Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I am usually not a big fan of Halloween, and I blame that on my mother. She hates Halloween. However, I was really excited to take Eli trick-or-treating last night.. I found the cutest costume at a consignment sale about a month ago (it was only $4 too! What a STEAL!) Our plans were to go to my in laws and trick-or-treat in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was drizzling when we left and pouring shortly after we arrived..so we stayed in doors instead.

I know, I have the cutest baby ever.
Of course I'm not going to be satisfied with some p&s pictures..so one day last week I dressed Eli up and we took pictures in the studio. Love, love, LOVE him!
My MIL bought him this cute little scarecrow outfit..
Next year he'll be walking. I can't think that far in advance. But he will be. And I hope it doesn't rain!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Patch!

Happy Fall!
It has been unusually warm here in Virginia..although we have had a few cool days that teased us all - I am SO ready for the cool weather!

Yesterday we did our first family trip to the pumpkin patch!
Thanks to the MIL, I had the cutest scarecrow outfit for Eli, but it was in the mid 80s and that outfit would have been way too warm so I had to settle for pumpkin colors of green & orange.
This boy brings me more joy than I could ever put into words
Yes, my 2 month old can stand.. He's growing up way too fast!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have always wanted to be "that mom" -- you know, the one who kept her house clean, prepared dinner every night, and created a fun learning environment for her children. Eli is coming up on two month old very quickly and I feel like we are just now getting to the point where I can brush my teeth twice a day..so the other "dreams" will have to wait for now.

However, I am super excited to do a few small projects with Eli- these will be the perfect holiday cards for the grandparents! I just need to go to Michael's and pick up the supplies..

Here are a few of my favorites courtesy of my pinterest boards:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I thought I knew love
..and then I became a mother.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dear Eli | Part 1

My sweet boy,
Having you completed me. My heart bursts with love, joy, and peace and I thank God for brining you into my life. You are the perfect mix between calm and feisty. Most of the time you are very calm and hardly cry, but I can already see that you are strong-willed. You spend a portion of each day sitting quietly and observing the world around you. I love seeing the world through your eyes. You just recently started really locking eyes on objects and when you're under your play mat you swat at the items above. You're growing up before my eyes and that is so bittersweet. I love spending my day with you.

I love you so,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

List of firsts

Dear Eli,
Our first month has come and gone and it took away some of our hardest and favorite moments so far. Every time I think that we are well into our second month of knowing you I have to blink away tears from my eyes. I want to remember your early days and I will treasure them forever. When you first arrived, I had to teach your daddy how to do everything (not that I knew everything, but I did have more experience growing up around littles!) but within a week he was a pro- and I believe he's better at calming you down than I am.

At your first doctor's visit you peed and pooped EVERYWHERE. Prior to this, your daddy & I were stressed because we were running late - we are much better now at allocating the appropriate amount of time to get somewhere. The poosplosion was JUST what we needed- and boy did we laugh! You melted away all of our stress that day.

That night, you got your first washcloth bath.. and you hated it. The next night we tried again and I held you and nursed you while Daddy wiped you down- you preferred this much better. During a late night diaper change you peed on me for the first time.

When you were 5 days old, Daddy fed you for the first time with a bottle I had pumped the day before. I know he had felt a little useless since I was providing you with all the nutrients you needed- so this was a special moment for the two of you. He really is the best daddy in the world.

When you were 6 days old you tooted' more than I thought a baby could. You also projectile vomited that day, and that scared me! Thankfully, Gammy was here and assured me that you were okay, and not to change you so quickly after a feeding. Your umbilical cord was holding on by a small string and fell off later that night. I remember crying quite a bit because you would be a week old the next day.

On your one week birthday you tried out your swing for the first time, but Daddy thought it was too fast so you were only allowed to sit there. He wants you to be safe, and I have a feeling he will always watch over you with as much care as he did with the swing! You started your "baby smiles" and they are the cutest thing ever..they go as quick as they come so I haven't gotten a picture yet. You were given the paci for the first time today and you LOVE it!

You make the cutest noises. You snort you're hungry, make a grunty noise when you need to be changed, and squeal like a pig when you cry.

On August 14th you were 9 days old and you had your first trip to Target! Unfortunately you will not remember it because you slept the entire time! You love your carseat. You sleep every time you get in it! We had been having a lot of trouble with breastfeeding at this point, but I remember on this day we had 3 good nursing sessions and that gave me a renewed sense of strength.

When you were 10 days old Daddy went back to work for a few days before taking the next week off. Gammy was still here during Daddy's first week back and loved being here with you.

At 12 days old you peed on yourself twice within one change and your Daddy said, "eventually he has to run out, right?" It was the funniest thing- but anything would have been- it was late and I was probably a little delirious!

At 13 days old we tried the k'tan wrap out for the first time and you LOVED it! It's continued to be one of your favorite places.

