Saturday, December 27, 2008

Family Portraits

With all the family in town, we thought it would be a good idea to get some pictures made. We did the kids one day and the family the next. With the exception of Lizzie taking a nose dive out of her little chair, everything went pretty well, and we were all able to agree on the poses we liked. Ryan and I also had a picture of our new family made, which I really love. Clayton looked so big standing on a stool next to me. He was very cooperative, which was a great help.

Visiting Santa

We took Clayton and Eli to the mall to see Santa last week. Eli was two weeks old, and Santa said he was his youngest customer yet. Clayton waltzed right up there without a care in the world. I know it looks like he's moving away from Santa, but honestly, he was just lounging in Santa's big chair. Clayton always likes to get comfy. Eli was insisting on clawing at his face, so he had to be restrained by Santa. Overall, the picture was a success.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just had to share

So Clayton has been in a "I'm not going to do anything for my parents unless it's my idea" phase for a while. This has translated to months of refusing to even glance in the direction of a camera, which is probably why I'm so bad about taking pictures lately.

Well last night he was all smiles (for about one minute), and I was able to get my first really good picture of the boys together.

Too bad Eli was asleep, but he looks pretty cute too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eli's First Bath at Home

From last week:
Not happy.

All done.

The final product.

Eli at Home

Everything here is going well. We've been home for a week and a half now, and time is flying. Eli is doing very well. He had his first doctor's appointment last Friday, and he's gaining on Clayton already. At discharge Eli weighed 7lbs, 2oz. That was Sunday. By Friday he was up to 7lbs, 9oz. Of course there's probably some scale variance, but he's definitely gaining. Everything else looked and sounded great, and the doctor said to come back in two months. With Clayton the doctor usually said to come back in two days, so I don't know how I'll survive two months.

My mom has been here since Eli was born and will stay through Christmas, which is a huge blessing to our family with Ryan's busy schedule. My dad was in to meet Eli this weekend, and we all had a good time. We were all able to attend church together on Sunday. Clayton had been suffering from some "nursery anxiety" earlier this fall, but he waltzed into the nursery willingly for the second time, and that makes Sundays so much more enjoyable. The rest of us are still laughing over the church preschool's performance of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Oh my goodness! There was one little boy who was absolutely hilarious, and the program will not soon be forgotten by the congregation. I really hope to send Clayton to this preschool next fall, and I can't wait to see him up there singing.

This week Mom and I are busy preparing for our big family Christmas. We're having Grandmother and Granddad, Mom and Dad, Meghan, Luke, and Lizzie, Pamela, and Aunt Janice and Uncle John, plus our family. We've been busy planning the menu and the schedule. I can't wait to see everyone and have them all meet Eli. Clayton will love having so many men in the house and will most likely spend the week conning men out into the freezing cold to play with a ball of some type.

I'm not the greatest about taking pictures, but here are a few from our new family.

Arriving at home for the first time on a very chilly afternoon.

Loving the swing.

Tough love from Clayton.

Zeitler boys.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We're Home!

I just wanted to give a quick update to say that we all made it home yesterday. The official review of Eli's echo came back, and all structures looked age appropriate. The pediatrician gave him a clean bill of health, and we were discharged late in the afternoon. Unfortunately, we managed to get discharged without my pain medicaton prescriptions. Ouch! Of course I realized this about two minutes down the road, so we turned around, and Ryan was able to run in and get that straightened out.

Eli slept most of the evening, so he was ready to be held and fed most of the night. Luckily we were able to get a few hours of sleep this morning. Today Eli has been a very easy baby.

We are soaking up all of the experiences we never got with our other children. Clayton is loving Eli. He constantly wants to hug and kiss on him, sometimes more than Eli wants. Although we feel like the luckiest parents in the world, it's hard not to imagine what it would be like to have our three boys at home. We sure are missing Colin these days.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Eli's Big Day

First of all, thank you to everyone for your prayers for this baby. This has been a very stressful pregnancy, and we are so grateful for Eli's safe arrival.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30am to check in for the c-section, scheduled at 7:30am. Neither of my previous two c-sections were not anywhere close to on time, so I was surprised when they took me to the OR at 7:10. I have a history of nausea with anesthesia, and after some unpleasantness, the procedure started at 7:30am. Eli was born at 7:39am. Previously there have been no less than 20 people in the OR with us, everyone running around frantically. Today was different. I think there were about six people in there with us, and there were Christmas carols playing in the background. Everyone was calm and excited, such a nice change.

Shortly after his arrival, Eli went to the nursery, got a little bit of oxygen after possibly inhaling a little amniotic fluid, got a bath, and then he and Ryan were able to join me in my room. What a different experience for us. After a few minutes a nurse came in to let us know they were ready in the nursery for Eli's first echo cardiogram. A little later the pediatrician came by to say he had reviewed the echo, and although he was not a cardiologist, he felt everything was structurally normal. The scan is now being sent to Clayton's cardiologist for his official review. I'll admit that I'm still nervous about Eli's health, but so far everything is looking great. He's been a pretty sleepy guy today, but we're hoping he'll take in a little more food tomorrow.

Clayton spent the day with a friend today, and Ryan brought him up to the hospital for a few minutes this evening to meet his little brother. He was so excited to see the baby. He and Eli sat on Ryan's lap for a long time. Then Nan was able to take Clayton home for the night while Ryan stayed at the hospital with me.

This morning Eli still looks great. Ryan is taking Clayton to our squadron's children's Christmas party, and Nan and I are here at hospital together. The c-section recovery is going as well as possible. You really know what to expect the third time around, and I feel like I know what I should and shouldn't do at this time.

Thanks again for all your prayers.


Eli Jacob Zeitler
December 5, 2008
7lbs, 13 oz
18.75 inches

So far, so good. More to follow.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Advent Naughtiness

Growing up in Germany, my parents always bought us advent calendars after Thanksgiving. These calendars have a little piece of chocolate behind a numbered door, and you open a door everyday in December to count down to Christmas. When we came back to the states we were still able to get these calendars from the commissary, but they were perhaps left over from the year before, as the state of the chocolate was usually questionable.

Last month my parents took a trip to Germany and brought back a real (and very fresh) advent calendar for Clayton. I meant to get it out on the first of the month, but I forgot. While Clayton was napping yesterday I remembered it, unwrapped it, and set it on the hearth, thinking I'd show it to him after dinner. Dinner came and went, and Ryan and I were still sitting at the table talking when I realized it was definitely too quiet in the living room.

Apparently it didn't take much for a two year old to realize there was chocolate in this new decoration. I walked into the living room, and Clayton immediately took something out of his mouth, shoved it into a door (#17) on the calendar, and dropped the calendar on the hearth. Then he looked up at me with a sneaky little grin, his cheek smudged with chocolate.

This is definitely not the first time advent "naughtiness" has occurred. I remember many Christmases when certain children in our family ended up with mysteriously missing chocolates toward the end of the month. I guess Clayton is just continuing in the tradition. For now, the calendar will be safely kept up on the kitchen counter.