Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Saturday 7

Almost didn't make it on time this week! Whew! That was a close one.

1. This week I got to meet an online friend for the first time.  Justin thinks I'm so crazy that I have all these friends online who I've never actually met in real life. Haha.  Anyway, Cara and I met through a Cornerstone blogring on xanga years ago.  We figured out that we did attend Cornerstone at the same time for about a year, but never remember meeting each other.  She lives in California, but was in town for a while, so we had plans to take our kids to Java Gym.  Unfortunately her daughter came down with a fever, so all didn't go as planned.  But Cara stopped by for a few minutes so we could officially meet - and to give Lucy a birthday present.  So sweet!  It was great to finally meet you, Cara.  Sorry we couldn't have talked longer!!

2. I got my schedule for the next two months from my boss this week.  From now until the end of July I am working all 2 day weeks - with the exception of one 3 day week.  Uhhhhhh, what?  It'll be great to have half the summer off . . . except when it comes time to pay the bills! Haha. God will provide. He always does.

3. Justin and I went on a date tonight! He's been so busy with yardwork and helping my parents roof their house that I feel like I never see him anymore.  We went with Lucy to Qdoba and met up with Libby.  Libby took Lucy home and Justin and I went to see a movie.  We saw Something Borrowed.  I love Kate Hudson and Jim Krasinski, but I hated the movie!! It had such an awful message: essentially do what you want no matter who gets hurt.  Stupid!!  Oh well.  We enjoyed popcorn and hanging out.

4. Who else is excited for the Bachelorette this season??? Woot woot!  I'm actually not crazy about Ashley, and I'm already annoyed with the previews for the season, but of course I'll watch it.  Guilty pleasure.

5. I re-arranged Lucy's clothes yesterday to make room for some more summer stuff.  I filled an entire drawer with skirts, so decided to count them : 21 - 9 of which are jean! Haha! I had been thinking I need to buy her a few more pairs of shorts, but I seriously just think she'll wear skirts all summer!

6. Lucy got her first big injury today.  She pulled open a drawer right into her mouth and gashed her gums.  As soon as I picked her up, I could see blood pouring into her mouth.  Poor baby. :-( She's ok, though. No major damage. :-)

7. I gave Lucy eggs for the first time in months today. She's had them a couple times before, but it's been a while.  She didn't like them, today but she did eat a couple bites.  A couple hours later, I gave her a bath and noticed she has red dots all over her belly.  Hmmm. She still had them at bedtime tonight.  Think she's allergic? I hope not. She's never had a problem with anything with eggs in it.  Can you be allergic to straight eggs but not eggs in stuff? Oh boy. We'll see.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mini Lucy Update

I don't think I'm going to do the monthly updates anymore now that she's one.  I need to be careful not to out-do myself with Lucy in the event any other children come along.  Haha.  So I'm just going to do a mini update every once in a while when I have stuff to share.  And I'm sure I'll include most of her major milestones in the Saturday Sevens.

Lucy is getting better at walking.  She has pretty good balance and can take many steps in a row when she feels like it. (Her record is 13!)  But for the most part, she prefers to crawl.  That said, her newest form of transportation is walking on her knees.  It's hilarious.  When she wants to carry something across the room, she picks it up, then gets up on her knees and shuffles to her destination.  I took a video, but there's no way I'm going to try to upload it on my dial up connection.

Binky Rules: Lucy still has her Binky.  I'm not in much of a hurry to get rid of it.  It's really her only vice.  She doesn't have a lovey or a blankie or anything.  She's not allowed to have it all the time, though.  Pretty much only in bed and in the car.  Although I've been known to slip it to her in restaurants or the grocery store to keep her quiet. :-)

I'm still working on sneaking veggies into stuff.  I recently discovered that she loves bean burritos.  So this week I bought a can of refried beans and smothered some on a tortilla with a generous helping of pureed green beans and a sprinkling of cheese.  She chows it right down!  I also tried adding an entire jar of pureed carrots to a batch of mac n' cheese.  It made it dark orange, but Lucy was none the wiser and gobbled it down with her usual abandon.  2 points for mom!

She's been doing better with naps lately.  I tried cutting her down to one nap on Monday and it was an utter disaster.  She was a wreck all day.  So it's back to 2 naps, and she's doing fine.  She usually sleeps about 2 hours in the morning and an hour or so in the afternoon.

