Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Holidays!

From everyone here on the west coast, we hope that the Christmas and holiday seasons were/are still bright and joyous in your homes. Since we arrived, there have been so many opportunities to keep busy. We have found that even keeping straight what day of the week it is seems like work. I think that with the extra hands and eyes 'Ma' and I have made available, the Pugh house is a little bit easier to manage, especially with the new +1.

Daniel worked hard on preparing and eventually delivering a gorgeous sermon on Christmas Eve at church. Underneath his humor and charm (which both the old and young eat up!), he addressed the true meaning of Christmas as a celebration of birth, family, and the non-tangible gifts in our lives. Both Daniel and Ashley have done a great job making sure that Jacob recognizes Christmas as a special time to open presents, but to also be nice to each other and love what you already have. This year’s Christmas was special in that Jacob was able to happily and actively participate ,essentially this is Jacob’s ‘first real Christmas’, as well as Thomas’.
Ashley just recently checked her work e-mail, so she’s acknowledging the real world and getting back to work, but surely she's in no rush. Transitioning to work will be a tough adjustment after spending almost a whole year 'with child', but having Ma here will continue to be such a blessing. Both parents have been doing such a fabulous job balancing quality time and attention with Jacob and with Thomas. For example, I witnessed a morning where both Mommy and Daddy both wrestled Jacob on the living room floor. Post battle, they (being Mom and Dad) were both winded.
Ma, like Ashley and Daniel, is playing her tail off with Jacob, from the early a.m.- to late p.m. on a daily regimen. Meanwhile, I am holding Thomas, relaxing a bit, dancing, puzzle constructing with Jacob, and eating the TONS of pounds of desserts and goodies that Daniel brings home from work after the announcement of the birth of Thomas. Ashley and Daniel have minimal time to themselves, as most parents with a two year old and a newborn. The available time together is spent picking up, cleaning up, putting little ones to sleep, waking the little ones up, etc. As you can see, Jacob enjoys helping out in some daily chores. He's participating in a semi-nude/Risky Business kind of style.

The following is a synopsis of some of the fun(ny) things that we do here in our home:
-Jacob loves constructing his new, 24 piece dinosaur puzzle (almost mastering this alone), creating ‘snowmen’ and balls out of playdough, reading favorite books, playing with Mega Blocks (making towers and tunnels), racing the new Hot Wheels cars, playing the games Memory, Candyland, and Hungry, Hungry Hippos. Thanks to aunt Emily, we are attempting (on day 4) to continue to monitor the growth of a water growing alligator in the bathroom sink. Needless to say, we all have been sleeping whenever we get the chance. That being said, Ashley was napping with Thomas and apparently he smiled knowing what his diaper situation would be when Mom woke up.

-The weather has been quite enjoyable, on the chilly side, but by no means winter weather like the snowy south. One day, Ashley, Thomas, Jacob, Ma and I even got to go to the pool. For me, the ‘heated pool’ was still rather cold; the hot tub was too hot for Jacob; but the pool for Ma was juuust right. Jacob spent the rest of the time bouncing back and forth from pool to hot tub. Ashley and Thomas sat in the sun to stay warm. You know, it's hard to celebrate winter here, especially when I am spending time at an outdoor pool…
-At the dinner table one evening, Jacob and Daddy [accidentally] started a new game. Daniel was trying to get Jacob to understand that he has to make sure that everyone finishes their dinner before they can leave the table. Daniel insisted that Jacob ask everyone if they were finished before he dismisses himself. Jacob individually asked, 'are you all done?'. Finally, the round made it to Daniel and he joking paused and said, ‘…NOPE’. Jacob threw his head back and laughed. Jacob asked, ‘are you all done, Daddy?’. Again, Daniel continued to respond with pantomiming typing on a computer, texting on his cell phone, even asking Thomas, while Jacob continued to laugh as if it were the first time he’d ever heard it. Each and every day's little moments are what allow us to "keep on truckin' ".