Then you hit two weeks old, and I cried again :) I will probably cry at every weekly/monthly birthday for a long long time! To celebrate two weeks you got to try out your new bathtub that MawMaw bought for you, but you weren't a fan. I watched you all by myself today while Daddy went shopping- I thought I would be a lot more nervous than I was!

The day before your due date (August 21) you laid under your play mat for a little while.. soon you will love doing that!

Your due date (August 22) was a happy day, I was so thankful you were out- pregnancy had been hard on your Mommy and I was thankful that you were here, safe, and healthy! You and Daddy took me out to lunch and then we went to Target where you had a MAJOR meltdown.. Daddy had to pick you up while I tried to push your stroller while carrying a few big items to check out. (Not sure what we were thinking with that.. Daddy should have pushed & carry..and I should have had YOU!)

Your one month checkup was on Sept 2, we learned that you were at the very low end of a normal weight gain, my supply was super low (more on that later) and we decided to go to formula. You also had had a rash that wouldn't go away no matter what we tried so your DR suggested we try cloth diapers. So that night, you wore your first cloth diaper and drank your first formula bottle.

I love you. I couldn't imagine having all of these "firsts" without anyone else. You are more special to me than you will ever know.

Our first meeting.

Our first morning

Our first family photo

Friday, August 12, 2011

Welcome to the world.

(Quick Timeline Below)

Amniotic fluid changes the color of PH paper. I learned this on July 29th when David and I went to labor and delivery to check to see if my water broke (or at this point just leaking) - it wasn't amniotic fluid. Four hours later they let me go home- even though I asked to leave 5 minutes after I knew it wasn't the real deal. I will admit at this point I was a bit embarrassed because I had been in L&D so many times for preterm labor I was not about to head back unless I knew for sure I'd walk out without a baby. Not that I shouldn't have gone each time for preterm labor, but still. After that trip, I began praying that when the time was right that there would be no question.

The "watery discharge" (seriously how easily is that to confuse with amniotic fluid??) continued for a few days and seemed to increase with each passing day. David and I came up with the idea to purchase PH paper from the fish section at Petsmart so we wouldn't have to go back to L&D for a 'what if.' -- I'll be honest, we first contemplated sneaking some from the hospital that night.

Friday, August 5th I woke up at 1:30 feeling a small "gush" down there. Although it wasn't a lot different than what I had been experiencing for almost a week, somehow I just KNEW this was "it" -- David went downstairs to grab the PH paper and sure enough, it changed immediately! I then freaked out a bit realizing that today was the day we were going to meet our baby! So I did what any girl would do- I got dressed, put on makeup, changed outfits a few more times, and when I couldn't think of anything else to do I finally faced my 'fears' and we headed to the hospital.

The 30-minute drive to the hospital went by pretty quickly as we listened to music, chatted about how our life was about to change forever, and I called family and sent texts to close friends on the way-- I didn't expect anyone to answer but a few did! Once we got to the hospital, I walked myself in- because of the time of day (well, night), we had to go through the ER. We got checked in to our room and was sad to find out our favorite nurse was off for the next few days. (I told you we had been to L&D a few times- and we knew a lot of the nurses!)

Time moves both slowly and quickly during labor. When we were checked in and settled at 3:30 I was 4-5 cm dilated and 80% effaced. My contractions were 1.5 minutes apart, not letting my body catch a break - They were steadily increasing in strength and I was feeling a lot of pressure in my butt area. At 6:15 AM the on-call doctor came in and officially broke-- I will never forget the sound of that gush- it was so strange! Literally sounded like a huge bucket of water was dropped on the ground. She had been sleeping or she would have broken my water earlier but the nurses weren't keen on waking a sleeping doctor for that (something like don't poke a sleeping bear?) Once the water broke the contractions (and butt pain!) became even stronger.

During the contractions pre-epidural I was counting down the time until I would get it...but the moments inbetween I gathered my strength and felt like I could hold on a bit longer. I held on for a few hours!

It was my goal that if I felt like I was going to get an epidural, to wait until I was 6-7 cm along. I knew that epidurals can slow labor down, so I felt like that was enough progress- a "goal" of sorts. The doctor I had been seeing was on vacation for two weeks so another doctor that I hadn't met before from the practice was there at 8AM to check me. I cannot say enough good things about this doctor- he was absolutely fabulous.

I am the type of person to say whatever is on my mind when I am nervous (which has embarrassed both my husband and mother on more than one occasion!) and when the doctor came in to 'check' me I said, "boy you have big fingers!" ha! It should also be known that I told him we were going to eat the placenta, and I thought he was going to die!

I was dilated to 6CM. Yay! I made it to my goal! Now.. time for the epidural!