Oh, and I wanted to document the conclusion of my weaning saga.  I had a few clogging issues for about 2 weeks after nursing her for the final time.  Nothing terrible, just uncomfortable.  I'm all back to normal now! And Lucy is doing much better with drinking cow's milk.  I had been giving her pretty generous portions of chocolate, but I've been cutting back on that, and she drinks it just fine. :-)

Well of course this update wasn't so "mini", but that's just how I roll.  :-)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. I've written before about how Justin and I are TV junkies.  It's our thing together.  Thanks to Netflix, we just finished 30 Rock, so this week we got to start something new: White Collar.  It must be on cable, because I'd never heard of it, but my brother insisted we would love it . . . and we do!  It's like a combination of Chuck and The Mentalist - two of our other favorites.  (Aside: we're a season behind on Chuck, so no spoilers! :-))

2. I have been having such crazy, vivid dreams lately.  Vivid dreams are nothing new to me, but these are out of control.  They're usually so scary I dread going to bed at night.  I think it's probably hormone related.  I've heard of people having crazy dreams when they're pregnant or ovulating.  I am neither of those things, but I think my hormones are still adjusting from weaning.  I've been having awful night sweats and my acne is out of control. Isn't being a woman wonderful?

3. Niki had a garage sale this week.  I had to work both days, but I put some stuff in the sale and was pleasantly surprised to make $40! Haha.  We just don't have a lot of junk to get rid of.  I always hear people say they have so much stuff they want to get out of their houses, but I can't really relate.  We've only been married 6 years, and we've been poor all of those years, so we don't buy a lot of stuff.  And we gave away all our old clothes after last year's sale.  Might have to treat ourselves to dinner tonight with that $40. :-)

4. Lucy had her one year doctor's appointment this week.  She weighs 18 lbs, 8 oz.  Only up one pound since her 9 month appt.  The doctor did discuss that her weight gain seems to be dropping off, but she wasn't concerned since that can be normal at this age as babies start to become more active.  When I was a baby, I grew at a steady rate until about a year when I stalled for a looong time.  I weighed 22 lbs. when I started kindergarten. Lol. (Granted, I was 4 years old)  It'll be interesting to see what Lucy does.  She also got her first MMR shot.  She was scheduled to get the chicken pox shot, too, but I declined that one.  Oh, and she's 28.75" tall.  50th percentile.

5. So the news all over facebook this week is that the rapture is supposedly scheduled for today.  There's been a billboard up by Meijer for a while and I finally looked up the website a couple days ago.  It's really quite crazy, but the worrier in me is a tiny bit nervous. Haha.  Logically, I know the Bible says that we won't know the day or the hour, and that Jesus will come like a thief in the night. But it's hard not to think, If it really is the end of the world as we know it, what should I be doing with my time? Haha.  I'm not too freaked out about it, but I'll secretly breathe a little sigh of relief at 11:01 this morning. :-) (The guy making these claims says that's the time when the rapture will occur.)  Mostly, I just can't wait to take a picture of that billboard that says "Judgment Day - May 21 - the Bible Guarantees it!" tomorrow  . . . on May 22nd. :-)

6. Our meals were nothing special this week, but I will share two fun things we had: pita pizzas and banana chocolate chip muffins.  We had pita pizzas with Paul and Missy one time when we were up in Traverse City with them, and now I make them all the time.  So quick and easy! Just a whole wheat pita, smothered in pizza sauce and toppings of your choice.  This week we did cheese, pepperoni, deli ham, red and green peppers, and olives (for me - Justin hates them).  Pop them in the oven at 375* for 10-12 minutes. Yum!  And we had some bananas that were past their prime, so I looked up a recipe on allrecipes and made the one that was rated most highly.  They turned out great, too!  I was so proud of myself. I never bake anything from scratch. What a little Susie Homemaker.

7. On Monday this week, I noticed I had two bills due that day.  They were small bills - I think they totaled $92 together.  But we literally had $28 in our bank account. Haha.  I've been setting aside $10 a week for our anniversary for a while, so I counted out ten $10 bills and took them to the bank to pay my stupid bills, bemoaning our pathetic financial state the entire way.  That day, when I got the mail, there was our $1262 check from the propane company.  Thank you, God. You're right. You do provide.  The envelope beneath it in the stack of mail, however, was from the mortgage company.  Oh great, God.  Did you only provide this money because another huge expense is coming?  You can imagine my surprise when I opened it to discover our house payment is going down over $200 a month starting in July!!!! Last year, about this time, we found out that our escrow had been figured wrong and we hadn't been paying enough into it.  Subsequently, our payment went up $200 a month to make up for it.  Well apparently it's all evened up now.  Praise the Lord!!! There was seriously shouting and dancing and rejoicing in our house when we got that letter.  :-)  Thanks God. You have it all under control . . . as usual. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Winner Winner! Chicken Dinner!

I won my first blogging award!! Thank you so much to Carrie from Did You Hear the Singers Roer?  I feel so honored!

Here are the official rules for this award:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
  • Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
  • Give this award to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
  • Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

My seven things.  Hmmm. What is there to tell that you don't already know about me? Haha.