The next day, The Pughs and Chells were so happy to welcome Uncle T-Bone for a much overdue visit. We all sat down, ate dinner, and then as slowly cleared our plates. Jacob then asked, ‘are you all done, T-Bone’. As we all burst out in laughter, I came to the realization that Jacob could possibly follow in Daddy and Uncle T-Bone’s thespian footsteps. I say this because Jacob was able to recall the whole scene from the previous night and remember his appropriate 'lines'...OR he could always just follow in Mommy’s footsteps and show interest in dancing. There is no denying it, the kid’s got moves. Just sayin’.

Finally Christmas day came! Ma and I woke up to Jacob cracking our door in a ‘here’s Johnny’ thriller/ adorable kind of way, with a loud tone saying: ‘Grayson and Ma, wake up, it’s Christmas!’. We walked out into the living room where our stockings were. For those of you that do know Ashley, know that one of her favorite part of Christmas IS the stocking. Knowing this, Daniel went on a mission to obtain the largest stocking he could. Use your imagination- the stocking itself could swallow Jacob standing up (and Thomas for sure).
Later that day, we all went over to Didi and Yaya’s house to eat and open presents. It only took 4+ hours, through wrapping paper and laughs, but we accomplished it all. It was a great time had by all, for sure. Thomas may have been the best present that was...well, present. He made his rounds and everyone got to hold the bundle. I understand the lyrics, "the warm and fuzzy time of year" a little better now. New baby Thomas and Jacob are, as of now, the only men in my life that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

It is hard to imagine that ‘Ma’ and I have been here for two weeks now. Thomas is getting bigger each day, literally, while Ashley is adjusting back to some normalcy in her body. Daniel continues to leave the family early in the morning to go to work. The rest of the group runs little errands to stay busy and feel accomplished. On Daniel's day off, we were fortunate enough to take a family hike. Most of the gang made it to the peak, while Ashley and baby Thomas decided to take a little breather.

It is hard to imagine that we are soon approaching the New Year. This got me thinking, " if you can't be with [all] the ones you love, love the ones you're with...". Hope y'all have a safe and happy beginning to a new year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Planning a Visit?

Many people have asked if they can come to see baby Thomas. Rather than going back and forth with people for visitation dates, I thought I'd just make a calendar so that people can see when our spare bedroom is free.

Obviously, not everyone will be able to make the trip out to the desert, but for you avid blog-readers, now you will know who is behind the camera or in the pictures if you check who is in-town that week.

If you are planning a visit or would like to come visit, let us know.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Settling in...

Just keeping things up to date: this week has gone quite smoothly as we've tried to grab some sleep here and there while keeping things on the fun side for Jacob (bored preschooler with new sibling may just be a toxic situation).

Thomas has a great sense of humor, what with pooping/peeing on us mid-diaper change or waiting until the middle of the night for his most wakeful period (like every newborn out there!). He is really quite an expert nurser at this point- on Thursday he was down only 2 oz from his birth wt (down to 6lb 4oz w/ a diaper on)!

After crazy flights, Ma and Grayson made it to us here in Mesa....and Jacob is in heaven (and of course, Daniel, Thomas, and myself are loving them here, too)! Really, look at Thomas smiling up at his Aunt Grayson. So far, Thomas tends to smile if he's getting's really fun. And absolutely precious.

How about these cute Christmas elves?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jacob, this is your (and your brother's) life

Today was the much anticipated greeting of Jacob and Thomas. When Yaya picked up Jacob from school, she told him that he was going home to see his brother. But by the time he got home, I think he forgot. When we opened the door and Jacob saw his brother for the first time, his face lit up. He looked like a kid on Christmas. The next couple of minutes he went through a flurry of thoughts and mental processes. He said things like, "Thomas is not in your tummy, Mommy" and "Let's see him walk" and "he's crying" and "He needs to nurse, Mommy and my personal favorite, "Don't worry Thomas, I love you so much." I have video of all that, but the best video is what happened next. Brothers side-by-side, Thomas kicked Jacob and Jacob laughed the kind of belly laugh as if to say "well, he's family."

