Monday, July 22, 2013

Baby Boom!

We spent the past weekend celebrating the arrival of Kelly & Armando's new baby girl, name to be determined!  Casey, Krysta and I have been planning this shower for several months and it was fun to see it all come together.  Kelly's little girl is due in September and we couldn't be more excited for her to make her arrival.  As a wonderful special bonus, our college girlfriend, Suzanne, and her sweet little family made the trip for the weekend.  It was really amazing for us four college roomates to all be together again, now with our husbands and all of us with our children (one still in the belly!).  As Suzanne posted, "we've come a long way baby."

We spent all day Saturday celebrating with a delightful girls shower (plus baby Luke and little Jack), where Kelly was gifted so many gorgeous and cute pink baby things!  Her mom made this amazing cake and overall, I think it was a success.
The gorgeous cake Kelly's mom made!

Kelly opening gifts!

The day continued with an evening BBQ that include all of our husbands.  Casey and Travis' beautiful home was over-run with laughing, screaming and sometimes even whiny children!  It was great to remember who and where we used to be and catch up on current events.  The girls even got to "sneak away" (for about 10 minutes) without kids or husbands and just gossip. Driving home that night I was ridiculously sentimental...I blame the new baby hormones...just feeling so lucky to have these friendships that have stood the test of time and even distance.  Given how much we have all changed in the last TWELVE years, its amazing that we all have anything in common.  Perhaps the common thread is the past that allows us to continue to lean on each other for the future?  I just felt so blessed to spend time with these now women and our children and husbands and enjoy our lives!
Madison and Jack doing a little water play

I love this one b/c none of the kids are cooperating, which is pretty much life right now!

Love these girls!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Happy 4th of July Week

We had such a fun week over the 4th of July.  Our fun started on Wednesday when we traveled to Durham to spend the morning with our best-buds Casey and Lily at the Museum of Life and Science.  Casey is so wonderful and was able to help with the kids a lot, which made the morning totally enjoyable and doable!  Madison's favorite part was the choo-choo train, no surprise here! She enjoyed time with Lily and it was such a treat to spend so much time with them!
All Aboard!  Madison, Casey and Lily on the train

Madison, Lily and an "extra" kiddo playing with the lights

Madison is captivated by the "clouds"

The city of Morrisville does their firework display in July 3rd.  Our tradition (all 2 years of it) is to go to the DQ and sit outside on blankets with ice cream to watch the fireworks.  This is a neighborhood event filled with kids and fun.  We enjoyed a BBQ with some neighborhood friends before heading out, which was a great distraction for Madison. The fireworks didn't start until 2.5 hours after bedtime!!  We were not disappointed by Madison's reaction, she was truly mesmerized.  She squealed with delight and asked for more after each display!
Madison covered in ice cream!

Her face is priceless!

On the actual 4th we braved the pool, which in retrospect, we could have skipped.  All the kids were tired from the night before and it was PACKED.  That evening we enjoyed a BBQ with our dear friends the Logues.  It is so wonderful to have family friends where the dads are friends, the moms are friends and the kids really enjoy each other.  It allows for a really fun evening!  The older kids tried sparklers and Madison was interested for a few seconds...
Madison loves the toys!

Cheese! I love that Luke's eyes are crossing with him trying to look at Madison

1st 4th of July!!

It was so wonderful for Ryan to have a four-day weekend and we filled it with lots of fun.  We are so thankful for our family and to have such wonderful friends to celebrate with.

Happy (belated) 2 months to Luke

Being late on month number 2 is not a good sign for things to come, but better late than never!
Luke turned 2 months on July 4th - we pretended it was a birthday celebration for him.  What a lucky guy:) More to come on that fun week! Slowly, but surely, Luke is becoming more awake and alert, which is fun for all of us!

