To My Baby Walton

Dear Walton,

I wanted to write something just for you because it seems as though all of your milestones and updates get added onto a holiday or something else that involve your two older sisters. But trust me they are not an afterthought. In fact every little thing that you do is talked about more than ever because of those two sisters that are watching you constantly. They put toys in your hand that you cannot yet hold. They give you an endless amount of kisses and hugs which I am sure is strengthening your immune system. They laugh with your every smile and coo. They are probably the greatest gift that I could give you.

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Here we are at the end of 2017 and you are almost 4 months old. Here are some things that we know about our baby Walton:

  • You carry most of your baby weight in your legs/thighs. There are rolls that never see the light of day!
  • If there is a blanket anywhere near you it will find a way up over your face and eyes.
  • You poop approximately every 1.75-2.5 days. Poop days are good days.
  • You drink only momma’s milk but always from a bottle. You think nursing is a fun game at this point.
  • You fall asleep between 5/6pm … and wake up at 9p, 1a, 4a, 6/7a :) Mom and dad take turns with you though mom still wakes up to pump your food out of my body.
  • You laugh the most when daddy finds your tickle spots in the morning.
  • You have huge boogers.
  • You smile easy, but only when being smiled at.

You will hear a lot about your grandpa, my dad Larry Walton, because your name is my maiden name. While it is certainly a bummer that you did not make memories with him you should take pride in knowing that you are named after a kind, big hearted, funny (most of the time) person who smiled more than he frowned and who loved you.

I know that it is impossible that you will never feel like the third child. Whatever that means … but even though I have done this before, you take my breath away. I put your cheek up to my cheek and breath in your baby smell, listen to your baby sounds and know you are mine and I will love you forever.

The Holidays Plus a Walton, Minus a Walton

This year was our little Walton’s first Christmas! And while sometimes this third baby of mine seems like a lot of work (which is not untrue), he is such a wonderful addition to our family. Vivienne’s kindness really shows when she is being such a great big sister. And Ellen has such a personality and is busy entertaining him already. Walton loves getting out of the house. I forget that sometimes and while its easier to stay inside especially when its so freakin cold outside, it usually is always beneficial for everyone when we can get out including Walton. Only about 2 more months and he’ll be able to go to the gym daycare! Watch out Korte Rec. It will be just a nice quite Tuesday morning then all of a sudden you’ll be getting 3 at once!

He is just really starting to get social — smiling and laughing at people and things that he must find amusing. He would have loved to stare at the crazy faces and be startled by the weird noises my dad would make at the kids. Babies, when not crying or fussing, are really a great thing for people like my dad. He could just hold them and feel that joy that I think most people get when they hold a baby. We look on in awe at these little things in amazement and wonder about the little person they will become.

Losing someone so close to you feels weird during the holidays because they were so present at those times. I kept expecting dad to appear from the hallway with his arms out a “da da daa” noise comes to mind. We talked about dad at Christmas lunch and the girls are aware that Gma and mommy (me) are sad that Gpa is not there but they are quick to say matter of fact statements like “Gpa is dead” or “yeah Gpa died.” I think they just say it because its something they don’t really ever say otherwise, but it still sounds a bit shocking.

Below are pictures from Vivienne’s first Christmas and seeing these makes me so glad that he had these special little moments with the two girls, but also very sad that Walton will not get those. I am usually the one trying to snap a million pictures, and still when I look for pictures of my dad in the past few years makes me wish I took more because the kids only memories of him will be through the video and pictures that we have … I just thought that we would get in a few more before the last.

  

And although it was a Christmas without dad, we focused on the two new little beings that celebrated their first Christmas at mom’s house this year. Little Walton and Emma, only 6 days apart spent the day together. They each took turns napping, fussing, eating and almost kind of smiling! It is so magical watching the two babies next to each other. I love this family of mine. We have each other and are so close much in part because that is how dad wanted us to be. And now we’re raising the next generation with that same kindness and closeness that he would have wanted to see.

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A TRULY NAYBIE CHRISTMAS

Well Walton was the only “NAY”baby but on Chester’s side we added THREE little boys to the mix this year. Baby Silas (10m), Baby James(6m) and Baby Walton(3m) were all born this year. (photo cred Aunt Heather). I love watching them already! Silas is of course the largest because he is the oldest and possesses the genetic disposition toward the taller population. James is just so smiley and happy. Walton we don’t know as much about yet but I feel like he’s just taking it all in and kind of deciding what part he will play in this 2017 trio of boys.