It has been an interesting day for us all. I find myself interacting with Jacob from a completely different angle. Rather than treating him based on his incompetencies he now looks competent, even skillful to me. He came home singing the days of the week in Spanish (it took us a few listens to hear what he was saying considering he now knows more Spanish than us). Jacob looks huge, and that is reflected in the protectiveness he already has for his little brother, as if a security guard for a high-profile celebrity. Then again, after emails being sent out en masse from Our Saviors Lutheran Church, the Bishop of the Grand-Canyon synod, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and Trinity Lutheran Alameda, combined with the coverage on facebook, this blog, and picture messages, Thomas is kind of a celebrity. We have had a great first night together. We await the arrival of Ma and Grayson, and Jacob has a couple more days of Christmas parties at preschool before being home for two weeks.

Being a father of two has the disadvantage of never being alone, but it also has the wonderful advantage of never being alone. I can't say how thrilled I am to be this proud Papa.

OK, one more picture, just because he's so cute.

And now for something completely different

As we sit in this hospital room awaiting a discharge, I thought I'd use this opportunity to bring you two videos that if I don't post now might be forgotten- lest someone think we play favorites. And, let's face it, you all are hungry for more. Thomas is doing great. He's eating, pooping, and sleeping right on que. Ashley has been cleared to be discharged and we are waiting for the pediatrician to discharge Thomas. Jacob is at school waiting patiently to meet his new baby brother. So, on to the videos.

Here's one featuring Jacob on the exercise ball.

And here is Jacob as an architect. My has he grown before our eyes. Last week he started to essemble books and shoes into rows. But Sunday Morning he took started making these "tunnels", like little pup tents, for his stuffed animals to sleep in. We didn't want to stop him from his project. But we quickly became aware at the magnitude of his endeavor. Enjoy!

If/when we get home today I'll get more pictures of Thomas as we settle in. I would change the title of the blog, but Ashley created this blog, not me, back in 2007, and I still don't have administrative rights.
Thoughts or suggestions on what we should title the new blog? I'm leaning toward "Jacob and Thomas + their handlers" or "those Pugh boys" or 'D' n 'A' strand.
Mucho amor,
D, A, J, and T.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Enter Thomas

Today we welcomed Thomas Evan Pugh into our now family of four. He was born at 12:47am this morning 12/13/2010. He weighed 6lbs 5.8 oz and was 18 1/2 inches.

This is the story of how he came into this world, as Dad remembers it.

It all started on Sunday, 12/12, around 3:45 pm. Daniel was supposed to be at the Cardinals football game, but stayed home because he had a "hunch" that Thomas would be born 8 days early, on Monday 12/13.
While watching the game at home, with Ashley on the Couch, Jacob walked into the room after his nap and hugged mommy's belly. At the same time, the Cardinals attempted a fake field goal and their kicker ran for a touchdown, ending a 7 game losing streak. Thomas lept in his mother's belly at the dual excitement of hearing his brother's voice, and the wildness of the game. This lord of leaping caused Ashley's water to break. We immediately started getting things together so that Jacob could spend the night at Didi and Yaya's house. But Didi and Yaya were at the game, a solid hour's drive. So, we called up dear friends Matt and Breezy and asked if they would mind taking Jacob for a couple hours as we headed to the hospital. Jacob had a fine time with them, making cookies and playing with their dogs, at the same time that Ashley and I got to the hospital, right as the Cardinals were declaring victory. We got to the hospital at 4:55 and were immediately ushered to Labor and Delivery room 4. The only room that was occupied that night. By 8pm Ashley was only dilated 4cm, and the doctor said she wanted to wait until midnight before she started to speed up the process using drugs. At 11pm Ashley was still only dilated to 4cm, making progress slowly, proving that Thomas wasn't ready to come out. At midnight, Ashley had progressed to 6cm, and the time came where adding drugs might speed up the process. Ashley stuck it out, and it paid off. A mere 25 minutes later Ashley was dilated to the full 10cm, and she was told to "wait for the doctor." I know I said to those nurses that last time we had to "wait for the doctor" because she progressed so quickly, but that's another story.

22 minutes later Thomas Evan was born, with two solid contractions/pushes from Ashley. The nurses all commented on how impressed they were with Ashley's superhuman strength and poise, and that rarely did they see such a controlled birth that was as natural as can be.

