Monday, December 6, 2010

Season's Greetings!

Well hey there! Long time, no see! It's probably about time I check in again. I have all sorts of great ideas for blog posts, but never seem to get them out of my brain and into cyberspace. Hopefully soon you will be bombarded with information about what we did this summer (including Eli's 4th birthday!), and our homeschooling adventures this fall. We've been busy!

But for now, let's chat about Christmas! I am SO excited for Christmas this year. I mean, I always like this time of year (except the awful weather!), but this year I'm just loving the holiday season. I could hardly wait to put my tree up, but I managed to hold off until the weekend after Thanksgiving. I've been having so much fun buying presents for my kids and my niece and nephews. I can't wait to watch them open them! Of course, I'll have to wrap them first! :-D

One thing I've decided to do again this year is send out Christmas photo cards! I never felt the need to send out cards before we had kids, but since Eli (and then Lena!) came along, I've loved the idea of sending out a photo card with pictures of our adorable kids. The first three years after we became parents, however, I just didn't make it happen. One year we even took a few cute family pictures at Thanksgiving, which I made into a card, but I never got it printed and sent out! OOPS! But last year, finally, success! We got family photos taken in August by Inspired Photography & More, and they were just SO good, I HAD to make them into a Christmas card! It turned out super cute, and now I'm hooked!

This year, I'm excited to order our Christmas card from Shutterfly. I've heard LOTS of good things about them, and from what I can see, they have a great selection!  A few in particular really caught my eye, including this one, this one, and this one.  I like the great colors!  Sorry, but you'll just have to wait and see what I chose!  ;-)

Shutterfly also has photo calendars that would make a great gift!  And for after the holidays, you can order thank you cards!

Did I mention that they have a promotion going on for bloggers to receive 50 FREE Christmas cards?!  Yeah!  Check it out!  I did!  :-D

I can't guarantee I'll be back before December 25th, so....


Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Lena!


A few photos from today...

Lena had her two year well child checkup today.  She is now 21 lbs!  She's still below the charts, but she's following her own curve perfectly!  Her height is 33 1/4 inches, which means she jumped from the 10th percentile to the 25th percentile.  Doctor said she's doing great!  So thankful to have a healthy girl!

I LOOOOVE you, Lena Marie!!

Lena's Birth Story

Well, it's been two years now since the most unexpected expected experience I have ever had.  The birth of my beautiful daughter, Lena Marie!  Yes, we knew it was coming, every baby must come out!  What we didn't know was how extraordinary her entrance to the world would be!

My labor started early evening, Thursday the 19th of June, 2008.  Mildly uncomfortable "pains" (I wasn't ready to call them contractions yet!) came around anywhere from a few minutes apart to half an hour.  Daddy wasn't home, so big brother Eli and I walked to the school playground and sent Daddy text messages telling him about the new developments.  At this point we didn't know if this was "it" or not.  I had a feeling...  when Eli was born I had 32, yes THIRTY TWO, hours of contractions before they were regular enough to be considered active labor, so I figured we were just off to the same slow start. 

That night we all went to bed as usual, but I just couldn't sleep.  I wouldn't say I am a light sleeper, but I just can't sleep through contractions, no matter how mild!  Around midnight or 1 AM, I gave up on trying to sleep and paced my torpedo-bellied self around our teeny tiny bathroom, logging the length of time between each contraction.  Eventually (after maybe an hour or so??), I decided I needed some support, and woke up Daddy.  For another hour or so we paced and contracted and watched the clock...  I did NOT want to go to the hospital if this was not really "it."  I wanted to be sure.  The contractions kept coming.  Every three to five minutes.  Around 2 or 3 AM we decided it was time to call Grandma (my wonderful mother-in-law!) to come stay with Eli so we could head to the hospital!

We waddled through the emergency room entrance and told them the obvious, I was ready to have a baby!  We made our way up to the birth center, where they hooked me up to the monitors to track my contractions and checked my cervix for dilation.  As I rested, my contractions slowed... and I was not even 1 cm dilated, baby at -2 station.  You have got to be kidding me!  I wanted to cry.  I probably did, I don't remember.  We decided to walk the halls.  As we walked, my contractions picked back up.  I had to stop and lean on Daddy to get through them, breathing and swaying.  We walked and walked and walked.  We were TIRED, so we went back to the room.  Again, my contractions slowed.  Boo!  They checked me again, SAME!  I wanted to cry, I'm sure I did! 

They wanted to send me home, since I wasn't progressing.  I was frustrated and embarrassed and exhausted!  I explained to them how I had gone through a long labor with my son, and how sick I was after he was born due to extreme exhaustion, and how I did not want to have that experience again.  I begged for some sort of relief.  I wanted it to either STOP or GO!  But they wouldn't do either.  You see, I was 37.5 weeks along.  At our hospital, they will not give you medication to stop labor if you are past 36 or 37 weeks, and they won't induce until you are past 39 weeks.  I made desperate pleas, until they agreed to give me a dose of morphine, to at least give me a break, so I could rest.

