Friday, December 26, 2008

Elise- 1 Month

Dear Elise,
Today you are 1 month old. Your daddy and I cannot believe how quickly you have grown & changed. We feel you have been in our lives forever. We are enjoying every minute with you and love learning all about you. You are a very happy baby (most of the times!) You wake up very happy & alert. You love to look at lights; especially the kitchen & Christmas tree lights. You love laying in your Boppy Newborn Lounger and your Fisher Price Bouncer. But most of all you LOVE my boobs and nursing!!! (Haha- sorry, it's the truth!) You seem to get a little fussy in the late afternoon and evening. Your lungs are definitely working and you let us know when there is a problem- you are pretty easy to figure out though. Usually it's just a wet diaper or you're hungry. If you are in a fussy mood, you will not let your daddy or I sit down, even for a minute. You like for us to be walking around, bouncing you up & down. The more movement the better! It's actually a pretty good workout, so thank you! You like it when I sing to you (which proves you are a bit crazy) and your favorite songs are Tri-Delt rush songs and songs from "The Little Mermaid."
We haven't taken you out much in public, mainly because we haven't needed to, but also because it's the flu season and we're not taking any risks. We did take you to a Christmas party at the Whiting's house and it was a big FAIL. You were not born a party animal, but hopefully that will change. In your defense, it was very loud and lots of people wanted to hold you. I guess it's only natural that you would be fussy. You seem to like car rides and walks, whether it's in your stroller or a carrier; you fall right asleep. You also long to be held tightly and I try and hold you often as I know one day you will be too big.
We love you so much and can't imagine life without you. We are excited to see what month 2 will bring!
Love, Mommy & Daddy

Merry Christmas!

Elise had a wonderful first Christmas. Matt actually had to work Dec 24-26; someone has to fly the planes!! We celebrated on Dec 23 with a wonderful meal and lots of fun gifts. Elise, Jaws, and I spent Christmas Eve & Day with my parents. Brett came over and even though it was just the 5 of us, we had a wonderful time (and of course excellent food!) Matt's parents drove down from Springfield and we are spending the weekend with them. This is Matt's dad, Jack's, first time to meet Elise and he is absolutely smitten with her! We hope you all had a great Christmas as well!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Elise and her big brother, Jaws

Jaws is adapting quite well to Elise. He knows he is not to get near her face so he licks the air around it. :) Her crying & squeaks don't seem to bother him at all. He is interested in her and likes to sniff her feet and hands but that's about it. I can't wait until she is older and they can play together; I have a feeling they're going to be best buds!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Elise's Birth Story

So I will try and not make this too graphic or TMI :)

