Cal at 5

Cal is 5! What the absolute heck?! It felt like he was 4 for 100 years but for some reason being 5 sounds so crazy old to me. Here's a bit about Cal at 5:

He is the most beautiful swimmer. That ballerina body might actually be a swimmer body instead. He did lessons this Summer and has progressed so much! 

Cal is still the funniest. He has a very natural sense of humor that is so effortless and lots of times kids trying to be funny just means they're being annoying, but Cal is actually funny to me on an adult level. He always has been and I don't know what that will mean for his future but we enjoy it so much around these parts.
First day of preschool. He enjoyed preschool, even as my introvert, he had a couple friends he really liked - Nate and Persephone and Weston. He has one more year of pre-k and then he'll be Kindergarten! We opted to have him be old for his grade and I still feel really good about that decision. He'll be starting a more academic 4 day a week pre-k and thinking that is the best transition possible.
He is such a lover, cuddly, snuggly and loves to lay by mom and dad and Raleigh. He is super sensitive to things that are scary (and things that aren't scary like a recording of a lion roaring, going to the bathroom alone etc.) He is sensitive to energies it seems too and gets tired and needs down time a lot after being around people. He doesn't like kids in his personal space and is really just a textbook introvert minus that he LOVES to be the center of attention at our house.

He is in his own world lots of the time. Pretend fighting, Hulk Smashing, lots of play fighting. I catch him doing this all day long. Like below:

So silly, and never smiling normal:

And let's not forget his naughty side. The kid is so crass, every thing is a butt joke. I told him he needed new material and he said "How bout weiners?" He is constantly saving up toots to rip on his dad, has dance moves that would make a stripper blush. He actually has a move called the weiner guitar where he strums his junk like he's playing an air guitar. I just don't know man, he's a trip! Ive put him in time out a million times his naughtiness but he is undeterred.
I put him in time out earlier this year and came into the room to find this ...
He's complicated and complex and a multi dimensional little dude. He's so many things. and reminds me of that Walt Whitman poem, "I'm large, I contain multitudes" we're only scratching the surface with this kiddo.

Since adding a little sibling Cal has changed so much! It was like before when he was the youngest and with Hayes being so unassuming, he got lots and lots of attention. Everyone was trying to get him to engage with them and he could care less. So many people told me all the time that they just wanted Cal to acknowledge them. He's too cool for school! But, now that he's the middle child I've seen him make more of an effort to be noticed, he actually tries to converse with people, and is more assertive about being noticed and heard. How grateful am I for siblings and birth order, without this change he'd never have to grow and adapt and progress and its been great to watch! Of course I feel bad a lot since he doesn't get as much attention as he once did, but overall it's been great!

Cal's expression before meeting Raleigh:

Meeting Raleigh was iffy and stayed that way for a few days after we brought him home. Cal was super excited to see him but didn't really want to go near him or touch him. I could not figure out why and it was breaking my heart! Finally we realized that first, the umbilical cord freaked Cal out. So once that fell off he'd go a little closer. But then we realized that he also didn't like Raleigh to be in just a diaper, which was tricky since Raleigh was on the bili-bed and had to be in a diaper all day and night. BUT as soon as Raleigh was dressed Cal became obsessed and still is. He's constantly commenting on how cute he is, "I like his nose" "I like his pajamas" He wants to lay by him talk to him pet his head. He is his biggest fan! HE came in one night late and said he "just wanted to sweep wif Ra-wee.


Raleigh - 1 Month

How can it already be a month since Raleigh came? He was born at 36 weeks and 6 days at 7'5 and at his last weigh-in was 9'4. I love that he is chunking up!

First photo!

Some things I want to remember about Raleigh at 1 Month:

He is THE loudest. He rarely cries, but he grunts and makes all manner of noises all day and night. he sounds like Evenrude from the Rescuers if that helps at all. It makes it really nice because I know exactly when he has a burp, toot or wants to poop. He lets you know! He only cries when he's overly hungry but other wise is such a nice baby.

The first photo Hayley took. Cal was so nervous and excited!

First full family photo on our way to the bath! The boys couldn't go in so they were seriously freaking out tapping on the glass and waving every three seconds.

He's so handsome I can't get over it. He has this big juicy upper lip and he still sort of tucks his bottom lip under. He's got a perfect little head and tiny ears and big hands and bird legs.