So for a few hours, something like 7 AM to 10 AM, I got a bit of relief.  I dozed off and on, but the continual contractions kept me from experiencing a sound sleep.  Just to be sure, they checked me once again, and I still had not progressed even a little bit.  It was time to go home.  :-( 

Grandma had taken Eli home with her and Daddy had things to do, so I spent the rest of the day at home alone, doped up on Benadryl, sipping water and contracting.  I tried to relax as much as possible, sleeping between contractions, which were back to being anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour apart.  Fun times!  I didn't want to waste my energy by moving around and getting my contractions going again, only for them to slow down when I stopped to rest.  I was frustrated, and I figured when it was finally time, they would stay strong and consistent all on their own.

Although I had pretty much spent the entire day snoozing off and on, I attempted to get some sleep that night.  It didn't go well.  By then the drugs had all worn off, and for some reason every time I had a contraction I felt like I had to pee!  So I got up and went, every time!  But the contractions still were not regular, so I just kept waiting. 

When morning finally came, Daddy had to leave again, which I was not happy about.  I didn't want to spend another day like I had the day before.  Daddy said he would just be gone for a few hours, so he asked that I just continue to rest until he returned.  He left, and I started to feel desperate again.  I was SO done with contractions!  Either make it stop or get this baby out!

At 8 AM (this is Saturday morning now!) I decided to call a good friend of ours, who happens to be a nurse at our local birth center.  Surely, she could could give me some helpful advice!  She suggested that I take a warm shower or bath for 20 minutes, then lay down for 20 minutes and sip some water, maybe that would calm things down.  So at 8:30 I hopped in the shower.  Okay, I didn't really hop, that would have been dangerous!  :-D  The warm water must have been just what my body needed, because my contractions started to come hot and heavy!  They seemed to be one right after another, and strong!  I tried not to get excited, they would probably just die off when I got out.  I finished up and managed to get dressed and grab some ice water.

I laid down on the couch as directed, and at 9:10 another contraction came, and my water broke!  AAAHHH!!!  I was home alone!  Daddy was half an hour away!  And my couch was soaked!  I immediately called Daddy and told him to come home NOW!  Another contraction hit and I felt pressure!  "She's coming out!!!"  Oh. My. Goodness.  I was going to have a baby at home, on my couch, alone!  This was SO NOT HAPPENING!  Daddy decided that the smart thing to do, which had never crossed my panicked mind, would be to call 911 and get an ambulance on the way.  What an intelligent man!

The ambulance, along with a fire truck, two or three police cars and half a dozen or more men, arrived a few minutes later.  I was still frozen in fear on the couch, but had to get up to let them in.  They started asking me what I viewed as the world's dumbest questions:  "So you're having contractions?"  "YES!"  "About how far apart are they?"  "I DON'T KNOW!  SHE'S COMING OUT!!!"  They asked me to have seat on one of my kitchen chairs, and another contraction hit.  As you may expect, at this point my reaction to it was not what you would necessarily call calm...  Their sense of urgency finally kicked in, and they carried me (on the chair!) outside and down the deck stairs, to load me onto the gurney and into the ambulance.

At this point, I was accompanied by the driver and two short of breath paramedics.  This was one they hadn't seen before!  One of them said they would need to cut off my pants to check me, which was fine by me!  I was ready to get this show on the road!  His response to what he saw: "WHOA!  We have major presentation here!"  Yes, that's right, by this time her head was partially out!  We started driving towards the hospital as the other paramedic frantically gathered up the supplies he would need in the next few minutes!  I asked, "Can I push now?!?!"  They agreed, I pushed, and Lena Marie was born, traveling through town, at 9:39 AM on Saturday, June 21st, 2008.  She cried, they cut the cord, and I said "Thank you Jesus!"

We arrived at the hospital moments later, greeted by a large crew of doctors and nurses.  The paramedics handed my sweet girl off to a nurse, who brought her straight up to the birth center nursery, then rolled me up to a recovery room.  Just then Daddy, who had been traveling at great speed to get there on time, arrived.  He literally RAN through the hospital!  When he got up to the birth center, he was so confused!  He asked where I was, and they directed him to recovery.  He told them that I had just come in, that I was in labor.  They informed him that I had, in fact, already had the baby and was in recovery.  He was still in disbelief, so when he entered my room he was shocked when I told him that she was here!  He grabbed the camera (I had managed to get the emergency responders to grab my bags for me when we left home!) and headed to the nursery to see our new baby girl. 

He took the nurse's word for it when she told him that this gorgeous dark haired, dark eyed, dark skinned little princess was his daughter.  She looked SO different than our blond haired, blue eyed, pale skinned son!  Finally, over an hour after she was born, she was brought to my room, and I got to hold her.  And kiss her!  It was love at first sight! 

Her stats:  7 lbs 4 oz & 21 inches (although at her first doctor's appointment they said she was only 20 inches!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, I thought I'd give an update on Lena's injury by posting a picture of her, which also includes her adorable pony top!  :)

Cute, cute, cute!

She fell on Tuesday, her nose looked MUCH worse on Wednesday, and looks better today.  Thank God for a speedy healing process!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And the first fat lip of the year goes to....


