July 29, 2011

.A Moment.

Last night, G and baby girl fell asleep together on the couch while I was making dinner.  When I looked over and caught a glimpse of this moment, all I could do was smile and snap a quick shot.  It was evident that neither were waking up soon, so I took the time to quietly eat dinner, finally read the latest InStyle magazine, take a relaxing, uninterrupted hot shower, catch up on emails, watch the season premiere of Project Runway, and start my latest novel.  By then, hours had passed and as I sat down to escape in my book, I couldn't help but look up from what I was doing over and over to look at my little family still cuddled up. 

It was captivating; I just wanted to take a thousand pictures of the moment so I would never forget it.  These first six weeks as a family have been indescribable... many moments have taken my breath away... but this was something different.  I've been fighting to stay in the here-and-now in order to really take advantage of this time, bonding with my daughter and watching Dylan rapidly grow and slowly discover the world around her.  For this moment though, I allowed myself to envision the future of Dylan and her dad in years to come... our family curled up on the couch after a family dinner following a long day, surrounded by our pups... and it was overwhelming and good.  So I watched them for a little bit longer because letting the moment happen in front of you and absorbing it whole-heartedly is the best way to preserve it.  I hope this never gets old.

I also hope you get to experience a few of these good moments this weekend.  I am looking forward to celebrating our third wedding anniversary a little early myself!

July 28, 2011

.A Grand Time.

My grandparents and brother came in town last week to meet Dylan.  Our short time together was spent being spoiled by my grandmother's cooking, competing in card and board games, talking around the kitchen table, and learning old-school mothering tricks from my Nani.  The things you learn from your history...  they are the lessons you pass down... so these quality moments I get to spend with my family is deeply cherished.

July 26, 2011

.Baby Love.

Just a few shots of our dolce ragazza, thanks to Katie of Clever Love Photography.  I love her ability to capture real moments of tenderness.  I'll always cherish these beautiful photos of our new little family.

July 25, 2011

.Survival Kit.

Newborns eat quite alot... every 2-4 hours to be exact... which goes by quite quickly when you consider that's from when you start feeding and it could take babies anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to finish.  Yes, nursing is a beautiful bonding experience.  No, I don't necessarily feel the same poignant emotions at four in the morning.  Regardless, it's necessary and beneficial to baby.  Babies also have breakdowns and like to be held. That being said, it's important to keep oneself relaxed and entertained or it's easy to be uncomfortable and tense the majority of the day.  Here is the survival kit that has aided me tremendously in the numerous feedings and spontaneous baby breakdowns at all hours...

Ipod touch & blackberry- with these I can conveniently respond to emails and surf the Internet.  Also, there's a free app I use religiously that keeps track of how long feedings are, suggests an appropriate time for the next feeding based on duration, diaper changes, and baby's sleep times.  It's been beyond helpful to reference when I have dozens of other things on my mind

Nook & Magazines- for an especially long bonding session with Dylan, I can get pretty far in my latest warm weather read with a touch of a screen; it's especially helpful that this barely takes one hand to use versus a real book.  For a shorter session, the latest magazine does the trick

Reading light- not too much lighting to wake up husband, but enough lighting to find my way to the bassinet and changing table when needed

Boppy- I haven't built the upper body strength yet to hold baby girl all day long.  This enables me to still have use of at least one hand and makes baby and I both much more comfortable

Portable fan- I'm still hot all the time, but I have to remember that baby is not.  Also, G does not appreciate a high air conditioning bill, so this fan continues to be a close friend

Water bottle- self explanatory.  I need to remember to take care of myself too

Now, this survival kit doesn't negate the need to be present with baby and give her my complete attention when necessary.  This survival kit helps to cope when I may need a little relief or break, but it may not be possible at the time.  Baby will sense if I'm frustrated, stressed, bored, or uncomfortable so the faster I can find a way to remain a calm me, the better I am for her.

July 21, 2011

.Our Birth Story.

My due date came and went.  My doctor said that my body was showing no movement forward and that I would not be able to be induced until Wednesday, June 22nd.  Also adding to my comfort about labor and delivery?  My doctor also disclosed to me the week before that he would be out of town the entire week of my due date.  Wonderful.

Friday, June 17th started off a different day.  When I woke up that morning, I was pretty sure my water broke.  Without getting graphic, let's just say it's not like it is in the movies.  I called my doctor's office and was told to come in for an exam to confirm my suspicions.  My mother and I were pretty sure they were going to send me home, so we had plans to go out for breakfast after the appointment.  All we ended up doing after the doctor's office was go straight to the hospital because I was in labor.