He smiles so big already, each time I get him up from a nap he gives us all the biggest smile. Just like in my tummy is a flailer. His arms and legs are constantly in movement even when he sleeps. It was so rough because for the handful of days he was on the bilibed obviously you can't swaddle him so he was just jolting himself awake every 5 seconds. I started sleeping him on his stomach in the bed and it was so much better. Of course he prefers it still and maybe we lost our window for swaddling because he is not a fan of that. Three for three Frame brothers are stomach sleepers! It does stress me out a bit but he sleeps next to me and I keep a close eye.  I don't worry as much though because his neck is wicked strong. And he often switches which side his head is resting through the night, readjusts his arms etc.

Every ultrasound we had his hands were up by his face. That remains true outside the womb:

As for me, this has been my smoothest recovery. I had such amazing energy, was seriously high on life and everything has been wonderful. I haven't felt any baby blues and I attrubte that to him only being on the bili bed for 4 days. Not being able to hold Hayes and Cal whenever I wanted for those first three weeks broke me in half and I am so grateful for that time with Raleigh. I was super adamant about his levels being tested ASAP in the hospital, they put him in the lights during our stay and I did formula whenever possible so his levels never got high even though I found out later he (and likely Hayes and Cal) had breastmilk jaundice. Where my milk is keeping them from processing their bili out and there's not much you can do except formula and /or wait it out. Good to know! (Sarcasm.)

I remember when Cal was tiny, like a few weeks old I had both him and Hayes in the car with me and I kept having the feeling that I was forgetting someone, forgetting a kid. I kept looking behind me to make sure they were there. I have had that feeling countless times since, like someone was missing. I feel so much more complete with Raleigh here. He has stolen all our hearts and what a miracle and blessing to have three healthy kids. I pray so hard everyday that they'll continue to grow healthy and strong.

Raleigh continues to enjoy showers with dad, seems to have an extra noticeable response toward Cal, is absolutely smothered by Hayes. Hayes is such a great helper and wants to hold him all the time. He talks to him so sweetly and never wants him to be sad or uncomfortable. Cal was dicey the first few days which made me so sad, but then we figured out AFTER the fact that the umbilical cord freaked him out. Since Raleigh was in a diaper all the time for the bili-bed Cal didn't want to go near him. Too funny. Once it fell off and he started wearing clothes Cal changed his tune and is equally obsessed.

Doing the Lion King thing - big hit.

Raleigh Birth Story

Copying my birth story from Small Fry over here for the record! But did want to add a few things of my own memory!*

Here is the story of how Raleigh Rex Frame finally joined our family on June 10, 2016 at 12:54 pm. He weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. Raleigh Rex | Birth Story Besides some jaundice, gratefully he is healthy as can be even though he was technically 1 day premature. So, onto the delivery! Is there an echo in here? Now that I am on the other side I can say, yes, yes there is. After a few weeks of basically the same events, false alarms, contraction history, things were looking like they might be a verbatim copy of my other deliveries. Strep B positive – check! Dilated to a 6 at 36 weeks – check!

No one can really tell me why, but my body dilates (with Callum I was dialed to an 8 at 37 weeks and not in active labor) quickly and not necessarily in tandem with any contractions. So the fear of delivering at home or in the car is overwhelming for both Russ and I, and as much as I love him that’s one adventure I don’t need to experience. Luckily the team of doctors and midwives discussed my situation and just one day before I would hit 37 weeks they finally sent me to the hospital. With lots of pre-labor contractions that week, I was so grateful to finally get admitted! Raleigh Rex | Birth StorySo! As what has now become a routine in my deliveries, they admitted me, started a round of antibiotics for the Strep B (healthy but dangerous bacteria that a baby can pick-up in the birth canal that I apparently carry all the time and really, in combination with dilating, the only case they can make for inducing someone at 36/37 weeks.)

 Then similarly my midwife told me once the antibiotics were administered she’d break my water and we’d get the show on the road. Something must’ve changed since my last delivery 5 years ago, because what was a 4-hour round with both Hayes and Cal’s delivery was only 1 hour with Raleigh’s. I had told everyone that the baby would likely be coming at 4-ish – my sister watching my kids, our birth photographer, my family, etc. etc. We had decided that since it might be our last baby we’d do the delivery just us two. No one else in the room, but Hayley who would be taking pictures. We thought we had time and honestly hadn’t even texted everyone we should have (whoops, Russ’ mom!) Then, at 12:30pm my midwife comes in and says “Okay, ready to do this?” Exsqueeze me?