I love this family for so many reasons. The words that come to mind are food, babies, games and of course love. Some of the family we don’t get to see quite as often as we would like but when they get together its like they are just a pack and just know they have to love each other. We remind the girls that while friends are important, they may come and go, but your family are the ones that will be there for you forever. I hope they will grow up with this net of support and feel they always have a place they will belong or even run to if they can not come to us for some reason.

Nana got all the kids fingerlings and in turn we got her a vacuum. Ha! I also will never forget the happiest face of all of the day — Christian learning that Nana would give him her old vacuum. Who knew its vacuums that make people so happy! The kids are always so happy to be with their cousins and then add Christmas presents and amazing Christmas dinner on top of that and they are in their happy place, truly.

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Saying Goodbye to Dad

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Over the weekend we gathered with family and friends to say our goodbyes to my dad, Larry Elwood Walton. While the time leading up to the memorial has been emotional and stressful I left the church with an unexpected feeling of fullness. Yes it was sad, there is no question. But it was also uplifting and seemed to give me a revived perspective about life.

I was so very touched by my family and friends that came out, many of whom did not know my dad before he the dementia set in. I received very nice cards and messages with memories of dad and condolences.  It is easy to forget what dad was like when we were growing up since he’s been sick for almost half of my life. So, having the memorial, looking back on old pictures and video brought a sense of happiness and appreciation for dad that I have not had for awhile.

Chester has been really great through it all. He took over the slideshow when it became too much for me to take on. He’s been a shoulder to cry on and also one to make me smile and laugh, as always. He is such a great dad, just as mine was. He’s always on the floor wrestling and tickling the girls. My mom told me that losing a parent is one thing because that is what is supposed to happen in life. But losing a spouse is completely different. I can’t imagine Chester being taken away from us. While we all hope that we’ll grow old and happily ever after, sometimes that doesn’t happen — so that perspective I was talking about. Life is truly fragile and beautiful. This is the only one we get on this earth and each day it is our job to make the most out of it.

Here are the thoughts and memories I shared at the service:

Larry Elwood Walton
April 21, 1943 – October 30, 2017

Now when I think about my dad I get a full flood of memories that makes it hard to breath at times. They are also some of the happiest ones that I can remember. I had such a happy childhood. My sister Miranda and I were adopted, and for me the question about my ‘real parents’ has never bothered me because I never felt like I was missing out on anything. There was never a void to fill. From the moment that we were placed into our parents’ arms at the airport, that was it. We were theirs and they were ours.

One of the earliest memories I have of my dad was when I was about Vivienne’s age and hell bent on running away. I’m not sure what the reason was but the memory stuck with me because it was so uncharacteristic of the very sweet little girl I was. I packed my suitcase, Velcroed my shoes and out I went all the way behind the mulch stack in our back yard. A few minutes later my dad came out looking for me and spotted me peaking out. As a kid, thinking I was defying my parents so badly I was expecting to see anger, instead I saw sadness and panic in his eyes. He gave me a big dad hug and said he loved me and that he never wanted me to run away from him again. As a parent now, I can imagine searching through the house for one of my kids and being scared and angry at the same time. I would hope that I could be a consoling parent instead of quickly harsh and upset. And I never did run away.

Dad didn’t just love us because he was our dad. He actually really liked us. Growing up he probably wanted to play with us more than we wanted to play with him. I truly believe that he thought his job was to make us smile and laugh every day. He was the king of dad jokes to the point where joke books and the funny paper became his greatest source of reading material for about a decade. And when he could no longer remember the jokes he found other ways with his grandkids to make them laugh. Little tickles with his beard and crazy noises that only a grandpa can make. I am so very thankful that my girls got to have those sweet moments with him. And I am also thankful that my dad got to meet and hold our youngest little Walton, even though it was just once.  

Dad watched his mom battle Alzheimer’s disease. I remember would take Grandma Olive out for ice cream and then afterward I would see the tears in his eyes when we drove away from the nursing home. At the time I didn’t realize the pain of having someone you love not recognize you and turn into just a shell of who they used to be. Dad was not himself for many years. After a hard battle with cancer where some of his physical strength was taken away and after kids were out of his life, since he retired from teaching middle schoolers and we were entering college years, dad lost a little of himself. His body and mind were failing him and mom was left picking up the pieces. Mom kept him together and at home for as long as she could. Her routine with him was so good that we all didn’t see just how much he was declining in the last 6 months. But because of that, his stay in the nursing home was brief and we only had to drive away with tears a few times before we said our last goodbyes.