Weight: 9 lbs 10 oz (3%)
Length: 20 inches (1%)

Feeding:  Luke continues to be a champ at nursing.  He is struggling with reflux and during his second month, Dr. R put Luke on Zantac to try.  We think it is a big improvement, in fact, at his 2 month appointment, Dr. R suggested I could add dairy back in (that it was likely reflux all along and not a dairy sensitivity).  Hooray!  Luke is definitely a spitter.  We have learned to keep lots of burp cloths handy and, I figure it isn't a day with
the kids if I don't have to change my shirt several times!  Luke has no trouble taking the bottle.  At 2 months he takes between 3.5 and 4 ounces.  He will easily go about 4 hours between feeds, but we are trying to encourage 3 hours so that maybe he will eat less "forcefully" and decrease his reflux.  

Sleeping:  Luke is making small steps of progress. He is consistently going 3-4 hours at night, which is an improvement.  Just before his 2 month birthday, he gave us a special treat and did 6 hours!  We're not sure if it will be consistent, but it was a great gift for us!  Luke sleeps in his crib in his own room.  During the day, he still struggles to nap in the crib. I'm not sure what the difference is! He continues to prefer to be held.  I'll take the snuggles while I can:)  But, it does make caring for 2 kids more difficult.

Likes:  His jungle mat.  He is interested in the lights and starting to do some very large swats at toys. He's not accurate at all, but seems to acknowledge that toys are dangling above him.  Luke continues to enjoy being snuggled close and loves the swaddle.  The paci still helps Luke fall asleep, but then he is quick to get rid of it.  He also loves to be outside.  Unfortunately, it has been pretty rainy and yucky here this summer.  His cord just came off (at his 2 month appointment - thank goodness), so he has only had washcloth baths, but he loves to be in the tub!

Dislikes: Being burped.  Luke is not a patient man and when he's eating, he does not appreciate a pause to burp.  We have learned that Luke doesn't dislike the car seat when he is put in it awake.  However, he really doesn't like being asleep and then strapped in - it is a surefire way to make him scream!

Fun Facts:
I ventured out with both kids to the mall, alone.  This was a big step for me, with Luke being so unpredictable in the car seat I was concerned about it.  Of course he fussed pretty quickly, but I ended up wearing him in the baby ka'tan (highly recommend this!) and it worked great.  In fact, I was able to ride the carousel and train with Madison while wearing him and he snoozed the entire time!
The Castile side of the family came to visit - Luke got to spend some time with his cousin, Jensen, who is a little over 2 months older then him.  Laney and Papa also came back to see the kids and spent a ton of time spoiling them rotten!

Madison is becoming more interested in Luke and will occasionally ask to hold him!

Madison with her right-hand man!
Luke loving on Laney


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Farm to Fork

You might remember reading about our attempt at a garden this year.  I should clarify that by garden, I mean, 3 zucchini and 3 tomato plants (and a small herb garden). We've been wanting to try this for several years now and finally, in my last trimester of pregnancy - - we planted it.  What's even more amazing is, it seems to be successful!  Well, truth be told, we lost one tomato plant.  However, I think we are going to be enjoying plenty of tomatoes that we aren't mourning the loss too much!

Picking the very 1st zucchini for "harvest"

The 3 winners!

One large zucchini made enough yumminess for a double batch of muffins and two loafs of zucchini bread! I sent one home with Ryan's mom and froze the other.  Madison cannot get enough of the muffins, which thrills me because there are lots of veggies inside.  I'm going to need some new zucchini recipes...anyone??

Monday, June 24, 2013

Father's Day

I'm a little behind on this post..I'm hoping the toddler and baby are good enough excuses.

We want to wish a very happy Father's Day to Ryan.  Madison and Luke love their dad so much.  They are fortunate to have a daddy that gives them so much attention, flies them around the house, stays up late to feed them, always remembers to put in a bow and gives them unconditional love.  Seriously, Ryan is an amazing father.  I know we both feel like we are "winging-it" around here most of the time.  Parenting is serious stuff! But, he does it with ease and grace and a lot of laughter!
Father's Day 2013 with Madison and Luke

Pool-side with Luke

Giving Madison her first dance!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sleeping Beauties

Sleep is a high commodity around the Castile Household these days.