I woke up the morning of my due date, Nov 26th, at 3:30am, wide awake. This wasn't totally unusual for me. I'm usually a really good sleeper, but every once in a while I'll wake up uber early, ready to start my day. I felt totally fine, not too uncomfortable considering I was 40 weeks pregnant.  I was, however, ready for Elise to make her arrival. It wasn't so much a comfort thing, or a "I'm done being pregnant" thing; it was a schedule thing! Matt's vacation had started and the longer Elise took to come out, the less time her dad would have with her before he had to go back to work. So I was ready to begin all the old wives tricks to get labor started!!! :) I waited until it was a little bit later and took Jaws on a nice 3 mile walk. The rest of my day was pretty typical- I went into the office to finish a few things and then Matt & I went out to lunch for spicy Mexican food! I snacked on fresh pineapple that afternoon- I had read it could help bring on labor! That evening we had plans to meet 3 other couples out at our new fav Thai restaurant, Thai Chili. This place is delicious and serves up some seriously spicy entrees, just what I needed to get labor going!!!!! Turns out I really didn't need their dishes. Matt and I arrived first and sat down. All of a sudden, I felt three tiny "pops" that made me think my water had broken. But there was no wetness. Sooo.... I didn't say anything. I really wanted Thai food and I knew if I said something, Matt would make me leave!! haha. Our friends arrived, and we had a wonderful meal. I remember telling everyone to stop telling jokes and making me laugh because I was having Braxton Hicks contractions and they hurt when I laughed. Duh! Looking back, those were REAL contractions! Before we left the restaurant, I got up to use the restroom. I was a little worried (remember, I kinda thought my water had broken) but again, no "wetness." **TMI warning!!** I sat down on the toilet and there was a small gush of water... very different from anything I had experienced. Still, I really didn't think anything of it. We left the restaurant and my "Braxton Hicks" were still slightly painful, but bearable. As soon as we arrived home (around 9:00pm), I went to the restroom again. And again, I felt that "gush." I looked down and there was bright red blood in the toilet. It was then that I thought labor might be starting. The contractions were about 5 minutes apart and anywhere from 20-60 seconds long. I went into a mad cleaning frenzy between contractions. Heaven forbid Elise come home to a not-perfect house!!! lol. I also took a shower (SO glad I did that!) Matt and I got into bed and I tried to see how long I could last. Finally around 11:30 I told Matt I thought we should go to the hospital. My contractions were 45 seconds long & 3 1/2 minutes apart. 
We arrived at the hospital at exactly midnight. I was admitted and checked. As soon as the nurse checked me, my water broke. Turns out it had ruptured at the restaurant. The nurse just finished the job. I was 3 cm dilated. Because my water had broken, I was confined to the hospital bed- not fun! I really wanted to get up and walk around. The contractions were really painful. I wanted to last as long as I could without the epidural because I had heard it could slow down labor. I finally got it at 3:30 am- OMG- the epi is heaven sent!!! It was wonderful and I was finally able to get some sleep. (remember, I had been up for 24 hours.) I would take an epi right here and now if it was offered to me!
We woke again around 6:00 am. The nurses continued to check me, but I hadn't progressed much. So I was given pitocin to speed things up. Every time I had a contraction, Elise's heartrate would drop (from the 160-180s to the 90s.) The nurses and doctor assumed the cord was wrapped around her neck. Because of this, I was on oxygen and had to lay on my side. It was scary knowing Elise was in distress, but the nurses and doctors were monitoring her very carefully. 
Finally the nurse said I was ready to push at 12:45 pm. Then she left the room. For 15 minutes!!!!!!!! I was not a happy camper. My epidural had pretty much worn off and I was feeling every contraction. Word to the wise- don't tell a lady in labor that she's ready to push and then leave the room. (Turns out there were 2 other woman at the same stage as me; we kept the staff busy that day!)
I pushed for 35 minutes. Elise was "sunny side up" or in the occiput posterior position. Not ideal at all. Towards the end of my pushing, it got a little scary. They had an OR prepped for an emergency cesarean section and they also had NICU standing by. Finally the doctor said I was pushing so well, that I could go ahead and deliver her. But because of her position, she wasn't budging. So the doctor used a vacuum and turned her!!!!! It was very painful, I'm not going to lie. She was born shortly after that. I ended up with a 4th degree tear- fun times. But most importantly, Elise had arrived! The cord was wrapped around her neck twice. The doctor worked quickly to get it off and Matt wasn't able to cut the cord, something he had been looking forward to. Luckily, NICU wasn't needed- she was a healthy baby!!!!!!!
So for as easy and wonderful as my pregnancy was, I guess it was only fitting that I wouldn't have an ideal labor. That said, in the end, every thing was fine, and I know it's cliche but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Elise- 2 weeks

Elise had her 2 week appointment with the pedi on Wednesday, Dec. 10. She is doing awesome! She weighed a hefty 7 lbs. 15 oz., so she's gained over a pound since birth! She's in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height- long & lean! I can't believe she's considered "tall" for her age... if I hadn't given birth to her, I would ask for a DNA test!!! Matt and I are doing great and we've settled into a nice routine with her. She's sleeping very well at night and we're pretty sure we've been blessed with a wonderful & happy baby!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A few new pictures....

We had a friend & photographer come out last Wednesday and she captured these amazing pictures of Elise. Isn't she precious?!?

