Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Harry Potter Party

My sisters threw a fabulous Harry Potter halloween party this past weekend. The party planning mania started months ago. We received an invitation to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry a couple weeks ago complete with a Marauders Map to the location of the party (my Dad's clubhouse). The place was thoroughly decked out! The front door was labeled "Platform 9 3/4," there was a sorting hat to sort guest into houses, cutouts of Harry, Ron and Hermione, Sirius Black in the fireplace, Moaning Myrtle in the bathroom, golden snitches everywhere, and horocruxes hidden throughout the place. The theater was turned into the Forbidden Forrest with a trial of spiders leading to the entrance and was playing Harry Potter Scene It. Guests were asked to bring a dish to share; I brought spicy deviled eggs, or "dragon eggs." London provided pumpkin juice and butter beer.

The first part of the party was spent going around to the various classrooms and completing an assignment towards receiving your O.W.L.s. There were five classrooms: Transfiguration, Divination, Herbology, Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts. The hostesses then selected a completed assignment from each classroom to win a prize - homemade sweets and candies from the Honeydukes store (chocolate frogs, licorice wands, ice mice, fudge, caramels, toffee, etc.) The second half of the party was spent playing Family Feud (houses battling against each other) and H.P. charades.

The invitation gave guests the option to dress up as a Harry Potter character, a witch or wizard, or to come as a muggle. By far, the majority of those in attendance were dressed up, and many of the costumes were amazing! There were about 40 people in attendance, so obviously I didn't take pictures of everyone, but here are a few of family, friends and others who I thought really went all out.

The hostesses: Sariah as the Whomping Willow and London as Tonks

Monte as Professor Lupin

Greg as Viktor Krum (he shaved his head and facial hair for the occasion), me as Luna Lovegood (it's difficult to see but I have a cork necklace turnip earrings and bare feet), and Brody as a nargle

Rachel and R.A. as Lily and James Potter

Susan as The Fat Lady... "password?"

Dad as Mad Eye Moody and Betty as a witch

Rod as the Boggart when portraying Professor Snape (he won best costume and most creative costume) and Tammy as Hermione when she drank the polyjuice potion.

some of London's friends as Mad Eye Moody and Professor Sprout

some of Sariah's work friends as Voldemort, Professor Umbridge and an owl

another one of Sariah's work friends as Professor Trelawney

a couple of London's friends as Dobby and a member of the Griffandor House

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stir Crazy

I like to be out and about. With both pregnancies I was at the store grocery shopping the day I got home from the hospital. Palmer is likewise an on the move type of person. Everyday I either have him at the daycare with me (playing away to his hearts content), out visiting friends or running errands. Now that I am homebound much of the day with a healing incision and a newborn during flu season, Palmer is going stir crazy. If he doesn't leave the house, he is left with far too much energy and therefore is unable to nap, gets cranky and displays some very naughty behaviors.

So the other night we took a trip to the dollar store to fill up some time and burn a certain toddler's energy. Palmer was in heaven! We told him he could pick out a toy, something we never offer, but since it was a dollar store, how can you go wrong? He of course initially picked a ball, or in his words "da-ball." Since he already has a few balls at home, Greg persuaded him to get a recorder instead. On our way out he also charmed us into getting him a balloon, or "boon," another of his favorite toys. We returned home with a couple dollars less in our wallet, but with one very happily entertained little boy.

Two Week Check & Whities

Brody had his two week checkup. He is doing great, gaining weight like crazy, a little more than an ounce a day. This didn't come as much of a shock to me since the kid eats nonstop. He still has a little jaundice; it looks worse than it is because he is so fair. But overall he is one healthy boy, and for that we are very grateful.

Here's a funny side note: I have to give him Vitamin D to supplement my breast milk. This is a precaution that is prescribed to Muslim women who cover their entire bodies with black clothing, and very fair Caucasian women. I laughed aloud when the doctor told me. Once again my extremely fair complexion bites me in the butt! I am officially deemed as pale as a woman who never sees sunlight. Sadly, both my boys have inherited my fair skin, and will also spend the rest of their lives being teased and caking on the sunscreen.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Postsurgery Scare

My older sister London almost died after getting an infection in her c-section incision, consequently my family is a bit paranoid about infections after surgery. On Thursday my incision was hurting so severely that I asked Greg to stay home from work to help me with the boys and Brody's doctor appointment. I had to take more medication that day than I even needed in the hospital. That night I had trouble sleeping because of the pain. I finally fell asleep around 3:00 and awoke at 5:30 to find myself covered in blood. We called the on call OB and she told me to avoid the ER to limit my exposure to swine flu and instead head to the instacare when it opened to have it looked at. At 8:00 I arrived at the instacare, only to be told they wouldn't see me and that I needed to take such a problem to my OB. He of course was out for the day, as were his coworkers. To make a long story short, after calling around to everywhere and having everyone telling me different things to do, nine hours later, I was able to get my doctor to look at the incision. What a stressful day!

Thankfully, there is no infection. After all that worry, I found out that I just had some fluid trapped underneath the skin that had to drain out. Unfortunately, my incision is now open and I have to be very careful that it doesn't get infected. It also is quite painful again, so I am back to being an invalid. Last night I told Greg as of right now, I think I am fine only having two children. He agreed. However, I'm sure I will eventually forget all the difficulty and hardship I have been going through, and crazily enough, do it all again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Here Come the Waterworks

I don't have a whole lot of exciting things to blog about, being stuck at home all day with a newborn. So bare with me as I post about my currently crazy hormones.