Let's start with Madison.

Our dear, sweet, amazing sleeper Madison.  Seriously, we have been ridiculously "lucky" with her sleep. She goes down consistently at 7pm and sleeps until between 7 and 8 in the morning. She doesn't fight bedtime/naptime and will play in her crib for an extended period of time upon waking.  With that being said...she's had a rough week.  On Monday we visited with some friends until 7:30, so she went down late, but I thought we were still OK.  However, she managed to stay awake until 10:30.  10:30. Never before has Madison seen a bedtime this late.  This came on the night before her first day in her new daycare class (the "older twos").  Where, she had an excellent day socially, but managed to not nap at all.  I'm not sure if she was afraid she'd miss something or it was just and adjustment, but she never laid down.  It took her being home for approximately two minutes before she started melting down.  No surprise from this mama.  She was served dinner early, where she promptly feel asleep while eating. Which, earned her a 6pm bedtime and 13 hours of sleep.

Hopefully, we are back on a schedule.  We have been talking a lot about nap time at school and that she is supposed to go "night-night."  There might have been a bribe involved, which I have no idea if she is old enough to understand, but we will see how naptime goes today...

Now Luke.

What a surprise little Luke has been since the beginning.  I would not use mellow or chill to describe this child.  He's sweet and snugly, but high maintenance.  During the day, Luke naps a variety of places.  Of course, his place of choice is being held.  But, he does great in the car seat when we are out and occasionally will nap in the bouncer.
sleeping at the pool

sleeping in the Moses basket

Snuggled in the car seat

 The biggest issue is if he wakes up before he's ready.  Whoa - what a grouch!  At night, we are sticking to the crib.  I've discovered the "double swaddle."  Google this. It is amazing and he can't break out of it.  Last night we were rewarded with two four-hour stretches.  Which, for me is 6 hours of sleep.  I've been going to bed at 10pm, Ryan does a feeding around 12 and then I'm up at 4.  I'm a whole-new mama.  A much, much better mama with sleep!!  Please cross your fingers for us that this trend continues!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Luke - 1 month old

Date: June 4, 2013

Weight: 7lbs 3 oz

Feeding:  Luke is nursing 99% of the time and takes 1 bottle a day of pumped milk.  Generally, he goes 3 to 4 hours between feedings.

Sleeping: Ehhh...hopefully more to come?  He would be content being held 100% of the time and would likely sleep long stretches at night.  However, Luke does not seem to like being flat on his back and struggles to get the burps out.  This has made for a lot of trial and error.  My parents bought Luke a beautiful bassinet.  That he screams in.  We've tried the crib, elevated 1 -textbook high, where he will sleep for a few hours.  My dear friend lent us her arms-reach, co-sleeper, which has worked maybe 10% of attempts.  Last night, I caved and he spent from 4-6 in the bouncer seat while I slept on the couch.  Today, my friend lent us her rock-and-play sleeper to try.  The irony is, I had big plans regarding sleep for Luke.  We created so many bad habits with Madison that I was eager to teach this child how to put himself to sleep from the get-go. Ha! I am currently just in survival mode.  Any tips from seasoned moms out there?

Likes: Being held and snuggled.  He is such a snuggle-bug!  His awake times are later in the day and he enjoys a few minutes of tummy time and playing/lying and looking at his toy mat.  Madison - Luke loves to look at Madison!  Eating.  His paci - for a few minutes at a time.

Dislikes: Being swaddled (Luke much prefers to have his hands together and often up by his face), lying flat on your back, being put into the car seat.  Luke don't love to have your diaper changed or be bathed, but is starting to relax a little more.

Fun Facts: Madison loves to hold Luke. She isn't too sure about him and really doesn't like when he cries (it often sends her into a crying fit).

