Thursday, October 8, 2015

September wrap-up

September was a huge month for us as we added a new member to our family! We were expecting her at the end of the month and she surprised us early so the end of our month was a bit more relaxed than the beginning.

Eleanor started a program at church called Mom's Morning Out this month. It is kind of like the equivalent of pre-school, but for kids that are too young to actually go to pre-school. She loves it and asks every day that we head towards church if we are going to Mom's Morning Out. They make little crafts and she gets the chance to play with her friends.

Both my friends at work and my friends in our community threw me showers before Jane arrived. It was so sweet and I had a great time at both! They both happened to be just days before Jane came, so it's good she at least waited until she did!

Eleanor got this magnadoodle style toy from a friend and she has been calling it her "iPad." When she erases what she draws, she calls it "turning off my iPad." The other day she brought me this picture and told me she drew an umbrella!

Here is just a cute picture of Eleanor and Chris wearing ties before he had to head to work one morning.

I grew tomatoes this year, but instead of using my earth box, I planted them in the ground. Unfortunately, the spot I picked ended up being a hot bed for squirrels, so I never got any tomatoes off the plant. On a more fortunate note, the tomatoes I grew last year re-seeded, so I ended up with a third plant in a less squirrel-infested area that I actually did get tomatoes from!

Because my doctor's appointments got more and more frequent at the beginning of this month, we ended up having to get more and more creative with childcare for Eleanor so I could make the appointments. Eleanor went to visit Chris at work once or twice so I could go, and friends offered to come over and have playdates with Eleanor while I went to the doctor. She loved both options :)

One of our friends from college came to visit from Washington state earlier this month, too. We had actually just seen her when we went out to Seattle and Bend in March, but it was great to see her again and on our home turf!

As I mentioned earlier, about halfway through the month our world changed and things slowed down significantly with the arrival of Jane. We ended up doing a lot more laying around sleeping and napping.

Eleanor has loved holding and kissing baby Jane, and we have tried to teach her to be as gentle as she can.

We've had several visitors come including Uncle Robert and Auntie Joanna, Auntie Erika, Auntie Lauren and Auntie Ashleigh (as well as all the grandparents).

Eleanor also wants to copy everything baby Jane does, including getting swaddled in her blanket.

I took a picture days after Jane was born to compare to Eleanor and they look remarkably similar when they were each a couple days old!

All of our visitors did their best to help keep Eleanor entertained while I took care of Jane, including baking cookies.

We also went to the park a few times to let her get her energy out.

We went to Kidsburg one day, which is a bigger park than our local neighborhood one, and that was a huge hit for Eleanor, especially because Chris took her on the zipline!

Another fairly regular outing was trips to Colonial Williamsburg.

Despite these outings, Eleanor was a little stir crazy after a couple weeks of being home, so when Jane was 12 days old, he headed back to church so she could play with her friends again. We also made it to a story time on that Friday!

The next day was my first day alone with both girls and despite Eleanor not napping, we made it to Mom's Morning Out on time, with bows in her hair, though Jane was not dressed or fed and was crying the entire time.

Overall, we are adjusting pretty well. We are getting into a routine (kind of) and are figuring out life with two. Everyone is fed and clothed (even if it is pjs) and sometimes clean. We are making progress!

Welcome, October!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pregnancy wrap-up

Here are pictures from months 5-9 of being pregnant, and then Jane after she joined us!

This pregnancy was altogether very different than mine with Eleanor. In most ways, I think it was better (nausea, heart burn) and in other ways it was a little harder (I was a lot more tired). We are thrilled Jane is here now with us and are excited to see what kind of little person she becomes.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy 30th birthday, Chris!

This week, Chris turned 30! We celebrated after he got off work and before we headed out to our Bible study with dinner and cake.

Chris doesn't like to make a big deal out of his birthday, but as you can probably tell from the picture above, Eleanor loves birthdays. She woke up from her nap asking if we were having "daddy's birthday party now?" The girl loves her candles and cake! She actually stuck her fingers into the icing while we were taking the above picture.

In the spirit of not making a "big deal" out of his birthday, I will only say a few things. Chris is an incredible man, the best husband I could ever ask for, and a very devoted dad to two lucky girls. Having spent the last decade of our lives together, I feel so wonderfully blessed to have been able to witness his continued growth and maturity as he became a husband and then eventually a father. I am still in awe as I observe his ever increasing patience, which in our house, with a two year old, is unfortunately and woefully in short supply. I admire his commitment to expanding both his knowledge in the pursuit of a graduate degree and wisdom as he deals with challenges we face as a family and those that he encounters individually or as a team in his work environment, I also love witnessing the increased depth and development of relationships with friends and with family members as we all grow and enter new stages with different needs. He knows how to communicate well, with me, with Eleanor, with his colleagues and employees at work, and when not to communicate (aka when to just sit and listen). Chris is awesome, and I know I don't even have to say it because people who spend any time around him can just tell, but you know, because it's his birthday, it never hurts to say it anyway :)

We love our man and are excited to see what the next decade holds...