I will willingly admit that I am feisty when I am pregnant. Perhaps when I am carrying a girl, and don't have testosterone raging through my body, I will act more like myself. But, with the last two pregnancies and the corresponding male embryos, you had better steer clear of me if you didn't want my opinion on something/everything. Thankfully, I can recognize my fieriness and although I can't exactly change the way I feel, I can at least warn the people around me. Many a nights I cautioned Greg early on that I was ornery and that he should not take it personal, but that he possibly should watch out.

Postpartum, I find my hormones are even more out of whack. I am not so aggressive anymore, but weepy. Weepy might be a gentle way to put it. I cry over everything, as in I cried the other night when watching Lois compete in a beauty pageant on Malcolm in the Middle. I cried when I received a very generous gift from a friend. I got teary eyed when we ran into another friend last night and she simply asked how I was doing. I hold back the tears when Brody cries out to be nursed for the fifth time during the night. Now don't go getting all worried; I am not depressed. The tears usually aren't even sad tears, a good part of the time I find myself crying because I am touched by someone's thoughtfulness, and often I just find myself crying for no reason at all.

I'm not really sure which version of me is better, feisty or weepy, but poor Greg, he is in it for the long haul. I have been pregnant or nursing, and thereby not myself, since August 2007 without a break! And, I still have about another year of breastfeeding to go until I can return to my normal, steadily-hormoned self.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Newborn Pictures

We found out during our stay at the hospital that they no longer offer newborn pictures. So, we booked a session as soon as possible at JC Penney's portrait studio to capture our little guy on film before he grew up too much. Here are the results. Personally, I think they are darling, and probably came out better, and ended up being cheaper than they would have at the hospital.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

At Home and Recovering

We were able to come home yesterday morning. I really don't enjoy being in the hospital and always choose to leave the earliest the doctor will allow me. The nurses were great, and I had another very positive experience with IMC, nonetheless I was ready for the comforts of my own home. The nurse yesterday morning made a joke that I was not to sneak out while she went to get some paperwork.

I am recovering well. It is true what they say, a scheduled c-section is so much easier than an emergency c-section where you have labored beforehand. I am getting around well. I have been able to survive on ibuprofen without having to take a bunch of heavy narcotics. The only thing that has been rough about this delivery is my cold. I still have the constant cough I've been plagued with the last few months, only now it feels like my incision is ripping open each hack. The cold was also a bad combination with the spinal block, which already makes one feel like she cannot breathe. I was gasping for air through the entire procedure.

Palmer has adjusted amazingly well. Our family (London, Grandma Nancy) and friend (Jenny) reported that he was very well behaved for them while I was in the hospital. I am so thankful for their help during the last week! What a wonderful support system we are blessed with. He has had the same great behavior since we've been home. I haven't really seen a whole lot of jealousy yet. He is very interested in his little brother and points and talks to him often. He even has tried to play peek-a-boo with him. He is such a sweetie!

Brody is doing well also. He loves to eat, and therefore poops nonstop. He nurses for 30-40 minutes just about every two hours, which I'll admit has made for some exhausting nights. But, I am glad that he latches on so well and that I don't have to worry if he is getting enough nourishment. Just like delivery, nursing the second time around is turning out to be
so much easier.

So things are pretty well. Now if I could just get some sleep...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our New Recruit

Team Hess is proud to annouce that our new recruit, Brody Edwin Hess, was born Tuesday, October 6, 2009 via c-section at 8:20 AM. He weighs 7 lbs. 7 ounces and is 22 inches long. Mom and baby are both healthy and doing very well.

He looks just like Palmer did as a newborn, a lot like their Nana Valerie. He also cries exactly like his older brother, making the same sad face and sounds. The major difference between the two boys is that Brody has A LOT of extremely light blond hair. All the nurses comment on how blond it is and yet how thick it is as well. He is a wonderful nurser and wants to eat all the time. We are absolutely and totally smitten with this new, and so very sweet, little addition to our family.

Friday, October 2, 2009

That's Palmer's World!

About a week ago, we moved Palmer upstairs to his big boy room (which actually used to be my room during my school years) since the baby will be taking over the nursery.

We decorated the room on quite the budget. All the furniture was from his nursery. We have a hand-me-down crib for the new baby, and chose to keep Palmer's original set with him since this crib turns into a toddler bed. The bedding was the best priced set we found, and so we went with the theme from there. We painted the room white. It desperately needed a fresh coat, and we did an accent wall in Elmo red. The shelf we already had and just painted it to match. The totes are from the dollar store. The curtains were a good price. The mirror used to be in my room when I was a teenager. The books on top of the shelf were a baby gift from Grandma Nancy. The only item we really splurged on was the Elmo chair (which we did still find for a good deal, Walmart.com had it for half the price of Amazon), and it is adorable and worth every penny. It talks (plays Elmo says) and giggles and spins around. Palmer loves it! We had planned on it being his Christmas gift, but in a moment of weakness we both decided to pull it out when initially introducing Palmer to his new room.

I have a few more decorating plans in mind for the Elmo room in the future. Hopefully, I will be able to find the time and money to complete them soon. But in the meantime, Palmer seems pretty happy with it.