Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Uriah Michael

Dear Uriah,

I see you. I see you following me around the house at my heels, waiting your turn for my attention. I see you sitting there reading your books looking up to see if I'm done yet - done with the dishes, done feeding Ezra, done texting dad... I see you sigh when Ezra wakes up and I leave our game to comfort her. I see you misbehaving - throwing your toys, hitting mom, screaming inside - just to see if I'll notice, pay attention and react. I see you, baby boy, I see you.

We threw a lot at Uriah this last month - a baby sister, a revolving door of visitors which always resulted in a schedule change, potty training, teething and now preparation for our big move. He's acted out in defiance, which was to be expected with so much change - more whining, more "no!"... But you guys, he's such a good kid. He's so smart - he surprises me every day with the things he's learning and the new words he says and sentences he puts together. He gets an A+ in potty training, he caught on so quickly!, and is doing so much on his own, now. And he's so sweet! I mean, just the sweetest! I am a constant victim of unsolicited hugs and kisses and he plays with my hair when he's in my arms and rocks Ezra to sleep and drags his blankey everywhere he goes. And he's got so many quirks! Like the way he bobs forward when he's counting and the way he looks up when he's thinking about what he's going to say next and the way he scrunches his nose and whispers when he's exited to tell you something. Yes, he disobeys and drives me crazy, but maybe I deserve a hit on the leg or two after what we put him through recently ;)

I just hope he knows that he hasn't been forgotten or overlooked. I hope he knows my patience will run out but that my love for him will not. I hope he knows that he was our first and will always be my baby boy. I hope he knows that my love for him is unconditional. I hope he knows that I'm trying my hardest to be the best at this job for both of my babies. I hope he knows that I see him - him. With all his quirks and annoyances and love and chub... I see him.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Match Day!

Stephen started the residency application process and hit the 'submit' button way back in September. He has been preparing for residency for months, years, really, and it all came down to Match Day. All the studying and attending classes and volunteering and applying and traveling and interviewing, it all came down to a computer algorithm and that one day - March 20th. After all that preparation and waiting, I feel like the day and the results it brought with it just got passed over because our little girl was born three days later. We had those three days to celebrate and share our news with others and talk about our new future, but then Ezra came and we were on to the next high. But it was an occasion that needs more attention than that, because, you see, Stephen got in to Stanford... STANFORD! More than anything, we were just excited to know where we were finally moving to, but Stanford?! Does it get any better than that?!

It sounds silly to say that I'm "proud" of Stephen. I am! So very, very proud, but that doesn't cover it, that's not enough. I'm more than proud. I've been able to be by Stephen's side from the first of this process - we were dating when he was applying to medical schools, engaged when he was interviewing and we were married one month before his first day of class. I've seen how hard he's worked for this - how many hours in and out of the classroom he's put in, hours away from his wife and his babies, forgoing social events and travels. I've seen his professors and classmates recognize him for his talents and I've seen him humbly accept their compliments, truly believing others deserve it just as much. I've seen him juggle it all, never leaving me to suffer. He has been tired and worn out and frustrated and I've seen him be nervous and skeptical and I've seen him triumph every. single time. This, is no exception. Stephen was accepted into the Internal Medicine Residency program at Stanford University and I am PROUD.

There was a Match Day breakfast for all the fourth year students and their families, which is were they were given their acceptance letters. All medical students across the nation receive an acceptance letter at the same time. Ours was 10 am and trust me, we were counting down the seconds! Stephen didn't seem nervous until they handed us the envelope and the clock started ticking. We let Uriah open the envelope and Stephen told me to read it. I had to scan the page for a minute before I read it - "Stanford University" - and was so thrilled I dropped the paper, folding it up on itself, before Stephen had a chance to see what it said! (Oops!) We immediately exchanged wide eyed smiles and the tears just started coming. A little bit of shock, relief and excitement - not only did we finally know where we were going, we were going where we wanted to go! His hard work had paid off - it was official!

We celebrated in our own little world before sharing and exchanging the news with our friends around us. After more food and pictures, we went to the zoo with our friends to celebrate together (the time to talk was for the adults, the animals were for the kids ;)) We were all buzzing with excitement and talk of the future - where are we going to live? When will we move? What is there to do in our new towns? So many unknowns, but still so much peace finally knowing where we were going - it was a weird feeling, but a very happy one!

That night the school held a celebratory dinner and we were able to continue chatting away about this next step with our friends. I hate that we'll no longer be living in the same town as them (Ben and Amanda started in Alaska with us!) but am so excited that they are traveling down the path they each wanted. Good things are to come for those friends, though they will be missed!

