Thursday, April 29, 2010


Luke got to celebrate two birthdays yesterday - one was mine (31 - eek!) and the other was a girl in his class. Lucky for Luke, he got party favors, candy and cake from the girl in his class. One of the party favors was a cool pair of ducky sunglasses. And while neither Will nor Luke had any interest in the ducky sunglasses, Matt was a willing participant in the fun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The brothers three

We were released from UNC on Friday April 23 - Matthew's actual due date. It occurred to me on that day that all three of my children may not have been born on their due date, but all three of them have come home on their due date. Just a little Slavik factoid.

It was exciting for me to sit in the lobby with Matt on my lap and wait for our ride home. I have never been "that mom" before and it was nice to get all the smiles from people walking by!

Matthew has been doing well since he got home. He continues to eat well, and is getting better at sleeping for a few hours at a time. Nate and I tried to tell ourselves before he was born that because we haven't ever really gotten Will to sleep through the night, having a newborn wouldn't be too much of a change for us.

I think we were fooling ourselves.

Will's nighttime antics can typically be placated by putting a pacifier back in his mouth or laying him on his other side to sleep. Over, done with, and back to bed for Mommy or Daddy in less than a minute. When Matthew wakes up at night, he needs to be fed - which typically takes close to 45 minutes and involves some crying while his diaper is being changed. So, we have to admit that having a newborn is making us a little more sleepy than we expected!

Matt had his first pediatrician appointment earlier this week. I had to laugh when our pediatrician - who has been Luke and Will's doctor since they were released from the NICU - saw Matt's size! He was very surprised and pleased to see a 9 pounder! Matt is almost back up to his birth weight, which put him in the 90th percentile for weight. He's also in the 90th percentile for height.

Have you met my other children??? This is amazing, unchartered territory for us! We have been struggling to get Will into the 10th percentile for height and weight forever, and Luke isn't much larger than that. In the end, it makes us chuckle and reminds us how different this whole experience was. Matt didn't exactly enjoy being poked and prodded, though, and flashed us his characteristic scowl as we neared the end of his doctor's appointment. Nate was happy to imitate for the camera.

We have been enjoying the past couple of days at home, relaxing and getting to know Matthew. With each day, he's a little more alert and aware of his surroundings. He has a raspy voice. Although he is over 9 pounds, he doesn't really look like it. He has a big head, a barrel chest, a belly that rises and falls with his feeds, and skinny legs. His thighs remind me of a Shar-pei.

Luke and Will have slowly been warming up to their new brother. Luke has progressed from repeating the statement "Matthew's crying" over and over, to being willing to give him kisses on the head. When we lay Matt and Will next to each other, Will stares at Matt's face as if studying it and reaches over to touch him. It is really sweet. We were finally able to snap a picture of all three boys together this evening!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And on the third day...

We had a busy day today! Matthew behaved himself for his many doting visitors - thank you SO much to everyone who came to meet him! The nurses also requested at one point that we visit a couple of the other patient rooms around ours to teach these other little babies how to breastfeed. They thought that maybe Matt could instill some wisdom in the other newborns, because he's really doing well in the feeding department!

I took the photo above this evening after everyone left for the night. Matthew still isn't totally sure about opening both of his eyes all of the time (he seems to prefer the one eyed gaze, a la Gary Coleman's "whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis" face), so when he was this alert, I had to snap a couple of shots. This was a little tough with him in my left hand and the camera in my right, but it turned out ok!

It looks as though we'll be discharged some time Friday afternoon. We're looking forward to getting Matthew home and to try the whole brother-introduction thing again on more familiar turf for Luke and Will. If anyone wants to come see us tomorrow in the hospital, just give me a call on my cell to talk about times!

Thanks again for checking in on us - this is a miraculous time for our family and we appreciate all of the excitement and well wishes that have been sent our way over the past several days!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting to know all about you...

Today was the first time that we introduced Matthew to his brothers. While we've tried to prepare Will and Luke for baby brother's arrival, it didn't seem as though they understood all the fun that they were soon to encounter.