As a family: Going from 1-2 children is definitely an adjustment!  Madison has struggled, mostly just being more sensitive and emotional.  The first two weeks were filled with melt-downs and whining.  I do think that things are getting better and she is starting to return to a clam state!  Ryan and I have been working on stopping the melt-downs immediately.  We've been giving her a lot of lap time and snuggles and I do believe it will all even out.  She has become such a Daddy girl and it is sweet to hear her talk so much more!  Madison will be transitioning rooms at daycare and we are both nervous and excited to see how it goes next week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Belle of the Ball

Ryan's sister, Michelle, married Jimi on Saturday May 11, 2013.  As a family, we have been so excited about this celebration.  We love Michelle and Jimi so much as a couple.  I enjoyed hearing about all of Michelle's decisions and couldn't wait to see all her hard work and planning play out for a beautiful weekend.  And, as icing on the cake, Madison was asked to be a flower girl!

Unfortunately, with Luke's early arrival and my c-section, I was advised to miss the wedding.  After shedding many tears, Ryan took on single daddy duty and rocked it!  The pictures and stories are proof that their wedding was absolutely perfect and we couldn't be happier for the new couple!

The bride, her bridesmaids and flower girls


Dancing with Daddy

Madison loves her Aunt Shell so much and this picture melts my heart!

Madison in the middle of the dance floor!

With the bride and groom!

He's Here

We welcomed Luke Ryan Castile 5 weeks early! He was in a hurry to join our family and completely caught us off guard.  For those of you that know me well, you know I like to plan.  I have often referenced the quote "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans."

Here's the back story.  On Friday May 3, Madison and I had a fun day planned with shopping in the morning and a late afternoon play-date.  Ryan had plans to see a movie and play in a golf tournament that Saturday.  I had just finished my last day at the clinic and was looking forward to getting things together and wrapping up loose ends in May.  Madison and I went to Target for some shopping and a few stores searching for flower-girl shoes.  We came home in time to make lunch.  Just before lunch we had a few minutes to play "babies" on the couch.  At 11:30, I got up to get lunch started and in the middle of the living room my water broke.  I freaked.  Instantly.  It is probably my worst parenting moment (to date) with Madison because I could not contain my fear and emotions and I was a mess.  Which, meant Madison was hysterical as well.  I yelled up to Ryan, who luckily was working at home.  Unfortunately, he didn't understand what I was saying and told me he was on a call and he'd be down shortly (he thought maybe a pipe was leaking).  I was able to express that this was an emergency and luckily he came down.  We instantly went into "go" mode.  Between our sweet neighbor, my bff Casey and amazing Aunt "Shell" Madison was covered 100% and I quickly threw together a bag for me and Ryan.  And, off we went. I wasn't sure if they would try to stop the delivery or let it go, but I was terrified either way.  At 34 weeks and 6 days I knew we were right on the border of Luke being healthy and able to come home versus being immature and needing additional NICU/special infant care intervention.  Which, given my profession, is pretty terrifying to me.

Long story short - the OB was fine with Luke being delivered.  There was a lot of discussion about if he was to be born before or after midnight, as this was the difference between him being born at 34 weeks versus 35 weeks (crazy that an hour made such a difference!).  I got my epidural and basically things just went very slow. Overnight, we noticed that Luke's heart rate was dropping with each contraction.  Apparently this is pretty common, but with my progress being slow the OB started to be concerned about lack of oxygen over the next several hours.  Immediately, I was on board with a c-section (lack of oxygen is a scary thing).  I boo-hooed a lot when they told me I couldn't pick up Madison for 6 weeks and was generally an emotional mess!

I won't go into detail, but an emergency c-section at 3 am is not really fun.  I am sure I'm on some list of "crazy patients" as I was so emotional the.entire.time (seriously).  But the end result was so worth it.

Meet Luke Ryan Castile.  Born 3:31 am, 5 lbs 1 oz, 19 inches long

After having his oxygen sats monitored for 6 hours and passing with flying colors, Luke was able to be with us the entire time in the hospital.  Aside from some jaundice issues, there were no additional concerns from his prematurity.  We both went home on day 4!