We had another great weekend with Elise. She's sleeping as well as any newborn and nursing up a storm!! Jaws is officially home and is so well behaved! He doesn't seem jealous, or nervous, or anything else that I was worried about. He seems to understand that she's the newest member of our family and she's here to stay :)
I'm pretty much feeling back to normal, still a little sore (a 4th degree tear isn't expected to heal overnight!) but nothing too awful. I've had lots of energy the past week and a half since she arrived and I think the lack of sleep & me being "on the go" is finally starting to get to me. I have three more days with Matt home; he goes back to work Friday-Sunday. I'm going to try and maximize his time here and force myself to nap every day.
I know I have lots of phone calls to return, and to all of you- I promise to call this week!!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A week with Elise.

We've had Elise for over a week now and I can honestly say I can't imagine life without her. She is still such an amazing baby. Her days are filled with the typical newborn activities- eating, sleeping, and pooping. (She takes after her daddy, lol) What a wonderful life she leads!!!! :) Her MiMi (Matt's mom, Mary) arrived on Tuesday and has been such an enormous help to me around the house. She's basically taking care of us while we take care of the baby! Elise is Mary's only granddaughter (so far anyway) and she's been having a wonderful time with her. We're also finishing up the nursery. I will post the finished pictures soon.
A lot of you were pretty skeptical regarding the cloth diapers. I don't blame you, it does sound a little strange at first. Just wanted to let you know that both Matt and I are loving them! (Mary can attest that Matt does too; I'm not making it up!) They are really easy and super effective. In fact, the only "blow out" we had was when she was in a disposable!!! They are truly just as easy as a "sposie", especially right now while she is exclusively on breastmilk. We toss the dirty diaper "as is" in the wash, with an extra rinse and then into the dryer it goes! That's it! Plus, have I mentioned how cute her fluffy butt is!?!? CUTE!
Everyone has been asking, "How's Jaws??" He is great! He has been staying with my parents this past week. He fetches the paper every morning for my dad, and he and Bailey (my parents' dog) wrestle in the backyard; they're loving this cooler weather. He's met Elise several times. I was sorta hoping he would just ignore her, however, that's not the case. He is super interested in her- sniffs her little toes and lays at the feet of whoever is holding her. I'm not worried, he is such a gentle giant and I do feel that Elise will be so lucky to grow up with Jaws! He's coming home today and I'm sure the newness of Elise will wear off soon enough. We will have to watch Jaws though. He doesn't have an ounce of aggression in him. He's just a big boy with a powerful tail!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Loving every minute of her!

We arrived home Friday afternoon and have been enjoying every second with Elise.  Friday night was a long night, but of course we expected that!!! Saturday and Sunday nights were a bit better, as we're slowly figuring out what she likes and dislikes. Though I'm sure it will quickly change, maybe even tonight! Elise is such a sweet baby. She hates to be cold, so she squawks like a little bird during diaper changes. She loves being swaddled... Matt has it down to an art! He gives me a C- in swaddling... I'm working on it. She is nursing beautifully and I am really enjoying that time with her. She was 6 lbs 12 oz at birth and since all newborns lose a little weight, she was 6 lbs 5 oz when we left the hospital Friday. We had our first visit with the pedi today as they were a little concerned that she had jaundice. Well, those worries are out the window as she's already gained back the weight she lost and then some- she was 6 lbs 14 oz today!!! She is sleeping really well and doesn't seem to fuss much. We are thinking it's the calm before the storm. Her eyes are dark blue and I'm thinking they'll slowly change to brown or hazel like ours. She has the lightest dusting of brown hair... she is just seriously precious!!! The following pictures just don't do her justice... 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

She's here!!!!

Elise Kathleen was born November 26 at 1:45 pm. She weighed 6 lbs. and 12 oz and is 19 3/4" long. We are all doing great! Matt took me out to eat Thai food the evening of my due date (11/25)- and it worked!! "True" and consistent contractions started around 8:30 pm and we went to the hospital around midnight. She was born the next afternoon. She is feeding like a champ and is absolutely precious! We will go home tomorrow, Friday November 28.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Due date! And we wait...