I immediately got butterflies and luckily we had warned Hayley so she was already on her way. They broke my water and then literally everyone just stared at me. Waiting for something to happen. A contraction? For that dumb smile to be wiped off my face? I was still feeling great so my midwife went to get a soda or something, presumably. I rolled to my side since Raleigh was posterior and was told that might help with his descent, and then WA-BAM. Hey actual labor contractions, nice to see you again. Russ coached me through two sets while I breathed like my life depended on it and asked him for an update on our girl Hayley. On that third set I looked at my nurse and said sort of incredulously “I think I need to push.” She ran out to the hall and I heard her yelling at my midwife, “Get in here now or you’re gonna miss this.”

My midwife checked me and she said “Okay, if you’re ready, push on your next contraction!” I felt like I was on a runaway train watching nurses all run around setting everything up. I looked at Russ and said “Where’s Hayley now?” then we looked out the window and saw her full-on sprinting with her camera bag into the hospital. It was hilarious. So I opted to wait out one more contraction and the second I saw her face through the door, put my feet up in the stirrups and got to town. This is the actual first picture she took of the event (so intense, I wouldn’t normally post such a thing but it illustrates the speed perfectly!)

Now for all of you who say (and I agree) my deliveries are too easy and it’s just not fair… I do not get out of any pain when it comes to pushing. As soon as I started I was not a happy camper and really just half-heartedly into it. Can I back out now? They kept telling me to pull my legs up closer to my chest, but I just didn’t wanna. Don’t make me do it! 

Luckily it only took 5 (3 rounds of total wuss-fest pushing and a couple of actual okay, you’re not going to get a baby here by being a baby, Emily) rounds of pushing to get him here and that sweet relief washed over me. I couldn’t stop crying, and I have that same feeling wash over me often ever since. Just absolute gratitude. I am so grateful he’s here. 

*Pushing Raleigh took a few minutes, but delivering the placenta took probably 20 minutes. It wouldn't budge! I lost 400 CC of blood (not sure how much that is but they said I should've had a transfusion but i to quote the nurse  "seemed fine" so they didn't.) When I finally delivered it they were all huddled around it studying it like some science project. I guess my umbilical cord was attached lower and to the right and it had a node. Not sure what it means but it cause problems and the cord was super short because of it making it hard to deliver.
The long wait, a miscarriage, the 36 weeks of nausea, throwing up, hip pains, what-have-you. So grateful to hold his tiny face in my hands.

The anxiety and anticipation, the wondering and hoping, the praying. He is a miracle to me and he is absolutely everything to me and to my boys and to Russ. We have stars in our eyes for our Raleigh Rex.

 From every face he pulls to burp he rips it is cheered on by a family who loves him. (This was taken right before Hayes and Cal walked in to meet him!)Raleigh Rex | Birth StorySometimes when I am in a big crowd of people I think to myself – Every. single. person. here had someone carry them for 9+ months. Every single person here had a mother who shared their body, felt the pain and worry, and I’d say (and hope) the majority of which did it with love in their hearts, honored at the chance. It blows my mind! Raleigh was born the same day as the shooting in Orlando, and I thought about how scary of world I was bringing him into. Panicked for a moment. And then I thought about that crowd of people – each one with a mother who lovingly carried them, delivered them, cared for them. There will never be as much hate or fear as there is love in this world. It is just statistically impossible. Mothers alone ensure that the scales will never be tipped.



Hayes sprained his ankle the day before Disneyland and woke up literally crying, wouldn't stand on it, was having a full blown panic attack about the whole ordeal. I looked up the disability info for the park and we just hoped we could get some help seeing as how he couldn't even walk. Luckily they gave us a pass to skip the lines and use his stroller as a wheelchair! Since Disney is older lots of their rides aren't wheelchair accessible so we skipped A LOT of lines. We rode everything we wanted in every land and it was awesome and all our cousins got to skip the lines too. Such an amazing thing!

Julep and Beignets!

Bored on Pooh Bear

Cotton candy kings. Just after a Dole Whip.

Cal slept through that treat station so we grabbed him a mickey bar when he woke up.

Buzz Astroblasters!

So cute.

 Looking so old!
the new parade! so cute. and everyone was freaking out excited! Brinly!!
Next day we were all beat. 12 hours at Disney was crazy! So we got to California Adventure pretty late at noon and left at like 8. We took it way easy. Stood in the nuts Radiator Racers line while they napped. It's still their favorite!

Cal fell asleep in line and we tried so hard to wake him up before it started. He was beat, but finally snapped out of it right before we took off.

We rode a ton of rides on the pier. They loved them all! So fun to try out the bigger rides and see them have a good time.

Disney you wear me out, but we still love you!