1. I regret not playing sports in high school.  It would have been a good way to make some friends. (I was kind of a loser. Haha.) And it would be nice to have some form of exercise I actually enjoy now as an adult.

2. I have never been out of the United States - not even Canada.

3. If I had the opportunity to go back to college, I would finish my degree in English so I could do freelance editing out of my home.

4. I wrote a romance novel in 9th grade. I printed and assembled it as a book and can not find it anywhere. I'm terrified to think who might have gotten their hands on it and just really hope my name isn't in it anywhere. Terribly embarrassing. Lol.

5. I was a Gerber model as a baby.  Well I was in one ad - my dad was their photographer for a while. :-)

6. I would gladly go out to eat every day for the rest of my life.  I love restaurant food - even chain restaurants and fast food!

7. Anyone who knows me well knows this, but for any newbies, it's a fun fact: my husband and I went to the same small Christian school together from kindergarten to 12th grade and got married when I was 19 and he was 20. Younguns. :-)

As for my fellow blogging friends who I feel deserve this award . . . The problem is, I stalk a lot of blogs and their writers don't know me, so I'd feel weird giving them an award. Lol.  I'll link to a few who do know me. :-) (In alphabetical order.)

1. Bread, Water, and Chocolate. This is my friend, Kelly, whose daughter, Presley, is 5 weeks older than Lucy.  They live 2 miles from our house and are a part of our small group.  Kelly has great recipes and money saving ideas on her blog.

2. Buckner's Buzz.  Joanne is a friend from church who always has great stories about her kids and fun recipes and tips for frugal living!

3. Goudy Howdy.  This is Elise. Our families have been friends forever. She's currently living in Russia with her husband and four kids, and has the most hilarious stories to tell about life in Russia.

4. Mevlink.  I was introduced to Karen through my college suitemate Kristy.  Karen is a mom of 2 beautiful girls and writes the most honest, interesting posts about her adventures in parenting.

5. SoKaley. My sister-in-law, Kaley, lives in San Francisco, California with a huge furry cat named Macy.  This is her blog.

6. The Lion and the Lambes. Rachel's blog is mostly devoted to her 1.75 kids, but I love her, so I had to include her as well!

7. The Manne Family News. Megan is another mom who chronicles life with her 4 adorable kids.  She also takes great pictures.  I really admire her parenting style.

That's all I've got.  Thanks again, Carrie! This was fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Party

I was originally going to keep Lucy's party simple.  I figured she's one year old and won't know the difference, but then I started looking up themes online and thinking of all the fun I could have and got a little carried away.  Haha.

Our theme was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Lucy loves the book because she can stick her fingers in the holes.  And I loved the idea of serving all the foods the caterpillar ate.

This was the "cake" I made.  It's 30some cupcakes and a two layer round cake.  I had never made a 2 layer cake before.  It was a beast to frost.  I'm not planning on quitting my day job. Haha.

And the food: 

We had food for everything the caterpillar eats in the book.  Apples, pears, plums, strawberries, and oranges - with fruit dip.  Then salami, cheese, pickles, watermelon, lollipops, cherry "pie" (just turnovers from the Meijer bakery), ice cream cones, cupcakes, chocolate cake, and a nice green leaf (the daffodil at the end).  I made super cute little labels for each food but didn't get a very good picture of them.  We also had sloppy joes as our main dish. That wasn't caterpillar related. :-)


Lucy's monthly pictures on the console table when you walk in the door.  Both of my sisters said the same thing when they came in: "Nice Lucy shrine!" Haha - it's just the pictures I took of her in the glider every month.

Balloon caterpillar :-)

The Birthday Girl

Birthday outfit. (Sitting with Aunt Libby)

Family :-)

It was a fun time and she got lots of great gifts.  Thanks to everyone who came and made it special for her!! I'll post more pictures on facebook soon.  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. We managed to pull off a pretty fabulous first birthday party for Lucy today.  It was a lot of work, but it all turned out so nicely and I think everyone had fun.  There will be an entire post devoted to the party coming up soon.  Here's a sneak peak. :-)

2. I had an amazing first Mother's Day last Sunday.  Lucy was born two days after Mother's Day last year, so this year was my first.  Justin majorly spoiled me!  He got me gift certificates for a massage, a mani/pedi, and a shopping spree at Kohl's!  He also got me donuts for breakfast and when we got home after church, he did 3 loads of laundry, dishes, and cleaned the bathroom!  Oh, Lucy helped too.  :-) It was wonderful and I can't wait to use all those gift cards!!