My poor baby girl fell on the sidewalk this evening.  We were all out enjoying the beautiful weather!  Daddy was taking down Christmas lights and Mommy and the kids were picking up sticks in the yard.  Lena was so excited to help out!  The only problem was that since her hands were full of sticks, she didn't catch herself when she tripped.  Instead she landed flat on her face!  She scraped up her cute little nose, cut the inside of her lip on her teeth, and somehow pinched her lip, which resulted in a blood blister.  Ouch!  Mommy cleaned her up and she rebounded quickly.  We were back outside picking up sticks in no time!

Here's another view of her owies.  Hopefully her lip won't stay puffy for too long!  But hey, check out those eyelashes!  :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Little About Lena

I took Miss Lena in to get weighed on Monday.  Great news!  At six days before turning 21 months, she is up to 19 lbs 14 oz!  She gained 10 ounces in the last month.  She's still nowhere near the charts, but she's finally putting on a little more weight.  No surprise, that girl can eat!  When she's hungry, she is HUNGRY!  We're not sure how she packs it all in her teeny tiny body, but she makes it happen.  Typically she does also have just about as much food in her hair, on her clothes, on the floor surrounding her chair and painted on the table as she consumes.  Let's just say, Lena loves food!

Speaking of Lena's hair, it is growing, growing, growing!  And it's so beautiful!  I wanted it to stay a dark brunette, but it's gotten super light, and I love it!  She's still sporting a bit of a mullet, but I refuse to cut it.  The front will eventually catch up with the back.  I will not cut bangs!  So for now, we just pop a ponytail on top and call her ADORABLE!  :) 

(For some reason, I can't seem to get a picture of Lena with her pony top to upload, so just imagine how unbelievably cute she looks...)

She is also a little talking machine!  She definitely talks more than Eli did at this age.  She will copy just about anything you say, so she is constantly learning new words.  At 18 months I wrote down every word I heard her say, which was 50+, so I have no idea how many words she can say now!  Some of my favorites include "teetoo" (thank you), "pop...weasel", "Mommy" and "Daddy" (of course), Bubba (our nickname for her brother), "EeeeeIiiii" (Eli!), "ummy ummy" (yummy yummy), "ucky" (yucky), and her own name, which sounds more like LehNuh or NahNuh, but we know what she means.  :)  She also loves to sing, jibber jabbering and randomly throwing out words she knows.  She's my star and I'm her biggest fan!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Conversation With My Boy

I have decided to take this opportunity, while my noisemakers are miraculously playing by themselves in their rooms, to share a sweet little conversation that I had with Eli this afternoon while snuggling together on the couch.  It went like this:

Me:  Did you know that you're a miracle?
Eli:  Yeah
Me:  Did you know that you're awesome?
Eli:  Yeah
Me:  And cool?
Eli:  Yeah
Me:  And smart?
Eli:  Yeah
Me:  And....
Eli:  Naughty!

At least he's honest!  :-)  And he sure does make me giggle!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Twenty & Forty-Two

TWENTY:  The number of months my beautiful little princess has had me wrapped around her little finger.  

On Sunday, Miss Lena Marie turned 20 months old.  I meant to write something when she turned 18 months, but that day came and went...  19 months did the same.  So here we are.  I can't believe that in only 4 more months I will have a two year old!  She is such a joy to have as my daughter.  Being a daughter is great.  Having a daughter is amazing

Sunday also marked the day of her newest accomplishment, which Mommy is SO happy about:  Giving up her beloved paci!  I tried to take it away a couple months ago, but gave in the second night when I couldn't stand listening to her cry for her "paaaaaciiiiii" for more than a minute or two.  I decided to wait a while longer to dump the paci, until I felt like she could understand and be part of the decision.  Normally as soon as we put her down for nap or bedtime she is looking for and asking for her paci, but this Sunday she didn't ask, so I didn't offer.  I figured it was a fluke thing, but sure enough, nap time on Monday, she went to sleep without it again.  After a couple days of successful sleeping sans paci, she and I together threw her pacis in the garbage and said "bye bye!"  :)   

FORTY-TWO:  The number of months my crazy, wild, sweet BIG boy has blessed me with the joy of being his Mommy.

Yep, Eli is 3 1/2 today!  WOW!  I am so proud to be his mother, watching him grow and change every day.  Some days I wish I could go back in time, just for a few minutes, to hold my tiny newborn baby boy.  He reminds me to savor every day, it won't happen again!

Today was definitely one of those days.  He had his very first dentist appointment.  Being the shy, apprehensive young fellow that he is, I was super worried about how it would go.  I figured he would have a meltdown, as is his usual reaction to anything new and out of the ordinary.  I had originally thought that it would be best to have him watch me get my cleaning done, then I would be with him while he got his done.  After suggestions from the ladies at the office and some thought, I decided to let them take him back by himself.  They took me back first and got started, then brought him back shortly, to a station near mine.  His back was to me, so he couldn't see me, but I could peak over at him.  He did SO well.  When they first leaned the chair back, he started crying and asking for me, but VERY quickly got over it and let them examine, polish and even floss between his pearly whites.  I'll admit it, I was SHOCKED at how well he did.  I was so proud of him, and so was he! 

Saturday, January 16, 2010