Oma picked the boys up from school early and brought them to Nate and me at UNC. I was feeding Matt when Luke walked through the door, and I SO wish that I could have gotten a picture of the expression on his face. He had no emotion in his mouth, but his eyes were huge and not understanding the new scene. Will was also very perplexed when he heard Matt cry. He clearly wanted to get away from the source of the noise!

So despite our best efforts to prepare the boys for Matt's arrival, it wasn't the introduction that parents dream about! All we could do was laugh about it. The scene was confusing to Will, overly stimulating for Luke, and Matt was hungry (again! - this kid eats and eats and eats...) and ultimately, it was getting late. So the photo below is THE BEST new introduction photo we were able to take!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Matthew Sullivan

Cart is Cart no more! At 11:09a this morning, Matthew Sullivan Slavik made his arrival. He shocked us all by tipping the scales at 9lb 5oz! By far a bigger boy than we thought - he's almost 3 Williams/Lukes at birth! He is 20.5 inches long. He looks like a combination of Will and Luke - he's got Luke's round cheeks and hair color, and has Will's toes and Old Man Face!

Sorry that I haven't gotten to blog before now. It has been a long day and didn't start off exactly as we had planned. But he's here and he's great and he's been checked out for some of the health complications that Luke and Will had at birth. I'm doing my best to stay up on my pain meds - c-sections hurt!

Matthew is a name that we loved and thought went well with William and Luke. In keeping with our middle naming tradition, Matt's middle name is Sullivan. This is in honor of Nate's maternal grandmother's maiden last name. Grandma GiGi (Jean Sullivan Callahan) was never able to receive her great-grandchildren on Earth but we know she's looking over each one of them and was the calm and patience by our sides today.

Matthew has just returned to my room... gotta go for now! I'll update with news and photos as I can!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is it...

By the time most of you read this blog post on the morning of April 20, Cart will have arrived - full term at 39 weeks and 4 days gestation! We had our pre-op appointment today at UNC, and are expected to check in Tuesday morning at 5am. We're the first case of the day in the OR, so Cart should make his arrival before 8am.

My doctor told me to make sure I get some rest tonight because tomorrow is a big day. While I understand the idea, how on earth am I supposed to get any rest? I'm excited for the birth of our son, but also nervous about the surgery. So between those feelings, and the sound of my growling tummy (I am not allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight tonight), I am sure to spend most of the night watching QVC. Or maybe M*A*S*H reruns.

Thanks to my wonderful husband for taking this maternity photo of me. We never had the chance to take any typical maternity shots with the boys' pregnancy, so we were very excited to take this one. I have been exceptionally fortunate to have Nate's encouragement and positivity by my side through this pregnancy. He's been the steady shoulder through all of the angst I felt over delivering again prematurely and never once waivered on his determination that we would make it to this day. I think he's a bit bummed that he no longer gives me weekly shots in the bum, though.

Thanks also to my lovely Mandy Lyon for doing a little photo editing to make this shot super special.

Check for updates tomorrow. We'll post updates and photos when we're able. We seem to have created a lot of familial angst with the creation of Cart's "un-real" name, so we're sure that there are great-grandmothers and friends alike who can't wait to call him something else.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Letting go

As a part of my own nesting process, I created a "honey do" list for Nate. Of course... have you met me?! A lot of these things aren't things that I can do (ie paint the kitchen) and really aren't necessary to prepare for Cart's arrival next Tuesday (I never said my list was logical!). But one of the things that was important to me was clearing out a couple of binders and boxes of paperwork left over from Will and Luke's birth and subsequent 75 day hospitalization.

Let me just say that the Paper Reduction Act of 1995 failed.

So I sat down for several hours today and poured over documentation from hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, everyone... thousands of pieces of paper. And when the organizational process was complete, I had about 10 pieces of paper in my "keep" pile and about three thousand pieces of paper in my "shred" pile.

These are documents that I thought I would hold onto forever. These are Explanations of Benefits from insurance companies that when totaled, prove that Will and Luke are "million dollar babies." These are documents that I thought were required to define the early life of my sons. Emotions can do weird things to you sometimes. So can pregnancy hormones.

What I realized today is that by holding onto these documents, I never truly accepted and let go of the trauma and drama that surrounded their arrival.