3. We saw a major answer to prayer this week.  We had a big stack of bills on the fridge to pay and about $28 in our bank account to pay them! Haha. I honestly wasn't stressed about it.  I knew God would provide in one way or another.  But I was still surprised when I opened our propane bill and saw a credit instead of a charge this month!! We are on a budget plan, so we essentially pay for our heat year round based on what the propane company estimates we're going to use.  Apparently they grossly overestimated, because we overpaid by $1200!!!  I called this week and requested that they cut me a check (instead of just crediting it to our account).  The money is coming next week!!! Thank you, Lord!

4. Lucy has really been fighting naps lately.  I'm wondering if she's ready to go down to one nap.  What do you think, Moms? When did your baby drop the morning nap?

5. We finally had some hot weather this week.  It was fabulous!!! And I enjoyed dressing Lucy in some cute summery clothes! She loves not wearing a onesie - she is constantly searching for her belly.  Haha.

6. One thing we are not enjoying about warmer weather is the bugs in the house.  The other day I was in the living room and Lucy was playing nicely in her bedroom.  I looked over at her as she came crawling out of her room and when she saw me, she paused and started shaking her head back and forth.  I could tell she had something in her mouth, so I hurried over to her and pulled out . . . . a dead ladybug!!! Gross!!!

7. Oh, I have one more question requiring reader response.  Haha.  Just a little poll here.  Do you think it's weird/wrong/gross to date your 4th cousin??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

1 Year Update!!!

This post is so daunting.  I don't even know where to begin.

My baby girl is one year old.  She had an exciting birthday today.  I woke her up this morning by singing "Happy Birthday," she got a cute puppy and outfit from Chase and Lyla, she got to have her favorite food for lunch (grilled cheese), then she got to open one present from us (a baby doll), and finished the evening off with Olive Garden! Oh, and she got lots of happy birthday wishes on facebook!  Lucky girl!

So here's what she's up to lately:

She's really mastering her balance and takes very controlled steps.  She has yet to take more than 4, but it's SO adorable to watch.  I really need to be a better mom and take a video of it.  She gets the hugest grin on her face and loves all the cheering and attention.

She officially has 2 words: "bye" and "hi" - complete with wave.  She only whispers "hi."  Haha.  And she says "buh-bye" so sweet and softly.  She says "mama" a ton, but I'm still not 100% sure she knows what it means. I'd say she really mastered those words in the past week.

She has her two bottom teeth.  They're still pretty small, but adorable! I don't see anymore coming in anytime too soon.

She does patty-cake (just the clapping part - haha), "Wheels on the Bus" (kind of), and peek-a-boo.  She loves to point and wave at everything and everyone.  Her new favorite thing is dropping things and waving bye-bye to them.  When she's in her high chair, she throws food on the floor, then leans over the side and waves to it.  When I'm changing her diaper on the changing table, she throws her pants on the floor and waves, saying "buh-bye."  Haha.  So cute.  She's actually starting to sort less!! But she still loves that lunchbox, and anything else she can open and close.

She actually really enjoys reading books - but on her own terms.  She makes it through about 2 pages of one book, then has to switch to another one.  Then she goes back to the first one, then pulls out a third.  Over and over.  And she doesn't like to sit on my lap while reading.  :-(  But at least she's getting better!

The weaning has gone amazingly well.  I gave up the morning feeding 2 weeks ago and was really in pain for a few days.  But I nursed her for the last time on Sunday and haven't felt a twinge! Woohoo! It was a little bit more painful emotionally, though.  I got a little choked up while I was nursing her for the last time on Sunday.  And since then, bedtime has been hard on both of us.  I'm so used to snuggling her, singing our songs and saying our prayers right before bed.  But if I'm not nursing her, she won't snuggle with me.  :-(  And she's really been crying at night when we put her to bed.  I don't know if that's related to not nursing or if she's just starting to resist bedtime (because she's been crying at naptime, too - which is uncharacteristic of her), but it's sad nonetheless.

We haven't been too adventurous lately.  She tried mango for the first time this week - liked it.  And she actually ate a few pieces of broccoli at dinner last night - her veggie consumption is still sporadic.  She really hasn't been too interested in milk and barely drinks half a cup a day.  But today (for her birthday), I put extra chocolate in it and she guzzled it right down.  Which is worse - no milk or milk full of chocolate?? Haha.

I feel like there's so much I have to say, but it's already my bedtime, so I'll wrap this up.  She is the best thing that ever happened to me.  I still get emotional when I think about the day she was born.  It was so amazing and this past year has been the best one of my life.  I love waking up to her sweet face every day, hearing that little giggle when I tickle her, kissing that precious little face, stroking her soft baby hair, and watching her sleep so peacefully.  Again, I have to focus on what our future holds together instead of being sad about all the lasts.  I can't wait to hear her say, "I love you, Mama," or watch her walk around the room or see her playing basketball with Justin in the driveway.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Lucy.  I love you with all of my heart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lucy's Birth Story

While Lucy was actually born on the 11th, most of my labor occurred on the 10th, so I'm sharing this today.  