When he came out the chord was wrapped around his neck twice, causing me much concern, but upon closer inspection the chord was still lose and it was not effecting his ability to breathe. Thomas did well in those early minutes. He recieved APGAR scores of 9 and 8 out of 10 (but really out of 9, few doctors ever go past 9) and the 8 was because he had swallowed a bunch of fluid that they were now draining from his stomach. In those early hours the nurses became concerned when his blood sugar was down at 36, and it needed to be above 50. Thomas nursed for more than half an hour, but they insisted that it wasn't enough. They took him to the nursery and insisted that he needed nourishment quickly, and that formula was the only way. He was a way from us for 3 hours, a time in which his dietitian-mother was none too pleased. Thomas has been above or around the minimum of 50 since then. At 1pm we were moved from Labor/Delivery to the postpartum section of the hospital. They had told us earlier that because Ashley did so amazing that they had reserved for us the "Princess Suite." Thinking that they were joking, I forgot about it. But when we got over here, they showed us to the corner room, the one that is twice the size of a regular room. Shhh. Don't tell. This room has tons of natural light with two walls of windows and lots of space for the visitors that he have seen all day. Jacob is coming soon to see Ashley and I, but unfortunately due to flu season, he is not allowed to meet baby Thomas in the hospital. That introduction will have to take place tomorrow when we return home. Right now Mommy and Thomas are resting, Mommy in her street clothes after they took out her IV, let her take a shower, and allowed her to feel like a normal woman again. Thomas is dressed in a white newborn shirt with little white mittens to cover his sharp fingernails. The shirt has spit-up from the formula they have been trying to bottle feed him. We keep the dirty shirt on him as a silent protest to their formula and their fake nipples.

All is well. We are awaiting more visitors and a fancy dinner provided by the hospital that is "complimentary" [just because it doesn't show up on the bill doesn't mean it isn't negotiated into the cost] At any rate, Steak and Lobster here we come!

Last, we have been made aware that Thomas' name-sake, Ashley's grandfather the late Thomas Barnes was laid to rest on this day, 12/13. The circle of life continues on for another beautiful generation!

That's all for now. Going to see big brother Jacob.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crop circles...and Christmas Pageant!

As you may already know, Jacob is fickle about things being in certain order such as Dominoes being in a perfectly straight row. Well, he's taken to grabbing laundry, books, CD's, whatever and creating lines around the ENTIRE apt. This has become his new hobby and frankly, it is really fun (and curious) to watch him work. This was his Saturday morning work of art.

And we can't forget the Thomas update: 38 wks on this Tuesday and as of last week, the Dr says he is as low as he goes and my body has already began prepping. My (im)patience and comfort level fluctuates hourly- I originally aimed to work until Friday, but we decided this weekend to call Wednesday the last day.
Crazy how different pregnancies can be: w/ Jacob I was so swollen and impatient I thought I would bust. With Thomas I'm only slightly swollen and work and family keep me distracted...but I'm guessing Thomas is bigger because I literally feel like I'm gonna bust.

Finally, a little taste of Jacob's Christmas concert last Friday: cutest thing ever. We still can't believe how well he did being just over 2 1/2 with all the older kids; we're obviously proud! Now, the quality of video....not great. And us laughing and jiggling the camera does not help. But, just to share a taste, this was the most hilarious of the bunch.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pugh and Perez Thanksgiving

We Pughs had the awesome chance to play with Parker, Sofia, Tally, and Trent all extended weekend long!

Avid blog readers may recall that Parker is Daniel and my godson and Jacob's cousin, 5 months his junior. Sofia is his adorable 1 year old sister- and we hadn't seen this awesome family in nearly a year (when Sofia was merely weeks old)!

Needless to say, there were loads of hilarious games, adventures, and comments.

We know Jacob will miss napping with Parker, being a Parker-parrot, and having a constant companion, but fortunately they have a lifetime of family fun to come!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey day countdown

Alright, time is getting away from us at a breakneck speed. Already November is nearly over...Thanksgiving is in 3 days...Thomas is here in under 4 weeks (I think maybe 3 weeks...but Daniel encourages me to think closer to Dec 21st....ugh).

In these past few weeks, we've had many adventures:
On Veteran's day, Jacob and I visited the Phoenix zoo. It was a bit pricey, but a good time; perhaps we got spoiled by the zoo in Oakland!