So I am still sitting here. Only now I am shredding paper. I am realizing as the whirring blades of the shredder destroy these documents that this is the perfect time to get rid of this baggage. With our decision to expand our family, we made a statement that we are not going to be defined by fear of history repeating itself with a premature birth. My sons are not defined by paperwork. They are defined by their smiles and laughs and personalities. Their futures are bright, and the darkness described in this paperwork can only dim that light.

It feels good to finally let go! Although it is taking longer than expected because our shredder keeps overheating. I have to wait for it to cool down before I can start again. Clearly I held onto too much paper for much too long.

Cart arrives on Tuesday. Oma is here for the next three weeks to help out. It's all good.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

License to nest

We hit 38 weeks gestation with Cart today! I've been fighting the urge to do some nesting for a couple of weeks (call me superstitious, I just didn't want to jinx anything), and wanted to wait until this week to pull out baby boy clothes. But now, I've sorted through baby boy clothes, pulled out what we really like, and washed it. Its amazing how many clothes you amass when you have twins, and how you can pare that down when there's just one!

So now my hospital bag is packed, the house is 95% ready for an infant, and we've got just 12 days to wait for Cart's scheduled arrival on April 20. 12 days?! All of a sudden that seems REALLY soon...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't you hate pants?

The Simpsons animated TV show was first shown on the FOX network in 1989. I was 10 years old and in the 5th grade. This institutional American pop culture budding was completely lost on me until I reached the 6th grade. By that point, everyone had Bart Simpson t-shirts and I was left trying to scramble and figure out who this yellow cartoon character was. This 'behind the times' phenomena isn't unusual for me - I went through the same thing when New Kids on the Block came onto the scene in the late 80's and when Beverly Hills 90210 started in the early 90's. I am clearly not a trend-setter.

So naturally when all of my peers were wearing Bart Simpson t-shirts, I wanted one too. I pleaded to my parents, who saw the quotes on the t-shirts and told me that I would not be wearing anything like that. Some of those infamous early Bart t-shirt quotes that maybe aren't the most exciting to high-achieving parents:

Eat my shorts, man!
Underachiever, and proud of it man!
Bartman - Avenger of Evil - Watch it dude!
I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?

It took months for me to find a Bart Simpson t-shirt that my parents would approve of. It had a picture of Bart surfing upside down and exclaiming "Aye Carrumba!" Tame. Lame. And of course by the time I sported this shirt, everyone had moved on to the next pop culture evil and I was out of style. Again.

I digress. Now, 20 years later and a parent myself, I know they only wanted the best for me :) Once the Bart Simpson t-shirt craze died down, I kind of lost interest in The Simpsons. But I have been fortunate to surround myself with Simpsons afficionados over the past 20 years (and yes, The Simpsons is still on FOX these days with new episodes!).

So the other day, when Luke insisted on dressing a certain way, I was reminded of a Simpsons quote that one of my University of Rochester friends used to say all the time:

Don't you hate pants?

And if you want to check out the original airing of this famous Homer quote, check out the link below from YouTube:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Green thumbs

I've always been told that a woman's creativity increases after she becomes a mom. I think I see signs of this in my scrapbooking. But I don't think this old adage holds true only for women. Nate's sense of creativity is definitely increasing as well.

Now this may be due to the fact he is doing the job of two parents right now (and has been doing amazingly well at keeping his sanity for a while). He is constantly coming up with ideas of things to do with the boys to change up the daily routine. This is the reason we made pizzas a few months back.

Last week, he decided that he wanted to grow a small porch herb garden with the boys. He bought planters and dirt, did research on what types of herbs to grow, and waited anxiously for the day to end so that he could get the boys from school and bring them home for their fun after-school activity.

I think you'll be able to see from the pictures below that the herb garden idea worked out fabulously. Nate decided to grow basil (we love pesto!) and rosemary for the planters, so Luke got to fill one planter with Daddy and Will helped out with the other.

Its part of the daily morning routine now to go out, check on the plants and water them. So far they've been thriving in our 90+ degree North Carolina spring!

Hopefully Cart will enjoy the herb garden when he makes his arrival in 14 days... but who's counting??