Even toward the end dad never looked like a grumpy old man because he kept his greatest qualities, his smile, his humor and his optimistic view about life. I know that every time I see a runner outside I want to give them a thumbs up just as he would have done. I know I can’t wait to chase my kids around in the swimming pool just as he did with us. I know I will always be a relentless recycler like he was. And I know I will never forget what a great dad he was to me.     

I love you more than pickles dad.

A shortened version of the slideshow we put together for the service:
The Wedding Song: There is Love by Peter, Paul and Mary

One Month With Walton Is a Beautiful Blurr

What day is it? What time is it? What month is it? When I write Walton’s birthday and see the year 2017, I think to myself, how can that be right? We had a baby this year? Pregnancy seems all consuming but then the actual baby comes and the baby bump is a distant memory that is replaced by a grunting, wiggly, tiny body that can’t do anything himself. I mean can’t even hold up his own head out the gate? No wonder new parents get zero sleep … we’re literally holding up this little head so it keeps breathing until it can hold up itself.

But somehow we manage and get through it because we would spend those countless hours just looking at our baby’s little face regardless if he is awake or not. And those little snuggles and sounds that come from that sweet innocent little face are really so wonderful that it is hard to believe that it really makes it all worth while.

What We Know About Baby Walton

  • He hiccups A LOT. Way more than either of the girls that I can remember. They seem violent but seem to bother us more than him.
  • He loves to look at his sisters. They are really good about getting right in his face at eye level so he doesn’t really have a choice to be interested in their crazy faces and sounds.
  • Walton grunts all the time especially when he is working something out in his diaper. This may be all babies but he seems especially grunty.
  • He loves baths. I remember this being a screaming episode with at least Vivi for the first few, but this guy is cool as a cucumber in the tub and would stay in there as long as we let him.
  • He smells like a mix of laundry and warm milk. mmmm baby smell
  • He sleeps right now in 3 hours increments no more … but sometimes less.

I started this blog a little bit after Vivi was born and so she doesn’t have a one month update post. But I wanted to try and get some pics of the kids all at one month to remember what their little bodies looked like compared to Walton’s now.

WALTON | ONE MONTH
Smaller than Viv but probably a little bigger than Ellen. I won’t have an updated weight until his 6 week appointment.

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VIVIENNE | ONE MONTH
12 pounds 11 ounces

ELLEN | ONE MONTH
10 pounds 4 ounces

THE GIRLS ARE ALRIGHT
While its been a little chaotic with the girls starting school it has really been the best thing for them, to have another focus than being cooped up inside with the baby. They both love to hold the baby and feed the baby bottles. It is almost like a competition of who gets to love on him the most. Ellen’s attention to most things these days is short lived. She likes to be with the baby but is quick to get up to the next thing. Vivi being a little older is more invested in caring for her brother. She gets sensitive when we have to push her away. She tries to insert herself anywhere to be close to the baby.

They are both very interested in his poop and diaper changes and again treats a diaper change as a competition of who gets to be on the stool right next to me to hand me a wipe and diaper.

GOT MILK?
Oh my milk you ask? I know readers are just dying to know how the milk production is going on my end. I only add this not to add TMI but to remind myself (and the girls one day …) how much one person gives (ME) to feed one other very tiny little person. Right now I am 80% pumping. I will nurse sometimes if I feel like it, if we have time, if we’re comfy on the couch … otherwise I am pumping. I’m not sure what my supply would be like if I hadn’t been on the nursing track to start, but now I pump about 7-10 ounces each pump and have to pump about every 3-4 hours. So that means that yes I make enough milk and then some since Walton is only taking about 3-4 ounces every 3-4 hours and yes I still have a milk dud. Each pump takes me about 10-15 minutes so I am literally hooked up to a machine for no less than an hour in a full day.

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Week #2 With Naybie #3 | Walton Henry Nay

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Oh baby oh baby. When people ask you if you’re ready for your new born to arrive the real answer is NO. While you can’t wait to see what he will look like and you are so ready to not be pregnant, no one is really ready and up for all that a newborn entails. And it is true that you forget all the work, back breaking pain and amount of time it takes to get this tiny little thing through his daily life. But you smile and say “yes” or “as ready as we’ll ever be” leave and hope for the best.

I will pretense this post that I am writing coming from a third c-section. When I say that I’ve had 3 sections I wish people knew how much I did and do want to push a baby out the natural way, but I did try with baby #1 a little bit with baby #2 and by this time yes we opted for a scheduled c-section. A nurse in the hospital said that her husband was wishing for a c-section because he was so scared of a vaginal birth. There are so many things wrong with that sentence that I can’t even begin to explain. Knowing just that about the husband of hers I can only say that he is a very evil little man.