So! Stephen's first day of residency is June 25th, orientation on the 19th. Right now were in the waiting (and praying!) stage of resident housing. Once we find out if we were accepted (it is based on a lottery system) we can either sign the papers or start apartment hunting elsewhere. Our plans are to hit the road on June 1st! Which means just five more weeks, four here in Boise because we'll be in Seattle for a week for graduation. Four more weeks to see all the people we want to see, do all the things we want to do, go all the places we want to go... Four more weeks to sort through our stuff, sell some stuff and pack up the rest... We've been preparing and waiting for this for so long, I can't believe how quickly it's all coming to a close. Match Day was such a momentous day for us and in Stephen's medical career - we are so blessed that God has lead us here! Next step? Graduation!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

one month

You've heard it before - I've said it before! And I'll be saying it again and again... Where does the time go? It flies. How is my baby girl one month old already?! I blinked and here we are. And I can't believe it. It goes so much faster the second time around, too. It doesn't quite seem fair. We sure are lucky to have this little angel with us, though. She has been the perfect addition to our family. For one, I'm no longer out numbered ;) But the presence of little bows, pink jammies, tiny newborn diapers and the sounds of baby noises... It has been such a challenge this last month, for all of us, but such a blessing - to get to experience this again, learning and loving and raising a new baby - our little baby girl... 

Size: At three weeks old (because she didn't have a four week/one month appointment) she weighed 9 pounds 8 ounces, more than two pounds up from her coming home weight. She was also over two inches taller (!!!), 22 inches long. She is growing out of her newborn clothes (as you can see), mostly wearing size 0-3 now, and is in size 1 diapers.

Sleep: Ezra is an awesome-ish sleeper. Since coming home from the hospital she has gone down for bed around 9:30-10, wakes up one time around 4, again around 7 (which is usually when Uriah and I get up for the day) and then is up and awake for a few hours around 9. Once a night? I know, I'm pretty lucky! I paid my dues with Uriah ;) But... She's loud. So, so loud! The girl grunts and moans and strains and sighs and squeaks and breaths so heavy. She doesn't wake up, never opens her eyes, just makes noise all. night. long. It's not easy to sleep through - we've tried putting her in every room of the house, trying to find a place where we won't hear her grunting but I will still wake up to her when she's hungry - no luck. So, Stephen wears ear plugs and I try my hardest to tune her out while I silently pray she'll stop with noise. She has also consistently taken one long nap since coming home from the hospital - conveniently during Uriah's nap time. She goes down just after he does at 1 and is up again at 4, which means I get some good one on one time with Uriah when he wakes up at 3. I also get some good "Allison time" while they're both sleeping! She's just as loud of a sleeper during the day, but when I'm awake and not always in the same room as her and their are other noises in the house, it's not so easily noticed.

Eat: Nursing has gone smoothly from day one and I am so pleased! I tend to feed her whenever she's hungry, vs trying to get her on a specific schedule. With Uriah, I was trying so hard to create a schedule and be consistent - I always had my phone with me and my little nursing app up to make sure it'd been at least two hours, no more than 5... Eventually I gave up and fed him whenever he was hungry and it worked! - He created a schedule all on his own and I only wish it hadn't taken me so long to "go with the flow". Typically, though, she eats about every two hours in the morning and afternoon before her long nap. She'll eat, be awake for about an hour, snooze for an hour and so on. In the evenings, from 6:30-9:30, she's awake and eating every hour - like clockwork. It's a lot, but she sleeps good long stretches at night, so I'm not complaining.

Likes: She's always straining to see the light, especially when she's on our bed and the back door is open - she loves the sunlight and fresh air and being outside! She loves being worn in our Solly Baby wrap and I love carrying her in it equally as much. She's never minded the carseat, loves her binki and being swaddled. She loves when someone is close and in her field of vision talking to her - she's so close to smiling intentionally! She prefers to be bounced instead of rocked and likes her bum patted. She had her first bath in the tub and, much to my surprised, loved the water!

Dislikes: She isn't a fan of getting dressed (but what newborn is?) or getting her diaper changed, though when she's not hungry, she tolerates it pretty well. She doesn't seem to like pooping - she's got all sorts of sounds and faces of discomfort when she poops. And that's it - those are really the only times she's upset! That and when she's hungry ;) Such a dream baby!

Thank you, Jesus, for this crazy beautiful gift and for the opportunity to be apart of her life. You are so loved, Ezra Lee!

Friday, April 17, 2015

that newborn smell

How beautiful are my two babies?! My mom was still in town when Ezra turned one week old, so we turned on her camera ;) I am so thankful for my mother's talent and that I have these to look back on - my baby girl at one week old. I swear you can almost smell that delicious newborn smell just looking at these pictures... It has already been a year and yet just a day since she was born - motherhood is a beautifully crazy thing and I am so blessed to be experiencing it with these loves. 

The pink hat Ezra's wearing was a gift from our friend, Steff Winder. Steff (and her husband, John, and their two boys, Trevor and Carson) has been apart of our lives for many years now, Stephen's even longer than mine. They are somehow our siblings, parents, friends and mentors all in one - Uriah's God parents, too. Well, Steff's mother made the hat Ezra is wearing, Uriah received one, too. She made them years ago, before she passed away, and Steff chose to gift them to us - some of her mother's last creations. How special is that?