According to every online calculator I could find, my due date was yesterday. According to my doctor, my due date is today. Either way, Elise is late!! I'm feeling fantastic, which I would normally never, ever complain about. However, because I am feeling so great, I don't think she's going to make an appearance any time soon. Matt's taking me out for some ultra spicy Thai food this evening; maybe that will help coax her out.
Since it looks like she's not going to be here in time for Thanksgiving, I went ahead and got our house totally decorated for Christmas this weekend. I guess I'm not "Respecting the Turkey" this year, lol! At least it's one more thing I don't have to do next month!
I know I've said this a dozen times, but this time I mean it! I REALLY don't think my skin can stretch any more. It just can't be possible!
I've got a doctor's appointment tomorrow at 10:45. Hopefully we'll have some progress!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Nursery!

A huge thanks to my dad's sisters, Aunt Liz, Kathy, and Mary, and to my cousins, Christy, Katy, Jen, Erin, and Ellie! The chair is precious and looks so perfect in her room!
And since I'm posting pictures of this amazing little chair that I'm sure Elise will adore, I figure I might as well post some pictures of the rest of her nursery. I first have to say that *gasp* it's NOT finished! There are just a few last minute things that we're unable to get done. We've got a painting coming that will go on the left side of the window seat and I'm waiting to get that and then I have some funky mirrors to go on the right side. Mary, Matt's mom, is making a cover for the window seat and some pillows for it as well. She's going to do that when they come down shortly after Elise is born. And then it will be complete and I'll be sure to post some updated pics! Anyway, we love the way it turned out and I think Elise will too! Everyone in the family had a part in transforming this room. Matt scraped the popcorn ceilings, painted, and put up the crown molding. My mom and I painted the stripes, and Mary made the window valance and the dust ruffle.
And a close-up pic of the adorable lamp my mom made!
Lucky Elise has a bathroom right off her bedroom.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

39.5 Week Update

Well, I'm happy to report that Elise did not make an early arrival; in fact, she seems quite content to stay put. Matt is officially on leave/vacation (whatever you want to call it) so we are certainly ready for her to come any time!!!! The doctor doesn't seem to think she's in any hurry. My due date is this Tuesday. If she doesn't come on her own, we are scheduled for an induction beginning 5 pm on Sunday, Nov. 30th, which would probably give her a birthday of December 1st!! It's not my first choice; I would rather avoid an induction, so if anyone has any tricks, let me know! Either way, we are excited to meet our baby girl!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hang on until Wednesday, Elise!

Matt just left for his final trip before he starts his "leave" and will get home Wednesday evening. Even though the doctor says he has no reason to think Elise will come before her scheduled due date of November 25th, she definitely needs to stay put until at least Wednesday evening, when her daddy comes home!
My dad's birthday is Thursday, November 20th and we all think it would be pretty cool if she came then. (even if we did miss out on a fabulous birthday dinner!) However, something tells me this little girl is going to be fashionably late! Time will tell!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

T minus 2 Weeks!

Or more :) I'm officially less than two weeks from my due date. However, at my 38 week doctors appointment today, the doctor said that if he were a betting man, he would bet that I will still be pregnant on Thanksgiving. So we shall see! I'm still feeling pretty great, considering we are so close to Elise's arrival. Matt and I are both very excited and anxious to meet her. Matt was able to schedule a nice chunk of time off, though with his job, he can't really be flexible. His leave begins November 19th and he will not have to go back to work until at least December 8th. So you can see that we would certainly prefer that Miss E be somewhat on time and not too late, as Matt would like to be around here as long as possible after she's born.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh my gosh- it's NOVEMBER!!!

"My due date is *this* month!!" was the first thing that ran through my mind when I woke up this morning. This pregnancy has really flown by. I'm about 36 1/2 weeks and considered full term by my doctor... so little Elise could make her arrival any time. I am now going to the doctor on a weekly basis; every Wednesday.  I had my 36 week appt. last Wednesday and everything is looking great. I'm still feeling good and have lots of energy; but I also feel big. I'm just not moving as quickly as I have in the past. I walk Jaws every morning and one of our routes usually takes 35-40 minutes. It took me 55 minutes yesterday and I couldn't have walked faster if you had paid me. Of course, my due date is November 25. If she's at all late, she could easily be a December baby. We shall see!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die!

