Thursday, October 30, 2014

The first month

It's been almost a month at home with our sweet Rachel. She is doing so well and we are adjusting to being a family of 4. We are also adjusting to the amazing amount of pink clothing and exponential increase in laundry I do each week. For someone so small she sure needs a lot of stuff! 
favorite hat (and 95% of her wardrobe) courtesy of cousin Piper
"Thriller" hands and booties from grandmom
 Jackson gets the award for best big brother! Here they are when we first brought her home from the hospital. He immediately wanted to talk with her and play legos. After his initial disappointment that it will be a long time before she can walk, run, talk and make lego houses, he has now become very content to hold her, look at her and lay next to her when she is (rarely) awake. 
 He will whisper to her, "Hey cutie. I love you" and "I will lay right here so you can kiss me." I hope they stay this sweet forever. 
 I am adjusting to life as a stay-at-home-mom with 2 kids and so far it's been going well. She sleeps like a champ (doing 7 hour stretches at night and a good 3-4 hour long nap in the afternoon, which allows me to get really great rest as well).  With Jackson, everyone told me, "sleep when the baby sleeps," but I was more concerned with getting things done and feeling productive. This time, however, I do lay down each afternoon at 1pm and nap for as long as J stays asleep (which can range from 0 minutes to 2.5 hours).  It's been the best decision and has made me feel healthy and more able to be patient with my children. Naps and lots of prayer for patience and grace for the kiddos and myself.  
 One day we hired a babysitter to have a play day with Jackson. Leslie came over and helped me make waffles and then took J to the park and the Pretlow Library. He had a blast! 
 Even though I am PT and should know better, I was nervous to do tummy time with Jackson right away. However, Rachel started it day one in the hospital and loves it (especially because she is so reflux-y and it helps her little belly to feel better). I love sweet moments like these where they are just enjoying each other's company. 

Someone called her a boy when we were out walking....
A lovely ATNR (for all you PTs) and some mirror playtime! 
can you have too much pink? Nah
 Although she is not as good at sleeping while on-the-go as J was, we have still managed to take a few walks in the mornings and began bringing Link along when I had recovered enough to be able to control him.  We totally take up 1/2 of the street when we go out walking! 
 We have been blessed with many visitors since she was born, all of them bringing some serious goodies including candy corn, coffee and delicious dinners and desserts. We count our blessings each day for our kids, our family, our friends and how much God provides for us. 
Kaitlin and R
Smiling...she is very gassy and therefore very smily :) 
 After Jackson's newborn phase, we now realize a few things. It goes SO quickly! They are not always so squishy and snuggly. They sleep a ton. They make the cutest (and loudest!) noises at night. Therefore, I am making sure to take advantage of those moments where we can cuddle and stare into each other's eyes or just rest on the couch together. My new favorite place is in her rocking chair near the window with sun streaming through. 

tiny baby, big world
just one of her fabulous hand-made blankets 
Rachel loves J and he loves her toys

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rachel's Newborn Photo Shoot

When Jackson was born, we jumped on the "cute baby photos" band wagon and had these photos done for us by Trisha Sheehan. We are in love with the images but we all certainly worked very hard for them. It was 4 hours of arranging props, donning hats and getting peed on by our sweet little boo.

With two kids, we thought it better to do more of a lifestyle photo shoot right in our home.  I met Erin when her husband and I were in PT school together. She has a thriving photography business in Hampton Roads, shooting at outdoor locations and in people's homes. Erin arrived with starbucks for JB and me and toy planes for Jackson. Nice touches for weary new parents and a very cooperative big brother! 

She did all the photos in our room and the nursery, using some gorgeous Sunday morning sunlight.  Jackson took about 5 minutes to buy into this whole "sit, snuggle and stay still with Rachel" thing, and we could not have asked for more perfect pictures. Erin really captured just how much J is in love with his little sister. We hope you enjoy these just as much as we have!
could this be any more perfect?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome to Rachel Virginia Byrne! (updated Oct 4)

We are so happy to announce that Rachel finally arrived today at 3:10pm
Heather was induced this morning and then in the afternoon we got to meet baby Rachel
She weighs 9 lbs. 3 oz and is 21 inches long
She has blond hair, typical blue/gray baby color eyes, and has an affinity for milk.  She is as of yet undecided about the swaddle.
She is loved by her mommy, daddy, and big brother Jackson
She was knit together in her mommy's womb by her loving and faithful God
here are a few pics (we only have access to ones on the phone currently)- many more to come I'm sure!
Thanks to everyone for your love and support over the past 9 months
much love,
JB and H

October 4th update: here are a few more pics to enjoy, we're getting settled in our first few days at home, hoping for more sleep in the future!

I love mom

first bath

now there are four of us!

so many fancy hats

happy hour on the front porch- drank too much milk I guess