Family of 4 now!

Headed home.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Playing in the Dirt

As I've mentioned, Madison loves to be outside!  Ryan and I have been trying to get all our Spring planting done. This year, that included all our flowering pots and our first attempts at an herb and vegetable garden.  If everything grows, we will be very excited!  Madison has been enjoying all our trips to the Farmer's Market and Lowe's.  But, she especially loves helping out in the yard!
Here is Daddy supervising!  Our yard is pretty small, so we thought we'd start with a very small vegetable garden and see how it goes.  

Helping mix the soil with Daddy

Proud of her hard work and helping

Snack break - planting is hard work!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Catching up on Madison

I have taken quite the break from blogging, but would like to attempt to catch up. Madison turned 2 a few weeks ago and is just a delight. She has quite the strong personality, is barrels of fun, incredibly snugly and very opinionated!

Favorites: She loves to be outside.  She would be outside all day long.  Madison loves to hunt for Easter eggs (we throw them, she collects them. repeat. again.), she enjoys watering the flowers and most of all, bubbles.  She will gather her buckets and walk away, yelling, "Bye, see you soon!"  Luckily for us, our backyard is gated, so she can't make it far.

Park playdates are one of her favorites.  She likes to climb and swing.  She talks all about the slide, but generally will go down once or twice and then is done.

Her favorite show is Mickey Mouse.  Perhaps terrible that we let her watch tv, but sometimes, I need to cook dinner!  She loves Minnie and will sing and dance along.  She asks to watch "Rubies" (Max&Ruby), but is often bored quickly.  Elmo continues to be a favorite, but she won't sit to watch Sesame Street.  Inside, she is often coloring and playing with stickers. I wish I could insert a recording of her little voice when she asks for stickers (it sounds Russian).
Madison also loves letters. It is amazing watching her learn.  I cannot take any credit for her knowing and identifying all her letters before age 2, I guess they just learn what they are interested in? Hopefully she'll be a reader.

Dislikes:  Waiting.  Patience is something that Madison does not have! Please tell me this is a general 2 year old trait?  We are finding that we cannot even tell her when we are going to leave, because she becomes so frustrated with the "getting everything ready" part, she often has a meltdown while waiting.  Honestly, this tends to be the root of almost all tantrums.

Eating:  Madison weighed in at 25.1 lbs at her 2 year checkup, putting her right at 50% for weight.  She is off of whole milk now.  We have really tried to introduce her to most foods and at dinner, she has what we are having, or at least attempts to.  Veggies are not always enjoyed, but she will generally eat peas!  Madison loves blueberries and bananas.  She also has her Daddy's sweet tooth, so we will need to teach her portion control and moderation :)

Sleeping:  Madison has turned out to be a great sleeper.  She goes down every night around 7 and sleeps until between 7 and 8.  We keep generally the same routine of bath, books, and laying her down awake.  Sometimes she is asleep in 5 minutes, sometimes 30, but we cannot complain and almost never are there any tears.  At home, she naps from 12:30-2ish.  Daycare is a little rough, she generally sleeps only about 45 minutes, but it doesn't seem to have too negative of an impact on her! We think she's afraid she will miss out on any fun!  And, she gets extra snuggles from her teachers if she's the only one awake - so she may have it all figured out!  At home, there is no rush to get Madison when she wakes up.  She likes taking her time and we find if we go in too quick, she is often grumpy.

Routine: Madison goes to daycare all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She loves school and is running out the door to get there.  She spends Wednesdays with her "Aunt Shell" and they get to have so much fun.  Often they go to story time at the library and for walks to the park.  I get to spend all day Mondays and Fridays with her and usually try to attend playgroup.  Right now, we are doing a 4 week class at MyGym.  We did a Town of Cary ballet class, but at just under 2 years, were just not ready for such strict classroom guidelines - haha!  However, the leotard was adorable!