Most of you have already read it, but for those of you who haven't: enjoy! Haha.

Lucy's Birth Story
She's here!!!! I am going to write a very long birth story because I don't want to forget a single detail!

Sunday (the 9th): I was very miserable.  I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing because I itched so badly. [From the PUPPS]  I hadn't slept well in days and just wanted to be DONE.  

Monday (the 10th) at 11:20 Doctor's appointment.  Justin couldn't get off work, so my mom came with me just in case.  We started with an ultrasound, but she was so big that I couldn't make out anything on the screen.  The tech wouldn't estimate her weight, but did confirm for me that she was indeed a girl still!  Next I had my first NST.  It showed me having contractions every 6 minutes.  They just felt like Braxton Hicks to me.  Finally I saw the doctor.  I was dilated to 3, finally! Progress!  I begged her to send me in early, so she stripped my membranes again.  Whew! It hurt!  But she said that doing that probably pushed me to 4 cm.  She told us to go out to lunch then call her and let her know if I was contracting any more. 

1:00 Mom and I went to TGI Friday's.  I kept track of my Braxton Hicks.  They were still 6 minutes apart like clockwork.  Toward the end of lunch I started to notice I was getting crampy and my lower back was hurting.  We walked around Kohl's for a while and I called the doctor.

3:30 Doctor called back and said there were no induction appointments available, but it sounds like I'm progressing and to go to triage!  Mom drove me home and I packed the last minute things waiting for Justin to get home from work.

4:45 We left the house.  I gave Lola a hug and kiss and told her I'd miss her.  She scratched and bit me.  That's her way of reciprocating love.   My contractions started to get a little uncomfortable on the drive to the hospital - just like period cramps.  They were also starting to get a little closer together - 4 minutes apart now.

5:30 Justin dropped me off at the ER.  They asked what was wrong at the front desk.  I didn't know what to say, so said, "Ummm, I guess I'm in labor?"  Haha.  They laughed at me and whisked me upstairs before Justin could finish parking the car.

5:45 We got put in a huge triage room and I was checked.  Still 4 cm. 100% effaced. The nurse told us to start walking the halls.  It was a really short loop and I was barely in pain, so we walked fast to make things get going.  The nurse told us later that all the other nurses thought it was funny we were walking so fast.

6:30 My sisters showed up with Qdoba for Justin.  He ate in the room and they finished walking with me.  Not in any significant pain.  I was worried my whole family was going to show up and they'd just send me home. 

7:30 The nurse found out I was scheduled for an induction the next night and said, "Oh, we'll just admit you tonight."  Woohoo!  We moved down the hall to any even bigger room.  It was great! 

Right away my delivery doctor came in. My doctor wasn't on call that night, but I loved the lady who delivered (Susan VandenBosch).  She checked me.  Still at 4 cm, and decided to break my water to get things moving.  She assured me it wouldn't hurt, but I was a little worried when she came at me with that foot-long crochet hook!  Haha.  She was right, though.  It didn't hurt at all.  The gushing of my water was really gross.  I couldn't believe how warm it was.  It gushed and gushed and gushed. 

Almost immediately my contractions started coming much closer together and becoming more painful.

8:00 The anesthesiologist's assistant came in to discuss my pain management options.  I ordered my epidural.  My nurse (Megan - whom I loved) said I had beautiful veins and started to put in my IV.  She blew the first vein so called the assistant back in.  The assistant blew 2 more before they finally got the 4th one to stick.  That was definitely the worst part of my entire labor.  I was feeling the contractions pretty intensely and they were digging into me with needles.  Not a fan.

8:30 Got my epidural. Amaaazing!  I was worried it would really hurt, but it was nothing compared to the IVs! While I was hunched over more of my water started gushing out - it poured down my legs and pooled on the floor.  Crazy!

9:00 Couldn't feel a thing.  I could wiggle my toes and my legs were tingly, but I couldn't lift them.  I loved it and just felt really relaxed.

9:45 Still 4 cm so they put in an internal monitor and started Pitocin. (Started a low dose, they upped it throughout the night)  They also put me in weird positions to make the contractions stronger. I'd never heard of that before.  Meanwhile, my family (My parents, sisters, and Justin's parents) were playing Wizard [card game].    I was sleepy and happy just to watch.  For the next few hours we all just talked, played cards, watched the Tigers' game, took pictures, and updated facebook. 

11:00 5-6 cm

12:30 7-8 cm

1:00 9-10 cm, lip of cervix.  Megan told me to page her when I started feeling pressure. 

2:00 I felt my belly harden and thought I was feeling some pressure so called Megan.  Fully dilated and effaced. Ready to go!  Our families all went out to the waiting room and Megan started breaking down the bed and pulling out the big lights.  I got a little nervous for the first time.  It was so surreal that what we'd been waiting and hoping for was finally about to happen!