A wholly able bodied person on their best day would be completely worn down taking care of a newborn. Now take that person, cut her in half, take out an 8 lb turkey from her belly, ask her to breastfeed that turkey round the clock on top of all the other newborn care … and then you wouldn’t be surprised that this person is writing a blog post and three paragraphs in hasn’t even mentioned the name of her new blessed child.

Here are some things that I forgot that I wanted to get down for myself to remember … maybe when a 4th child itch comes rolling around. The lower back pain from the spinal block, the feeling that you are a Westworld host that you can’t shake, the idea of laughing, couching and gaging, the feeling that you will never comfortably lay down or sleep ever again, the tears that come from not being able to pee and poop, the painfulness of a rock hard breast.

BREATH ….
The section above was written in the middle of the night on probably the 2nd or 3rd day home. It was a dark rough time for this momma. Now that we are at the 2 week mark we have had a chance to breath and are lucky that we have had so much help from family and friends. This time around we have needed all the help we can get with not only keeping us fed but keeping a family of F.I.V.E. alive and 2 little girls that need constant reassurance that they are still as important to us as ever.

WALTON HENRY NAY
This name we have had in our head for a while since waiting for the gender on our first (Viv). Originally we were going to use Walton as a middle name but I was really wanting Walton to be a prominent part of our life so a bargain was struck right before our anatomy ultra sound for Vivi and Walton as a first name was born. He is just the sweetest little yellow baby. I didn’t know if he would look like a boy since I was so used to staring into the eyes of little girl babies but he is for sure our little guy and feels different than holding the girls. Maybe the mother-son bond thing has already begun. He is a good sleeper as most newborns should be for the sanity of their parents. And he is a good eater, but we did have to do two blood foot pricks to keep an eye on his bilirubin levels. Happy to report that its one the downward trend and he seems to be looking a bit less yellow everyday. Gosh for sleeping so much and not really knowing what his little personality will be like we sure are falling in love just watching him sleep, kissing his little baby lips, rubbing our cheeks on his soft baby head and taking deep smells in the nape of his wrinkly neck.

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MILK, MILK, MILK
THIS aspect of motherhood is so tiring. While Walton seemed to be a good eater, he was not gaining the weight we wanted at a week out and that combined with the bilirubin levels, we had to supplement with formula already. We have used formula with both the girls and I am completely fine with it but when you’re committed to breast feeding and working around the clock to keep it up, it is a little devastating to have to supplement. We had already been having latch problems which lead to the also upsetting purchase of my first nipple shield. We have only done about 24 hours of formula after nursing, but I had to get into the habit of pumping after each nursing session. And now I am producing a ton of milk and seem to need to nurse or pump every 2 hours on the dot. Or else I’m getting out a hot compress so as not to engorge myself. I could talk about nursing all day long … talking about my milk dud is what this blog was built on but I’ll stop and share a funny fact that only one of my boobs makes about 95% of my supply.

OUR VILLAGE
Being outnumbered by kids, we need all the help we can get. I often reflect and say how lucky we are to have such great family and friends but in times like these where they are actually feeding our family, watching and entertaining the girls when we can’t give them that attention they need and just being there to nod their head when I complain about nursing woes … (which is all the time if you haven’t gotten that yet) is truly the time where I am so happy that we have made these relationships a priority in our lives.

My mom, GMA watched the girls while we were in the hospital and make their time together into a short introduction to preschool since the girls were missing their first week of school in Highland. Knowing that the girls were not just looked after but that they were being enriched and educated is amazing! Also both of Chester’s moms have come up and stayed with us. All you need when your MIL’s stay is baking supplies and the rest just works itself out (that is if you have great ones like I do). Robin and Lori have been so helpful in the kitchen and keeping up with the girls while I have been literally attached to Walton about 80% of the day.

We were so happy to have some company in the hospital. Some parents don’t like to be visited. The hospital can be a venerable time for families. I mean after a c-section you’re most likely wearing mesh underwear and a hospital gown. But it was nice to have a break up in the day for us with some hospital visitors.

After the hospital we came home and the girls started school right away and Chester went right back to work. After I got over the pain hump and was able to lay down flat for a few hours of restful sleep I was in much better spirits. Though the days seem sooooooo long now, double since I live a complete full day at night doing feedings and pumping. I think that we are getting into a good little groove of the girls going to school and soon we’ll be back to the gym a few days a week just to walk and get the girls out of the house on the days they don’t have school. Speaking of school …. I am planning on getting back into things with my MAT program in October though I have no idea when I will have time to sit down for more than a few minutes yet.

