

It was Good Friday 5 years ago today that I said “Yes!” to one of the most important decisions of my life.  Chris proposed to me in the middle of the living room in front of my mother and my sister.

He had asked for my Mom’s permission a few days beforehand, so she knew that he was trying to plan something special for popping the big question, but in typical Molly fashion, I folied all of his plans and it came down to me eating a pizza bagel in record time after my Mom tricked me into getting my nails done and Chris dropping to one knee on the hardwood floor.

And although it doesn’t sound like the most romantic proposal ever, it is exactly what this quirky couple needed to make it official.

The holiest of holy days mixed with a Deadliest Catch marathon, the best pizza bagel ever and me refusing to eat dinner at home and enjoy the evening with my family in front of a fire all culminated to that moment.

I remember thinking to myself, “What the hell is he doing on the floor” and then when I began coherently understanding what he was saying about loving me forever and that he wanted to grow old with me mixed with my Mom and sister crying as they watched, I too began bawling my eyes out but was able to yell out “YES!!”

And looking back, its not even a thought of he picked me, it is more of a thought that we chose each other.  And 5 years later, I am so glad that we did.

1 year and 1 month later, we made it official!

New Baby in Philly!

We went down to Philly last weekend for one last attempt at packing up the house before the movers come on the 14th and to catch up and spend some time with friends, especially our soon to be former neighbors across the street.  They were our first real friends when we moved to Philly and had many fun nights out to dinner, getting puppies, having children, working on the houses, having a few drinks and just enjoying each others company.

Chris and Eric, the sports nuts, were always talking about the Philly teams and could joke over anything while standing over the grill with some cold ones and grilling the burgers for dinner.

Erica and I were always talking about the kids, fashion and anything else that was on our minds.

Other than the fact that we will both miss seeing two of the most awesome people just about every day, we are so happy for them.  They have a beautiful daughter and have just welcomed a second beautiful daughter about 2 weeks ago.

Jack didn’t show much interest in the baby when we came to visit, but we did get some very cute photos, including the one below.

Jack and the girls 🙂

St. Patrick’s Day 2012

St. Patrick’s Day Parade weekend is the holiest of holy days for my family.  It all began with my mother who would dress us head to toe in green, kilts, Irish sweaters and blinking pins and send us on our way to walk the parade route with our father, who was a Friendly Son of St. Patrick.  This year has been exceptionally hard because I did not get the usual phone call early in the morning, which usually went something like this, “Top of the morning to you, Molly.”  To which I would reply, “And the rest of the day to yourself, Mom.”

My Mom always had a knack for making it an even bigger holiday than it really is; shamrock shakes, green bagels, green beer (for her) and ensuring that we knew every word to every Irish song that the band would play in the bar after the parade.

This year, Chris, who is also a Friendly Son of St. Patrick, proudly marched the parade route with Jack in his stroller.  He beamed with pride and so did I to see my son partake in the wonderful tradition that I was able to experience as a child myself.

We enjoyed the after-party and as usual, it was nice to catch up with friends and watch Jack marvel in the provate bagpiper and drum band performance in our party room.

So proud of my Irish lads!

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick

 

Chris and Jack marching ❤

 

Irish lads marching

 

My sweet little lad

 

Chris, me, my sister Lisa and Jack after the parade

 

Watching the rest of the parade

 

Bagpipers!!!!

 

Jack Went on the Potty!

On Monday March 5, Jack finally went on the potty!  No photos as we were at work and he did it at school, but very exciting milestone!

We have been working on going on the potty at home and at school while influencing training pants and big boy underwear, and the time finally came when he went on the potty!  Everyone in the class, including his teachers all did the potty dance and celebrated with him.

In the evening, Chris and I took him to Baskin Robbins to celebrate with some ice cream.  With a small cup of birthday cake ice cream in hand, he proudly told everyone who walked in for ice cream that night that he went “pippies on the potty!!”

Chris and I are so proud of him and he continues to try to go on the potty and is still showing many potty readiness signs, so we will continue to encourage him, but not to force the issue.  However, it has to be said that it would be awesome to not have two children in diapers at the same time!  😉

Here are some photos from our ice cream celebration:

Yay! Ice Cream!

 

 

Party Planning…a little early

It’s not a secret that I love to plan a party.  Whether it is just to get together with friends or to celebrate a special occasion, I love to plan and throw a party.

When Jack was born, the first 6 weeks of his life were a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, Christmas, family birthdays and all of a sudden, he was 6 weeks old and was baptized.  We didn’t really have the time to organize a formal baptism for our family and friends to attend, but this time, I do plan on having more of our family present at the little guy’s baptism.

We have an heirloom Christening gown that was worn by many of my relatives, including my mother, uncles, cousins, myself and of course, Jack.  The tradition will continue with this little one as well.  Since I apparently make big babies, I don’t have much time to plan a party, especially when I have about 6 weeks of the baby just being able to get into the gown.  (When Jack wore it, we were never able to button the top button on the back because he was already so big)

I’m already perusing invitations and for party ideas.  Anyone have any suggestions or ideas for the party?  Since it will be summer, we can just have a house party in the backyard to hold the celebration.  I’m always open to new and exciting ideas/options.  We are going to keep it to about 15-20 people, mostly family and very close friends.  There will be some kids, but mainly adults.  Looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say!