The anesthesiologist was a fairly young russian woman- another time we lucked out with someone so nice! Apparently my bones are very tight and it took her three tries to find a good spot- but honestly, the epidural didn't hurt at all! I was having pretty strong contractions every few minutes and I knew I needed to stay as calm as possible. I remember burying my head into David's chest and he had his head down on me- telling me how proud of me he was and how much he loved me.

I stayed at 6cm dilated for a few hours- My contractions were still very regular, but the strength just wasn't pushing me into further dilation. They placed an internal monitor to check the contractions- which did not hurt at all and honestly I was glad to get the belly monitor off-- that thing makes me itch!

After 12 hours of labor and 6cm of dilation, we started pitocin. The DR came in to check me around 3:30 and I was 6.5cm dilated but had a contraction at the same time he was checking so he stretched me to a 7. (which sounds really gross now that I'm typing it!)

The epidural was great - however between the terrible butt pain and adrenaline, I didn't rest one bit. (All in all, we were up for 27 hours before getting 2 hours of light sleep!) Around 5ish I asked if there was anything we could do for the butt pain- and the anesthesiologist came in and gave me something- which helped a tiny bit-- but it was now time to start pushing! The best relief from the pain came when I was pushing.

We had been asked if 2 EMT students could watch the birth- and we agreed. I'd rather give someone the opportunity to gain experience that they can use if an emergency situation arises than be self conscious about my everything being shown to everyone. I had been seeing a Nurse Practioner at the OB/GYN office and even though it was after hours she came in to support me. Which was so so awesome!

Before I knew it, it was time to push! At that moment, all I could think was, "yes! let's do this so I can eat!!" -- I was starving! Of course I was super excited to meet my son..but after so many hours of feeling hungry I was ready to chow down. I also asked for my deodorant so I could touch up because lets face it, things were about to get gross-- I didn't want them to get gross AND have me smell!

My main support came from my mother & David. Mom took some pictures and also at one point was holding my legs for me while the main nurse did other things. The nice thing about my epidural was that I was not completely numb. I could feel my legs, I could move myself around without help (though obviously I didn't try to get up).

David counted during my pushes and when I would get irritated that he was counting too slow I just counted in my head myself :) I am so much of a control freak that I have to count my OWN pushing time! ha! Everyone was cheering, encouraging, and overall super supportive (minus the EMT students, I may have scarred them into silence) and I really felt totally loved, even though I didn't know half of the people in the room.

In between contractions I ate ice chips like it was my job. Ice took my mind away from the pain and helped me to regain focus quickly. Plus I get hot very easily and this helped with that! With every push I bit down (and ended up with nerve damage in my mouth that thankfully has gotten better!) - and gave it my all. I knew there was a chance that I would push and he wouldn't come out- I didn't want to get this far and end up with a c-section.

I pushed for a few minutes short of an hour. Right at the end I got tired of the counting, of the people, of the encouragement (but I didn't voice this because everyone was SUPER nice) but I was ready for this to be OVER! Dr. Moore said, "He'll be born with your next contraction!" My top came off to be ready for some skin-to-skin with my baby -- I didn't know how he was going to be born yet because his head wasn't "out" yet. I pushed with all my might, I remember yelling a bit, grabbing the back of Davids neck and squeezing it--and PUSHING.

I don't know the exact timeline of this but at the end the DR did an episiotomy (and their office practice is to avoid that at all costs) and then I tore all the way down. Still recovering from that now at almost two weeks later. Eli also got stuck- at his shoulder-- Mom said she was really scared but thankfully I didn't see or hear any of that-- it's like your mind goes to a different place. I'm just thankful for an amazing doctor who reacts well under pressure.

Throughout labor David was right by my side- telling me how proud he was of me and how much he loved me.. he (unlike many guys who are grossed out by this) said it was the coolest thing to watch our Son being born. And I have to agree!

Once Eli was born it took him a second to cry, and when he did it was the cutest little sound I've ever heard. We had requested for a delayed cord clamping, and because he was doing well they agreed. Shortly after birth Eli latched on perfectly and we got a blanket wrapped around us and snuggled. Eli wasn't taken to be weighed until after I had been stitched up- which was a good 20-30 minutes. Getting stitched hurt a little so they gave me a shot to numb the area. Typically they take the newborn about an hour after birth to the nursery to be assessed and bathed- but our L&D nurse gave us about 3 hours. It was pure bliss.

Quick Birthstory Timeline:
1:30 AM - water "broke" (was leaking)
2:00 AM - drove to hospital
3:30 AM - got situated in our birthing room and was 4-5cm dilated and 80% effaced
6:15 AM - night DR broke remaining water and contractions picked up
8:00 AM - the doctor from my obgyn practice came in to check progress and I was 6CM dilated
8:30 AM - Epidural = Heaven
1:15 PM - Pitocin Started
3:30 PM - 7cm dilated 95% effaced
5:30 PM - began pushing
6:41 PM - Eli is here!!