Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

Today is the day!  It’s Baby Elizabeth’s first birthday!

I’ve shared my birth story here and her birthday photos here.

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We had her big birthday party earlier this month, so we are just doing something small for the actual day, a little cupcake with a candle on it.

It blows my mind how quickly this first year has flown by.  We constantly marvel over the fact that she has become her own little person.

She loves to watch Princess Sofia in the mornings with her buttered toast; loves her daddy cuddles while watching tv; loves to giggle at the dogs; loves to do her own little thing.

She’s super active.  Even though she isn’t walking just yet, she can crawl SUPER fast.  If she sees something she wants and isn’t supposed to have she takes off!

She has seven teeth and will eat anything that doesn’t eat her first.

She’s an excellent sleeper.  She sleeps for about 10 to 12 hours every night and takes naps.

Bath time is one of her favorite times.  She is a big splasher!

She seems so solemn in public, but around people she knows, she is all giggles and talks a ton!  Wonder if that means she’ll be a little shy.

I just want to hold on to her and cherish each and every minute of her being little because I know it isn’t going to last.

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So today, please forgive me if I’m a weepy mess; my baby girl is one.

We love you Elizabeth!

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Elizabeth’s Cake Smash Session

Elizabeth’s Cake Smash Session

Hello All!  Man, this past week has been a BUSY ONE!  We had little Elizabeth’s Winter ONEderland party, which I’ll be blogging about later.  In the meantime, I figured I would share some photos from her cake smash session.  Cyndi Shewmake took these, and Elizabeth’s newborn photos.

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She never wants to crack a smile when we have a camera out.  Saying “cheese” used to get her to smile but not anymore.

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So we only got one smile.

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However, when you say “yay baby” she will clap her hands together.

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We constantly had to pull the snowflakes on the prop away from her.  She even tried to get the poms in the background before we brought out the cake.

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A friend of mine made her onsie and I made her tutu.

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That tutu though.  I got the tulle from Walmart, and the glitter went EVERYWHERE.  Seriously.  We took these photos three weeks ago, and we still find glitter around the house.

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Since I made the tutu, I thought about making the smash cake too.  I even bought two little cake pans, but it wasn’t very pretty.  So I figured I’d leave it to the professionals.

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For the cake smash, we got her bib and bloomers at Hobby Lobby, since I wanted her to be able to wear the “one” onsie at the party later.  We also had a pink hat for her to wear, but her head was too small.

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She started out so daintily.  She used her finger and thumb to pinch off the green icing leaves from the roses on the top of the cake.

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But, she finally got into it.

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Then we pulled it off the stand so she could get a better angle on it.

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Surprisingly, I was able to wash all that dark blue icing out of the bib, bloomers, and footless sandals.

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I think she really enjoyed it 🙂

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Have you all did cake smash sessions with your little ones?  How did you do it?  Let me know in the comments!

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A New Adventure: My first week as a stay at home mom

A New Adventure: My first week as a stay at home mom

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Three weeks ago, I put in my notice and left the company I was with for four years.  It was a tough decision that took lots of thought and prayer.  I’ve decided to stay at home with Baby Elizabeth, who is now seven months old.  I was a little nervous at first, going from two incomes to one, but I really think we’ve made the right decision, and that this is what’s best.

This week, we didn’t do too terribly much.  We re-did our bedroom, which I had been planning to do over the 4th of July weekend but came down with pneumonia, so that didn’t happen.  We repainted, rearranged, and decorated.  It’s almost finished and looks amazing!  I’ll do a post on that as soon as it is finished.  We also met up with one of my best friends whom Elizabeth is named after.

We also did lots of tummy time and play time with the dogs, Orin and Abby.  Hopefully, Elizabeth is enjoying the time I’m spending at home with her as much as I am.  Not only have I been able to spend time with her, but Cody was on the late night shift so he has been home too.  It’s been a amazing to spend every day with the two of them.

I’m looking forward to all the milestones I’ll be able to witness since I’ll be home with her.  She has already said her first word, “dada,” and it looks like she is cutting a tooth on the bottom!

I’m still adjusting and creating a schedule, but I look forward to all the time I’ll get to spend with the family.  We are planning to go to the park when the weather settles down (it’s over 100 most days).

What do some of you stay at home moms like to do with your babies?  Do you have any advise for schedules?  Leave it in the comments below!

Weekend Wrap Up!

Weekend Wrap Up!

Hello Lovelies!  Weekend wrap up is pictionary style this week.