Fast forward a few short hours of admittance into labor and delivery, signing way too many papers, being hooked up to machines and fetal monitors, and I was comfortable in my room reading my book, just waiting for the ball to get rolling.  I felt it was going to go smoothly because I wasn't even feeling my contractions at that point.  Then, my fill-in doctor came in.  Dylan's heart rate had slowed considerably and they were moving toward an emergency C-section in fears that in this continuining, she would lose oxygen to her brain.  That's when time slowed, and I had to remember to calm my panicked heart, for Dylan's sake.  Obviously, an unplanned C-section wasn't ideal.  Add that G was still at work because I told him to "finish up, this will take hours."  The doctor chose to give me some sugar water and wait a half hour to ensure that baby wasn't just in the middle of a sleep cycle before proceeding with surgery. 

After some time, her heart rate returned to normal and we were back to the original plan of a natural delivery.  G was at the hospital at this point and I sent him home to grab a few things I'd forgotten to pack in my haste that morning.  Right after lunch, her heart rate slowed again.  As I was only dilated 2 cm and labor was moving very slowly, the doctor made the decision not to take the chance and get Dylan out immediately.  They quickly began to prep me for surgery and put on my oxygen mask and I tried to stall as G was still at home getting our things!  Suffice it to say, after many panicked phone calls, G's speeding to the hospital again, and running up to the room out of breath, he made it in the nick of time as they rushed me to the OR. 

I've never had any medical interventions, broken bones, or time in hospitals period.  The next twenty minutes were the scariest of my life.  They separated G and I as they prepped me and started anesthesia.  Instantly, I felt a warmth in my legs and felt my bottom half go numb.  I could still feel everything, but not the pain; it was alot of pulling and tugging.  When G was allowed in the room I was beyond relieved.  It was quick and very clinical.  It's a strange experience, knowing that 15 people are in the room trying to get your child here safely and you're just laying on a table, pretty much useless at this point except to be the shell.  I felt helpless and completely out of control.  The only control I had was to remain calm and pray to find comfort.  G and the anesthesiologist narrated what was going on, and soon after a nurse put what I felt as heavy pressure on my belly and I heard the sweetest sound in the world... Dylan crying.  That's when I cried.  I cried that after 40 long weeks of worry, she was here.  I cried that now it was truly beginning.  I cried that I couldn't protect her from whatever complication was causing us to have to be in that OR.  I cried in gratitude of the hospital staff for taking such good care of us.

The worst part of the C section hasn't been the long recovery, or the scar.  It was that seemingly endless time from when she was born, to when I was finally able to hold her.  Yes, I was able to give her a quick peck before they shuttled her off... but I was forced to remain in recovery for an hour before I was taken back to my room to "meet" her.  It was the longest hour of my life.  My comfort was having G and my mother come see me in recovery and give me the report of how Dylan was doing in the nursery.  That's when I learned that the cause of her heart rate going down was that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her. Ultimately the doctor made the best decision under pressure as I would have almost surely had to have a C-section even after hours of labor.  I will be forever grateful for his quick and efficient decision-making.

When I was finally in my room, surrounded by family, and the nurse handed Dylan to me, all I could think was, "I can't believe you are ours."  We've been waiting for ours for some time, and finally we were meeting her.  I was finally able to stare at those little feet that have been kicking me for months.  I was finally able to see her face, and determine what parts of me and what parts of G she possessed.  I was finally able to hold her and know she was safe in my arms.

Much after that is a blur of friends visiting and calls to family as I was on heavy painkillers, but all I know is that I ended that day in the hospital bed next to G, with Dylan Grace in our arms, deliriously happy.  That's when G surprised me with my push present... a beautiful solitaire diamond necklace that I will one day pass down to Dylan and relive this story and the meaning behind the gift.  It was one of those days where you look up, close your eyes, and ask God how you ever deserved to be so blessed, but thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing it and I promise I won't take it for granted... ever.

July 20, 2011


G's older brother, Grant, and his wife Jaime came to visit from Florida this weekend to meet Dylan.  They are expecting their first child, Theodore, this October so most of the weekend was spent shopping for babies, eating, and discussing all things babies.  Dylan seemed to love the extra attention and hands to hold her and we, personally, can't wait for her to have a cousin so close in age that she can grow up with.

Next to meet our little girl are my grandparents and brother!  We're expecting them later today and I simply can't wait to spend some quality time with them after months of separation.

July 19, 2011

.First Thirty Days.