2:05 Started pushing.  I couldn't feel anything.  It was weird to pull my legs back.  My hands could feel my legs but my legs couldn't feel my hands. Lol.  I had no idea what to expect about pushing.  It was not that bad! I just had to pull my legs back, put my chin on my chest and push as hard as I could for 10 seconds.  (Megan counted softly - no shouting like on the Baby Story - which I appreciated!)  Then I took a breath and did it two more times. 

2:15 Megan said she could see the baby's hair - she marvelled at how long it was. My contractions started to stall at some point.  It was nice because I had long breaks between sets of pushing, but that's obviously not ideal so they upped my pitocin. I never felt overwhelmed. I never felt like it was too hard or I couldn't do it anymore.  Dr. VandenBosch and Megan were so encouraging.  I'm sure they do this for everyone, but they kept saying, "Wow! She's really coming down! You're a great pusher! She's going to be here any minute!" I was also amazed at how great Justin did.  He was so encouraging.  He held my hand the whole time, coached me gently, and actually watched her crown and everything!

2:52 Lucy was born!  Her head came out and the doctor said the cord was wrapped around her neck twice.  Justin and I had a short panic attack before the doctor assured us she was fine.  She resolved the cord issue and the rest of Lucy's body slipped through.  I honestly felt none of it.  I know the doctor was stretching me.  I didn't feel any of that.  I didn't feel Lucy crown, didn't feel any pressure, just felt a tiny bit of relief when her whole body slid out.  It was amazing. 

They laid her on my chest right away and I just watched in awe.  Lucy never really screamed - she just whimpered and squawked as they messed with her.  They finally got her mostly clean and asked Justin if he wanted to cut the cord.  Up until then he had said he wasn't going to do it, but he did! They put her skin to skin on my chest and she immediately opened her eyes and looked right at me.  I couldn't believe how alert she was! 

The doctor and nurses all marveled at how much hair she had.  We weren't surprised.  Haha.  We were surprised by how big she was!  Her cheeks were so chubby!

The doctor delivered my placenta but I purposely did not watch.  Not like I could take my eyes off my baby anyway!  Justin was great and took a bunch of pictures of our first moments together. 

I had a few tears, but none of them were even 1st degree.  The doctor stitched me up while Lucy got weighed.  I couldn't believe it when they said she was 8 lbs, 8 oz!! I was totally expecting a seven pound baby.  I couldn't believe I had pushed that out of me!
Then they asked if I wanted to nurse.  I knew my family was chomping at the bit waiting in the hall, but I wanted to try it.  For some reason I have no memory of her nursing for the first time.  I know we tried, though. 

Then Justin held her for the first time and finally we let our moms and sisters come in (the dads had gone home by this time) while Lucy got her first bath. She was so content and alert the whole time - barely letting out a peep.  The nurse combed back her hair.  It was hilarious!  It was so dark and curly and stood up all over the place! 

Eventually we moved upstairs to our (much smaller) recovery room.  My sisters went to McDonald's to get Justin some breakfast and the nurses helped me breastfeed again. My family left around 5:45 a.m. and we got ready to finally go to sleep.  Justin opened the blinds and we laughed that the sun was coming up as we were going to bed.  Lucy was still wide awake (as she had been since the moment she was born), so we sent her to the nursery so we could sleep for a while.

Since then we've just been resting, receiving visitors, taking lots of pictures, and working hard on breastfeeding.  Working being the operative word.  Lucy loves to suck.  Her tongue is always moving.  She is always rooting.  But she's impatient and hates waiting for anything to come out so gets frustrated easily.  We had a few rough nights but I saw the lactation consultant today and she helped a lot so today has been much better. The lack of successful feeding really affected her weight.  She came home at 7lbs, 13 oz - which is a 9% decrease: too much in the pediatrician's eyes.  So we're going back to the doctor tomorrow.  Hopefully all of today's good feedings will pay off. 

One more thing: since we've been home, I've definitely started to feel the hormone surge in the way of crazy emotions.  I have been crying all night because I'm just so happy.  I'm so relieved that she's here and healthy and perfect.  I can't believe how much I love her already and how beautiful she is.  I'm also amazed at the immense love I feel for my husband.  I've heard people say that and never really understood, but now I do. Justin was absolutely amazing through the whole experience.  He was admittedly not overly interested in my pregnancy, and he knows nothing about babies, so I didn't know what to expect.  But he has been incredible.  He has been my errand boy since I was pretty sore and bed-ridden for a while.  He was super good about getting me water or a blanket or handing me the baby so I could feed her.  He never once complained.  He was constantly asking me if I needed anything.  And I've loved watching him with Lucy.  (I'm going to cry again - lol)  He loves her so much.  He is so sweet and tender with her.  He did great changing her diaper for the first time, has been so encouraging and helpful with the breastfeeding thing, and is the expert at swaddling.  I have loved spending the past few days as a family and am so sad he has to go back to work tomorrow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Stomach: Before, During, and After

Warning: This is going to be a disgusting post.  I am going to post some quite horrifying pictures.  Nothing inappropriate: just my stomach.  But it's going to be gross!  View at your own risk!!