1st column:

  1. This is now my favorite picture of baby Elizabeth.  She makes some of the funniest faces!  We captured this one while getting ready for church Wednesday.
  2. This is my go to snack lately.  Caramel Macchiato Kind bars.  They are only 140 calories, and they definitely satisfy my craving for sweets.
  3. Lunch with my mother-in-law on Saturday at Panera Bread.  We tried their seasonal Chicken Poppy Seed salad.  It is AMAZING!  It’s got blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and thinly slicked pineapple with seasoned chicken and a light poppy seed vinaigrette.

2nd column:

  1. This was my haul from the local Farmer’s Market that we have at the mall every Saturday.  This was my first time going.  I got a small loaf of blueberry bread, a large loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread (YUM!!), two large bags of homemade peach tea, strawberries, sweet banana peppers, and peaches.  The only thing I was disappointing in were the peaches, but that may have been my fault.  On Monday (two days after purchase) over half of them were already rotten.  Next time I’ll put them in the fridge.  I’m excited to use the banana peppers Thursday for stuffed peppers.
  2. Baby Elizabeth and me walking.  I hit my step goal every day this week.  I’ve never done that before, so I was pretty excited!

3rd column:

  1. Baby Elizabeth turned 5 months this week!
  2. I made a collage of all of Elizabeth’s monthly photos along with her newborn shots.  She has changed so much over the past five months it makes me kind of sad.  She is becoming her own little person with her own features.  I think she looks more like her dad everyday, but others say she looks like me (who looks like my mom, who looks like her mom, who looks like her mom…strong genes!).

This week is going to be a busy one!  We are leaving town Sunday for a week in Florida with my mom and four sisters!  So I’m busy packing and cleaning all week this week.

How was your weekend?  Do you have any exciting plans for this week?  Leave it in the comments!  I’m also open to suggestions on great, organized ways to pack for a week long trip.

Where I’ve Been: My first pregnancy

Where I’ve Been: My first pregnancy

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Where have you been?

This past year has been a doosy, but I’m glad to say that I’m back to blogging.  So what exactly have I been up to?

About a year ago, we found out that we were pregnant with our first child!  Little did I know, that this would be a very eventful pregnancy!

The day I found out I was pregnant, I took a test before work, (from the Dollar Tree, they are surprisingly the best at early detection) and thought I saw a very faint second line.  At 5:45am, I ran back into the bedroom with it to wake my husband up, who had just gotten off work at 4am, to see if he saw what I did.  I said something along the lines of, “Honey, don’t-be-mad-I’m-waking-you-up-nothing’s-wrong-but do you see that second line??”  He did, said he was super happy, then promptly went back to sleep.

So, I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy and during the first ultrasound, the tech pointed to the two separate heartbeats.  Twins.  TWINS?!  Which was funny because every since we found out I was pregnant, I joked with my husband that, “there are two in there.”  I was super excited, that is, until I actually sat down with the doctor and we talked about it.  It looked like they were Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins, which means they were identical and in the same amniotic sac with no division between them.  I immediately thought, “Oh boy, identical!  I wonder if, as their mom, I’ll be able to tell them apart.”  The more we spoke, I realized that would be the least of my worries.  She went on to tell me that since there is no division between the two, this would be a very high risk pregnancy.  I would need to be hospitalized in my 2nd trimester to keep a close eye on the babies to make sure that their chords didn’t get tangled together.  Then, they would take the babies at 37 weeks, to give them the best chance of survival.

Now, one thing you should know about me, I am a super worrier.  So this was of course terrifying.  Nothing like hearing the words “chance” for survival.  When I got home and did a little googling (which I knew was a mistake, just like web-MDing your symptoms when you’re sick) and that definitely didn’t help.  There were tons and tons of stories of mommies who had those kinds of pregnancies and never made it to term.  Finally, I found a website that was strictly success stories and stayed there.

I went back to the doctor for my ten week check up with my husband.  Morning sickness had hit at 8 weeks, and I was barfing morning, noon, and night.  We went into the ultrasound super excited to see our two little blobs, but only one had a heart beat.  Sometimes now, when I hold my sweet baby, I think, “can you imagine there being two of her?” and every time I feel a pull on my heart.  We prayed about everything, and we placed the pregnancy in God’s hands; that was the outcome He chose.  We know that it was for the best.  After we found out, my doctor told me about a case she had where a woman lost her two babies at 36 weeks, and while sad that we had a loss, we were glad that we would now have a less complicated pregnancy.

Oh, and did I mention the morning sickness?  You mean that thing that makes you throw up EVERYTHING you eat at all hours of the day?  Yeah, I could keep down nothing.  I even lost 20 pounds!  And the morning sickness stuck around until about week 32.  To this day, I still can’t eat Buffalo Wild Wings, which was what I ate the first time I got sick.