Happy birthday, Chris!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy due date!

Tomorrow is Jane's official due date, and as of then, she will have been with us for two full weeks.

She is doing fairly well - starting to become more alert the older she gets, which is wonderful because I don't have to spend quite as much time waking her up and trying to feed her. Last night she actually woke up twice on her own without alarms between the hours of 9p and 9a! Eleanor seems to still be doing well with the transition. Her favorite phrases right now are "it's okay, baby Jane" and "I wanna hold her!" Sweet girl.

We are obviously still adjusting. Chris went back to work last Wednesday and today is the first day we haven't had visitors/helpers with us. That being said, I was able to successfully get myself and both girls out the door to drop Eleanor off at Mom's Morning Out (a pre-schoolish style program at our church) this morning by 9 am. Eleanor was dressed, fed, and had bows in her hair (!!) and Jane was none of the above. We've still got a ways to go, but I will count that one as a success.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jane's birth story

Jane made her entrance into the world two weeks early, on the day I hit 38 weeks. I had more contractions throughout her pregnancy than I ever did with Eleanor, so while I shouldn't have been entirely surprised, we were still surprised. I had an appointment the Friday before she made her debut and the doctor said I was already almost 3 cm dilated and 70-80% effaced, but I still thought we might make it closer to her due date than we did.

Tuesday morning (the 15th), I woke up to call into work at 5 am and see if I was needed. I was put on call due to low census, but couldn't fall back asleep. I kept having contractions and regardless of the position I laid in, they weren't going away. I ended up getting up with Chris at 6:45 when he gets up for work to eat and drink something and just see if I could get the contractions to stop. Around 9:30 am, I decided to call the doctor to let them know I thought I was in labor and Chris came home to take me over to the office to get checked. At around 11:30, we got to the office and they said I was 4-5 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and that Jane was sitting very, very low already. Because this was a change from the couple days earlier when I was checked last, they wanted me to head over to the hospital to have my contractions monitored for a bit before they decided whether or not I should be admitted. After being in the triage room for about an hour on the monitor, they told me there hadn't been much change and that I was probably just in an early stage of labor so if I wanted to, I could leave. Since I was only at 38 weeks, they weren't going to do anything to make labor more forward, so they said either it will peter out, or they'll see me back there in a little while.

We went home and Chris went back to work. I laid down on the couch for an hour and a half (no change in contractions) and then took a walk around the block with my neighbors (they definitely picked up while I was walking). Chris came home and picked up Eleanor, who we had dropped off at daycare for the day since we thought I might be in labor, and we took a family walk around the block around 5:30. When we got home, I laid back on the couch, but at that point I knew that I needed to go back to the hospital for sure. Chris and Eleanor ate a brief and rushed dinner and my mom left to drive down and help take care of Eleanor. I told Chris we weren't going to be able to wait for my mom to get here or even for them to finish dinner so he called our neighbors, cancelled our Bible study that we were supposed to host that night, and ran Eleanor down the street to her friend's house. When he got back, we hopped in the car and went straight to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 7:15 pm, which, being a nurse, I felt bad about since it is right toward the end of shift change. They hooked me back up to the monitor while they went through the admission screening. I was around 6 cm while I was in triage, and then they admitted me to the same room I had when Eleanor was born. They started an IV and hooked me up to some antibiotics and then we started signing all the paperwork. Around 8:30, they checked me again and I was at 8 cm. I was finally able to hop in the labor tub (just had to keep my arm out of the water). This time they had decided to leave me hooked up to the fetal monitor, which seemed odd to me, but as it was waterproof, I didn't say anything. I was around 9.5 cm a half hour or so later, so I went back to the bed while they set up the room. Right before I started pushing, the nurse informed us the the baby was having some decelerations in heart rate, so we may need to be prepared in the event that the doctor needed to use measures to get the baby out faster. The doctor came in and broke my water and I started pushing just before 9:30 pm. She had the cord wrapped around her neck, but she was in good hands and we were blissfully unaware at the time. Jane was born at 9:52 pm weighing 6 pounds, 8.4 ounces and measuring 18.75 inches long.

Jane so far has been a very sleepy and relaxed baby, occasionally taking up to 45 minutes to wake up to eat. We are setting alarms at night to wake her up and feed her, and though we are tired, I know when she is waking up on her own we will be more so :) Eleanor is doing a great job adjusting, all things considered, and so far loves "baby Jane."