October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.  Rescuing an animal and saving a life has always been something both Matt and I believe in. There are so, so many homeless pets out there just waiting to find their forever homes. From puppies to seniors, purebreds to mixed, if you are in the market for a new family member (one a bit more furry than a baby) I urge you to check your local shelter. I feel confident you will find what you are looking for and save a life to boot!
After several month of looking, we found Jaws on January 31, 2007 via Petfinder.  We saved him from a high kill shelter near Ft. Worth. We feel so fortunate to have added him to our family!

Here is Jaws the day we adopted him, with his sister. Don't worry, she found her forever home the next day!
And one year later... 

"You're using what????"

Matt and I are excited and proud to say that Elise's bum will be covered in cloth diapers!!! I know it sounds crazy, but for those that don't know, these are NOT the cloth diapers that your mama used. They have changed and evolved so much. They're really quite easy and, in our opinion, so much better than disposables in every aspect. Yes, Matt is completely and totally on board. I wouldn't and couldn't do this without him being behind it 100%. Most of the reactions we have gotten from people are nothing but supportive. Everyone wants to know WHY we are choosing to use cloth diapers. Sooo...
  1. Cloth diapers are cheaper! It costs the average family around $2500 to diaper 1 child from infancy through potty training. And of course, those diapers can't be reused... so it's another $2500 for the next kid.  You could easily cloth diaper a child for ~$300 total, and then you could reuse those cloth diapers for your next child!!!! We're choosing to go with a little bit more "fancy" diapers, so we'll end up spending ~$700 total... still a significant savings. 
  2. Cloth diapers are healthier & more comfortable for baby. Would you rather have paper, plastic, and chemicals on your nether regions or organic bamboo velour? 'Nuff said. Also, children that are in cloth diapers experience waaaaay less diaper rash compared with children in 'sposies. Yuck!
  3. Obviously better for the environment. 'Sposies are the 3rd largest product in landfills- (behind newspapers & beverage containers.) And they're NOT really disposable.  They don't go anywhere... 'sposies take 500 years to "go away." And it takes 72 trees to make enough disposable diapers for one baby. 
  4. Children that are cloth diapered typically potty train faster bc the CD doesn't have the chemicals in them that 'sposies do. So CD kids "feel" wet and they start to understand what that feeling means... thus grasping the whole PT concept earlier and faster. 
  5. Have you seen the new cloth diapers out there??? They are so dang CUTE!!! Who wouldn't want to put them on their baby??? 
Of course, with all the pros, there are some cons. 
  1. The start-up cost is higher... With 'sposies, you can just buy a little at a time and spread out the cost over the years. Cloth diapers are an investment.  If you're going with cloth diapers, it's suggested to have around 24. 24 diapers at $8-18 each (depending on the route you choose) is $200-$450. But you're DONE.... and they can be reused on the next child. 
  2. Laundry- about an extra 3 loads/week. I don't mind laundry so that doesn't bother me. Yes, you will use a bit more water, detergent etc... but it's still thousands of dollars cheaper and still better for the environment.  Water is a renewable resource. 
I would be more than happy to answer any questions anyone had. It's a lot of info at first... but Matt and I both feel really good about our decision to go with cloth diapers!

This website has a wealth of info.


The Bump Grows- this is some freaky stuff!

6 weeks
16 weeks
22 weeks
24 weeks
29 weeks

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let the fun begin!

I've been struggling with a way to start this blog and I guess the best way to "blog" is to jump right in! So without further ado, here we go!
I have to say that I am incredibly fortunate and so blessed to have some great friends in my life! This past weekend, my high school, college, and post college friends got together and threw the perfect baby shower/girls' weekend for Elise! Matt was out of town so we had the house to ourselves. The weekend was filled with wine, (for those that could enjoy it!) delicious food and sweets, pedicures, and just general girly time. We went to Paesano's for a late lunch Saturday and afterwards, the girls hosted a "Pretty in Pink" shower where Elise received so many wonderful things!!! Girls, I can't thank you enough! It was just what I needed!