Around week 19 (which seemed to take forever), we found out what we were having.  My husband wanted a little boy, but I had a really strong feeling it was a girl.  During the ultrasound, the tech told my husband what it was, and we had a cake made for a small reveal with family.  The cake was strawberry, and we were having a little girl.  Elizabeth.

Next up was the gd test.  At this point it seemed like if something could go wrong, it would.  I failed my one hour glucose test, and had to go in for the three hour one.  Again, we prayed about it and went in for the test.  Let me tell you, that test was the worst.  It wasn’t the drink that was bad, it was the feeling afterwords.  I felt super sick the whole day, even after I ate something.  But, I passed.

Then, I went in for my first third trimester ultrasound.  As the tech was finishing up, she asked if the baby had been breech the entire time.  That was news to me.  And of course, her being her stubborn self.  So we were were planning on a c-section.  I was a little disappointed at first, but then I thought about it, and it really didn’t matter how she got here as long as she was here and healthy.  However, at 35 weeks, she turned, and we canceled the c-section.

Swelling for days!  My feet were HUGE!  The nurses started keeping an eye on my legs and feet when I started my third trimester because they were swelling so bad and actually admitted me with it when my blood pressure got too high.  They sent me home for a 24 hour pee test (as fun as it sounds) to see if I was dropping too much protein.  I passed, but my doctor was super worried about me developing toxemia, so at 37 weeks she put me on strict bed rest.  Like, you can go pee, shower, and eat but that’s it.  So I said goodbye to the office and waddled home.  By the way, with just one week of bed rest, I lost 8 pounds in fluid.  8 POUNDS!  I kept looking down at my feet, amazed at how dainty they were again.  (No my feet aren’t actually dainty, they just were no longer the size of sausages.)  So, we scheduled an induction date of the 21st, three days before my due date, since my blood pressure was not cooperating.

I know this sounds like a “hate on pregnancy”parade, but there were parts of pregnancy that I absolutely loved.  I definitely miss the precious moments where I could feel her moving.

Pregnancy definitely had its ups and downs, but when it came to actually having the baby, I loved giving birth!

I was a little nervous about delivery, since the pregnancy was so rough, but I was ready to have this baby.  I had been to the hospital two times before we actually had the baby.  The first time, was after a doctor’s appointment during week 37.  I was having slight contractions, but it was too early, so they gave me IV fluids (my first IV ever), then sent me home.  The second time, was the Sunday before I actually had her.  We thought I was going into labor, but I wasn’t.  So they sent me home, but told me to come back the next week, and we’d have a baby.

We were scheduled to check in at midnight the 21st to start the induction process.  I guess baby girl got the memo and decided to help us out because I started having regular contractions around 8pm. but, since we had to be at the hospital in four hours, I figured I could wait it out.  They definitely were not close enough together for us to rush that way.  When we were there last week, a nurse told me that I wouldn’t be allowed to eat once I check in, so she suggested we eat right before we came in. So, I planned on eating right before check in.  Since I had been craving spicy foods and jalapenos, we decided (read I decided) we would stop at McDonald’s before we hit the hospital.  We ended up sitting in the driver thru line for 30 minutes before my husband lost it, and we pulled away with no food.  Thankfully, when we arrived at the hospital, my mom had the same idea and stopped at taco bell.  She gave me a soft taco, which I scarfed in the parking lot before we went in.  Later, when the nurse asked when I last ate, which my response was, just now in the parking lot, I got a few chuckles.

So we started the process out at midnight with the medicine they give you before they start the pitocin, and it turned out that was all I needed.  I started having really regular contractions and they gave me my epidural around 8am (I think).  The epidural was the worst part of the entire experience, not because of the epidural itself, but because of how it was administered.  There was no warning about not moving while they administered it (which I thought was policy).  And there were two nurses who were doing it, and they both were talking to me at the same time.  Also, this is the point where it suddenly became real.  I was having a baby, and started to panic a little.  I was in pain and had started crying while some woman pushed down on my shoulders with all her weight saying, “arch your back like a Halloween cat.”  (What is that supposed to mean to a pregnant woman?!)    It was rough.  But after they left, everything calmed down.

Then, with no pitocin and a few pushes, she was here at 12:04 pm.  And when I say a few pushes, I mean it.  They went and grabbed my doctor and she almost didn’t have time to suit up.  Also, my husband cut the cord, which I think was pretty neat.

Giving birth was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I definitely want to do it again (in a few years).  Do y’all have any funny pregnancy or birth stories you’d like to share?  Leave it in the comments!