Well, Dylan has been in our lives for over a month now.  I've learned a few things since we've brought her home that have helped in adjusting our lives for this sweet addition...

1. Baby naps do not equal mama naps. Baby naps equal time for mama to do everything that requires two hands or longer than 5 minutes of attention

2. A daily shower and applying a touch of makeup makes all the difference in mama's attitude

3. I will feel stupid, silly, confused, or incompetent in parenting the majority of the time

4. I need to roll with the punches or I won't make it out alive

5. Always have the new, clean diaper on immediately after I remove the dirty

6. Huggies diapers will leak a mess everywhere, but Pampers is sturdy for baby girl's bottom

7. Embrace the ballerina bun... during this survival period, it's just the easiest way to stay presentable and fresh

8. Husband needs some alone time with baby girl too... for bonding and learning and all that... he'll let me know if he needs help

9. My body is still not my own... but it is doing amazing things right now for baby

10. Pumping/ nursing is way more complicated than I thought and exhausting

11. I still need to stay off of forums.  If I have questions, ask other mothers or call the pediatrician if necessary

12. Don't forget to eat, take my vitamins, drink water, etc. (this is very easy to forget)

13. Find a gracious way to accept advice on parenting

14. Don't take it personally when people offer parenting advice

15. I'm a perfectionist.  That being said, I will never be the perfect mom

16. Take time just to be with Dylan.  It doesn't always have to be productive, although I feel guilty for getting to stay at home with her during maternity leave while G has to work

17. It's okay that I can't answer every phone call, text, email or message.  People will understand.

18. I will check on baby girl 10x's a night, although she only wakes up about once or twice to make sure she's still breathing. I also know that's irrational but it makes me feel better.

19. When I figure out what each of Dylan's cries means, it makes her breakdowns much more manageable

20. She will not die if I let her cry for more than five seconds

21. I will experience cabin fever during maternity leave so it's good to keep myself busy

22. I will discover the most random, yet effective ways to console baby girl when she's upset

23. I will get down about the changes my body has taken for baby girl, but she is worth sacrificing my vanity

24. If I don't burp baby properly, I will regret it

25. In between the hundred of kisses I give bebe, remember to throw a few dozen husband's way as well

26. Fellow mom friends are priceless in normalizing my emotions/ fears/ experiences

27.  G and I are still partners and on the same team... always

28. Leaving the house alone with baby girl will take me 5541x longer than it ever did when I was alone.  Practice and forward planning can only help better my time.

29. People are more considerate to pregnant ladies in public than mothers with strollers

30. Automated doors are a blessing when mama is alone with said stroller

31. I will marvel at baby girl at all times and can't believe we've been so blessed with her as our daughter.  The amount of adoration and dedication I have for our little girl is already limitless in this short time.  She makes it easy to be patient as she acclimates to life with us.

July 15, 2011

.Blog Birthday.

I've been so caught up in life that I didn't even realize that my blog birthday had passed me by. It's now been one year that I've been able to document and share our life with you readers, and what a year it's been.  I've enjoyed every minute of blogging and the process has been therapeutic for me, as well as a way to hold me accountable to slow down, learn, and enjoy the little things about life, when all I want to do is stress and try to control the big things.  I've met sweet and fascinating people through the blogging community and I think others in my life have gotten to know me better through my writing.

Thank you for being interested in my little corner of the internet and I look forward to seeing where we'll be next year!

July 14, 2011

.Summer Shine.

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. I want to dip my toes in the water, to dangle my feet off the edge of the dock and sit leaning forward, looking at you, laughing till our stomachs hurt, that’s the summer I’ve always dreamt about."

We're almost a month into summer and the sizzle is ever present.  To commemorate the season of cook-outs, slushy drinks, water fun, and darker skin, I'm loving... shirt dresses, outdoor dining, having childlike fun with kites and sunny games, mint details to add a pop of summer color to any outfit, reading in the sun, ballerina-like feminine silhouettes, pool time, striking flowers, painted doors, warm weather hats, rose gold jewelry, the fragrance of raspberries mixed with vanilla , passion tea lemonade, sun tea, coconut mocha frapps, and European adventures like this or this.

Quote source
1. Midnight in Paris source
2. Outdoor dining sources 1/2 
3. Kite dress source
4. Mint shoes source
5. Summer reads source
6. Silhouettes sources 1/ 2
7. Pool source
8. Peonies source

9. Painted doors source
10. Summer hats 1/2/3
11. Carried Away source
12. Rose gold ring and watch sources