This is when I first found out I was pregnant with Lucy.  Look at that nice, smooth belly and cute little belly button.

This was taken on this date last year (May 9, 2010) - 2 days before Lucy was born.  Major stretchmarks and PUPPS! Also - belly button stretched into oblivion!

One year later: May 9, 2011.  My belly button will never be the same!  But honestly, after looking at that last picture, it could be much worse!! Haha.

Only 2 more days 'til Lucy's birthday!  Tomorrow I'll post her birth story, and Wednesday will be the 1 year update!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Breastfeeding Story

Before getting pregnant, I wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding.  Even throughout those 9 months, I wasn't really looking forward to it.  I had resigned myself to trying because I knew it would be best for the baby and of course it was the cheapest option.  We took a breastfeeding class where I had to work hard not to giggle.  Haha.  I had heard so many horror stories of babies not latching or nipples cracking and bleeding . . . *shudder*.  Needless to say, it wasn't something I was overly excited about.

Moments after Lucy was born - before our families came in to see her, before they bathed her or anything, the nurse asked if I wanted to try nursing.  I remember just sticking her on there not remembering a thing from my breastfeeding class and hoping she would just figure it out.  Haha.  I sadly don't remember much beyond that.

The nurses helped me nurse her again when we got up to the recovery room.  It's funny that I consider myself a fairly modest person, but I had no problem with the nurse manhandling me.  Haha.  I think Lucy did ok those first few times.  She loved to suck and was constantly rooting and sticking her tongue out.  But things went downhill quickly.

I remember one night in the hospital when she just screamed and screamed and no matter what the nurse did, Lucy would not latch.  It wasn't that she couldn't do it, she just didn't want to or something.  It was such a victory when she latched for a second here or there!  Even writing this brings back the desperation and anxiety I had then.  It was so frustrating to watch her scream when I knew it was such an easy fix!  We eventually sent her to the nursery and they asked me if I wanted her to have formula.  I was so conflicted.  I knew she needed to eat, but I was afraid if she got a taste of that formula, she'd never attempt to nurse again.

The day we left the hospital, the lactation consultant came in to help me.  She brought little bottles of sugar water that she squirted on me to get Lucy interested in sucking.  They worked wonders . . . until the first night at home.  Haha.

She would not latch, and we both sat on the couch at 2 in the morning with tears running down our faces. When she miraculously did latch, she would nurse f.o.r.e.v.e.r!! 25 minutes each side.  Then she'd be ready to nurse again 2 hours later.  It was exhausting.  And she wasn't nursing well or taking much in.  (Although, honestly, my milk still hadn't come in, so there wasn't much to take in anyway.)  That first night, I was so desperate I gave her 2 oz. of formula.  She guzzled it so quickly she ended up puking it all back up.

We had a few days of supplementing with formula which was difficult because then she was less interested in nursing.  But we kept chugging along, and I kept trying.  It took seven days for my milk to come in.  (I realize now it's because I wasn't eating!)  And finally, she got the hang of it.  It took a good 2 weeks for her to really latch on consistently and get full feedings - which contributed largely to my postpartum anxiety.

Ever since then, it's been smooth sailing.  She fell easily into a routine - which is very important to me.  She nursed every 3 hours for a few months, then moved seamlessly to every 4 hours.  When I was ready to start weaning, she dropped the feedings no problem.  I had one, minor clog that I was able to resolve on my own.  And I never had any infections or anything.  Praise the Lord!!!

So here's the sappy part.  I nursed Lucy for the last time tonight.  I got a little choked up but didn't cry!  I don't think she could care less. Haha.

I'm amazed at how much I loved nursing.  I love the way she is so happy to nurse.  When she's sad or tired, she latches on and her eyes immediately roll back in her head like "Ahhhh - this is what I was waiting for!"  I loved when she was little and she'd get so wiggly and excited when I laid her down and started undoing my bra.  I love the way her hands rested on my chest and her fingers opened and closed.  I loved when she would fall asleep and her little mouth would fall slack.  I think I'll miss the closeness.  Nursing was the one time when she holds still.  I don't know if she'll lay still and rock with me at bedtime any more.  :-(

But as always, I'm just trying to be excited about the future.  I'm excited to go away for a couple days for our anniversary and not worry about pumping or having enough frozen milk for her.  I'm excited for her to grow up and get bigger.  I have to look forward to the firsts instead of lamenting the lasts or I'll just be a basket case all the time! Haha.