We've done some serious fall cleaning and Jacob got in on the action by vacuuming the coffee table as Daniel cleaned the ceiling fan.

Artist Jacob emerged again, this time in the form of DVD arrangements. While we don't encouraged him playing with DVDs...he really did make a cool pattern!

And, finally, a shot of Jacob with his love: ice cream (really frozen yogurt...same difference).

Monday, November 8, 2010

catch-up blog

Here are some photos from last weekend (halloween) up through yesterday...we'll try to get those videos up, but blogger is not liking them for some reason!
Apparently 2 pumpkin bags for candy was necessary.
Fireman and daddy approaching middle of the block (we went down one side of the street and up the other).
And Jacob enjoying his jolly rancher stick while back at Yaya and Didi's house. Amazingly, he STILL had his hat on! Recall, last year he wouldn't even let us try to put the hat on...what a difference a year can make.
This is Thomas anhd myself at 33.5 wks. Life is still decent; minimal swelling, smaller weight gain than with Jacob, and so many things going on all the time!
Smug grown-up boy showing us how huge he is...and how we should prepare ourselves for how small Thomas will be in comparison!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Hallows-Eve

Jacob and his preschool teacher, Ms. Jill at the school's Fall Festival

Greetings boys and ghouls! For this "scary" edition of the blog, here's a video showcasing Jacob's knowledge of obscure and hideous animals.

Life here is rapidly progressing toward becoming a family of four. Every weeks seems to sneak past us, and the time we spend as a family is often spent getting ready for Thomas' arrival.
I continue to tell Jacob that he is going to be a great big brother, and that even though it will take time for us to take care of Thomas, we promise to take care of him as well. More than anything, I remain steadfast in trying to get Jacob to understand that Thomas is coming into our house, and he is not leaving. Jacob is used to seeing and holding a lot of babies, but the idea that one is moving in will no doubt have it's effect on Jacob's outlook on his family and his role in it.

Jacob has been taking care of a surrogate of his baby brother, his little white dog toy. He takes it around everywhere. Doggie goes potty, gets tucked in at night, and often requests snacks and cookies. Or, rather, his interpreter relays that message to us.

Thomas is moving and kicking Ashley frequently. He is active most in the mornings and late at night. He takes advantage anytime Ashley is relaxing and he has more room to wiggle. We can't wait to meet him.

Last night my parents (Didi and Yaya) took Jacob for the night (where they no-doubt spoiled him 'round the clock) and Ashley and I got to go on a date AND sleep in this morning. We both woke up around 8 because we're used to the schedule, but it was wonderful nonetheless. This morning we began prepping the house for Thomas' arrival, finding our baby things and setting up his sleeping area(s).

Tomorrow brings Jacob's 3rd Halloween where he will be reprising his role of a Firefighter. He has an authentic looking costume as portrayed in the pictures below.

Enjoy and have a spooktacular Halloween!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thomas Evan it is.

The wed appt to see Thomas turned into a Friday appt....which seems to happen whenever an ultrasound is involved. But, complaining aside, here are some shots of the littlest boy (and yes, we finally decided that Evan will be his middle name!):
Profile shot....may be seeing a different nose on this guy than Jacob...time will tell!
Amazing 3-D shot (we didn't see any with Jacob, this blew us away!). The blur on the right front of his face is his hand- like he's giving a thumbs up! Littlest boy already managed to pick his nose on film. Awesome.
Thomas wouldn't move his hands from his face, so the tech was getting frustrated that she couldn't give us full face shots- but honestly, we didn't mind. Seeing that everything was okay and getting a sneak peak of what is to come was more than exciting for us- including Jacob!
Everything looks healthy and he remains head down (wahoo), laying with his spine on my left side; which explains the pressure on my hips- little head banger!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

so much to say

Even though there is lots to say (ie details of our cram-packed trip out east, Thomas getting huge and getting a complete name, Emily and Josh getting married!), I'll just show some pictures of rehearsal dinner, sleeping JDP, and wedding and leave words for later. We have an ultrasound on Wednesday, so maybe we'll finally get to share some decent Thomas photos (at 30 weeks).

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