Our friends in Highland have really be awesome. I can’t begin to explain how different it is to have some people who are around that we can count on. From taking the girls at literally 5 minutes notice for me to take Walton to a doctor appointment to taking them to the pool when I cannot just to get them out of the house has been amazing. We have had meals brought to us and rides home from school so I don’t have to leave twice in the morning. Seeing these ladies juggle their kids and schedules and meals and also giving us their precious time has made me look more and more at houses to buy in Highland because I don’t want to leave this feeling of community that we have made here.

 

Ready-ish for a Naybie BOY

At this moment we have said that this will probably most likely surly be the last baby that I am going to carry. I am not one that loves or really hates pregnancy; it is a long 9 month road. Don’t get me wrong it is so special and a truly amazing thing that anyone’s body can transform and grow a little human, but besides just the gestation period there is the recovery after, the breastfeeding battle (or if nothing else it is a pain and time suck, literally) oh and the next 18 years of trying to nurture and raise an upstanding or at least contributing member of society.

I did feel the need to get some last family pics of just the 4 of us. We really have not had professional photos taken since Ellen was born … I just tried to find them on the blog and looks like they never got posted. I guess that just goes to show that with a 2 month old and 17 month old there was literally no time for this blog. I am wondering if it will have to take a back seat again for this Naybie. I also wanted to remember the baby bump, since (again) this will be my last one (I promise I’m not just saying that to convince myself). Also since I have ZERO monthly chalkboards for this guy. I didn’t loose the board or anything … it is prominently hanging in our kitchen. I just never got the energy for it this time around :( poor baby. Thank you to Brook Lewis Photography for being so patient on a hot morning with a crabby 3 year old and to Widmer Floral for the special babies breath crowns for the girls. I don’t know what it is about professional photos, but they just look so much better than anything I take on my camera or iphone. The only ones of Ellen in particular smiling are because Chester is in the background being a monkey … which is why he isn’t in most of them.

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THE HOUSE
Our house is somewhat ready-ish for this guy. While there really is no nursery, there is a guest room with a crib set up for him! And we have a little nook in this room that started as the master bedroom and is still that, but also a catch all room for the girl’s art table, my desk and now where most of the baby’s stuff resides. I have been trying wash all of the things we have had in storage for 3+ years and am reminded of just how much stuff these little babies require. And also how much new stuff they have come out with in the short amount of time we haven’t had a baby. A rock-n-play? A sit-me-up? Seem to be the latest must haves in baby land. Also thanks to some wonderful friends and family of ours I think we are set in the clothes department and even diapers/wipes/baby wash for now.

THE GIRLS
It has probably seemed like we have said that the baby is almost here forever to those little girls whose perception of time is so different from ours. So while we are just 13 days away at this point I don’t know if they believe me in knowing just how close we really are. They love giving kisses to my belly and the baby on a daily basis. And they love babies they see in the gym daycare or even walking around the store. Hopefully with school starting right when the baby comes will only add to their excitement and they won’t feel like they are cooped up all day long with him.

THE HUSBAND 
I have also forgotten how much Chester really loves babies. He just loves to mess with anything really and babies are no exception. In fact it is probably worse with babies since they are experiencing everything for the first time and Chester loves to see their reactions and expressions from blowing in their face and their ears. Tickling all the little crevices and rolls. It is so fun watching him with babies.

THE MOMMA
Everyone looks at how huge I am and says “you must be ready” and trust me I am ready to sleep on my back, roll on my stomach and even run and jump. BUT I am also dreading the recovery, sleepless nights, anxiety of newborn cries. Also I know that he is so safe in there. Maybe because we are saying this is the last one that I will carry, that I feel sad knowing that once he leaves that I’ll be lonely. I don’t remember feeling that sadness before with the girls. Also this guy is so animated in there already that I’ll miss the constant buddy reminding me that he is in there. And I know there will be moments where I wish I could just put him back in there … kangaroos have it figured out I think. And with my school semester wrapping up I am breathing a sigh of relief that I’ll be able to take a short break and then back to the books in October.

THE BOULLIE
Boullie is slipping down yet another rung on the totem poll in the Nay house. His anxiety seems less severe since we have moved to Highland, he displays the symptoms of shaking, hiding and panting on a much more frequent basis. I really don’t know if this baby will have a large effect on him other than another thing that will drop things for him to eat on the floor … so how can that be bad for Bou?

So I guess we are ready as we will ever be for this baby boy to shake up our lives. We are so excited to meet him!