Ok, that was ridiculously long!  Thanks if you made it to the end.  And thanks especially for all the nursing help, encouragement, and advice over the past year!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy was very sick this week.  She's been sick before, but this was the first time she required antibiotics. :-(  I'm sure most of you have followed the saga on facebook, but I'm going to recap it here for my own records.

She woke up Sunday with a fever of 103.3.  Staggered ibuprofen and tylenol all day.  Monday morning her fever was down to 101.  By the time we got to the doctor at 9:30, her fever was gone, but the doc diagnosed her with a sinus infection.  I've never heard of a baby having a sinus infection!  Dr. said her ears looked fine, but her throat was irritated from snot dripping down it.  Ick.  The doctor wrote a prescription but suggested waiting a day or two to fill it since Lucy's fever had broken and she was probably on the mend.  Monday night, Lucy whimpered all night in her sleep.  She really started crying at 5, so I got up to give her some ibuprofen.  She was so miserable and would not rock with me, so I nursed her and she went right back to sleep.  Justin had Tuesday off so I left her home with him while I went to work.  It was very hard for me!  I texted him like 5 times to see how she was doing!  I picked up her antibiotic that night since her fever was back and she was miserable.  It wasn't until yesterday that she really rounded the corner.  All week she was soooo cranky - not at all herself. Poor kid.

2. In happier Lucy news, she took her first steps this week!! She's taken one or two falling steps here or there, but on Thursday she suddenly got the hang of it.  She still hasn't taken more than 4 steps, but they're much more controlled.  She gets the biggest smile on her face and is so proud of herself.  Adorable!!!

3. I was flipping through Lucy's baby book the other day and found the section where you write the cost of living.  The price of gas this time last year was $2.95!! Ugh. How are we going to survive if it keeps increasing at that rate?  I remember the year Justin and I got married (2005) we went camping over labor day weekend and got gas for $1.99/gal! So the prices have doubled in 6 years.  Unfortunately, our paychecks haven't increased at such a rate.

4. Kelly and Presley came over yesterday.  We put the girls down for a nap and spread our scrapbooking stuff allllll over the floor.  I finally started Lucy's book! Haha. 5 days before her first birthday.  I got 3.5 pages done.  Woohoo!

5. Lucy's 1 year pictures are today!  I'm really nervous.  I just hope that she's happy and smiley and cooperative.  And I hope I can make her hair look cute.  I'm such a hair novice.

6. I did not do very well with cooking this week.  Lucy would not let me put her down most evenings, and there's only so much I can make with one hand.  Haha.  I only made 3 meals: breakfast burritos, my favorite white chili, and Dorito casserole (yes, it is as healthy as it sounds - haha!).

7. I started a new book this week: Spiritual Parenting.  So far, I'm really liking it.  I'm taking notes, so I'm sure I'll fill you all in. :-) Oh, and I started a new "feature" on this fabulous blog.  Look to the left and you'll see my "currently reading, on my reading list, recently read" modules.  I linked all of the books so you can check them out. :-)

Well we have an insanely busy day ahead of us, so I should probably get off the computer and go get ready.  Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, May 6, 2011

On This Day Last Year . . .

Today was my due date! I was soooo miserable. Here's an excerpt from my blog on that day:

How far along? 40 weeks!
Total weight loss/gain: Oh boy.  I gained 4 lbs this week!! Probably because my diet mainly consists of chocolate chip cookies.  +42 lbs. total.   (And I officially surpassed Justin.)
Maternity clothes? Obviously.  In fact, most of them don't fit.  I've resorted to wearing Justin's biggest t-shirts. 
Sleep: Ok.  Rolling over is quite painful.  And I wake up often to scratch.
Best moment this week: Last day of work!
Movement: I actually think she has slowed down this week.  She still has her crazy times, though. 
Food cravings: Chocolate chip cookies. Restaurant food.
Food aversions: None.
Gender: GIRL!!!!
Labor Signs: Maybe starting to lose my mucus plug. Constant Braxton Hicks.
Belly Button in or out? Out, covered in stretch marks, and itchy red bumps! It's really attractive!
What I miss: My old body. Being comfortable. 
What I am looking forward to: Getting this baby out of me!!!!
Milestones: Reaching my due date!

I had a doctor's appointment that day and got my membranes stripped.  I thought for sure that would send me into labor.  No such luck!  I was also pretty sure I was going to die of PUPPS.  Worst thing ever!  Here are some pictures to remember that day.  :-)

Doesn't it look fake? It looks so unnatural - this big thing attached to my body.  I can't believe I could function!
Stay tuned for some more fun memories of this week last year!
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